Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Watching the Growth of Walmart Across America

Margo just sent me this outstanding animated map that displays the viral growth of Walmart across the US from 1962 to 2007. When Walmart threatened to come to my little New Hampshire town, I was adamant that we block the request because I feared for the local businesses and didn’t want a commercial “strip” with stop lights and all that put up (any more than there already was) to replace the farmland that was there. But they built it anyway and caused several Main Street local businesses to shut their doors after generations of family ownership. The farmland (which we will need again someday!) is now being sold off and developed with other chain stores. Beautiful farm houses have been bulldozed to make way for “progress” in the form of parking lots and flat-roofed strip malls. What once was fertile, beautiful farmland is slowly disintegrating into depressing and unsustainable urban blight. But hey! I can buy a blender and shampoo at 11pm! The Walmart ecosystem is ugly and detrimental to local economies and attitudes. I like to think of it as a money funnel—collecting community money and siphoning it directly out of town. Has your town experienced a similar transformation with the coming of Walmart?

Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Pancake

When most people think pancakes, they think breakfast. But for Amy Halloran, breakfast is only the start.Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, is a self-described pancake connoisseur. From a young age, she was entranced by the magic of bubbly batter rising to fluffy cakes on the griddle. Over time, her love of pancakes developed […] Read More..

Inside the Rise of the Local Grains Movement

Our daily bread. Breaking bread together. Bread and butter. These are all common phrases that reflect bread’s foundational role in our diet and in the building of our civilization. The stored energy of grain first allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering to building settled communities—even great cities. So why in an […] Read More..

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..