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Chelsea Green - The Politics and Practice of Sustainable Living. : Chelsea Green

Permaculture Q&A: Let’s Talk Pawpaws

May 4th, 2015 by admin

May is in full swing and that means it’s time to officially celebrate Permaculture Month.

Throughout the next few weeks, we are putting our pioneering permaculture authors at your disposal for a month-long Q&A session. If you are looking to become a better permaculturalist, there’s still time to participate! Submit your questions here.

Our first questioner is from New Jersey and he’s looking for some advice on how to get started growing pawpaws. In the below response, Steve Gabriel, co-author of Farming the Woods, shares some tips on varieties, number of trees to plant, and where to source good nursery starts.

If you’re unfamiliar with pawpaws, here’s a little background for you. The fruit of a pawpaw tree is a relative of the custard apple and both looks and tastes very “tropical”—hints of vanilla, mango, banana, and avocado are common descriptors. The virtues of pawpaws are many, from being the largest tree fruit native to the eastern United States to its ease of cultivation and aesthetic form; not to mention, the fruits are extremely nutritious and delicious—high in vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese and a good source of potassium and several essential amino acids. For a complete history of this unique fruit check out Andrew Moore’s new book Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit (August 2015).

Joe from New Jersey writes:
I want to grow a pawpaw tree. What variety should I plant? How many? What size? And, where can I get some nursery starts?

Steve Gabriel: When choosing what variety to plant, consider local adaptability and production as well as any other goals. Peterson Pawpaws have some of the most meticulously developed pawpaw starts. For more information, it’s also worth checking out The Pawpaw Regional Variety Trial (a report conducted by Kentucky State in the 1990s) and the university website at www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/.

In terms of number of trees to plant, you will need at least two for cross pollination. Note that if you plant less than 20 – 30 trees you may need to hand pollinate when flowers emerge in May. This is a relatively simple task, outlined in our book. Download chapter 4 from Farming the Woods for more info on pawpaws and step-by-step instructions on how to hand pollinate. 

Ideally, you should start planting trees that are 2 – 3 years old. This means you can plant them in sun or partial shade and not have to worry about damage to the bark or roots. Younger trees need to be fully sheltered from sunlight because this species is found naturally in full shade environments, though some sun is good for fruiting and they do well in full sun once they are a bit older. Young trees can be stunted or die if exposed to too much sun.

Prices for nursery starts can range from $5 – $40 per plant! Lower cost plants are seedlings and higher cost are usually cultivars. Often these sell out because there is much more supply for this variety of fruit tree than demand. Here are a few places where you can order plants online:

Oikos Tree Crops
Peterson Paw Paws  (plants available through multiple nurseries across the country)
Stark Brothers

April Roundup: News, Views & Stuff You Can Use

April 30th, 2015 by admin

Don’t miss the latest news and opinions from Chelsea Green and our authors, as well as tips and techniques about how you can bring our books to life in your kitchen, backyard, or community, and special sales, promotions and new releases.

 


April Showers Bring Fresh Savings: Spring Cleaning Sale!
April Showers Bring Fresh Savings: Spring Cleaning Sale!
Congratulations, you’ve survived another long winter! Now it is time for Spring Cleaning. Through May 3rd we’re cleaning out our warehouse to make room for our new spring releases.  Hurry! Don’t miss out! »»»

Permaculture Month: Ask the Experts
Permaculture Month: Ask the Experts
This May, in honor of Permaculture Month, we are once again putting our pioneering permaculture authors at your disposal for a month-long Q&A session designed to help you become a better permaculturalist.  Seed Your Knowledge »»»

Permaculture Month: Ask the Experts
Growing and Marketing Organic Medicinal Herbs
In the United States, the herbal medicine industry has exploded over the last twenty years, but many of the herbs used are imported rather than grown domestically. In their new book, experienced small-scale herb farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter offer tips on how farmers, and other small-scale growers, can get started in the profitable world of growing organic medicinal herbs.  Learn How »»»

