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Just reading the word "subsidies" may cause people's eyes to glaze over. We don't think it affects us directly, so we tune out. But it turns out that this complicated-sounding issue has an enormous impact on all of us. The Big Handout is about bad fiscal, environmental, agricultural, water, energy, health, and foreign policies. And it's a story about just one thing-subsidies. A subsidy is a grant by the government to a private business that is deemed advantageous to the public. Cotton, wheat, corn, soy, and oil are the most subsidized commodities in the United States. In this eye-opening book, New York Times best-selling author Thomas Kostigen explores government policies that cost taxpayers $200 billion per year, over $1,500 per household. In some cases we pay more for subsidized goods than we'd pay in a free market-and, in the most shocking abuses of the subsidy system, we pay for goods that aren't even produced.
The Big Handout exposes how artificial pricing hurts us and people worldwide, from our waistlines and pocketbooks to our health. By revealing just how toxic America's subsidy system has become, for everyone, The Big Handout is a wake-up call that empowers readers to effect change.
The Bio-Integrated Farm is a 21st-century manual for managing nature’s resources. This groundbreaking book brings “system farming” and permaculture to a whole new level. Author Shawn Jadrnicek presents new insights into permaculture, moving beyond the philosophical foundation to practical advanced designs based on a functional analysis. Holding his designs to a higher standard, Jadrnicek’s components serve at least seven functions (classical permaculture theory only seeks at least two functions). With every additional function a component performs, the design becomes more advanced and saves more energy.
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As mayors and city councilors seek solutions to climate change, existing policies and legislation can stand in the way of effective change.
The Carbon Charter is the first book to describe the municipal bylaws required to abate climate change and create sustainable communities. It provides city councilors with a cut-and-paste set of green bylaws and policies of best practices culled from environmentally advanced communities around the world. They can be taken straight out of the book, placed into a council agenda with minimum modification, and voted on.
The Carbon Charter provides city councilors with the ammunition they need to implement and accelerate sustainability initiatives quickly. The book describes bylaws that are applicable throughout the world, with the emphasis on examples that are beneficial to temperate climates such as the U.S. and Canada. It also proposes innovative new bylaws that are found nowhere else. This highly accessible, comprehensive handbook includes:
This book will appeal to city councilors and mayors, municipal planners, architects, and engineers worldwide.
For a growing number of people, simplicity has been a path to experience the joy in life, to cherish its richness and vitality. It strips away the burdens of our daily lives so that we are left with exhilaration, spirit and fullness. These people are finding that less -- less work, less rushing, less debt -- is more -- more time with family and friends, more time with community, more time with nature, and more time to develop a meaningful and compelling spirituality.
In The Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life, author Cecile Andrews helps you discover and create the good life for yourself. She is renowned for her workshops on voluntary simplicity and her seminars on creating simplicity circles, where people explore their own life stories and share information and knowledge, helping one another develop lives of simplicity and satisfaction. The circles do not only give people the tools to change, but they also fill unmet needs for community and intimacy and the desire to search for truth in the company of kindred spirits.
The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm describes not only the history of the D Acres project, but its evolving principles and practices that are rooted in the land, its inhabitants and the joy inherent in collective empowerment.
For almost 20 years, D Acres of New Hampshire has challenged and expanded the common definition of a farm. As an educational center that researches, applies and teaches skills of sustainable living and small-scale organic farming, D Acres serves more than just a single function to its community. By turns it is a hostel for travelers to northern New England, a training center for everything from metalworking and woodworking to cob building and seasonal cooking, a gathering place for music, poetry, joke-telling and potluck meals, and much more.
While this book provides a wide spectrum of practical information on the physical systems designed into a community-scale homestead, author Josh Trought also reviews the economics and organizational particulars that D Acres has experimented with over the years.
The D Acres model envisions a way to devise a sustainable future by building a localized economy that provides more than seasonal produce, a handful of eggs and green appliances. With the goal of perennial viability for humanity within their ecosystem, D Acres is attempting an approach to sustainability that encompasses practical, spiritual and ethical components. In short: They are trying to create a rural community ecology that evolves in perpetuity.
