Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

From Grist: A Farmer Speaks

Chelsea Green is proud to announce a new collaboration with called “A Farmer Speaks”! This series will take on current food and agricultural  issues from the point of view of the Chelsea Green farmer him/herself. (Special thanks and kudos to Grist’s Food Editor, Tom Philpott, who is also a farmer and writer.) To kick off the very first installment, we interviewed Gene Logsdon, whom Wendell Berry calls “the best agricultural writer we have.” And considering Michael Pollan thinks Berry is the best agricultural writer we have, it’s doubly true that Gene Logsdon is a writer/farmer to be reckoned with. From
Gene Logsdon is one of the clearest and most original voices of rural America. He’s a farmer in Ohio not far from his boyhood home, and is a writer to boot; he’s published more than two dozen books; some of which include Living at Nature’s Pace: Farming and the American Dream and The Contrary Farmer. Wendell Berry calls Logsdon “the best agricultural writer we have,” and his farm a slice of Eden. But most importantly, Logsdon loves farming.  So now that more and more people are seeking out locally grown foods, I asked Gene a few questions about one of his specialties: small-scale grain raising.
———— M.M.: In Small-Scale Grain Raising you write that, “We have become a nation dangerously dependent on politically motivated and money-motivated processes for our food, clothing, and shelter.” In light of the current economic crisis, how can growing your own food help people achieve a greater sense of independence? G.L.: The politicians and corporate puppet masters have been successful over the past century in convincing people that ‘independence’ is an idea for the country as a whole, if even that, which is what enables the government to protect our ‘independence’ by spying on its own citizens. Or on defining it as the freedom to buy a bunch of crap as prices that can only support slave wages. Happily, nearly any of us can see through this with just a little prodding-and our Latest and Greatest Depression does the trick pretty well, or the prospect of something like Peak Oil for that matter. Independence only really means something when it applies to individuals, to families, to communities. That’s what people are yearning for, and growing your own grains is about as basic to true independence as you can get. And anyway, industrial food doesn’t even taste all that good! Describe your concept of the garden “pancake patch.” The pancake patch is just a sort of cute way to refer to plots of grain grown for homebaked goods. The concept is what the whole book is about.
Read the entire article here.

Why You Need to Drink Wet-Hopped Beer Right Now

Wet-hopped beer is the ultimate in seasonal and local brews. It is made from fresh hops picked right off the bine in order to capture the aromatic hop flavor when it is most potent. The tricky part is fresh hops have virtually no shelf life, so brewers must spring into action as soon as the hops […] Read More..

A Simple Way to Grow Fresh Greens Indoors This Winter

Just because the temperatures have started to drop doesn’t mean you have to live without fresh greens until next Spring. With author and gardener Peter Burke’s innovative method of growing soil sprouts indoors, you can grow nutrient-dense greens all year long at a fraction of the cost of buying at market. Burke’s new book, Year-Round Indoor Salad […] Read More..

A Day in the Life of a Homesteader

As Homesteading Month comes to a close, we take a look at what it means to live the homesteading life every day. Read through the question and answer below and be sure to check out any of the previous articles you might have missed:Why Acquiring Land Presents a Challenge for New Homesteaders Homesteading Q&A: Solutions […] Read More..

Go Lean: How To Eliminate Waste and Increase Efficiency on the Farm

Using the words “factory” and “farm” in the same sentence may seem sacrilegious, but today’s young farmers like author Ben Hartman are discovering that the same sound business practices apply whether you produce cars or carrots.In his new book The Lean Farm, Hartman demonstrates how applying lean principles—originally developed by the Japanese automotive industry—to farming practices […] Read More..

Why Acquiring Land Presents a Challenge for New Homesteaders

More and more often, young people are turning away from cities and urban life in order to live off the land and even start farms of their own. But while many have the desire to grow food for themselves and/or others, acquiring land, and the financial burden that comes with it, presents a difficult challenge […] Read More..