New Cookbook Offers Hundreds of Garden-to-Plate Recipes
New Cookbook Offers Hundreds of Garden-to-Plate Recipes
Are you a gardener interested in finding new ways to cook with your vegetables or a farmers’ market shopper looking to expand your repertoire? Maybe you are a home cook who wants to prepare healthy meals for your family and friends or a professional chef looking for inspired recipes using wild edibles? Or are you a member of a community-based organization who cooks for crowds on a regular basis? Read It »»»

Soil Blocks vs. Pots: Two Ways to Start Seedlings This Spring
Soil Blocks vs. Pots: Two Ways to Start Seedlings This Spring
With Spring having finally sprung (in many places), it brings the official start of planting season, and we have two experts with advice on how to get your seedlings off to the right start and ready for the garden. Pot It or Block It? »»»

Wild Edibles: 5 Tips for Beginner Foragers
Wild Edibles: 5 Tips for Beginner Foragers
Ever spotted a dandelion growing in your backyard and wondered, can I eat that? According to wild plants expert Katrina Blair, the answer is a resounding yes. And there are plenty of other commonly found weeds that fall into this category as well.  Learn More »»»

RECIPE: Veggie Mandala with Chervil Aioli Sauce
RECIPE: Veggie Mandala with Chervil Aioli Sauce
With the birth of spring comes its profusion of gifts—the warm sun, higher temperatures, and (best of all) fertile soil. With each day, more colors seem to burst forth—both in nature and on our plates.  Make it »»»

Books in the News: 'The Tao of Vegetable Gardening' & More!
Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!
What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. Read It »»»

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here's How to Take Action
Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action
The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives?  Read More about this Hot Topic »»»

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day - Rebuild the Foodshed
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.  Read It »»»

Chelsea Green to Revolutionize Industry with Edible Books
April Fools: Chelsea Green to Revolutionize Industry with Edible Books
Move over Gutenberg: In advance of Earth Day 2015, environmental publishing leader Chelsea Green Publishing is announcing the introduction of an entirely new type of book – the completely biodegradable, and in certain instances edible, book. April Foos! »»»

We're Hiring! Join Our Team as Assistant to the Production Director
We’re Hiring! Join Our Team as Assistant to the Production Director
The Assistant to the Production Director provides general assistance in all aspects of editorial production from manuscript to bound book and eBooks. Working independently and in support of the Production Director, the ideal candidate will be able to focus on details of projects in a fast-paced work environment. Join the Chelsea Green Family »»»

~ ~ Need More? Don’t miss our New Releases & Coming Soon ~ ~
The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm Altered Genes, Twisted Truth The Seed Garden The New Livestock Farmer Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Relaint Gardening

 


Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only)
 

Growing and Marketing Organic Medicinal Herbs

April 29th, 2015 by admin

In the United States, the herbal medicine industry has exploded over the last twenty years, but many of the herbs used are imported rather than grown domestically. In their new book, experienced small-scale herb farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter offer tips on how farmers, and other small-scale growers, can get started in the profitable world of growing organic medicinal herbs.

The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer is both a business guide and farming manual that teaches readers how to successfully grow and market organic medicinal herbs. The Carpenters cover the basic practical information any grower needs to get an organic herb farm up and running, including size and scale considerations, soil and plant conservation, growing and cultivation methods, harvesting, processing, business planning, and much more. The book also includes fifty detailed plant profiles, going deeper into the herbs that every farmer should consider growing—from the more common peppermint, lavender, and echinacea plants to the less familiar elderberry, arnica, angelica, and calendula.

Rosemary Gladstar, prominent herbalist and author—fondly known as the fairy godmother of western herbalism—believes this book is a vital and important resource for farmers. In her foreword she writes, “It carries a hopeful and pertinent message, provides detailed information and innovative tools and suggestions, and offers a roadway to success for the small family farm.”

