The Minimalist Gardener
By Patrick Whitefield
Low input, year-round “no-dig” gardening that provides your kitchen with fresh healthy food, without breaking your back
Written by an acknowledged expert, this friendly guide will help you grow food in whatever space you have – large or small, rural or urban – with minimal purchased inputs, and maximum satisfaction.
This is the first in a collection of Patrick Whitefield’s pioneering writings, celebrating his life. It explores a cutting edge of permaculture gardening that is eminently practical and visionary all at the same time. Patrick describes an evolving system that is totally chemical free, requiring little input from outside the garden gate. His minimalist approach uses techniques such as no-dig, raised beds, perennial vegetables and self-seeding salads as ground cover, and mulching when appropriate. This minimizes garden maintenance whilst growing an abundance of produce year round. Patrick describes how to select plants based on what you like to eat and how to combine them in polycultures that confound would-be pests. He mixes annual hybrids, heritage varieties and perennial vegetables and has a pragmatic approach to selecting seeds and seed saving. There are also tips on fruit growing, from berries to fruit trees, including how to choose rootstocks and varieties.
Available in: Paperback
You Can Have Your Permaculture & Eat It Too
By Robin Clayfield
This is a cookbook for gardeners, a gardening book for cooks, and an inspirational reference for all things permacultural! Permaculture has become increasingly popular as a gardening technique and lifestyle philosophy. Growing our own food and creating nutritious meals free of chemicals and additives appeals to more and more people every year. You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat It Too offers readers design examples, species lists, tips, diagrams, and exercises for designing and creating productive, edible gardens based on permaculture principles.
Beyond the garden, Clayfield also explains how to use your harvest effectively in your kitchen, green your household, and increase your personal economy by earning money from your hobbies. With dozens of diverse, delicious, mostly vegetarian recipes; information on making cosmetics and gifts and crafts from the garden; as well as a primer on permaculture’s environmental principles and ethics, she has created a reference to appeal not only to those new to green living, but to the seasoned organic gardener and permaculturist as well.
No Dig Organic Home & Garden
By Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty
No dig organic gardening saves time and work. It requires an annual dressing of compost to help accelerate the improvement in soil structure and leads to higher fertility and less weeds. No dig experts Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty, explain how to set up a no dig garden, including how to:
• Make compost and enrich soil
• Learn skills you need to sow and grow annual and perennial veg
• Harvest and prepare food year round
• Make natural cosmetics, cleaning products, and garden preparations
The no dig approach works as well in small spaces as in large gardens. The authors’ combined experience covers methods of growing, preparing and storing the plants you grow for many uses, and includes recipes and ideas for increasing self-reliance, saving money, living sustainably, and enjoying the pleasure of growing your own food, year round. An acknowledged expert in no dig and author of a half-dozen books on the subject, Charles’ advice is distilled from 35 years of growing vegetables intensively and efficiently. Stephanie, a kitchen gardener, grows in her small, productive home garden and allotment, and creates no dig gardens for restaurants and private estates. She creates delicious seasonal recipes made from the vegetables anyone can grow. She also explains how to use common plants you can grow and forage for to make handmade preparations for the home and garden.
Mastering Stocks and Broths
By Rachael Mamane
Stocks and broths are the foundation of good cooking, yet information on their use is often relegated to the introductions or appendices of cookbooks. Until now there has not been a comprehensive culinary guide to stocks in the canon, save for snippets here and there. Hard to believe, since most passionate home cooks and professional chefs know that using stocks and broths—both on their own and as the base for a recipe—can turn a moderately flavorful dish into a masterpiece. Mastering Stocks and Broths is the comprehensive guide to culinary stocks and broths that passionate home cooks and innovative chefs have all been waiting for.
