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Once we could fill our grocery carts with cheap and plentiful food, but not anymore. Cheap food has gone the way of cheap oil. Climate change is already reducing crop yields worldwide. The cost of flying in food from far away and shipping it across the country in refrigerated trucks is rapidly becoming unviable. Cars and cows increasingly devour grain harvests, sending prices skyrocketing. More Americans than ever before require food stamps and food pantries just to get by, and a worldwide food crisis is unfolding, overseas and in our kitchens.
We can keep hunger from stalking our families, but doing so will require a fundamental shift in our approach to field and table. 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 includes in-depth guidelines for:
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.
This is critical reading for anyone who eats and cares about high-quality food.
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 and products to its readers. For nearly 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.
Author: Sharon Astyk
Alternative Energy Secrets focuses on overlooked fuels. In its pages, you'll find extensive information regarding waste oils and their inexpensive conversion to useful fuels. Also included are plans for a super fast oil collector trailer that picks up 200 gallons in a few minutes and does not form water emulsion like a gear pump will. Author Stephen Chastain describes oil cracking, blending, filtering, testing, and the construction of centrifuges to clean waste oils and make them suitable for use in home heating or as diesel fuel. Also covered is the construction of waste oil burners and heaters, tips on off-grid power generation and converting your car to diesel. This book is a practical how to text containing very unusual material. A must have for alternative energy users!
Author: Stephen D. Chastain
Small-scale home biodiesel production holds a singular attraction for the do-it-yourself enthusiast. While perhaps it can't save the world, this unique renewable fuel is economical, fun to make, better for the environment, and will help you reduce your dependence on Big Oil. And getting started is easier than you think.
Backyard Biodiesel is written by two recognized experts in the field of small-scale biofuels. This comprehensive hands-on, practical, DIY guide includes:
Making your own fuel is not only possible, it is rewarding. Designed to be accessible to everyone from readers with no prior technical expertise to alternative energy buffs, Backyard Biodiesel is a must-read for any aspiring brewer, packed with everything you need to get up and running quickly and safely.
Author: Lyle Estill & Bob Armantrout
In this book, poultry-expert Kelly Klober explores the world of poultry beyond the chicken. Filled with humorous personal anecdotes and practical advice on feeding, housing, pricing and marketing, this book is a must-read for any lover of poultry, especially the small farmer seeking an alternative to the ubiquitous chicken.
Author: Kelly Klober
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.
Author: Budd Titlow
Author: Brian McGrory
Each activity teaches children about renewable energy and larger environmental issues. Education doesn’t get more fun than this! Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun offers more than enough to get any kid charged up about renewable energy.
Author: Michael J. Caduto
Whether you are caring for a single dairy cow or a large beef herd, you can substantially reduce veterinary costs, increase the self-sufficiency of your operation, and improve the health of your animals.
Author: HEATHER SMITH THOMAS
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.
Author: Janet Lembke
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.
Author: Denis Hayes, Gail Boyer Hayes
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.
Author: Judith D. Schwartz
The sprawl of suburbia, destruction of wildlife areas, overregulation of game animals, and reduced popularity of hunting and fishing have resulted in more people coming into direct contact with wild animals on a regular basis. In this invaluable do-it-yourself guide, veteran outdoorsman Larry Grupp gives readers a comprehensive toolbox of specific devices and strategies to deal safely, legally and effectively with more than 30 common North American pests, including deer, bears, raccoons, rabbits, beavers, porcupines, skunks, foxes, coyotes, rats, squirrels, bats, birds, fish and reptiles. Understanding these critters and how to best control them is the basis of this information-packed manual. You will learn when to be cautious, when to be accommodating and when and how to take direct action if the animals must be eradicated. The primary tools for dealing with unwanted creatures are fences, repellants, fumigators and traps. Grupp examines each solution and tells the reader how to most effectively and economically use them. He also provides a helpful table for using specific baits and lures to trap various varmints. City and country dwellers alike will find the answers they need to rid their homes and properties of destructive wildlife once and for all.
Author: Larry Grupp
More than 170 recipes for chicken, eggs, turkey, duck, goose, and small birds, plus proper storage, handling and preparation.
Author: Chef John Ash
In Gaining Ground, author Forrest Pritchard recounts his ambitious and often hilarious endeavors to save his family's seventh-generation Virginia farm in the Shenandoah Valley. Through much trial and error, he not only saves Smith Meadows from insolvency but turns it into a leading light in the sustainable, grass-fed, organic farm-to-market community.
Author: Forrest Pritchard
Goats Produce Too! is a complete guide to making practically every variety of goat cheese. If other books have left you feeling like a failure, don't despair: Here's the book that will make you an expert! Author Mary Jane Toth provides clear guidance on pasteurizing and preserving milk by canning and freezing, as well as how to make butter, delectable desserts, cultured buttermilk and creamy yogurt. A whole section covers soapmaking and "udder" nonedibles, and goat meat gets its own chapter. The information in this book works equally well for cow's milk.
Author: Mary Jane Toth
Good Meat is a comprehensive guide to sourcing and enjoying sustainable meat. With the rising popularity of the locavore and organic food movements — and the terms “grass fed” and “free range” commonly seen on menus and in grocery stores — people across the country are turning their attention to where their meat comes from. Whether for environmental reasons, health benefits, or the astounding difference in taste, consumers want to know that their meat was raised well.
With more than 200 recipes for pork, beef, lamb, poultry and game, stunning photos of delicious dishes, and tips on raising sustainable meat and buying from local farmers, Good Meat is sure to become the classic cooking resource of the sustainable meat movement.
“The healing local food movement's success hinges on artisanal farming and domestic culinary arts. Good Meat takes the mystery out of both in a masterful way, bringing all of us another giant step closer to healing the planet one bite at a time. Beautiful pictures and delightful explanations . . . Everyone interested in local, earth-friendly food will love this book." —Joel Salatin, owner of Polyface Farm
"Good Meat is a template for all future cookbooks: one that educates on the culinary differences between factory-farmed meats and animals raised on family farms, and the utilization of the entire animal in a sustainable manner." —Patrick Martins, founder of Slow Food USA, Heritage Foods USA
About the author
Deborah Krasner is a writer and food professional living in Vermont. She hosts culinary vacations in Italy and Vermont, which have been featured in GQ, Bon Appétit, and the Boston Globe. Krasner won a James Beard Award in 2003 for her cookbook The Flavors of Olive Oil. She appears regularly on NPR’s The Splendid Table and contributes to Bon Appétit and Real Simple, among other publications.
Author: Deborah Krasner
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.
Author: Judy Wicks
Based on scientific and professional understanding of how to make quality alcohol in considerable quantities, this book is filled with detailed articles on distillation principles, how stills are designed for optimum production and several recipes for mashing corn. Other articles cover the complete process of making alcohol fuel. Also featured are plans for making several experimental stills, an 8-inch packed column still, mash cookers and other equipment for production of alcohol fuel. Detailed charts answer the many questions sure to be asked by the novice distiller.
Author: Clarence D. Goosen