The Carpenters demonstrate that incorporating medicinal herbs into existing farm operations can not only increase revenue in the form of value-added products, but also improve the ecological health of farmland by encouraging biodiversity and permaculture as a path toward greater soil health. Check out the videos below to hear more from the authors themselves about their herb farming operation and their mission to be stewards of the land and safeguard the tradition of farming for future generations.

 

 

Spring Cleaning Sale: Time is Running out!

April 27th, 2015 by admin

Don’t forget to soak up the savings as you dig into spring. There is just one week left to save big on select Chelsea Green books.

Through May 3rd we’re having a Spring Cleaning Sale to make room for our forthcoming Spring releases. But hurry it is only while supplies last!

As always, we offer FREE shipping on orders of $100 or more.

Happy reading from your budget-conscious friends at Chelsea Green Publishing.


Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only). Sale runs through May 3, 2015

~ ~ Deep Savings: $9.99 – $14.99 Books  ~ ~
The Gourmet Butcher's Guide to Meat (with CD)
Retail: $49.95
Sale: $14.99
Desert or Paradise
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $9.99
Home Baked
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $9.99
Adobe Homes for All Climates
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $9.99
Death and Sex
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $9.99
The Raw Milk Revolution
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $9.99
Taste, Memory
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $9.99
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $9.99

~ ~ Deeper Savings: $4.99 Books  ~ ~
A Sanctuary of Trees
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $4.99
Wild Flavors
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $4.99
Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $4.99
Raising Dough
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $4.99

View All 4.99 Books

~ ~ Deepest Savings: $1.99 Books  ~ ~
Compost, Vermicompost, and Compost Tea
Retail: $12.95
Sale: $1.99
Growing Healthy Vegetable Crops
Retail: $12.95
Sale: $1.99
Crop Rotation and Cover Cropping
Retail: $12.95
Sale: $1.99
Whole-Farm Planning
Retail: $12.95
Sale: $1.99

View All 1.99 Books

~ ~ New Releases  ~ ~

The Seed Garden The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer Altered Genes, Twisted Truth Community Scale Permaculture Farm

View all books on sale


Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only). Sale runs through May 3, 2015

RECIPE: Veggie Mandala with Chervil Aioli Sauce

April 23rd, 2015 by admin

With the birth of spring comes its profusion of gifts—the warm sun, higher temperatures, and (best of all) fertile soil. With each day, more colors seem to burst forth—both in nature and on our plates.

This is certainly true of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center—one of California’s first certified organic farms. Spring not only brings color and life into their gardens, but also an abundance of diverse crops to add to their daily meals. In their new book, The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook, kitchen manager Olivia Rathbone showcases the biodiversity of all four seasons with over 200 inspired vegetarian recipes.

A favorite spring dish, popular at OAEC parties and celebrations, is the Veggie Mandala with Chervil Aioli Sauce. This brightly colored assortment of vegetables and edible garden leaves is traditionally served directly on the surface of the entire length of the farm table. But, whether you use serving platters or eat right off the table, this light dish will be welcome shift from the heavier foods of winter. Check out the recipe below and see how easy it is to make!

If you’re still hungry, here are a few additional sample recipes from The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Cookbook.

*****

Veggie Mandala

An OAEC tradition for parties and celebrations is to create a giant colorful mandala out of diverse garden veggies served directly on the surface of the entire length of the table. An assortment of raw, blanched, and roasted elements adds to the diversity of the flavors.

