Now, more than ever, people across the country are turning toward simpler, greener, and quieter ways of living, whether they’re urbanites or country folk. This large, fully illustrated book provides the entire family with the information they need to make the shift toward self-sufficient living.
Self-Sufficiency provides tips, advice, and detailed instructions on how to improve everyday life from an environmentally and organic perspective while keeping the focus on the family. Readers will learn how to plant a family garden and harvest the produce; can fruits and vegetables; bake bread and cookies; design interactive and engaging “green” projects; harness natural wind and solar energy to cook food and warm their homes; boil sap to make maple syrup; and build treehouses, furniture, and more. Also included are natural crafts readers can do with their children, such as scrapbooking, making potato prints, dipping candles, and constructing seasonal decorations. Whether the goal is to live entirely off the grid or just to shrink their carbon footprints, families will find this book a thorough resource and a great inspiration.
In an era when incomprehensibly complex issues like Peak Oil and Climate Change dominate headlines, practical solutions at a local level can seem somehow inadequate.
In response, Lyle Estill's Small Is Possible introduces us to "hometown security," with this chronicle of a community-powered response to resource depletion in a fickle global economy. True stories, springing from the soils of Chatham County, N.C., offer a positive counter balance to the bleakness of our age.
This is the story of how one small southern U.S. town found actual solutions to actual problems. Unwilling to rely on government and wary of large corporations, these residents discovered it is possible for a community to feed itself, fuel itself, heal itself and govern itself.
This book is filled with newspaper columns, blog entries, letters and essays that have appeared on the margins of small town economies. Tough subjects are handled with humor and finesse. Compelling stories of successful small businesses from the grocery co-op to the biodiesel co-op describe a town and its people on a genuine quest for sustainability.
Everyone interested in sustainability, local economy, small business and whole foods will be inspired by the success stories in this book.
A remarkable cast of characters inhabit the pages of this book. Meet Tim Toben, who developed a high rise with the lowest energy consumption of any building in the southeastern United States, was foreclosed upon, and lost millions in the process. Gary Phillips held the line against real estate developers in Chatham County and was run out of office for his efforts. Elaine Chiosso has been protecting her watershed by fighting on behalf of the Haw River for 28 years.
Unflinchingly honest and compulsively readable, Small Stories, Big Changes provides an intimate look at the personal experience of being a pioneer in the sustainability movement, laying bare the emotional, spiritual and financial impact of a life lived in the service of change. Activist, farmer, publisher, philosopher or entrepreneur; each writer has a unique personal tale to tell.
Small Stories, Big Changes is a book written by ordinary people doing extraordinary things; whose lives have been transformed by their willingness to commit themselves unreservedly to the creation of a better world. Empowering, hopeful and inspiring, this rich tapestry of voices from the vanguard of societal change is a must-read for anyone dreaming of a brighter future and seeking a counterbalance to a canon of work that is laced with doom and gloom.
Raising sheep involves far more than choosing the perfect breed and training a herding dog. The successful sheep farmer must know how to maintain his animals' health and solve daily crises, large and small.
Designed to accompany the farmer into the barn, Storey's Barn Guide to Sheep provides clear, step-by-step help, visible from several feet away. Graphic presentations guide farmers through trimming hooves, administering injections, assisting with lambing, bottle feeding, milking, shearing and every other situation that might arise during the normal course of a sheep's life. In addition to the procedural information, the book also features full-color anatomical illustrations, a lambing calendar, a feeding chart, and a helpful record-keeping section.
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.
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The popularity of natural building has grown by leaps and bounds, spurred by a grassroots desire for housing that is healthy, affordable and environmentally responsible. While many books cover specific methods (such as straw bale construction, cob and timber framing), few resources introduce the reader to the entire scope of this burgeoning field.
Fully revised and updated, The Art of Natural Building is a complete introduction to natural building for everyone from do-it-yourselfers to architects and designers. This collection of articles from more than 50 leaders in the field is now stunningly illustrated with more than 200 full-color photos of natural buildings from around the world. Learn about:
Clearly written, logically organized and beautifully illustrated, The Art of Natural Building is the encyclopedia of natural building.
A honeybee hive produces much more than honey; it also produces pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom. And humans have found uses for all these products. The Benevolent Bee will describe how and why the bees make these products, how they've been used by humans throughout the ages, and how beekeepers harvest the products. It will also present simple do-it yourself recipes for using the products in health and wellness, body care, nutrition, and craft. Beekeeper, herbalist, and artist Stephanie Bruneau explores six amazing products of the honeybee hive--honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom. Learn how to make a salve for burns and a cough syrup from raw honey; how to make a tincture, an infused oil, and a mouthwash from propolis, the anti-bacterial "bee glue" that lines the inside of the hive; and much more.
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.
