Historically, seed companies were generally small, often family-run businesses. Because they were regionally based, they could focus on varieties well-suited to the local environment. A Pacific Northwest company, for example, would specialize in different cultivars than a company based in the Southeast. However, the absorption of these small, independent seed businesses into large multinationals – combined with the advancement of biotechnology, resulting in hybrids and genetically modified seeds – has led to a serious loss of genetic diversity. The public is now at the mercy of the corporations who control the seeds.
In the past few years, gardeners have realized the inherent danger in this situation. A growing movement is striving to preserve and expand our stock of heritage and heirloom varieties through seed saving and sharing opportunities. Seed Libraries is a practical guide to saving seeds through community programs, including:
Whoever controls the seeds controls the food supply. By empowering communities to preserve and protect the genetic diversity of their harvest, Seed Libraries is the first step toward reclaiming our self-reliance … while enhancing food security and ensuring that the future of food is healthy, vibrant, tasty and nutritious.
Start your very own growing revolution! In this exciting introduction to the global seed swapping movement, passionate seed activist Josie Jeffery explores why we should care about our plant heritage and, most important, she explains the whole seed-saving process.
This book covers the what, who, and whys of seed swapping and seed saving. It advises where to start and how to get involved with the worldwide horticultural campaign to “save our seeds.” Discover how to collect, clean, store, preserve, and raise seeds, as well as how to start your very own seed bank.
With an invaluable directory of all the best seeds to swap and save, Seedswap provides all the tools you need to become a seed activist.
With this new comprehensive guide, herbalist Jan Berry offers everything the modern-day enthusiast needs to make incredible botanical soaps. Beginners can join in the sudsy fun with detailed tutorials and step-by-step photographs for making traditional cold-process soap and the more modern hot-process method with a slow cooker. Jan presents 50 easy, unique soap recipes with ingredients and scents inspired by the herb garden, veggie garden, farm, forest and more. Sample soap recipes you won’t want to miss are Lavender Milk Bath Bars, Sweet Honey & Shea Layers Soap, Creamy Avocado Soap, Citrus Breeze Brine Bars, Mountain Man Beard & Body Bars and Classic Cedarwood & Coconut Milk Shave Soap. Featured resources are Jan’s handy guides to common soapmaking essential oils and their properties, oil and milk infusions with healing herbs and easy decoration techniques. The book also contains Jan’s highly anticipated natural colorants gallery showcasing more than 50 soaps that span the rainbow. Soap crafters of all levels will enjoy referencing this book for years to come.
Preserving the timeless craft of making soap, Robert and Katherine McDaniel provide instruction and guidance for everyone from beginners interested in this rewarding pastime to experts. Using natural ingredients, readers will experience the gratification of processing handmade liquid soaps, cold- and hot-process soaps, melt-and-pour soaps, and re-batched soaps. They'll work with fragrances, skin treatments, colors and shapes, and discover the benefits of aromatherapy associated with many essential oils. The McDaniels, artisans who produce Dr. Bob's Herbal Soap, also introduce readers to African Black Soap, known for its healing properties for extreme dryness, blemishes, wrinkles, stretch marks and scars.
Spices are universally recognized as a source of flavor and aromatics, but in cultures around the world, these plant parts have a long history as source of medicine. In Spice Apothecary, author Bevin Clare combines her training in herbalism and nutrition to guide readers in a return to the kitchen spice cabinet for better health and healing.
Focusing on 19 common culinary spices that are easy to source and prized for their flavor, this practical guide highlights the health benefits of each spice for supporting wellness goals, with information on the best preparation for medicinal benefit, storage recommendations, and daily dosage guidelines. To bolster the immune system, chili, garlic, ginger, and mustard are best. Kidney health is supported by celery seed, parsley, and sage, while the respiratory system benefits most from ginger, mint, and thyme.
Formulas for dried spice blends that amplify the effectiveness of individual flowers, roots, leaves, and seeds accompany recipes for delicious dips, soups, sauces, and even sweets that deliver flavor and healing. This approachable exploration of the world of spices puts at everyone’s fingertips new creative and impactful ways to incorporate key health-boosting spices into everyday life.
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.
While supplies last.
Award-winning author Temple Grandin is famous for her groundbreaking approach to decoding animal behavior. Now she extends her expert guidance to small-scale farming operations. Grandin’s fascinating explanations of how to analyze herd animals’ behavior and of how to understand how they think — (describing their senses, fears, instincts, and memories) — will help you handle your livestock more safely and effectively. You’ll learn to become a skilled observer of animal movement and behavior, and detailed illustrations will help you set up simple and efficient facilities for managing a small herd of 3 to 25 cattle or pigs, or 5 to 100 goats or sheep.
The “garden to table” movement is inspiring another generation of gardeners, but many of them have questions. How important is composting? Is seed saving really worth it? Focusing on sustainable, organic growing practices and plants, The Backyard Gardener is a comprehensive handbook that will help get them started. Kelly Orzel covers everything from soil selection to growing and harvesting. Sidebars such as “Garden Center Survival Tips” offer useful advice to help readers build their confidence and know-how. This guide also features photographs of beautiful plant bed designs, propagation techniques, and much more.
