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There are 40 million acres of lawns in North America. In their current form, these unproductive expanses of grass represent a significant financial and environmental cost. However, viewed through a different lens, they can also be seen as a tremendous source of opportunity. Access to land is a major barrier for many people who want to enter the agricultural sector, and urban and suburban yards have huge potential for would-be farmers wanting to become part of this growing movement.
The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard (or someone else's). Major benefits include:
• Low capital investment and overhead costs.
• Reduced need for expensive infrastructure.
• Easy access to markets.
Growing food in the city means that fresh crops may travel only a few blocks from field to table, making this innovative approach the next logical step in the local food movement. Based on a scalable, easily reproduced business model, The Urban Farmer is your complete guide to minimizing risk and maximizing profit by using intensive production in small leased or borrowed spaces.
Author: CURTIS STONE
Rapidly increasing in popularity, square foot gardening is the most practical, foolproof way to grow a home garden. That explains why author and gardening innovator Mel Bartholomew has sold more than 2 million books describing how to become a successful DIY square foot gardener. Now, with the publication of All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition, the essential guide to his unique step-by-step method has become even better. Bartholomew developed his techniques in the early 1980s and has been teaching them throughout the world ever since. In the process, he has made improvements and refinements and continually adapted his practices to keep pace with modern times. In this new volume, he furthers his discussion on one of the most popular gardening trends today: vertical gardening. Bartholomew also explains how you can make gardening fun for children by teaching them the square foot method. Finally, an expanded section on pest control helps you protect your precious produce. Rich with new full-color images and updated tips for selecting materials, this beautiful new edition is perfect for brand-new gardeners as well as the millions of square foot gardeners who are already dedicated to Bartholomew's industry-changing insights
Author: Mel Bartholomew
This book by Mother Earth News contributing editor Dan Chiras will enable you to make wise decisions during the design, purchase and installation of home-based wind energy systems. Written in consultation with two of the most experienced "small wind" experts in the United States, this is the book you need if you are interested in a wind turbine for your home.
Faced with frequent power outages, skyrocketing energy costs, and constant reminders of the impacts of conventional energy sources, homeowners and businesses are beginning to explore ways to use energy more efficiently and to generate their own electricity to reduce fuel bills and their carbon footprint and to achieve greater independence.
Power From the Wind is an easily understandable guide for individuals and businesses interested in installing small wind energy system. Written for the layperson, this practical guide provides an accurate and unbiased view of all aspects of small wind energy systems, including:
This book is designed to help readers make the smartest, most economical choices. Readers will gain the knowledge they need to make wise decisions during the design, purchase and installation of small wind energy systems and to communicate effectively with wind system installers.
Author: Dan Chiras
As fossil fuel supplies dwindle, home heating will be one of the major challenges in temperate and cold climates. The reserves of natural gas used to heat the majority of North American buildings are rapidly being depleted. This latest Green Energy Guide helps readers who want to slash their energy bills and reduce their dependence on scarce resources to navigate the sometimes-confusing maze of clean, reliable and affordable options.
Solar Home Heating Basics focuses on renewable energy strategies to heat new and existing homes and small businesses. These include:
While most solar home heating resources are geared primarily towards new buildings, this practical and easy-to-understand guide also addresses ways of retrofitting existing buildings, making solar a reality for many people.
Packed with all the essential information home and small-business owners need to find alternatives to conventional heating solutions, Solar Home Heating Basics is your key to a personal energy.
Author: Dan Chiras
Where people live, trees live. They provide shade, beautify our neighborhoods, filter our water, and clean our air, but when they die, we often don't know what to do with them. More and more, that is changing as we learn the skills to reclaim those trees as lumber. Aimed at the woodworking hobbyist or aspiring DIYer, The Art and Craft of Wood introduces readers to the basics of wood craft.
The Art and Craft of Wood will inspire you to make something of your own through simple, approachable instructions and inspiring step-by-step photos. As a reader, you will learn valuable skills, including:
The authors have lived the process and share what they learned along the way, including the fulfillment of crafting a beautiful, practical item from wood that has been overlooked or discarded.
