America's average farmer is 60 years old. When young people can't get in, old people can't get out. Approaching a watershed moment, our culture desperately needs a generational transfer of millions of farm acres facing abandonment, development or amalgamation into ever-larger holdings. Based on his decades of experience with interns and multigenerational partnerships at Polyface Farm, farmer and author Joel Salatin digs deep into the problems and solutions surrounding this land- and knowledge-transfer crisis. Fields of Farmers empowers aspiring young farmers, midlife farmers and nonfarming landlords to build regenerative, profitable agricultural enterprises.
In Food from the Radical Center, Gary Nabhan tells the stories of diverse communities who are getting their hands dirty and bringing back North America's unique fare: bison, sturgeon, camas lilies, ancient grains, turkeys, and more. These efforts have united people in game-changing collaborations: folks from the left and right, from rural and urban communities, with faith-based and science-based backgrounds. Their successes are extraordinary by any measure, whether economic, ecological, or social. The restoration of land and rare species has provided, dollar for dollar, one of the best returns on investment of any conservation initiative.
It's not often that someone stumbles into entrepreneurship and ends up reviving a community and starting a national economic-reform movement. But that’s what happened when, in 1983, Judy Wicks founded the White Dog Café on the first floor of her house on a row of Victorian brownstones in West Philadelphia. After helping to save her block from demolition, Judy grew what began as a tiny muffin shop into a 200-seat restaurant—one of the first to feature local, organic, and humane food. The restaurant blossomed into a regional hub for community, and a national powerhouse for modeling socially responsible business.
Good Morning, Beautiful Business is a memoir about the evolution of an entrepreneur who would not only change her neighborhood, but would also change her world—helping communities far and wide create local living economies that value people and place as much as commerce and that make communities not just interesting and diverse and prosperous, but also resilient.
Wicks recounts a girlhood coming of age in the sixties, a stint working in an Alaska Eskimo village in the seventies, her experience cofounding the first Free People's store (now well known as Urban Outfitters), her accidental entry into the world of restauranteering, the emergence of the celebrated White Dog Café, and her eventual role as an international leader and speaker in the local-living-economies movement.
Her memoir traces the roots of her career—exploring what it takes to marry social change and commerce, and do business differently. Passionate, fun, and inspirational, Good Morning, Beautiful Business explores the way women, and men, can follow both mind and heart, do what’s right, and do well by doing good.
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.
Renewable energy guru Brian F. Keane walks you through the cost-benefit trade-offs that come with the exciting new technologies and introduces you to the revolutionary clean-energy products on the horizon, making the ins and outs of renewable energy easily accessible. He shows what you can do on every level to seize the opportunity and profit from it.
Christopher Nyerges teaches how to recognize edible plants and where to find them, their medicinal and nutritional properties, and their growing cycles. In this new edition of the book more than 70 plants found all around the United States. Accompanying them are more than 100 full-color photos, plus handy leaf, fruit and seed keys to help readers identify the plants.
For many people, the word “industry” brings to mind images of sprawling factories belching toxic emissions in a blighted natural landscape. “Industrial” has become synonymous with pollution, human rights abuse, and corporate greed. In Industrial Evolution, Lyle Estill seeks to reclaim the term, with its original connotations of hard work, diligence and productivity, and to show how community-scale enterprise can create a vibrant, sustainable local economy. Industrial Evolution is a story of survival. It is about how the small group of committed entrepreneurs introduced in Small is Possible managed to keep their dream alive and thriving through the economic recession, emerging with a model of what a sustainable local economy might look like in a post carbon future. Compulsively readable and seasoned with light humor, this grassroots account demonstrates that ecological stewardship and enterprise at an appropriate scale can lay the foundation for abundance.
Industrial Evolution skips the doom and gloom and is all about solutions. By showing that it is possible to take the big out of industry, this book motivates people to work together in a meaningful way. Filled with inspirational tales of success, failure, perseverance, and real world experiences that anyone can relate to, Industrial Evolution is a must-read for activists, organizers, politicians, and anyone who cares about resilient communities.
This book is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with extensive color photography and design illustrations.
From the heart of Big Sky Country comes this inspiring story of a handful of colorful pioneers who have successfully bucked the chemically based food chain and the entrenched power of agribusiness’s one percent by stubbornly banding together. Journalist and native Montanan Liz Carlisle weaves an eye-opening and richly reported narrative that will be welcomed by everyone concerned with the future of American agriculture and natural food in an increasingly uncertain world.