Rachael Mamane, a self-taught cook and owner of small-scale broth company Brooklyn Bouillon, is reminiscent of M. F. K. Fisher, Patience Gray, and Julia Child. She takes us on a culinary journey into the science behind fundamental stocks and the truth about well-crafted bone broths, and offers over 100 complex and unique recipes incorporating stocks as foundational ingredients. Mastering Stocks and Broths includes a historical culinary narrative about stocks in the classic French technique as well as through the lens of other cultures around the world. Readers will learn about the importance of quality sourcing, the practical and health benefits of stocks and broths, and detailed methodology on how to develop, store, and use them in a home kitchen.
The recipes place a playful emphasis on the value of zero waste, turning spent bones, produce seconds, and leftover animal fats into practical products to use around the home. Readers will turn to this book when they find themselves wondering what to do with the carcass of a store-bought roast chicken and they want to learn how to make every inch of their vegetables go further.
Perhaps most important to remember: a good stock takes time. This is part of the pleasure—making stocks is meditative and meaningful, if you allow yourself the occasion. Building a stock often happens in the background of most kitchens—a smell that permeates a residence, a gentle warmth that radiates from the kitchen. Readers will be inspired by Mamane’s approach to truly slow cookery and her effervescent love for food itself.
Available in: Hardcover
How on Earth
By Jennifer Hinton and Donnie Maclurcan
Something incredible is happening within our economy. Beyond the failures of state socialism and the excesses of corporate capitalism, a realistic alternative is emerging. In How on Earth, Donnie Maclurcan and Jennifer Hinton chart the rise of businesses that place purpose ahead of profit, and outline how the advantages these businesses hold in the marketplace pave the way to an entirely different economic system, focused on addressing human need, not greed.
At the heart of this monumental transition lies the changing nature of not-for-profit (NFP) organizations. Contrary to popular notions of non-profit inefficiency, unaccountability, and dependence on donors, the 21st century NFP is proving highly efficient, transparent, and increasingly self-funded.
Distinguishing themselves from B corps and ethical/green shareholder companies by always reinvesting rather than privatizing profits, NFP enterprises around the world are proliferating and succeeding in areas as diverse as construction, manufacturing, software development, food catering, and retail. In a process described by Jeremy Rifkin as ‘the eclipse of capitalism’, many NFP enterprises (including various forms of cooperatives, community interest companies, government-owned corporations, and social businesses) are now outperforming their for-profit counterparts, driven by marked advantages in terms of finance, human resources, productivity, innovation, governance, environmental outcomes, value creation and market reputation. Simultaneously, NFP enterprises are increasingly curbing the excesses that have traditionally been associated with the charitable sector.
Moving beyond the market/state dichotomy, the NFP model finally aligns our economy with the social values that modern science and ancient wisdom agree are central to our shared prosperity. With wealth recirculating through a purpose-driven system, the emerging NFP world economy is better able to serve people and planet, while retaining market dynamics and requiring less taxation and government bureaucracy in the process.
A groundbreaking contribution to economic theory, How on Earth presents the world’s first practical blueprint for the transition to a fairer, thriving economy that offers quality of life for all while respecting our ecological limits.
Fasting and Feasting
By Adam Federman
For more than thirty years, Patience Gray—author of the celebrated cookbook Honey from a Weed—lived in a remote area of Puglia in southernmost Italy. She lived without electricity, modern plumbing, or a telephone, grew much of her own food, and gathered and ate wild plants alongside her neighbors in this economically impoverished region. She was fond of saying that she wrote only for herself and her friends, yet her growing reputation brought a steady stream of international visitors to her door. This simple and isolated life she chose for herself may help explain her relative obscurity when compared to the other great food writers of her time: M. F. K. Fisher, Elizabeth David, and Julia Child.
So it is not surprising that when Gray died in 2005, the BBC described her as an “almost forgotten culinary star.” Yet her influence, particularly among chefs and other food writers, has had a lasting and profound effect on the way we view and celebrate good food and regional cuisines. Gray’s prescience was unrivaled: She wrote about what today we would call the Slow Food movement—from foraging to eating locally—long before it became part of the cultural mainstream. Imagine if Michael Pollan or Barbara Kingsolver had spent several decades living among Italian, Greek, and Catalan peasants, recording their recipes and the significance of food and food gathering to their way of life.