No other book contains such a wealth of innovative ideas and ways to make your farm or homestead not only more sustainable, but more inclusive of, and beneficial to, the larger community. Readers will find information on such subjects as:
Emphasizing collaboration, cooperation and mutualism, this book promises to inspire a new generation of growers, builders, educators, artists and dreamers who are seeking new and practical ways to address today’s problems on a community scale.
Wild meat, hunted in a responsible way, is one of the most healthful, sustainable foods possible. Depending on how it is done, hunting can be as local, intimate and humane as it gets. And aside from this, it demands the hunter enter a world of awareness, wildness, life and death that we have lost connection to as a culture.
The Compassionate Hunter's Guidebook is a guide for those that come to the act of hunting with pure intentions, motivated by a desire for healthy food that comes directly from the land where they live. This practical manual suggests that hunting is not a "sport" and the animals whose lives are taken are not "game." It combines a deep, philosophical exploration of the ethics of killing with detailed instructions on every step of the process including:
A unique and comprehensive, fully illustrated guide to the complexity, ethics and spirit of the hunt, The Compassionate Hunter is a must-read for beginning and experienced hunters alike. It will appeal to anyone who wishes to delve more deeply into the complex, humbling and ultimately profound reality of our relationship with the food that nourishes us.
Learn to identify threatening species through tracks, scat, and the damage they leave behind. Fascinating profiles of more than 50 predatory mammals, birds, and reptiles teach farmers, ranchers, homesteaders, and folks who raise animals in their backyards how to prevent their livestock, poultry, and pets from becoming prey. By understanding how predators think and behave, where and how they live, and how they attack and kill prey, you’ll be able to interpret the potential threats surrounding your home. Whether you have a vested interest in protecting your pets and livestock or are simply spellbound by wild predators, this is the book for you!
A food forest is a productive landscape developed around a mix of trees and perennials. Rooted in permaculture principles, this integrated approach to gardening incorporates a variety of plants such as fruit and nut trees, shrubs, vines, and perennial herbs and vegetables. Food forests can help increase biodiversity, protect valuable habitat for beneficial insects, and promote food security and resilience, all while providing an abundant harvest. The Food Forest Handbook is a practical manual for the design and management of a home-scale perennial polyculture garden. Simple, straightforward instructions guide the reader through: •Getting started — site assessment and planning •Tending the forest garden — maintaining soil health, succession planning, mulching, pruning and more •The fruits of your labor — crop profiles, harvest, storage, nutrition and recipes. This timely book makes the concept of food forests accessible to everyone. Focusing on the potential of perennial polyculture to enhance local food systems, The Food Forest Handbook shows the reader how to mix and match plants in unique combinations to establish bountiful landscapes and create genuine self-reliance in years to come.
Delicious wild edible plants and mushrooms are abundant throughout North America, not only in the wilderness but in urban areas, too. Learn how to identify, harvest, and eat the tastiest plants in your backyard. Dandelion flowers become wine, Japanese knotweed becomes rhubarb-like compote and tangy sorbet, red clover blossoms give quick bread a delightfully spongy texture and hint of sweetness.
The Forgotten Pollinators explores the vital but little-appreciated relationship between plants and the animals they depend on for reproduction: bees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, bats and countless other animals -- some widely recognized and other almost unknown.
First published in 1972, The Foxfire Book was a surprise best-seller that brought Appalachia’s philosophy of simple living to hundreds of thousands of readers. Whether you wanted to hunt game, bake the old-fashioned way, or learn the art of successful moonshining, the Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center had a contact who could teach you how with clear, step-by-step instructions.
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.