Author: Silas Kyler, David Hildreth
This set is a match! Get two books that have a plethora of information and knowledge to share for a great price! The Mother Earth News Almanac is a seasonal guide with subject matter that any passionate DIYer, homesteader, or environmentally aware reader will appreciate. You'll find recipes, money-saving tips, and homesteading techniques, such as illustrated directions for tying a timber hitch, cat's-paw, sheepshank, and other knots; folk medicine treatments and preventatives; tips on raising chickens and keeping bees; plans for building three kinds of kites; complete instructions for fast and easy compost; and much, much more! Building Soils Naturally gives gardeners a hands-on plan for creating productive, living soil by using a practical, holistic approach – crafted right in your garden. In an organic garden, plants in optimum health thrive abundantly, produce harvests with amazing taste, and possess the ability to fight off plant predators. When they don't, there's often something lacking in their proper nutrition. Maybe they are missing beneficial microorganism companions, or perhaps they are short of the energy needed to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The solution is to "start with the soil," but healthy soil doesn't happen just by composting, fertilizing, or companion planting alone. The solution can be found in Building Soils Naturally.
Residential consumption represents nearly one quarter of North America's total energy use, and the average homeowner spends thousands of dollars a year on power bills. To help alleviate this problem, Energy-Wise Landscape Design presents hundreds of practical ways everyone can save money, time and effort while making their landscapes more environmentally healthy, ecologically rich and energy efficient.
Combining general guidelines with tips, techniques and actions, this fully illustrated guide explains the many opportunities our landscapes provide for conserving energy. Readers will learn how to:
Intended for homeowners, gardeners, landscape professionals and students, the design ideas in this book will work in every type of setting -large or small, hilly or flat, urban or rural. Written in non-scientific language with clear explanations and an easy conversational style, Energy-Wise Landscape Design is an essential resource for everyone who wants to shrink their energy footprint while enhancing their property and adding value to their home.
Author: SUE REED
Our food system is dominated by industrial agriculture, and has become economically and environmentally unsustainable. The incidence of diet-related diseases including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart disease has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. Whether you have 40 acres and a mule or a condo with a balcony, you can do more than you think to safeguard your health, your money and the planet.
Homegrown and Handmade shows how making things from scratch and growing at least some of your own food can help you eliminate artificial ingredients from your diet, reduce your carbon footprint and create a more authentic life. Whether your goal is increasing your self-reliance or becoming a full-fledged homesteader, it’s packed with answers and solutions to help you:
This comprehensive guide to food and fiber from scratch proves that attitude and knowledge is more important than acreage. Written from the perspective of a successful, self-taught modern homesteader, this well-illustrated, practical and accessible manual will appeal to anyone who dreams of a simpler life.
Author: Deborah Niemann
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Jamie Durie, international award-winning horticulturalist and landscape designer, reveals the secrets behind his incredible designs on the ever-popular HGTV series The Outdoor Room, now viewed in more than 12 countries. With dynamic photography, including Durie's personal travel photographs and a sneak peek of his private garden, this information-packed companion to his smash-hit t.v. show is as hardworking as it is stunning.
Complete with detailed site plans, zonal plant lists, and helpful eco-tips, it covers everything from the basics of landscape design to practical, hands-on information, such as how to design your own private garden using Durie's philosophy. From an exotic Balinese-inspired dining pavilion to a private English-style garden with an adjoining children's play area, Durie shows you how to incorporate his techniques and design principles to create a personal and truly unique garden, giving you and your family and friends the opportunity to reconnect with nature in the privacy of your very own outdoor room.
Author: Jamie Durie
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Jekka McVicar — whom Jamie Oliver dubbed the "queen of herbs" — has assembled a special collection of her top-50 favorite herbs. Each herb is described in detail, including its Latin and common names as well as:
Jekka's Herb Cookbook also features 250 original recipes that use her top-50 garden herbs. The recipes include:
There are international recipes, such as salsa verde, and familiar favorites, such as caraway seed cake. Extraordinary color illustrations highlight McVicar's knowledgeable and enthusiastic descriptions.
For cooks and herb gardeners, Jekka's Herb Cookbook is a fascinating guide to using herbs in practical and inspiring recipes.
About the author
Jekka McVicar has been growing organic culinary, aromatic, decorative and medicinal herbs for more than 20 years. She owns Jekka's Herb Farm, which has won 59 Royal Horticultural Society gold medals, including 12 Chelsea golds.
