- HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Christophe Pourny learned the art of furniture restoration in his father’s atelier in the south of France. In this, his first book, he teaches readers everything they need to know about the provenance and history of furniture, as well as how to restore, update and care for it—from antiques to midcentury pieces, family heirlooms and funky flea-market finds. The heart of the book is an overview of Pourny’s favorite techniques—ceruse, vernis anglais and water gilding, among many others—with full-color step-by-step photographs to ensure that readers can easily replicate each refinishing technique at home. Pourny brings these techniques to life with a chapter devoted to real-world refinishing projects, from a veneered table to an ebonized desk, a gilt frame to a painted northern European hutch. Rounding out this comprehensive guide is care and maintenance information, including how to properly clean leather, polish hardware, fix a broken leg and replace felt pads, as well as recipes to make your own wax, shellac, varnish, stain, and more.
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.
Passive is the new green. Passive Houses, well-insulated and virtually airtight buildings, can decrease home heating consumption by an astounding 90 percent, making them not only an attractive choice for current and prospective homeowners, but also the right choice for a sustainable future. The Greenest Home showcases 18 of the world's most attractive Passive Houses by forward-thinking architects such as Bernheimer Architecture, Olson Kundig Architects and Onion Flats, among many others. Each case study consists of a detailed project description, plans and photographs. Including a mix of new construction and retrofit projects built in a variety of site conditions, The Greenest Home is an inspiring sourcebook for architects and prospective homeowners, as well as a useful tool for students and builders alike.
Covering everything from cooking, canning and preserving to making your own nontoxic home and personal care products, this fresh take on modern homemaking will help you make the most of your time, effort and energy in the kitchen and beyond.
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In The Healthy Home, a father and son -- Dr. Myron Wentz, well-known microbiologist and founder of the USANA Corporation, and Dave Wentz, CEO of the USANA Corporation -- take readers on a tour of a specific home for a look at the surprising health risks posed by the everyday products and behaviors of a modern family. Beginning in the bedroom and ending in the garage and backyard, readers learn about the degenerative effects of toxins in the home and receive simple solutions to help minimize exposure without forgoing convenience. The Healthy Home is not a comprehensive tome on modern health hazards, nor is it a treatise on eco-conscious living. Instead, the book focuses on the most important environment -- the home -- and the problems that can most easily be lessened or eliminated. Busy parents who suspect that they should be doing more to protect their family but don't know where to start will learn about practical changes they can make in the next 15 minutes, 15 days or 15 months to create a haven for healthier living.
Take control of your own health care and that of your family, pets, and livestock, with tips on growing and foraging herbs safely and ethically; secrets to preservation and processing; and easy, soothing recipes. With bonus sections on creating your own herbal apothecary, creating a foraging journal, and more, this handy book is sure to become your go-to reference for all things herbal.
With The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking, it's possible and even convenient to create an inviting space for living and entertaining on a budget. From unique décor ideas to growing strawberries on your fire escape, Kate Payne shares fun, low-cost (and often free!) creative solutions that will make anyone feel more accomplished in minutes.
Inside this savvy motivational guide filled to the brim with small-scale creative home projects, Payne's tongue-in-cheek tone will keep you tuned in to her much-needed advice. In three easy sections, you'll learn how to create a comfortable space while being time- and budget-conscious. Section One, Home-ify Your Pad, features quick, convenient ways to make your place cozier with low-cost, special touches to help you tap into and show off your inner artist. Section Two, Impressive Acts of Domesticity, teaches how to impress others (and yourself) with the gratifying pleasures of self-sufficiency—a first-time guide to cleaning, sewing, repairing and other previously out-of-the-question tasks. Section Three, Life After Restaurants, frees you to release the take-out menu, avoid pricey bar tabs, and entertain others in the space you've so thoughtfully and gorgeously created.
User-friendly "how-to" sidebars, illustrations, and tips and tricks throughout the book offer easy-to-follow recipes and do-it-yourself craft suggestions for making your home hip, comfortable and inviting. Keep in mind that this is not your grandmother's handbook and it's not the kind of wisdom your mom knows how to impart. Modern women need a modern approach to domestic pleasures—a guide to doing household things on our own terms, because most of this stuff isn't as hard as we've been led to believe. Don't worry, she's not asking you to host Tupperware parties or iron your underwear. But as all beginning home keepers know, a surefire way to feel bad about ourselves is to consult Martha Stewart. So ditch that 2-inch thick handbook, dust off your pots and pans, and join Payne on this journey to incorporating creativity and self-sufficiency on the home front.
For anyone who has ever admired a barn on an old country lane, this is the story of that barn and many others in Southeastern Pennsylvania, or, specifically, “the hearth,” the area east of the Susquehanna River and South of the Blue Mountains. One of the earliest-settled areas in North America, this region of the Keystone State, which includes Lehigh, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties, is home to an astounding 20,000 standing barns, in various states of repair, built from the late 1700s on. Discussed in this text are the primary factors that have determined the fundamental structures and appearances of the six great barn classifications, including forest resources. Other featured topics are architectural aspects and regionalisms, dates of construction, survival of 18th-century examples, mysterious decorations, and barn preservation. Completing this treatise are representative color photographs, building plan sketches, charts conveying the prevalence of types, and a glossary of barn terms.
Energy bills have skyrocketed in North America, and traditional energy sources can be as damaging to the environment as they are to your pocketbook. The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy will show you how to slash your home energy costs while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint.