In Fasting and Feasting, biographer Adam Federman tells the remarkable—and until now untold—life story of Patience Gray: from her privileged and intellectual upbringing in England, to her trials as a single mother during World War II, to her career working as a designer, editor, translator, and author, and describing her travels and culinary adventures in later years. A fascinating and spirited woman, Patience Gray was very much a part of her times but very clearly ahead of them.
“[There are] food people whom you tend to ‘believe’ rather than simply admire. In this . . . noble lineage is Patience Gray, a wandering Bruce Chatwin of food.”—Jim Harrison, author
“Patience was a woman of strong emotions and opinions, her prose muscular and full of character. So, too, was her cookery.”—Tom Jaine, The Guardian
“Like M.F.K. Fisher, Patience Gray was one of the earliest writers to realize that you could write as well about cooking as you could about art and music . . . . [A] remarkable woman.”—William Boyd, author
“[She] gives you that nice sense of being present and alongside her, visiting these places like Tuscany and Catalonia, and cooking with her.”—April Bloomfield, chef, on Honey From a Weed
“Remarkably ahead of its time, Honey From a Weed is scrupulous in its knowledge of local and seasonal cooking. . . . A book that encourages taking the time to read quietly, passages that inspire and inform equally of a life and foods quite unique, far removed from the urgencies and furies of modern life.”—Jeremy Lee, The Guardian
Holistic Goat Care
By Gianaclis Caldwell
Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter to carrying packs and clearing brush, there isn’t much that goats cannot do. Managing goats successfully requires an understanding of how nature designed them to thrive, including nutritional and psychological needs, as well as how to identify a problem and intercede before it’s too late.
For more than a decade, Gianaclis Caldwell and her family have operated Pholia Farm Creamery, an off-grid, raw milk goat cheese dairy. In Holistic Goat Care, Caldwell offers readers a comprehensive guide to maintaining a healthy herd of goats, whether they are dairy goats, meat goats, fiber goats, or pet goats.
Holistic Goat Care will empower even novice goat owners to confidently diagnose and treat most of the ailments that goats might experience. For the experienced goat farmer, the book offers a depth of insight and approaches to treatment not found in any other book. Caldwell places special emphasis throughout on holistic, natural, and alternative approaches to caring for goats, including information on:
Whether your herd is two or two hundred, this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive book will help you keep your goats healthy, safe, and productive and give you a deep and enjoyable insight into the wondrous creature that is the goat.
Resilience, Community Action & Societal Transformation
Resilience, Community Action and Societal Transformation is a unique collection bridging research, theory and practical action to create more resilient societies. It includes accounts from people and organizations on the front line of efforts to build community resilience; cutting-edge theory and analysis from engaged scholar-activists; and commentary from sympathetic researchers. Its content ranges from first-hand accounts of the Transition Movement in the UK, Canada and Spain, to theoretical reflections on resilience theory and the shifts in mindsets and perspectives required for transitions to sustainability.
The book contains substantive contributions from activists and activist-scholars such as Lorenzo Chelleri (Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy), Juan del Rio (Transition Spain), Naresh Giangrande (Transition Network), Maja Göpel (Wuppertal Institute), Thomas Henfrey (Transition Research Network), Justin Kenrick (Forest People’s Programme), Glen Kuecker (University of Indiana), Cheryl Lyon (Transition Peterborough Ontario) and Gesa Maschowski (Transition Bonn), along with briefing notes from noted experts in resilience. The result is a compelling cocktail of insights, ideas and action points likely to define the scientific and practical fields of community resilience for years to come.
