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This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress and economic instability?
The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals. Soil scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet's soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible?
Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long-term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy.
Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low-tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food.
In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil, we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.
Author: Courtney White
Winds sweeping through the Great Plains once robbed the Farm Belt of its future, stripping away overworked topsoil and creating the dreaded Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Today, those winds are bringing new hope to the declining rural communities of the central United States. Nowhere is wind’s promise more palpable than in Cloud County, Kansas, where the soaring turbines of the Meridian Way Wind Farm are boosting incomes and bringing green jobs to a community that has, for decades, watched its children drift away. In Harvest the Wind, Philip Warburg brings readers face-to-face with the people behind the green economy–powered resurgence in Cloud County and communities like it across the United States. This corner of Kansas is the first stop on an odyssey that introduces readers to farmers, factory workers, biologists, and high-tech entrepreneurs—all players in a transformative industry that is taking hold across America and around the globe. In this illuminating book, Warburg reveals both the remarkable growth of a breakthrough technology and the formidable challenges it faces. He visits epicenters of anti-wind opposition as well as communities that have embraced wind farms as neighbors. He guides readers through an Iowa turbine assembly plant that is struggling to compete in a global marketplace dominated by European and Chinese manufacturers. And he looks at the thousands of miles that wind-generated power will need to travel to reach American consumers. Harvest the Wind is an earthly antidote to loftier treatises on global warming and green energy. By showing us how practical solutions are being implemented at the local level, Warburg offers an inspirational look at how we can all pursue a saner and more sustainable energy future—while at the same time investing in the nation’s infrastructure and jumpstarting its economy.
Author: Philip Warburg
As environmentally healthful and thoughtful eaters pile on the vegetables and fruits and push animal protein off their plates, the desire for more recipes showcasing fresh produce has gone sky high.
So, who better than the folks at Earthbound Farm to deliver those vegetable-centric recipes? From their humble beginnings as a 2½-acre raspberry field, Earthbound now grows and distributes organic produce nationally. Co-founder Myra Goodman and her daughter Marea are skillful home cooks, and the proximity to their fields of fresh vegetables and fruits made it easy to develop creative, delicious dishes that are not only heavy on the produce, they just happen to be vegan!
Using the freshest ingredients and offering intriguing flavor combinations, these 100 plant-based recipes are completely free of meat or dairy. As you gain insight on organics and essential components such as nuts and seeds, soy, and coconut, you'll also learn about the practical and personal reasons to go vegan.
Taking you from breakfast and lunch to dinner and dessert with such satisfying delights as Quinoa Banana Skillet Bake, Slow Simmered Beans with Tuscan Kale, Thai Lettuce Rolls, and Very Chocolaty Chocolate Brownies, the Goodmans share their diverse and delicious collection of recipes. They excel in salads and Marea's deliciously skewed Eccentric Caesar, with its cashew- and curry-based dressing, are just a taste of what's on offer. Choosing a more plant-based diet was a simple choice for them and much too tempting to resist. Their goal? For you to enjoy and savor every single bite.
Author: Myra Goodman, Marea Goodman
While keeping bees certainly isn't rocket science, doing it properly does involve decent levels of understanding, commitment, and attention to detail. Getting the basics right is essential, and this demands a solid appreciation of important areas such as hives management, breed choice, and health requirements. There is plenty to think about for those getting their first bees, and careful planning is the key to a successful initial experience. One thing that complicates matters is the bees' ability to disguise problems. Although this might seem a useful ability, it actually makes recognizing trouble in the crucial, early stages that much more difficult, even for experienced owners. And although bees are remarkably resilient creatures, they remain vulnerable to predators, disease and climate changes. There is plenty of potential for things to go wrong and, unfortunately, it's always the bees that suffer when problems strike.