Completely revised and updated, this new edition describes the most practical and affordable methods for making significant improvements in home energy efficiency and tapping into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources. If implemented, these measures will save the average homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the coming decades.
Focusing on the latest technological advances in residential renewable energy, this guide examines each alternative energy option available, including:
This well-illustrated and accessible guide is an essential resource for those wanting to enter the renewable energy field. Packed with practical tips and guidelines, it gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in saving money and achieving energy independence.
The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook is the modern homesteader’s guide to raising, feeding, breeding, selling, and enjoying the noblest animal on the farm: the chicken. From the rooster’s crow in the morning to the warm egg in the nesting box, chickens are the gateway livestock for almost every homesteader and backyard farm enthusiast. In this book, you’ll learn everything you need to know about raising chickens naturally. Author Amy K. Fewell guides you in:
This is heritage chicken keeping skills 101, with a modern twist. Gain knowledge about naturally keeping chickens through every stage of their lives, and fully embrace the joy and ease of raising all-natural chickens on your homestead.
From honey experts C. Marina Marchese and Kim Flottum comes this comprehensive introduction to the origin, flavor, and culinary uses of more than 30 varietals of honey, from ubiquitous clover to tangy star thistle to rich, smoky buckwheat.
Like wine, cheese, coffee and chocolate, honey has emerged as an artisanal obsession. Its popularity at farmers markets and specialty food stores has soared as retailers capitalize on the trend. The Honey Connoisseur teaches consumers everything they need to know about how to taste, select and use a diverse selection of honey.
After a brief explanation of how bees produce honey, the authors introduce the concept of terroir, the notion that soil, weather and other natural phenomena can affect the taste of honey. As with wines, knowing the terroir of a honey varietal helps to inform an understanding of its flavor.
The book goes on to give a thorough course in the origins of more than 30 different honeys as well as step-by-step instructions on how to taste honey, describe its flavor and determine what other flavors will pair best with it. Also included are simple recipes such as dressings, marinades, beverages and quick-and-easy desserts.
Beautifully illustrated and designed, The Honey Connoisseur is the perfect book for foodies and locavores alike.
In the How-To Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Load Bearing) DVD, you'll discover how this form of construction uses the bales themselves as the structural element of the home.
Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture management. witty and welcoming style, The Independent Farmstead covers everything from choosing a species of ruminant and incorporating it into a grass-based system to innovative electric fencing and watering systems. Best of all, it’s the kind of rare how-to book that the authors themselves view not as a compendium of one-size-fits-all instructions but as “the beginning of a conversation,” one that is utterly informative, sincere, and inspiring.
Root cellaring isn’t just for off-the-grid types or farmers with large gardens. Storing food makes good sense, both financially and environmentally. And root cellars can easily fit anywhere. In this intelligent, convincing book, authors Jennifer Megyesi and Geoff Hansen show how to make them part of every reader’s life.
A full-color, accessible primer on starting a backyard barnyard. When the going gets rough, the rough . . . start raising their own food. In the first full-color guide of its kind, author and small farm owner Laura Childs reveals exactly what it takes to start raising your own animals, including chickens, geese, goats, sheep, pigs and cows. Childs discusses what you can expect to harvest from your animals — from eggs to milk to meat to wool — based on her own real-life experiences. Whether you want to raise a few chickens for eggs alone, try your hand at a few goats with the aim of making your own cheese, or are looking to sustain your family and make some extra money from raising and selling beef, this is the book for you.
Childs offers general information for each breed and animal, from how to get started to what to feed and where to house the animals. This invaluable guide is the perfect first book for anyone interested in starting a backyard barnyard or a small farm — or simply dreaming about the idea. 100 color illustrations.
About the author
Laura Childs spent 30 years as a self-professed “downtown city girl” before breaking free from urban life when her daughter was born. Her website goodbyecitylife.com chronicles their adventures on her small, self-sustained farm in Ontario, Canada, where she raises goats, chickens, horses and other animals.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
What’s not to love about goats? They will feed you, clean up the overgrown mess in the fields, and take long hikes with you while carrying your supplies. They will make you laugh when you’re sad, provide extra income for even the smallest farm, carry you to town and back in a little cart, and perhaps best of all, they will gaze upon your face with earnest adoration.
If you have dreams of becoming a goat farmer, The Joy of Keeping Goats can help you turn that dream into a reality. In this comprehensive manual, you’ll learn about the different goat breeds, as well as everything from goat housing systems to feeding, health, and breeding.
For those who are excited about the prospect of keeping goats for their deliciously sweet milk and low-fat, nutritious meat, author Laura Childs walks you through the milking process, and then offers suggestions for what to do with all that milk (Goat milk feta cheese, anyone?), and provides a recipe for curried goat, a traditional Caribbean dish.
As you embark on this adventure, you’ll discover the joy in keeping goats, learning about their care, and getting to know each goat’s individual personality.
In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front lawn aesthetic, the development of the lawn-care industry, its environmental impact, and modern as well as historic alternatives to lawn mania.
The Lean Farm makes the case that small-scale farming can be an attractive career option for young people who are interested in growing food for their community. Working smarter, not harder, also prevents the kind of burnout that startup farmers often encounter in the face of long, hard, backbreaking labor.
Home is a haven, a place of refuge. But did you know it might be making you sick? If your home is cluttered, overwhelming, and full of chemicals, it’s time to detox. The Modern Organic Home helps you de-clutter and clean with natural, homemade products that are healthy for you and your family.