Serves 4-6:

2 ½ pounds assorted brightly colored veggies: brassica florets, roots, and whatever other veggies are happening in the garden or at the farmers’ market

1 bunch large edible garden leaves: Rainbow chard, variegated collards, fig or grape leaves, the large side leaves of cauliflower or broccoli—whatever looks big and healthy

Serves 30-40:

15 pounds assorted brightly colored veggies: brassica florets, roots, and whatever other veggies are happening in the garden or at the farmers’ market

5 bunch large edible garden leaves: Rainbow chard, variegated collards, fig or grape leaves, the large side leaves of cauliflower or broccoli—whatever looks big and healthy

Directions:

Wash, peel, and chop the vegetables into attractive flippable spears and keep separate. Decide which vegetables make sense to blanch, roast, or leave raw, choosing a few for each category. For example, in the summertime, leave juicy vegetables like cherry tomatoes and cucumbers raw. In the winter, roast the fennel and winter squash. Parboil or roast the remaining roots or florets, depending on your mood.

Spread the vegetables to be roasted in a single layer on separate cookie sheets, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake in a 375° oven for 20 minutes, flipping as needed. Meanwhile, blanch each type of vegetable separately (see below for how to blanch veggies). To serve, clean your serving table well with soap and water. Cover the surface with large edible leaves, then thoroughly arrange the assortment of veggies in a beautiful pattern with a bowl of Chervil Aioli (see recipe further below) or an herb pistou for dipping. Circle around the food and meditate on the abundance!

Blanching Veggies

One of the secrets to getting people to fall in love with vegetables, especially green ones, is blanching. By locking in the vivid color, fresh texture, flavor, and nutrients, veggies are elevated to center stage rather than being relegated to a forgettable side role. When cooking for a crowd, this is also a convenient way to prepare veggies ahead of time to be reheated or incorporated into a dish later.

Get a big pot of water (the higher the water-to-vegetable ratio, the better) to an aggressive boil on the stove. Add lots of salt, about ½ cup per gallon of water—this helps prevent the color from leaching out into the cooking water and perfectly preseasons the vegetables. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and cold water. Slice and stage the raw veggies.

Note: Be sure to blanch each vegetable separately, as cooking times will vary.

Put your first round of raw-cut veggies into the basket and lower gently into the rapidly boiling salt water. For small veggies like peas, 30 seconds should do; with larger cuts or root veggies, like julienned carrots, you may need to cook them for 4 to 6 minutes. Keep a close eye on them because a few seconds can mean the difference between vibrant al dente and mushy gray. When the color brightens up and the texture is cooked but still retains a hint of firmness (stick a fork in or taste one), pull the colander basket out, draining out as much of the hot water as possible, and then submerge the colander in the ice bath to halt the cooking process. When the veggies have completely cooled, remove the colander and drain completely. Let the pot of water come up to boiling again before starting the next round and add more ice to the ice bath as needed.

Blanched vegetables can be frozen like this or stored in the fridge for a day.

To serve immediately as a simple side, return the vegetables to a clean pot on the stovetop and reheat on medium-high either covered with a dash of water or uncovered tossed with oil. Serve with simple olive oil and salt, a dash of tamari, or a tab of herb butter.

Chervil Aioli

Serves 4-6 (makes a little over 1 cup):

1 farm-fresh egg yolk from clean, healthy chickens (don’t use factory-farmed eggs for this—or any—recipe)—room temperature

1 very small clove garlic, less than a teaspoon crushed (optional)

1 cup oil

Salt

Squeeze of lemon

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chervil, or substitute a combination of tarragon and parsley

Serves 30-40 (makes 4 cups):

4 farm-fresh egg yolks from clean, healthy chickens (don’t use factory-farmed eggs for this—or any—recipe)—room temperature

2 very small cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon crushed (optional)

4 cups oil

Salt

Squeeze of lemon

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chervil, or substitute a combination of tarragon and parsley

Directions:

Let your egg sit out on the counter until it comes up to room temperature. Separate the egg and reserve the white for another use. If you’re using garlic, crush it with a garlic press or mortar and pestle into a smooth paste and stir it into the egg yolk. Add about a quarter of the oil and whisk until a very well-incorporated mixture forms. Drizzle in the rest of the oil in a thin stream while whisking it all the while. Add salt and lemon to taste. Stir or blend in the chopped chervil. Use right away.