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On May 4, 2007, an EF5 tornado destroyed the town of Greensburg in south central Kansas. In the desperate days immediately after the catastrophe, town leaders-including the ex-cop mayor, the city manager, and an environmentalist from Colorado - launched a program to rebuild Greensburg green. Just like the name of the town. Before the tornado, Greensburg was slowly dying, a village about to be buried in the Great Plains. Now it is a mecca for eco-tourists. Author Robert Fraga taught math for 20 years in Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. Later he taught at Ripon College in Wisconsin and Baker University in Kansas. His two books on mathematics are entitled Calculus Problems for a New Century and War Stories from Applied Math. He and his wife Jean Grant, parents of two grown children, live in Lawrence, Kan., and the Dordogne region of France.
This reference guide is organized by category, from apothecary essentials to eye health and sweet slumber to skin soothers. Within each section are articles and profiles of plant and herbs that help each specific area. The Herb Companion's Guide to Healing Herbs is filled with articles that are full of helpful tips, advice, recipes, photographs and more to help you fight back against flu-season.
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.
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 New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3 contains 360 pages of original agrarian content, essays, cartoons, imagery, and historical snippets, ?harnessed from more than 120 contributors to the Greenhorns (a nontraditional grassroots organization made up of young farmers and ranchers). Farmers hold space in many interwoven commons, and possibilities for our shared future rests on how these intersecting commons are governed?particularly at the juncture of humanity and ecology, where farmers make their workplace. In re-visiting the almanac format, this volume asserts a version of Americana and addresses how to equip ourselves for the challenges of rebuilding the food system and restoring a more democratic, more diverse, and more resilient foundation for society. In the face of a dystopian future where the weather is unpredictable, the fossil fuel economy is on the point of collapse, monopolies are endlessly consolidating, and the country is, for the first time in our history, majority urban, this publication provides a utopian voice. It reminds today’s farmers about the foundational concepts of an agrarian democracy?concepts that are themselves utopian. This almanac also rejects the self-propelling logic of techno-utopia?dependent upon extraction economies and enclosure of common resources. Instead, the book orients itself toward the words of Ursula Le Guin, who reminds us that the intent in utopian thinking should not be “reactionary, nor even conservative, but simply subversive. It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth.” This tidy volume holds a civil, lived testimony from people whose work, lifeworld, and behavior patterns beamingly subvert the normative values of the macro economy called America.
Permaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in our cities. The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-knit communities, local and meaningful livelihoods, and sustainable policies in our cities and towns. The same nature-based approach that works so beautifully for growing food—connecting the pieces of the landscape together in harmonious ways—applies perfectly to many of our other needs. Toby Hemenway, one of the leading practitioners and teachers of permaculture design, illuminates a new way forward through examples of edge-pushing innovations, along with a deeply holistic conceptual framework for our cities, towns and suburbs.
The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods and even cultures. Hemenway lays out how permaculture design can help town dwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs for food, water, shelter, energy, community and livelihood in sustainable, resilient ways. Readers will find new information on designing the urban home garden and strategies for gardening in community, rethinking our water and energy systems, learning the difference between a “job” and a “livelihood,” and the importance of placemaking and an empowered community.
This important book documents the rise of a new sophistication, depth and diversity in the approaches and thinking of permaculture designers and practitioners. Understanding nature can do more than improve how we grow, make or consume things; it can also teach us how to cooperate, make decisions and arrive at good solutions.
The Permaculture Promise explains in simple terms why permaculture may be the key to unlocking a livable future on our planet. Author Jono Neiger asserts that humans can thrive while simultaneously making Earth healthier and not destroying it. The Permaculture Promise will inspire you to incorporate permaculture principles into your life today.
Caught between climate change and a fossil fuel-driven economy that demands ever more growth, the world faces a great transition (by design or by disaster) away from fossil fuels and to a less energy-intensive future. For the first time, the power of permaculture design has been brought to bear on this problem. In the process, acclaimed permaculture teacher and designer Ross Mars has distilled his considerable knowledge into the ultimate resource for resilient living. The Permaculture Transition Manual is packed with information on permaculture design principles, soil building, and nutrient-dense food growing (including top plant and tree selections for all climatic zones). On the desert island of a world in decline, this is the one-stop guide to vibrant, resilient living that you'll want to take with you.