Increasing the energy efficiency of your home can save you money, help the environment and enhance your comfort, but how do you decide which improvements are the most beneficial and cost-effective? Completely revised to incorporate the latest developments in green technology, The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings is the definitive resource for consumers who want to better their home's performance while reducing their energy bills.
Well-organized and highly readable, The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings begins with an overview of the relationships between energy use, economics and the environment. Updated and expanded chapters focus on specific aspects of any home, such as heating and cooling, ventilation, electronics, lighting, cooking and laundry, and provide helpful explanations for each, including:
This comprehensive resource is packed with tips on improving existing equipment and guidance for when and why to invest in new purchases, as well as a reminder to check local government and utilities for purchase or retrofit grants or incentives. It is a must-read for anyone concerned about reducing both their energy bills and their environmental impact.
In barnyards and backyards, on rooftops and in alleyways, a movement is happening: the modern homesteading movement. Whether it’s turning a lawn into a vegetable garden, getting a flock of chickens, or transforming cucumbers into pickles, people everywhere are taking charge of their own food supply. Ashley English, a major figure in the return to homesteading, gives newcomers her time-honored tips for successfully overseeing food production in their own homes. Completely updating material from her phenomenal homesteading books (Keeping Bees, Keeping Chickens, Canning & Preserving, and Home Dairy), this collection covers everything from preserving jams and jellies to whipping butter and keeping a hive of honey bees. English provides entry points, troubleshooting tips, and inspiration for putting the food your family consumes back in your own hands.
Tired of the high-pressure life they lead in New York City, Wendy Jehanara Tremayne and her husband migrate to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, where they build, invent, forage, and grow all they need for themselves. Full of quirky stories and imaginative illustrations, this inspiring memoir chronicles the off-the-grid adventures of the Tremaynes. Touchingly personal while also providing practical tutorials on making your own biofuel, building an efficient house, and gardening sustainably, The Good Life Lab will encourage you to chase your dreams of self-sufficiency.
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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.
With The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking, it's possible and even convenient to create an inviting space for living and entertaining on a budget. From unique décor ideas to growing strawberries on your fire escape, Kate Payne shares fun, low-cost (and often free!) creative solutions that will make anyone feel more accomplished in minutes.
Inside this savvy motivational guide filled to the brim with small-scale creative home projects, Payne's tongue-in-cheek tone will keep you tuned in to her much-needed advice. In three easy sections, you'll learn how to create a comfortable space while being time- and budget-conscious. Section One, Home-ify Your Pad, features quick, convenient ways to make your place cozier with low-cost, special touches to help you tap into and show off your inner artist. Section Two, Impressive Acts of Domesticity, teaches how to impress others (and yourself) with the gratifying pleasures of self-sufficiency—a first-time guide to cleaning, sewing, repairing and other previously out-of-the-question tasks. Section Three, Life After Restaurants, frees you to release the take-out menu, avoid pricey bar tabs, and entertain others in the space you've so thoughtfully and gorgeously created.
User-friendly "how-to" sidebars, illustrations, and tips and tricks throughout the book offer easy-to-follow recipes and do-it-yourself craft suggestions for making your home hip, comfortable and inviting. Keep in mind that this is not your grandmother's handbook and it's not the kind of wisdom your mom knows how to impart. Modern women need a modern approach to domestic pleasures—a guide to doing household things on our own terms, because most of this stuff isn't as hard as we've been led to believe. Don't worry, she's not asking you to host Tupperware parties or iron your underwear. But as all beginning home keepers know, a surefire way to feel bad about ourselves is to consult Martha Stewart. So ditch that 2-inch thick handbook, dust off your pots and pans, and join Payne on this journey to incorporating creativity and self-sufficiency on the home front.
In the How-To Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Load Bearing) DVD, you'll discover how this form of construction uses the bales themselves as the structural element of the home.
This book is the sobering tale of the rapid rise and decline of the settlement of the western Great Plains. History finds its voice in interviews with elderly residents of the region by Civil Works Administration employees in 1933 and 1934. Evidence similarly emerges from land records, climate reports, census records and diaries, as Wishart deftly tracks the expansion of westward settlement across the central plains and into the Rainbelt
The Meaty Truth is an eye-opening look at the massive problems caused by the American population’s food supply. Water, meat, and milk and other dairy products are filled with toxins, antibiotics, untested growth hormones, ammonia, and animal pus and manure. Authors Shushana Castle and Amy-Lee Goodman take a hard-hitting look at what America is putting into its food, the negative effects this has on the world, and the best ways to make healthy, informed decisions about eating.
If you are raising chickens, turkeys or other poultry for meat and lack easy access to a humane, local slaughterhouse, this guide shows you how to put together a slaughtering and processing unit that will accommodate any type of poultry and can be moved from farm to farm. These units can be funded, built and used by a community of small farmers, or you can develop one by yourself and use it as part of a business. The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse covers the mechanics of constructing the unit, government regulations, the permitting process, sanitation, safety, and much more.