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61.

EAT UP: THE INSIDE SCOOP ON ROOFTOP AGRICULTURE

Lauren Mandel
Paperback

Price: $29.95

Soaring prices and concerns about chemical-laden fruits and vegetables increasingly drive us to grow our own healthy food close to home. In cities, however, vanishing ground space and contaminated soi…

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Soaring prices and concerns about chemical-laden fruits and vegetables increasingly drive us to grow our own healthy food close to home. In cities, however, vanishing ground space and contaminated soils spur farmers, activists and restaurateurs to look to the skyline for a solution. The hunger for local food has reached new heights, and rooftops can provide the space that cities need to bring fresh, organic produce to tables across North America.

The first full-length book to focus entirely on rooftop agriculture, Eat Up views this growing movement through a practitioner's lens, explaining:

  • Structural, access and infrastructural considerations
  • Zoning and building codes
  • Proven growing techniques
  • Business and marketing strategies
This graphically rich guide provides inspiration and advice to aspiring growers through photographs of successful rooftop farms and gardens, as well as interviews with industry professionals. Easy-to-use checklists and a decision tree are included to help gauge the viability of each unique rooftop opportunity. Essential reading for home gardeners, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, policy makers, academics and designers, Eat Up takes urban agriculture to a whole new level, proving that rooftop farming is not just a pie-in-the-sky idea - it is the future of urban food.

62.

GENE EVERLASTING

Gene Logsdon
Hardcover

Price: $24.95

Author Gene Logsdon-whom Wendell Berry once called "the most experienced and best observer of agriculture we have"-has a notion: That it is a little easier for gardeners and farmers to accept death th…

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Author Gene Logsdon-whom Wendell Berry once called "the most experienced and best observer of agriculture we have"-has a notion: That it is a little easier for gardeners and farmers to accept death than the rest of the populace. Why? Because every day, farmers and gardeners help plants and animals begin life and help plants and animals end life. They are intimately attuned to the food chain. They understand how all living things are seated around a dining table, eating while being eaten. They realize that all of nature is in flux.

Gene Everlasting contains Logsdon's reflections, by turns humorous and heart-wrenching, on nature, death and eternity, all from a contrary farmer's perspective. He recounts joys and tragedies from his childhood in the 1930s and '40s spent on an Ohio farm, through adulthood and child-raising, all the way up to his recent bout with cancer, always with an eye toward the lessons that farming has taught him about life and its mysteries.

Whether his subject is parsnips, pigweed, immortality, irises, green burial, buzzards or compound interest, Logsdon generously applies as much heart and wit to his words as he does care and expertise to his fields.

63.

AGAINST THE GRAIN: HOW AGRICULTURE HAS HIJACKED CIVILIZATION

Richard Manning
Paperback

Price: $15.00

In this provocative, wide-ranging book, Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution, beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our prim…

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In this provocative, wide-ranging book, Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution, beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our primate relatives and brought an accompanying increase in our need for nourishment. For 290,000 years, we managed to meet that need as hunter-gatherers, a state in which Manning believes we were at our most human: at our smartest, strongest, and most sensually alive. But our reliance on food made a secure supply deeply attractive, and eventually we embarked upon the agricultural experiment that has been the history of our past 10,000 years.

The evolutionary road is littered with failed experiments, however, and Manning suggests that agriculture as we have practiced it runs against both our grain and nature's. Drawing on the work of anthropologists, biologists, archaeologists, and philosophers, along with his own travels, he argues that not only our ecological ills (overpopulation, erosion, pollution) but our social and emotional malaise are rooted in the devil's bargain we made in our not-so-distant past. And he offers personal, achievable ways we might recontour the path we have taken to resurrect what is most sustainable and sustaining in our own nature and the planet's.

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