- HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Small cities offer many assets for sustainable living not shared by their big city or small town counterparts: population density (and the capacity for more); fertile, nearby farmland available for local agriculture, windmills and solar farms; and manufacturing infrastructure and workforce skill that can be repurposed for the production of renewable-energy technology.
CLEARANCE $9.50 A Nation of Farmers examines the limits and dangers of the globalized food system and shows how returning to the basics is our best hope. The book argues that we need to make self-provisioning, once the most ordinary of human activities, central to our lives. The results will be better food, better health, better security, and freedom from corporations that don’t have our interests at heart.
Through a hundred short vignettes accompanied by stunning avian portraits, Bird Brains takes a look at the antics, behaviors, and idiosyncrasies of wild birds from the viewpoint of a professional wildlife biologist and award-winning wildlife photographer. Titlow's engaging stories, complemented by vivid images, provide a fascinating compendium of wild bird lore perfectly suited to the 65-million-plus birders across the United States.
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Brotherhood was conceived in the aftermath of the World Trade Center atrocity and the loss of life in the city's first line of defense against disaster, its Fire Department. More than sixty photographers were asked to document all aspects of the department at this tragic moment in its history. The focus is on the human component of the disaster rather than on the devastation, a composite portrait of a great city facing terrible adversity and its inspiring and resilient response.
A continuation of Lloyd Kahn's journeys into the creative processes of owner-built homes - their innovative techniques, use of sustainable materials, and essential dedication to the natural elements surrounding their designs - Builders of the Pacific Coast explores the aesthetics and techniques of three master builders in California, Washington state, and the rugged terrain of British Columbia.
The three featured craftsmen - Lloyd House, Bruce Atkey, and Sun Ray Kelley - combine imaginative architecture with innovative contexts: everything from unusual house-boats to sculptural dwellings made of driftwood are included. With stunning color and black-and-white photographs, as well as detailed black-and-white drawings of the homes, this collection of unique and progressive designs creates a template for a future filled with forward-thinking architecture.
Framed by the author's personal experience with backyard hens, Chickens: Their Natural and Unnatural Histories explores the history of the chicken from its descent from the dinosaurs to the space-age present. En route, author Janet Lembke surveys chickens in ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 19th century, and modern times, including the role of chickens in Jewish and Muslim practices. She also investigates the birds' contributions to science and their jaunty appearances in literature. Eggs receive a chapter of their own, as does chicken cuisine, comprising recipes from the Roman Empire to today's favorites. Stories about chickens appear, too, often written by those who keep them, including the painter Grandma Moses, the man who holds Cleveland's Farm Animal Permit No. 17, and Brenda, who had to give her young roosters a talking-to for behaving like sheep.
Chickens have only recently come to a sorry pass in the Western world, where broilers and laying hens are factory-farmed. Lembke investigates the fate of such birds and explores the sustainable, humane alternatives to raising birds for meat and eggs.
A celebration of the chicken in its every aspect, Chickens is sure to delight the chicken fancier, the backyard chicken keeper, and everyone concerned about where our food comes from and how we can treat animals more compassionately.
From leading ecology advocates comes a revealing look at our dependence on cows and a passionate appeal for sustainable living.
In Cowed, globally recognized environmentalists Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes offer a revealing analysis of how our beneficial, centuries-old relationship with bovines has evolved into one that now endangers us.
Long ago, cows provided food and labor to settlers taming the wild frontier and helped the loggers, ranchers and farmers who shaped the country’s landscape. Our society is built on the backs of bovines that indelibly stamped our culture, politics and economics. But our national herd has doubled in size over the past 100 years to 93 million, with devastating consequences for the country’s soil and water. Our love affair with dairy and hamburgers doesn’t help either: Eating a pound of beef produces a greater carbon footprint than burning a gallon of gasoline.
The book begins by tracing the coevolution of cows and humans, starting with majestic horned aurochs, before taking us through the birth of today’s feedlot farms and the threat of mad cow disease. The authors show how cattle farming today has depleted America’s largest aquifer, created festering lagoons of animal waste and drastically increased methane production.
In their quest to find fresh solutions to our bovine problem, the authors take us to farms stretching from Vermont to Washington. They visit worm ranchers who compost cow waste, learn that feeding cows oregano yields surprising benefits, talk to sustainable farmers who care for their cows while contributing to their communities, and point toward a future in which we eat less, but better, beef. In a deeply researched, engagingly personal narrative, the Hayes provide a glimpse into what we can do now to provide a better future for cows, humans and the world we inhabit. They show how our relationship with cows is part of the story of America itself.
Cows saving the planet? Why not? An idea that sounds preposterous begins to make sense when you take a soil's-eye view of our current ecological predicament.
In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems-climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition and obesity-our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Where do cows fit in?
Cattle, like all grazing creatures, can, if appropriately managed, restore land and help build soil. Rebuilding soil is only one aspect of this important, paradigm-shifting book. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, because certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil-"green water"-in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility.
Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy and an antidote to those awash in despairing environmental news. It is also an important call to action on behalf of the soil-and, by extension, those of us who benefit from it.
For hard-working urban professionals Kristy Athens and her husband, Michael, living in the country was a romantic dream. After purchasing 7 acres in Washington's beautiful Columbia River Gorge, Athens and her husband were surprised to learn just how challenging rural life could be.
Get Your Pitchfork On! provides the hard-learned nuts-and-bolts of rural living, from city folk who were in over their heads. Practical and often hilarious.
Get Your Pitchfork On! gives urbanites the practical tools they need to realize their own dreams of getting away from it all, with the basics of home, farm and hearth. The book enters territory that others avoid-straightforward advice about the social aspects of country living, from health care to schools to small-town politics. Athens doesn't shy away from controversial subjects, such as owning firearms and hiring migrant workers.
Kristy Athens' nonfiction and short fiction have been published in a number of magazines, newspapers and literary journals, most recently Jackson Hole Review, High Desert Journal, Barely South Review and the anthology Mamas and Papas. Athens currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works for Oregon Humanities and is also an artist and novice fiddle player. She and her husband are plotting their next attempt at rural living.
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.
Organized in four sections corresponding to the seasons, this account by an Amish farmer of his life in Southern Ohio, celebrates his daily labours, his family and, most importantly, the flora and fauna of his 70 acre farm. He works his land with horses and without electricity. He describes the proper preparation of Sassafras tea, maple sugaring in late winter, chopping firewood in autumn and rejoices in the vast diversity of the birds.
Building on the enormous success of his original Shelter book, Lloyd Kahn continues his odyssey of finding and exploring the most magnificent and unusual handbuilt houses in existence. Among the intriguing domiciles described in Home Work are a Japanese-style stilt house accessible only by a cable across a river; a stone house in a South African valley whose roof serves as a baboon trampoline; and a bottle house in the Nevada desert.
More than 1,500 photos illustrate various innovative architectural styles and natural building materials that have gained popularity in the last two decades, such as cob, papercrete, bamboo, adobe, strawbale, timber framing and earthbags. If you love fine, fun and/or funky buildings, you will want to own this splendid book.
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Jamie Durie, international award-winning horticulturalist and landscape designer, reveals the secrets behind his incredible designs on the ever-popular HGTV series The Outdoor Room, now viewed in more than 12 countries. With dynamic photography, including Durie's personal travel photographs and a sneak peek of his private garden, this information-packed companion to his smash-hit t.v. show is as hardworking as it is stunning.
Complete with detailed site plans, zonal plant lists, and helpful eco-tips, it covers everything from the basics of landscape design to practical, hands-on information, such as how to design your own private garden using Durie's philosophy. From an exotic Balinese-inspired dining pavilion to a private English-style garden with an adjoining children's play area, Durie shows you how to incorporate his techniques and design principles to create a personal and truly unique garden, giving you and your family and friends the opportunity to reconnect with nature in the privacy of your very own outdoor room.
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Who needs a chainsaw? Anyone who cuts or uses wood! Learn simple saw maintenance, sharpening secrets and the best ways to use this handy homesteading tool. Regular Price $12.95.
In 2002, Texas journalist Brad Tyer strapped a canoe on his truck and moved to Montana, a state that has long exerted a mythic pull on America's imagination as an unspoiled landscape. The son of an engineer who reclaimed wastewater, Tyer was looking for a pristine river to call his own. What he found instead was a century's worth of industrial poison clotting the Clark Fork River, a decades-long engineering project to clean it up, and a forgotten town named Opportunity.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Montana exploited the richest copper deposits in the world, fueling the electric growth of twentieth-century America and building some of the nation's most outlandish fortunes. The toxic byproduct of those fortunes-what didn't spill into the river-was dumped in Opportunity.
In the twenty-first century, Montana's draw is no longer metal, but landscape: the blue-ribbon trout streams and unspoiled wilderness of the nation's "last best place." To match reality to the myth, affluent exurbanites and well-meaning environmentalists are trying to restore the Clark Fork River to its "natural state." In the process, millions of tons of toxic soils are being removed and dumped-once again-in Opportunity. As Tyer investigates Opportunity's history, he wrestles with questions of environmental justice and the ethics of burdening one community with an entire region's waste.
Stalled at the intersection of a fading extractive economy and a fledgling restoration boom, Opportunity's story is a secret history of the American Dream, and a key to understanding the country's-and increasingly the globe's-demand for modern convenience.
As Tyer explores the degradations of the landscape, he also probes the parallel emotional geography of familial estrangement. Part personal history and part reportorial narrative, Opportunity, Montana is a story of progress and its price, of copper and water, of father and son, and of our attempts to redeem the mistakes of the past.
Stalwart and powerful, oxen can plow fields, haul stones, assist in logging, improve roads and demonstrate traditional farming techniques. And they are stronger, steadier, less expensive and easier to keep than draft horses. Here is the definitive guide to selecting, training, feeding and caring for working oxen. With proper care and training, oxen can be a dependable, economical alternative to heavy machinery on small working farms.