Whether you're a newcomer or an old hand, The Beekeeper's Problem Solver provides the information you need to nip problems in the bud and, better still, avoid them in the first place. Let longtime bee keeper and apiary expert James E. Tew guide you through 100 common problems faced by beekeepers, spelling out in clear and simple terms what the underlying cause is and how to solve it. Each one is tackled in depth, with photographs and diagrams, as well as a wide range of practical tips and useful insights. The problems are divided into ten chapters covering the main areas of beekeeping, from health to housing and parasites to predators. A subject-specific index is also included for easy reference.
Author: James E. Tew
Primitive beers, country wines, herbal meads, natural sodas, and more
The art of brewing doesn’t stop at the usual ingredients: barley, hops, yeast, and water. In fact, the origins of brewing involve a whole galaxy of wild and cultivated plants, fruits, berries, and other natural materials, which were once used to make a whole spectrum of creative, fermented drinks.
Now fermentation fans and home brewers can rediscover these “primitive” drinks and their unique flavors in The Wildcrafting Brewer. Wild-plant expert and forager Pascal Baudar’s first book, The New Wildcrafted Cuisine, opened up a whole new world of possibilities for readers wishing to explore and capture the flavors of their local terroir. The Wildcrafting Brewer does the same for fermented drinks. Baudar reveals both the underlying philosophy and the practical techniques for making your own delicious concoctions, from simple wild sodas, to non-grape-based “country wines,” to primitive herbal beers, meads, and traditional ethnic ferments like tiswin and kvass.
The book opens with a retrospective of plant-based brewing and ancient beers. The author then goes on to describe both hot and cold brewing methods and provides lots of interesting recipes; mugwort beer, horehound beer, and manzanita cider are just a few of the many drinks represented. Baudar is quick to point out that these recipes serve mainly as a touchstone for readers, who can then use the information and techniques he provides to create their own brews, using their own local ingredients.
The Wildcrafting Brewer will attract herbalists, foragers, natural-foodies, and chefs alike with the author’s playful and relaxed philosophy. Readers will find themselves surprised by how easy making your own natural drinks can be, and will be inspired, again, by the abundance of nature all around them.
Author: Pascal Baudar
With all the uncertainty in the world today, there is peace in preparing. In an emergency, you don't want to depend on a grocery store or government agency to feed your family. Storing food assures your family's self-sufficiency year-round and benefits your budget when you plan correctly.
Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival is an in-depth, nuts-and-bolts guide to storing food that teaches you a variety of food storage methods you can customize to meet your family's unique circumstances, including family size, tastes, ages, health concerns, income and living conditions. This is not a generic manual on stocking dehydrated meals that have 10-year shelf lives. It's the guide to storing foods your family loves so you can eat well no matter what challenges life throws at you.
Inside you'll find:
Storing food gives you the freedom to stretch your income in tight-budget months, pack quick meals for short-notice trips, and create healthy meals without constantly going to the grocery store. Plus your stored food is available if you do experience an emergency power outage, natural disaster, long-term illness or job loss. Let this guide help you start building your self-sufficiency and food storage today.
Author: Angela Paskett
It’s said that the greenest building is the one that’s already built, because so much energy is embodied in the existing structure.
With greater public awareness of the need for energy independence, the issue of how we can make our existing homes more resource-efficient is becoming ever more critical. Residential buildings make up a large fraction of our energy needs, largely due to heating and air-conditioning. So it’s no longer enough to simply do the small stuff, like switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, or turning down the thermostat at night.
In The Greened House Effect, author Jeff Wilson brings his twenty-five years of construction experience and hands-on knowledge of home building to bear on making our current houses cleaner, greener, more comfortable, and healthier. Think of a deep energy retrofit (DER) as a “whole home makeover”—one that represents a significant investment, but that saves money from the get-go by capturing the energy you “drop on the ground” every month, every year, through inefficiency, poor design, or simply living in a typical older home. This isn’t a book about freezing in the dark, but a solution that allows us to live more comfortably while making a positive impact in the world.