There are only three essential ingredients required to create luxurious, soothing soaps: water, olive oil and caustic soda. Olive oil, the most beneficial oil for your health, is the primary ingredient. In cosmetics, it has been used since ancient times because of its virtues for glowing hair and skin. Rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins, it has the added benefit of being available virtually everywhere.
A number of wonderful extra ingredients customize and create a personal soap: beeswax, cocoa butter, clay, kaolin, seaweed, goat milk, egg yolks, and others. Some ingredients give the soap hardness (beeswax), softness (honey) or more foam (cocoa butter) for greater cleansing ability.
Because using soap is such a sensory experience, a comprehensive section covers essential oils that create the air of perpetual breeze of that good soaps possess. With this information, you can create the perfect scent. The recipes feature essential oils of the highest purity that are added to the soap right before it is placed in molds.
Easy step-by-step preparation techniques produce luxurious soaps such as:
This fascinating history of soap and its ingredients with therapeutic recommendations is informative and fun to read. The comprehensive recipes with preparation, utensil and ingredient tips guide the reader to create better-than-store-bought quality soaps at home.
This one-of-a-kind reference book covers the health problems that plague chickens of all breeds and ages. Practical charts identify common symptoms and causes of infection, while an alphabetic listing of diseases provides advice on treatment. You’ll find helpful descriptions of troublesome ailments of all types, from poor egg production to crooked toe syndrome.
The Chinese Kitchen Garden artfully blends the story of Wendy Kiang-Spray’s cultural heritage with growing information for 38 Chinese vegetables and 25 traditional recipes. Organized by season, you’ll learn what to grow in spring, what to cook in winter, and everything in between. You’ll find complete growing information for vegetables you may not have considered growing, including lotus root, bamboo shoots, tatsoi, and luffa gourd. The 25 simple, yet delicious recipes—for congee, dumplings, stir fry, and more—beautifully highlight the flavors of the vegetables.
Are you interested in the country lifestyle or becoming more self-reliant? Do you think about someday raising livestock or growing crops? If you're ready to make these thoughts a reality, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Farming is the perfect place to start. Farming experts Philip Hasheider and Samantha Johnson explain farming from start to finish: build your own fence, repair your own machinery, and know what to look for when you're buying a tractor. Instead of buying a book on each subject area, you need just this one, which condenses the most important and relevant information on every aspect of running a farm into a single handy volume. Unlike other books, it's designed specifically for the owner of a working farm. This practical illustrated guide provides hard-won expert advice on raising livestock, growing crops, making repairs, harvesting and butchering, managing a woodlot, and more. It's everything you need to know to establish and maintain your farm.
Rainfall levels are rarely optimal, but there are hundreds of things you can do to efficiently conserve and use the water you do have and to reduce the impact of drought on your soil, crops, livestock, and farm or ranch ecosystem.
Today only a few dozen large-scale producers dominate the greenhouse produce market. Why? Because they know and employ best practices for the most profitable crops: tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, and microgreens. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook levels the playing field by revealing these practices so that all growers, large and small, can maximize the potential of their protected growing space. With comprehensive chapters on temperature control and crop steering, pruning and trellising, grafting, and more, Mefferd’s book is full of techniques and strategies that can help farms stay profitable, satisfy customers, and become an integral part of re-localizing our food system. From seed to sale, The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook is the indispensable resource for protected growing.
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.
The New Livestock Farmer provides pasture-based production essentials for a wide range of animals, from common farm animals (cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep and goats) to more exotic species (bison, rabbits, elk and deer).
Inspired by European intensive growers, The New Organic Grower, 30th Anniversary Edition offers an approachable and productive form of farming that has proven to work well for the Earth and its stewards for centuries. Gardeners working on 2.5 acres or less will find this book especially useful, as it offers proof that small-scale market growers and serious home gardeners can live good lives close to the land and make a profit at the same time. The New Organic Grower is ideal for young farmers just getting started or gardeners seeking to expand into a more productive enterprise.
New information has been included in this edition to showcase the new tools and techniques that Coleman has been developing during the last 35 years.
No-till — a method of growing crops and providing pasture without disturbing the soil — has become an important alternative to standard farming practices. In this comprehensive guide to successful no-till vegetable farming for aspiring and beginning farmers, author Daniel Mays, owner and manager of an organic no-till farm in Maine, outlines the environmental, social, and economic benefits of this system.
The methods described are designed for implementation at the human scale, relying primarily on human power, with minimal use of machinery. The book presents streamlined planning and record-keeping tools as well as marketing strategies, and outlines community engagement programs like CSA, food justice initiatives, and on-farm education.
The book begins with a personality test for your soil, then uses that information to plan a course of action for revitalizing poor soil and turning good dirt into great earth. Next, you’ll learn to start and maintain a no-till garden, to balance nutrients with remineralization, and to boost organic matter with easy cover crops