Bees need our love and attention! Bee colonies are fast declining, and it’s up to us to help our buzzing buddies recover and thrive.
In Love Bees: A Family Guide to Help Keep Bees Buzzing, Vanessa Amaral-Rogers focuses on how we can help our nectar-collecting buddies flourish. Through a whole swarm of engaging facts and fun activities, she reveals why these important insects are so awesome.
Teach your kids that conservation is cool, and show them what rules to follow to become a bee’s BFF (Best Friend Forever)! Find out together how to make a bee hotel or B-line nectar corridor, and play the Waggle Dance board game. Add exciting lessons in natural history and gardening, from planting pollinator-friendly flowers to the basics of urban beekeeping. This is a call to action with a positively sunny outlook.
The Plains Indians found medicinal value in more than 200 species of native prairie plants. Unfortunately, modern American culture has not paid much attention.
White settlers did learn a few plant-based remedies from the Indians, and a few prairie plants were prescribed by frontier doctors. A couple dozen prairie species were listed as drugs in the U.S. Pharmacopeia at one time or another, and one or two, like the Purple Coneflower, found their way into the bottles of patent medicine.
But in both the number of species used and the varieties of treatments administered, Indians were far more proficient than white settlers. Their familiarity with the plants of the prairie was comprehensive: There probably were Indian names for all prairie plants, and they recognized more varieties of some species than scientists do today. Their knowledge was refined and exact enough that they could successfully administer medicinal doses of plants that are poisonous. All of the species used by frontier doctors were used first by Indians.
In Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie, ethnobotanist Kelly Kindscher documents the medicinal use of 203 native prairie plants by the Plains Indians. Using information gleaned from archival materials, interviews and fieldwork, Kindscher describes plant-based treatments for ailments ranging from hyperactivity to syphilis, from arthritis to worms. He also explains the use of internal and external medications, smoke treatments, moxa (the burning of a medicinal substance on the skin), and the doctrine of signatures (the belief that the form or characteristics of a plant are signatures or signs that reveal its medicinal uses). He adds information on recent pharmacological findings to further illuminate the medicinal nature of these plants.
Not since 1919 has the ethnobotany of native Great Plains plants been examined so thoroughly. Kindscher's study is the first to encompass the entire Prairie Bioregion, a 1 million-square-mile area bounded by Texas on the south, Canada on the north, the Rocky Mountains on the west, and the deciduous forests of Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin in the east. Along with information on the medicinal uses of prairie plants by the Indians, Kindscher also lists Indian, common, and scientific names and describes Anglo folk uses, medical uses, scientific research and cultivation. Descriptions of the plants are supplemented by 44 exquisite line drawings and more than 100 range maps.
This book will help increase appreciation for prairie plants at a time when prairies and their biodiversity urgently need protection throughout the region.
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.
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Mountaintop removal (MTR) does exactly what it says: A mountaintop is stripped of trees, blown to bits with explosives, then pushed aside by giant equipment … all to expose a layer of coal to be mined. Hundreds of thousands of acres of ancient forested mountains have been ''removed'' this way and will never again support the biologically rich and diverse forest and stream communities that evolved there over millions of years. Instead, they've been sacrificed to support a flawed national energy policy. Mountain Justice tells a terrific set of firsthand stories about living with MTR and offers on-the-scene (and behind-the-scenes) reporting of what people are doing to try to stop it. Tricia Shapiro lets the victims of mountaintop removal and their allies tell their own stories, allowing moments of quiet dignity and righteous indignation to share center stage. This book includes coverage of the sharp escalation of anti-MTR civil disobedience, with more than 130 arrests in West Virginia alone during the first year of the Obama administration. This is an international issue, with campaigns against this massively damaging method of mining taking place in the United Kingdom, India, Canada, New Zealand and Burma. The proposed destruction of a number of habitats, from mountaintops to heath land to jungle, is a loss for us all.
Learn how to identify and gather wild mushrooms and other fungi!
An authoritative field guide to more than 450 species of wild mushrooms from around the world, Mushrooms shows the life cycle and features of a mushroom, what supplies are needed for mushroom foraging, and how to take a spore deposit.