Forest Gardening in Practice
By Tomas Remiarz
A forest garden is a place where nature and people meet halfway--between the canopy of trees and the soil underfoot. It doesn’t have to look like a forest: what’s important is that natural processes are allowed to unfold, to the benefit of plants, people and other creatures. The result is an edible ecosystem. For three decades experimental forest gardens have been planted in temperate cities and rural sites, in households, neighborhoods, community gardens, parks, market gardens and plant nurseries. Forest Gardening In Practice offers an in-depth review of forest gardening with living, best practice examples. It highlights the four core skills of forest gardeners: ecology, horticulture, design, and cooperation. It is for hobby gardeners, smallholders, community gardeners and landscape professionals.
Forest Gardening In Practice features:
The Metabolic Approach to Cancer
By Nasha Winters and Jess Higgins Kelley
The Optimal Terrain Ten Protocol to Reboot Cellular Health
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, cancer rates have increased exponentially—now affecting almost 50 percent of the American population. Conventional treatment continues to rely on chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation to attack cancer cells. Yet research has repeatedly shown that 95 percent of cancer cases are directly linked to diet and lifestyle. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer is the book we have been waiting for—it offers an innovative, metabolic-focused nutrition protocol that actually works. Naturopathic, integrative oncologist and cancer survivor Dr. Nasha Winters and nutrition therapist Jess Higgins Kelley have identified the ten key elements of a person’s “terrain” (think of it as a topographical map of our body) that are crucial to preventing and managing cancer. Each of the terrain ten elements—including epigenetics, the microbiome, the immune system, toxin exposures, and blood sugar balance—is illuminated as it relates to the cancer process, then given a heavily researched and tested, non-toxic and metabolic, focused nutrition prescription.
The metabolic theory of cancer—that cancer is fueled by high carbohydrate diets, not “bad” genetics—was introduced by Nobel Prize-laureate and scientist Otto Warburg in 1931. It has been largely disregarded by conventional oncology ever since. But this theory is resurging as a result of research showing incredible clinical outcomes when cancer cells are deprived of their primary fuel source (glucose). The ketogenic diet—which relies on the body’s production of ketones as fuel—is the centerpiece of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer. Further, Winters and Kelley explain how to harness the anticancer potential of phytonutrients abundant in low-glycemic plant and animal foods to address the 10 hallmarks of cancer—an approach Western medicine does with drug based therapies.
Their optimized, genetically-tuned diet shuns grains, legumes, sugar, genetically modified foods, pesticides, and synthetic ingredients while emphasizing whole, wild, local, organic, fermented, heirloom, and low-glycemic foods and herbs. Other components of their approach include harm-reductive herbal therapies like mistletoe (considered the original immunotherapy and common in European cancer care centers) and cannabinoids (which shrink tumors and increase quality of life, yet are illegal in more than half of the United States). Through addressing the ten root causes of cancer and approaching the disease from a nutrition-focused standpoint, we can slow cancer’s endemic spread and live optimized lives.
Human Scale Revisited
By Kirkpatrick Sale
Big government, big business, big everything: Kirkpatrick Sale took giantism to task in his 1980 classic, Human Scale, and today takes a new look at how the crises that imperil modern America are the inevitable result of bigness grown out of control—and what can be done about it.
The result is a keenly updated, carefully argued case for bringing human endeavors back to scales we can comprehend and manage—whether in our built environments, our politics, our business endeavors, our energy plans, or our mobility.
Sale walks readers back through history to a time when buildings were scaled to the human figure (as was the Parthenon), democracies were scaled to the societies they served, and enterprise was scaled to communities. Against that backdrop, he dissects the bigger-is-better paradigm that has defined modern times and brought civilization to a crisis point. Says Sale, retreating from our calamity will take rebalancing our relationship to the environment; adopting more human-scale technologies; right-sizing our buildings, communities, and cities; and bringing our critical services—from energy, food, and garbage collection to transportation, health, and education—back to human scale as well.
Like Small is Beautiful by E. F. Schumacher, Human Scale has long been a classic of modern decentralist thought and communitarian values—a key tool in the kit of those trying to localize, create meaningful governance in bioregions, or rethink our reverence of and dependence on growth, financially and otherwise.
