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The Book Lady celebrates Chelsea Green

Cathy (“The Book Lady”) Langer of Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore writes a monthly column over at GabbyGourmet.com, and this month she chose to celebrate yours truly by highlighting some of her favorite gardening and food books from Chelsea Green! Have a look at the article, below.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

With a nod to APRIL IS POETRY MONTH and gratitude to T.S. Eliot for penning the masterpiece, The Waste Land, I must go in a different direction.

I love April. It’s all about the warming of earth in the best way: thawing, sprouting, greening, wormy, wet and fertile. April 22 is Earth Day, a celebration of Mother Earth and all that she gives and a reminder that we must cherish our planet and take care of our natural resources. April is the perfect time to celebrate a wonderful publishing house that brings to our shelves books that embody the hallmark and mission of Earth Day, not to mention books that delight the senses and appeal to our inner foodie.

Chelsea Green, based in White River Junction, Vermont, was founded in 1985 and for 26 years has been the publishing leader for books on the politics and practice of sustainable living. We love selling Chelsea Green books because they are beautifully produced in an environmentally mindful way. And sometimes a little on the quirky side, thought provoking and also often very practical. Their gardening books are superb. One of my favorites is The New Food Garden: Growing Beyond the Vegetable Garden by Frank Tozer. This comprehensive, user friendly volume tells you all you need to know about creating a successful home garden that is “efficient, beautiful and produces an abundance of food with a minimum of work and resources.” Tozer’s inspiration springs from peasant gardeners around the world. His philosophy of gardening is compelling and the book itself is fun to peruse, so all of you armchair gardeners will enjoy it, too. If you want to have a home garden but space is an issue I suggest you take a look at Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year Round Growing, Fermenting and Sprouting by R.J. Ruppenthal. It shows you how to transform your balconies and windowsills into productive space. How about chickens on your patio? Then, of course, there’s the matter of fertilizing your garden. That’s where Holy Sh*t: Managing Manure to Save Mankind by Gene Logsdon comes in to play. Farmer Logsdon is passionate about manure, according to him our greatest and most misunderstood natural resource. Weighing in on the eternal debate over the global impact of meat consumption, Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie offers a groundbreaking argument for meat production as a crucial part of a sustainable, small-scale holistic farming system. Important food for thought, but I don’t recommend pasturing a steer on your patio. And then, for those of you who appreciate the slow food, farm to table philosophy but like to participate at the consumption level, Chelsea Green is distributing a beautiful volume produced by Slow Food Editore of Italy, The Slow Food Dictionary to Italian Regional Cooking. It is a great resource from the originators of the movement. Comprehensive, beautifully illustrated, with insights not only about Italian cooking but its people, language, history and culture. Boun appetito! Happy gardening. Love your Mother(earth). Reprinted with permission of Cathy Langer and GabbyGourmet.com.


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

Draft Power: The Life-Affirming Alternative to “Big Ag”

Farmers young and old are seeking new ways to shrink their carbon footprint and promote more ecologically friendly ways of getting chores done. So, what’s a modern farmer to do? For some, the centuries old approach of using draft animals—especially horses—is offering a very 21st century solution. Read More..

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More..

A Book for the Fruit Nerd on Your Holiday Gift List

Have a fruit enthusiast on your holiday shopping list this year? Then give the gift that Booklist calls, “a thorough investigation of one wonderful fruit”—The Book of Pears by Joan Morgan.Sure cherries, plums, peaches, and other fruits have their unique qualities, but nothing quite compares to the pear’s luscious texture, richness of taste, and fragrance reminiscent […] Read More..

Unlock the Secret to the Perfect Salad with Soil Sprouts

As the weather gets colder and seasonal produce only means root vegetables, we begin to dream about fresh greens and colorful salads. Without a greenhouse or expensive equipment, it’s hard to imagine a reality in which you can have fresh and local greens every day. Luckily, Peter Burke has a method: in his book Year-Round Indoor […] Read More..
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