“We can’t buy our way out of the current and impending crises with the latest and greatest high-tech. We can’t buy our way out of it by simply replacing our old stuff with newer, “greener” stuff. That approach only assures that we will continue to experience the vicious circle of energy waste and dependence. I would argue, though, that we can save our way out of these problems,” writes Wilson.
Using his own family’s retrofit of their 1942 home as a prime example, Wilson weaves a readable narrative at a practical, hammer-and-nail level. He presents the solutions to our building and energy problems, making them seem possible for average homeowners and small contractors by offering the right balance of information, skills, financing strategies, and materials.
Technical information is presented in sidebars and graphs, and numerous color photos illustrate the process, including:
Wilson’s building experience, along with his lifelong passion for energy issues, all come together to form an inspirational, can-do approach to making our community, our nation, and our world a better place—one home at a time.
Author: Jeff Wilson
Part love song to an ancient grain, part elevated instruction on how to grow, cook and consume it, part history and animated story, Beautiful Corn opens our eyes to a food plant that humans have both cultivated and been cultivated by. ---Michael Ableman, farmer, author of From The Good Earth, On Good Land, and Fields Of Plenty
Corn is the grain of the Americas. In terms of culinary uses, it is amazingly diverse, reflecting the breathtaking variety of the continents and environments from which it evolved. The consummate immigrant, corn is grown extensively on every continent except Antarctica.
Much more than a simple how-to book, Beautiful Corn weaves together this unique plant's contribution to our culture, its distinctive biology and the practical information needed to grow and enjoy it at home. Market farmer and naturalist Anthony Boutard advocates a return to this traditional, nourishing and beautiful whole grain, in all of its rich diversity.
Come along on this lyrical and inspiring journey through the seasons, and discover the pure joy of restoring heritage corn varieties to our tables. An unabashed celebration of a much-maligned culinary treasure, Beautiful Corn will forever change the way you view this remarkable plant.
Anthony Boutard tells a story of corn we haven't heard-not as fuel, or livestock feed, or food product-but as whole food, with the flavor and diversity that comes with thoughtful farming. Part history, part how-to manual (Boutard grows, grinds and cooks corn in all its variations), Beautiful Corn returns the culture, and the cuisine, to our most abundant and mistreated crop.---Dan Barber, Chef / Co-Owner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns
In this lyrical love letter to an ancient, fascinating food, Anthony Boutard offers us a rich harvest of history, a primer on growing the best varieties, the close observations of a brilliant, insatiably curious farmer, and some tasty recipes to boot.--Lorna Sass, author of the James Beard Award winning Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
Anthony Boutard is a widely recognized advocate in the local food movement, well-known for his efforts in reviving long-lost crops and bringing little-known varieties to market. He and his wife Carol own Ayers Creek Farm, a 144-acre organic market farm in Gaston, Oregon specializing in berries, beans, grains and greens for sale to local restaurants and markets.
Author: Anthony Boutard
The book covers nearly every strategy Falk and his team have been testing at the Whole Systems Research Farm over the past decade, as well as experiments from other sites Falk has designed through his off-farm consulting business. The book includes detailed information on earthworks; gravity-fed water systems; species composition; the site-design process; site management; fuelwood hedge production and processing; human health and nutrient-dense production strategies; rapid topsoil formation and remineralization; agroforestry/silvopasture/grazing; ecosystem services, especially regarding flood mitigation; fertility management; human labor and social-systems aspects; tools/equipment/appropriate technology; and much more.
Author: Ben Falk
This groundbreaking book, by former MOTHER EARTH NEWS Publisher and Editorial Director Bryan Welch, cuts through the pessimism and denial that pervade today's discussions of sustainability and invites readers to visualize a verdant and prosperous future for humanity and all the living things that share our planet. As a practical guide, it offers a process for making our current lifestyles more sustainable and inspires us to look beyond the immediate obstacles to nurture the "destination fixation" that stimulates all of humanity's greatest achievements.