Rewritten to interpret the past few decades, Human Scale offers compelling new insights on how to turn away from the giantism that has caused escalating ecological distress and inequality, dysfunctional governments, and unending warfare and shines a light on many possible pathways that could allow us to scale down, survive, and thrive.
Salted and Cured
By Jeffrey Roberts
From country ham to coppa, bacon to bresaola
Prosciutto. Andouille. Country ham. The extraordinary rise in popularity of cured meats in recent years often overlooks the fact that the ancient practice of meat preservation through the use of salt, time, and smoke began as a survival technique. All over the world, various cultures developed ways to extend the viability of the hunt—and later the harvest—according to their unique climates and environments, resulting in the astonishing diversity of preserved meats that we celebrate and enjoy today everywhere from corner delis to white-tablecloth restaurants.
In Salted and Cured, author Jeffrey P. Roberts traces the origins of today’s American charcuterie, salumi, and other delights, and connects them to a current renaissance that begins to rival those of artisan cheese and craft beer. In doing so, Roberts highlights the incredible stories of immigrant butchers, breeders, chefs, entrepreneurs, and other craftspeople who withstood the modern era’s push for bland, industrial food to produce not only delicious but culturally significant cured meats.
By rejecting the industry-led push for “the other white meat” and reinvigorating the breeding and production of heritage hog breeds while finding novel ways to utilize the entire animal—snout to tail—today’s charcutiers and salumieri not only produce everything from country ham to violino di capra but create more sustainable businesses for farmers and chefs.
Weaving together agriculture, animal welfare and health, food safety and science, economics, history, a deep sense of place, and amazing preserved foods, Salted and Cured is a literary feast, a celebration of both innovation and time-honored knowledge, and an expertly guided tour of America’s culinary treasures, both old and new.
The Alzheimer's Antidote
By Amy Berger
A Comprehensive Metabolic & Lifestyle Approach
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in 2016 is startlingly similar to a half-century ago. Despite decades of research and millions of dollars invested in uncovering the causes and developing treatments for this devastating illness, progress has been slow, with each new “blockbuster” drug proving to be as big a disappointment as the ones that went before it. Today, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is a death sentence.
However, there may be ways to prevent, delay, and possibly even reverse the course of this crippling neurodegenerative disease. In The Alzheimer’s Antidote, Certified Nutrition Specialist Amy Berger presents a multi-pronged nutrition and lifestyle intervention to combat Alzheimer’s disease at its roots. Berger’s research shows that Alzheimer’s results from a fuel shortage in the brain: As neurons become unable to harness energy from glucose, they atrophy and die, leading to classic symptoms like memory loss and behavioral changes.
This is a revolutionary approach—one that has been discussed in the scientific literature for years but has only recently been given credence in clinical settings, thanks to extremely promising studies wherein Alzheimer’s patients have experienced complete reversals of the condition. Medical and scientific journals are full of research showing alternate ways to fuel the starving brain, but no one has been bringing this essential information to the people who need it most—until now.
In a culture obsessed with miracle medications, the pharmaceutical route for tackling Alzheimer’s has been a massive failure. Pills and potions don’t address underlying causes, and regarding Alzheimer’s, they typically fail to improve even the symptoms. As a metabolic problem, the only effective way to treat Alzheimer’s may be a multifaceted approach that fundamentally reprograms energy generation in the brain. The good news is, the secret is as simple as switching to a low-carb, high-fat diet.
The Alzheimer’s Antidote shows us that cognitive decline is not inevitable, but if it does occur, we don’t have to sit idly by and wait helplessly while it progresses and worsens. Amy Berger empowers loved ones and caregivers of Alzheimer’s sufferers, and offers hope and light against this otherwise unnavigable labyrinth of darkness.
By Kate Raworth
Economics is the mother tongue of public policy. It dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges that define our times.
Pity then, or more like disaster, that its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date yet are still taught in college courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike.
That’s why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design.