 

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

April 22nd, 2015 by admin

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 Road or as Director of the Green Mountain College Farm & Food Project and the Director of the Masters in Sustainable Food Systems at Green Mountain College. Or, from his carbon offset approach to commuting to work.

We know that Philip spends some of his time answering tweets and questions from his PastureFone (a mobile phone that doubles as a cattle herding device we think), and we all know that some of our best thinking can come when we’re away from devices, and getting dirty, or frustrated, with our daily chores.

So on this Earth Day we’re offering up the full Minifesto of Ackerman-Leist below, and a link to a downloadable and printable file that you should feel free to print and download, and then put up in the nearest outhouse wall, bathroom stall, or other popular, quiet reading places.

Your Revolutionary Minifesto Friends at Chelsea Green Publishing

Minifesto: Tweets for Rebuilding the Foodshed

I. Start from the grassroots—and move all the way down to the highest levels of government.

II. Sustainable farms are run by the sun: the rest of the food system needs daylight, too.

III. When thinking about farms: management first & scale second. You figure out where location fits. (Hint: about 1.5)

IV. Fully understanding the expanse between farm to plate demands the full distance between one’s ears.

V. Local was never intended to be universal.

VI. Small successes are easier to manage than big failures.

VII. Success leads; policy follows.

VIII.Crow tastes like chicken: Be prepared to eat some.

IX. Main ingredient in a recipe for disaster: sticking to the recipe when you don’t have all of the ingredients.

X. Two ingredients not needed in a recipe for success: us and them.

XI. Leave the selfie at the door. Shift to panorama mode.

XII. All white ain’t alright.

XIII. PC quickly becomes passé: Do what’s right, not necessarily what is correct.

XIV. Get off the can (BPA, dude!) and out of the box!

XV. Change comes more from victual sharing than virtual sharing.

XVI. Food is neither left nor right of center, but in our politics we are left with the right to food question.

XVII. Food system as economic driver: A job doth not a fair wage make.

XVIII. The divide is less urban/rural than it is have/have not.

XIX. Trust the windshield view more than the dashboard indicators.

XX. Don’t just move the needle. Bend it a little bit. When all else fails, consider a new dial.

XXI. Nuance provides precision–and it’s too often the victim of well-intentioned advocacy.

XXII. Numbers & values: sometimes the same thing, sometimes in opposition.

XXIII. Behind every label lies a story…some are fairy tales.

XXIV. Fields of expertise: Farmers & fishers need to be at the table, too—not just profs, chefs, wonks, & good intentions.

XXV. Finitude sucks. Prioritization rules.

XXVI. Don’t forget to dig! (We might even require ag in school if it weren’t so complex.)

XXVII. Old dirt, same story: New horizons in soils help cultivate common ground, common sense, & uncommon potential.

XXVIII. Food system waste is nothing more than a lack of ecological imagination.

XXIX. Tomorrow is only 1/3 of the answer.

XXX. Impatience is your most important ally; patience is your best friend.

To follow Philip on Twitter go to @ackermanleistp

Anno MMXV “Twitterus rebuildum”

 

Download the Minfesto, print it and spread the revolution!

 

Minifesto-RebuildingTheFoodshed Day30 by Philip Ackerman-Leist

April Showers Bring Fresh Savings: Spring Cleaning Sale!

April 20th, 2015 by admin

Congratulations, you’ve survived another long winter! Now it is time for Spring Cleaning. Through May 3rd we’re cleaning out our warehouse to make room for our new spring releases.

You have three chances to save—up to 85% off—on select books. But hurry it is only while supplies last!

As always, we offer FREE shipping on orders of $100 or more.

Happy reading from your friends at Chelsea Green Publishing.

P.S. For the month of May we’re putting our pioneering permaculture authors at your disposal for a month-long Q&A session designed to help you become a better permaculturalist. Have a burning question?


Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only). Sale runs through May 3, 2015.