Author: Jekka McVicar
Survival situations can happen when least expected. The best defense is knowledge and confidence in the skills that will keep you alive, whether it's for a few hours, days, or long term.
365 Essential Survival Skills comprises the best knowledge, tips, and tricks available in the world today, and each skill is explained in fun, easy-to-learn ways that any student (greenhorn or seasoned) will pick up with a little practice. With 365 skills inside this book, there's plenty of practice to keep you busy year-round.
The difference between life and death in a survival setting is a very slim margin. Don't take any chances: Learn how to keep yourself and your family alive.
The book features:
Author: Creek Stewart
The craft of home cheesemaking is exploding in popularity. However most “beginner” books are essentially loosely organized collections of recipes that lack a progressive approach to teaching the fundamentals of this exciting and satisfying traditional skill. Mastering Basic Cheesemaking provides a complete hands-on guide to making cheese and other fermented dairy products from scratch, geared toward helping the novice cheesemaker develop the intuition and abilities needed for success, especially in the real world of the home kitchen.
This well-illustrated, clearly written practical guide assumes no experience on the part of the aspiring cheesemaker. Topics include:
Whether you are a budding cheesemaker, avid do-it-yourselfer, foodie, homesteader or cheese professional, this complete course in beginning cheesemaking from one of North America’s foremost instructors is packed with everything you need to create delicious, nourishing and beautiful classic cheeses and other dairy delights.
Author: Gianaclis Caldwell
Around the world, everyone is talking about environmental issues and the concept of “going green.” Natural organic gardening and landscaping are among the most important parts of that movement. Some organic proponents only say to stop using the chemicals. Howard Garrett, in the Organic Manual, explains in detail what to do instead. His “what to do” is the organic method. The book opens with the advice to stop the use of toxic chemicals, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers, but Garrett then goes on, in great detail, about the practical alternatives. This is one of the few books effective for use coast to coast and border to border. The organic method has no geographic boundaries.
The best kept secret of all (uncovered in this book) is that the organic program is better in every way. Whether it’s growing beautiful landscaping or delicious, healthy food crops, the Organic Manual explains bed preparation, planting, pest control, and compost making. It also covers natural living advice. The organic method is the most efficient, most cost effective, and most fun of any approach. It also produces the best trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables that you’ll ever grow.
Author: HOWARD GARRETT
The word "hack" has a multitude of meanings these days, but if you ask garden author Shawna Coronado what a hack is, she might just wave her hand toward her own backyard. She could be pointing at the garden bench she created from leftover wood posts and a few cinder blocks, or the rows of wine bottles buried soldier-style along a winding pathway, or even the garden soil itself, which is blended by hand from an organic soil recipe she devised. A hack is really just a great idea that's come to life.
In 101 Organic Garden Hacks you'll find the top tips, tricks, and solutions Coronado has dreamed up in her career as one of America's most creative gardeners. Some are practical time-savers; others offer clever ways to "upcycle" everyday items in your garden. One characteristic every hack shares is that they are completely organic and unfailingly environmentally friendly. Divided into a dozen different categories for easy reference, each hack is accompanied by a clear photo that shows you exactly how to complete it. If you are looking for resourceful ways to improve your garden and promote green living values right at home, you'll love paging through this fascinating, eye-catching book.
Author: Shawna Coronado
In an era when incomprehensibly complex issues like Peak Oil and Climate Change dominate headlines, practical solutions at a local level can seem somehow inadequate.
In response, Lyle Estill's Small Is Possible introduces us to "hometown security," with this chronicle of a community-powered response to resource depletion in a fickle global economy. True stories, springing from the soils of Chatham County, N.C., offer a positive counter balance to the bleakness of our age.
This is the story of how one small southern U.S. town found actual solutions to actual problems. Unwilling to rely on government and wary of large corporations, these residents discovered it is possible for a community to feed itself, fuel itself, heal itself and govern itself.
This book is filled with newspaper columns, blog entries, letters and essays that have appeared on the margins of small town economies. Tough subjects are handled with humor and finesse. Compelling stories of successful small businesses from the grocery co-op to the biodiesel co-op describe a town and its people on a genuine quest for sustainability.