Named after the now-iconic “doughnut” image that Raworth first drew to depict a sweet spot of human prosperity (an image that appealed to the Occupy Movement, the United Nations, eco-activists, and business leaders alike), Doughnut Economics offers a radically new compass for guiding global development, government policy, and corporate strategy, and sets new standards for what economic success looks like.
Raworth handpicks the best emergent ideas—from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science—to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow?
Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.
Available in: Hardcover, eBook
Buck, Buck, Moose
By Hank Shaw
A new wild game cookbook by the James Beard Award-winning author of Hunt, Gather, Cook, and Duck, Duck, Goose
This is not your father's venison cookbook. Buck, Buck, Moose is the first comprehensive, lushly photographed, full-color guide to working with and cooking all forms of venison, including deer, elk, moose, antelope and caribou. Buck, Buck, Moose will take you around the world, from nose to tail. The book features more than 100 recipes ranging from traditional dishes from six continents to original recipes never before seen.
You'll also get thorough instructions on how to butcher, age and store your venison, as well as how to use virtually every part of the animal. Buck, Buck, Moose also includes a lengthy section on curing venison and sausage-making. Peppered throughout are stories of the hunt and essays on why venison holds such a special place in human society. Venison is far more than mere food. It is, in many ways, what made us human.
By Michael Phillips
Regenerative practices for the farm, garden, orchard, forest, and landscape
Mycorrhizal fungi have been waiting a long time for people to recognize just how important they are to the making of dynamic soils. These microscopic organisms partner with the root systems of approximately 95 percent of the plants on Earth, and they sequester carbon in much more meaningful ways than human “carbon offsets” will ever achieve. Pick up a handful of old-growth forest soil and you are holding 26 miles of threadlike fungal mycelia, if it could be stretched it out in a straight line. Most of these soil fungi are mycorrhizal, supporting plant health in elegant and sophisticated ways. The boost to green immune function in plants and community-wide networking turns out to be the true basis of ecosystem resiliency. A profound intelligence exists in the underground nutrient exchange between fungi and plant roots, which in turn determines the nutrient density of the foods we grow and eat.
Exploring the science of symbiotic fungi in layman’s terms, holistic farmer Michael Phillips (author of The Holistic Orchard and The Apple Grower) sets the stage for practical applications across the landscape. The real impetus behind no-till farming, gardening with mulches, cover cropping, digging with broadforks, shallow cultivation, forest-edge orcharding, and everything related to permaculture is to help the plants and fungi to prosper . . . which means we prosper as well.
Building soil structure and fertility that lasts for ages results only once we comprehend the nondisturbance principle. As the author says, “What a grower understands, a grower will do.” Mycorrhizal Planet abounds with insights into “fungal consciousness” and offers practical, regenerative techniques that are pertinent to gardeners, landscapers, orchardists, foresters, and farmers. Michael’s fungal acumen will resonate with everyone who is fascinated with the unseen workings of nature and concerned about maintaining and restoring the health of our soils, our climate, and the quality of life on Earth for generations to come.
Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Garden Diary
By Charles Dowding
An illustrated full-color gardener’s journal with perpetual diary—75% advice on how to grow great crops, 25% writing space for each day of the year—a manual to inform and inspire, from a no-dig pioneer and one of Britain's most trusted vegetable gardeners
Use this journal year after year to make the best decisions, with your notes alongside Charles Dowding’s suggestions for future reference. Advice in the diary section is linked to each week of the season, and takes you through the annual cycle, from clearing weeds, feeding soil, and sowing to harvesting and storing vegetables.
Charles’ gardens are famous for the absence of weeds - “where is all the cheap labor you must be hiring?” is a common question on course days. Yet it’s a fact that untilled soil, with a humus-rich surface, germinates fewer pioneer weed seeds, as described by Professor Elaine Ingham. This and other natural principles will make your life a whole lot easier.
The diary explains these methods and weaves them into a timeline of action, to increase your success rate. Good timing is good gardening! Book is most appropriate for zones 8/9, for other zones the dates need adapting: for example he has great feedback from zone 6 gardeners using his methods. And you can flesh out the detail with his You Tube videos, where over half the audience is North American.