In the lives and accomplishments of farmers, gardeners, inventors and entrepreneurs, Beautiful and Abundant finds a path toward a world vision we can proudly pass on to future generations – a vision that is aesthetically beautiful, economically abundant, ethically fair and irresistibly contagious.
Humanity is at a turning point. Only one species in the universe can recognize its own impact on its habitat, so far as we know, and we are that species. In the early years of the 21st century we face the definitive human challenge – sustaining our quality of life on this miraculous, but finite sphere we call Earth.
Tragically, a lot of human energy is being squandered in conflict over short-term environmental obstacles. People debate symptoms and solutions but societies persistently fail to offer positive incentives for change. To harness the full power of human imagination and community initiative we need a positive vision for humanity's future. We need a believable collective vision for the beautiful, abundant planet where our grandchildren will live.
Read what people are saying:
"Beauty is the new black. Abundance – for all! – is our North Star. Bryan Welch is a businessman who serves beauty, a rancher who champions interdependence, and a leader who recognizes the sweet spot we're looking for is at the nexus of self-reliance and sustainability." – Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder, B Lab
"This is a book that invites us all to cut through the negativity of doomsday prophets and other 'progressive' thinkers. … Bryan Welch is a rare business leader who writes prose that is nuanced, eloquent and visionary. This luminous call to action will inspire you. … It happened to me." – Wanda Urbanska, author of The Heart of Simple Living: 7 Paths to a Better Life
About the author:
As a boy herding goats in rural New Mexico, Welch formed an intuition for the intricate and interdependent relationships among plants, animals and people. He's developed that intuition into the very model of a productive, balanced and sustainable life.
Before starting Ogden Publications (publishers of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Mother Earth Living, Utne Reader and other media brands) in 1996, Welch worked at newspapers in several states. He graduated from the University of Denver and holds a master's degree from Harvard University, where he studied media policy and management at the Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School.
Welch serves on the board of directors of the MPA (Association of Magazine Media), the Social Venture Network and the Down Home Ranch Foundation. He and his wife, Carolyn, raise grass-fed cattle, sheep, goats and free-range chickens at the farm they call Rancho Cappuccino, which they also share with donkeys, dogs and the rogue mule, Zero.
Author: Bryan Welch
Miraculous Abundance is the eloquent tale of the couple’s evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future … when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must.
Author: Perrine & Charles Herve-Gruyer
In Perennial Vegetables the adventurous gardener will find information, tips, and sound advice on less common edibles that will make any garden a perpetual, low-maintenance source of food.
Author: Eric Toensmeier
Embrace the jewel-toned fruits, flaming foliage, and woody plants of the fall garden Ondra and Cohen’s expertise is complemented by stunning color photographs that illustrate the beauty. You’ll be inspired to use vines, tree shrubs, and flowers to contribute color, texture, and beauty to your garden well past summer’s peak.
Author: Nancy J. Ondra & Stephanie Cohen
Author: Gary Taubes
With detailed produce descriptions, storage tips, and preparation techniques, The Farmers Market Cookbook features more than 200 simple and delicious recipes ranging from traditional favorites to innovative creations. The Farmers Market Cookbook will help you engage your powers of creativity, learning, and experimentation – it’s the answer to every locavore’s perennial question…”What do I do with this?”
Author: Julia Shanks & Brett Grohsgal
This book explains: How to choose and purchase a quality animal and how to help preserve rare breeds; Equipment, housing and fencing; Moving and handling; Feeding, nutrition and pasture; Pig health care and common diseases; Selecting a boar or sow for breeding, hogging, farrowing, taking care of piglets and pedigree breeding; Preparing for slaughter, butchering and subsequent storage; and Showing pigs in competitions.
Author: Linda McDonald-Brown
Author: Dan Chiras
The story of three trailblazing women who came together to create a 21st century cooperative household.
Author: Bush, Machinist, McQuillin