Everyone interested in sustainability, local economy, small business and whole foods will be inspired by the success stories in this book.
Author: Lyle Estill
In the Summer of Love in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, a charismatic young hippie by the name of Stephen Gaskin launched "Monday Night Class" - a weekly event which drew together an eclectic mix of truth-seekers and flower children. Soon the class became a caravan, and after touring the country this colorful crew decided to seek a plot of land and found a commune based on their shared values. Thus was born The Farm in Summertown, Tenn.
The Farm Then and Now presents the story of a group that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to intentional community and creating a model for sustainable living. Just as the Monday Night Classes taught students to open their hearts and minds, The Farm continues as a school of change, demonstrating ways to operate collectively in terms of:
For humans to survive as a species, we must re-learn the skills needed to work together; the lessons of The Farm can be applied in any community or organization. The Farm Then and Now addresses both the successes and shortcomings of this unique ongoing social experiment, showing how what was once the largest commune in the world has evolved into an exceptional example of living lightly on the earth.
Author: Douglas Stevenson
Across North America, an agricultural renaissance is unfolding. A growing number of market gardeners are emerging to feed our appetite for organic, regional produce. At the same time, most books and resources about food production aim at the backyard and hobby gardener, who simply want to supplement their family's diet with a few homegrown fruits and vegetables. Targeted at serious growers in every climate zone, Sustainable Market Farming acts as a comprehensive manual for small-scale farmers raising organic crops sustainably on a few acres.
Informed by the author's extensive experience growing a wide variety of fresh, organic vegetables and fruit to feed the approximately 100 members of Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia, this practical guide provides:
Whether you are a beginning market grower or an established enterprise seeking to improve your skills, Sustainable Market Farming is an invaluable resource and a timely book for the maturing local agriculture movement.
Author: Pam Dawling
Garden Builder is a treasure trove of lovely yard, patio, and garden projects you can build yourself!
Perfect for any gardener or outdoor enthusiast with a few basic DIY skills, it is packed with 35 complete project plans, each one featuring finished photos of the project along with cut lists and shopping lists, a construction diagram, and step-by-step instructions (complete with photos) show exactly how to build every project.
Most projects are made from durable exterior-rated wood and can be created with basic carpentry skills. But several of these highly desirable garden accessories are made with materials like concrete, metal, and wire.
Garden Builder is positively loaded with projects, a few you can look forward to building include:
-A tiny shed (it is very cute)
-A toad house
Simply follow the clear and comprehensive instructions, and you'll have a garden that's rich in design elements, useful aids, and practical furnishings.
Author: JoAnn Moser
Cured meat products arose from the need for preservation, in a time when cooking and refrigeration were not always available. Today, charcuterie is an embodiment of art in the kitchen, combining precision, balance, patience, and creativity; an economy of ingredients, as poetry is an economy of words. The confluence of these elements, along with the purest of ingredients, can enable anyone to craft cured meats in their home. Pure Charcuterie is a practical and artistic look at the techniques for curing meat at home both as a creative hands-on craft and as a fantastic and sustainable way to preserve highly valuable food. This accessible, beautiful, visual guide walks the reader through the process of making charcuterie, including:
The analogies drawn between art and food, along with creative and accessible photographic discussions of charcuterie technique, make this book an essential primer on the basics of charcuterie: the mystery, the science, the art, and the technique. Ideal for home cooks working in small spaces, Pure Charcuterie is a must-have for experienced and new cooks alike — and any home artisan.
Author: Meredith Leigh
Don't sacrifice your garden or green space because you suffer from chronic pain, health issues, or other ailments. The Wellness Garden is your guide! If you love to garden but also worry about the physical strain, or if you are in search of ways to promote a healthier lifestyle, and even combat specific, chronic, health issues, then noted garden author and speaker Shawna Coronado has good news for you! You can stay active, fight chronic pain, and keep the garden you've worked so hard to cultivate. In The Wellness Garden, her new book from Cool Springs Press, Shawna details exactly how she has learned to use her garden as a key tool in her battle with osteoarthritis and other chronic pain issues. In this inspiring but highly practical book you will learn from Shawna's life changing garden experience and see how you can create your own Wellness Garden--and gain the healthier lifestyle you desire and deserve.
Author: Shawna Coronado