Available in: Spiral bound
The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3
Volume 3 of The New Farmer’s Almanac—360 pages of original agrarian content, essays, cartoons, imagery and historical snippets—harnesses the wisdom of over 120 contributors from our community of new farmers and ranchers. This volume explores the theme of The Commons, drawing from folklore, mathematical projections, empirical, emotional, and geographical observations of theory and praxis.
Farmers hold space in many interwoven commons, and possibilities for our shared future would seem to rest on how these intersecting commons are governed—particularly at the juncture of humanity and ecology where we make our workplace. In re-visiting the Almanac format, we assert our version of Americana and equip ourselves for the challenges of rebuilding the food system and restoring a more democratic, more diverse, and more resilient foundation for society.
We face a dystopian future, with guaranteed-unpredictable weather, the impending collapse of the fossil fuel economy, endlessly consolidating monopolies, and a country that is, for the first time in our history, majority urban. That’s why this Almanac is a utopian publication, one that reminds today’s farmers about the foundational concepts of an agrarian democracy—themselves utopian.
But we also reject the self-propelling logic of techno-utopia—dependent upon extraction economies and enclosure of common resources. We orient ourselves instead toward the words of Ursula Le Guin, who reminds us that our intent in utopian thinking should not be “reactionary, nor even conservative, but simply subversive. It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth.”
This tidy volume holds a civil, lived testimony from people whose work, lifeworld, and behavior patterns beamingly subvert the normative values of the macro economy called America.
Your Baby's Microbiome
By Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford
From the Directors of the Award-Winning Documentary Microbirth
At least two amazing events happen during childbirth.
There’s the obvious main event, which is the emergence of a new human into the world. But there’s another event taking place simultaneously, a crucial event that is not visible to the naked eye, an event that could determine the lifelong health of the baby. This is the seeding of the baby’s microbiome, the community of “good” bacteria that we carry with us throughout our lives.
The seeding of the microbiome, along with breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact, kick-starts the baby’s immune system and helps protect the infant from disease across a lifetime. Researchers are discovering, however, that interventions such as the use of synthetic oxytocin, antibiotics, C-sections, and formula feeding interfere with, or bypass completely, the microbial transfer from mother to baby. These bacteria are vital for human health, and science has linked an imbalance in the human microbiome with multiple chronic diseases.
Drawing on the extensive research they carried out for their documentary film Microbirth, authors Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford reveal a fascinating new view of birth and how microscopic happenings can have lifelong consequences, for ourselves, our children—and our species as a whole.
Available in: Paperback, eBook
The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook
By Andrew Mefferd
Best practices for the eight most profitable crops
Today only a few dozen large-scale producers dominate the greenhouse produce market. Why? Because they know and employ best practices for the most profitable crops: tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, and microgreens. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook levels the playing field by revealing these practices so that all growers—large and small—can maximize the potential of their protected growing space. Whether growing in a heated greenhouse or unheated hoophouse, this book offers a decision-making framework for how to best manage crops that goes beyond a list of simple do’s and don’ts.
As senior trial technician for greenhouse crops at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, author Andrew Mefferd spent seven years consulting for growers using protected agriculture in a wide variety of climates, soils, and conditions. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook brings his experience and expertise to bear in an in-depth guide that will help readers make their investment in greenhouse space worthwhile.
Every year, more growers are turning to protected culture to deal with unpredictable weather and to meet out-of-season demand for local food, but many end up spinning their wheels, wasting time and money on unprofitable crops grown in ways that don’t make the most of their precious greenhouse space. With comprehensive chapters on temperature control and crop steering, pruning and trellising, grafting, and more, Mefferd’s book is full of techniques and strategies that can help farms stay profitable, satisfy customers, and become an integral part of re-localizing our food system. From seed to sale, The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook is the indispensable resource for protected growing.
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