A photographic field guide forms the heart of the book, providing information on size, range, and habitat. The clear images and illustrations of specimens, along with information on what's poisonous and what's edible, make this the ultimate guide to mushrooms.
There is nothing quite like watching the interesting animals in your yard. In Natural Birdhouses, you’ll find instructions for making birdhouses, feeders, bat houses, and pollinator houses using materials that you can find locally for free.
Natural Healing Wisdom & Know-How gathers useful and fascinating information on every practice of natural health and healing in one handy volume. This new edition includes all the must-have information from the original edition, including chapters on herbal healing, naturopathy, homeopathy, Eastern medicine, energy healing, mind-body healing, and healing with foods. Information within these chapters includes various methods and techniques for managing and curing hundreds of ailments, as well as for maintaining a healthy constitution year-round.
The content is culled from dozens of the most respected books and authors on the topics of natural and alternative health and healing. A special index of ailments and symptoms appears at the front of the book to guide readers to useful methods and techniques for managing specific issues and problems. Included are hundreds of black-and-white illustrations and photographs as well as lists, tables, resources, and step-by-step instructions.
In Nature as Measure, a collection of Jackson’s essays from Altars of Unhewn Stone and Becoming Native to This Place, these ideas of land conservation and education are written from the point of view of a man who has practiced what he’s preached and proven that it is possible to partially restore much of the land that we’ve ravaged. Wes Jackson lays the foundation for a new farming economy, grounded in nature’s principles and located in dying small towns and rural communities.
This second volume in Sierra Club Books' Bioneers Series, Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel has gathered reports from scientific innovators on such diverse topics as biomimicry, "living technologies" and ecologically sound design for industries and buildings.
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Bigger has turned out not to be better. Servicing the global economy has exacted a heavy toll in the erosion of our communities and the destruction of our environment. Increasingly, we are coming to realize that the way forward looks a lot like the way back — back to strong local economies, back to resilient, tight-knit communities, back to the land and work that is real.
As we chart our course through these uncertain times, we are hungry for inspiration. Robert Swann was a self-taught economist, a tireless champion of decentralism, and the father of the relocalization movement. A conscientious war resistor imprisoned for his beliefs, Swann engaged in lifelong nonviolent direct action against war, racism and economic inequity. His legacy is a vision of a life-affirming, alternative economy of peace founded on innovations in land and monetary reform.
Swann's story is also the untold history of decentralism in the United States. He associated with a constellation of vital, intelligent independent authors and activists, and ultimately co-founded the Schumacher Society based on the philosophies of Small Is Beautiful author E. F. Schumacher.
Swann forged tools to build productive, resilient local and regional economies. Now as global industrial civilization flails in the throes of ecological and economic crisis, Swann's working innovations are at the ready to help neighborhoods, local entrepreneurs, and willing communities to rebuild at appropriate scales.
One-Straw Revolutionary is the first book to offer an intimate look at the philosophy and work of one of natural farming’s most influential practitioners: Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka.
Fukuoka (1913–2008) wrote the international best-seller The One-Straw Revolution (1978), a manifesto on his approach to no-till agriculture that requires no machinery, no chemicals, no prepared compost, and very little weeding or pruning.
When it was first published, the book presented a radical challenge to the global systems that supply the world’s food. Larry Korn, who was apprenticing with Fukuoka in Japan at the time, helped translate the manuscript into English and brought it to the United States, knowing it would forever change the conversation about how we grow our food. Edited by Korn and Wendell Berry, The One-Straw Revolution was an immediate success and established Fukuoka as a leading voice in the struggle against conventional industrial agriculture. This landmark book continues to inspire readers today.
In One-Straw Revolutionary, Korn distills his experience of more than 35 years of study with Fukuoka, and explains how natural farming can be used practically in areas other than agriculture, including personal growth and development, and for leading a richer and more fulfilling life.
Korn also discusses natural farming’s kinship with the ways of indigenous cultures and traditional Japanese farming. At the same time, he clearly distinguishes natural farming from other forms of agriculture, including scientific and organic agriculture, and permaculture.
One-Straw Revolutionary offers readers a rare insight into natural farming and what Fukuoka was like as a person. It explains how simple it actually is to farm naturally, and why it offers our only real hope for re-establishing a wholesome relationship with the Earth.