~ ~ Deep Cleaning: $9.99 – $14.99 Books  ~ ~
Gene Everlasting
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $9.99
Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $9.99
The Gourmet Butcher's Guide to Meat (with CD)
Retail: $49.95
Sale: $14.99
Slow Gardening
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $9.99
Food Not Lawns
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $9.99
Home Baked
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $9.99
The Chelsea Green Reader
Retail: $15.00
Sale: $9.99
Atlas of American Artisan Cheese
Retail: $35.00
Sale: $9.99

View all $9.99 Books

~ ~ Deeper Cleaning: $4.99 Books  ~ ~
Up Tunket Road
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $4.99
Slowspoke
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $4.99
Cooking Close to Home
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $4.99
A Sanctuary of Trees
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $4.99

View all $4.99 Books

~ ~ Deepest Cleaning: $1.99 Books  ~ ~
Non-Toxic Housecleaning
Retail: $9.95
Sale: $1.99
Compost, Vermicompost, and Compost Tea
Retail: $12.95
Sale: $1.99
A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $1.99
DIY U
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $1.99

View all $1.99 Books

~ ~ New Releases and Coming Soon!  ~ ~

Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliance The New Livestock Farmer The OAEC Cookbook What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming

View all books on sale


Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only). Sale runs through May 3, 2015.

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

April 16th, 2015 by admin

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening.

“Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its mix of sly humor, dirt gardening (how to use a hoe with the least effort), the art of non-doing (very Tao), how to cook greens and even freeze them (heretofore impossible in my kitchen), and passages from Deppe’s own translations of 2,500-year-old Chinese texts — well, I had to meet this woman,” writes reporter Anne Raver in her profile of Deppe, which appeared in the Post’s Home and Garden section.

The story is a mix of her visit to Deppe’s homestead back in February along with what she learned from that meeting and how she’s applying it to her Maryland homestead, and includes a photo slideshow of some of Deppe’s squash and corn, along with pictures of some of her greens that she grows.

Demand for Deppe’s insight and wisdom was not only evident in Raver’s article, but also in a review by Rachel Foster, garden writer for The Eugene Weekly, who wrote, “If you grow vegetables, or hope to, you need this book.” And, Library Journal recently listed The Tao of Vegetable Gardening as one of the bestselling gardening books nationwide. The top 20 list of books most ordered by librarians around the country also includes another Chelsea Green title, Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation by Tradd Cotter.

Other authors in the news recently:

Speaking of Tradd Cotter and his bestselling mushroom book, he was recently on WSPA-TV Your Carolina to talk about growing mushrooms, their medicinal uses, and his recent workshops at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC. Our favorite question by the host: “What happened to you growing up that made you this way?” 

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds author Katrina Blair was recently on Sierra Club Radio to talk about the 13 weeds found anywhere in the world that are edible, and can also be used for medicine and self-care.

Per Espen Stoknes—author of What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming—had a front-page feature on BoingBoing.net about the five psychological barriers to taking action on climate change.

Author Gianaclis Caldwell (The Small-Scale Dairy, The Small-Scale Cheese Business, and Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking) was on Cooking Up a Story recently to talk about what it takes to run a small-scale, off-the-grid goat farm and cheesemaking business.

And, finally, it’s the one-year anniversary this week of the death of author Michael Ruppert (Confronting Collapse) and writer Frank Kaminski penned this tribute to Ruppert’s life and enduring legacy.

Permaculture Month: Ask the Experts

April 15th, 2015 by admin

This May, in honor of Permaculture Month, we are once again putting our pioneering permaculture authors at your disposal for a month-long Q&A session designed to help you become a better permaculturalist.

Over the years, the term permaculture has become increasingly popular among those who grow food on both large and small scales. However, the philosophy behind permaculture can be applied to all aspects of our daily lives and relationships. In essence, permaculture is a system of designing households and communities that are productive, sustaining, and largely self-reliant, and have minimal impact on the environment. Chelsea Green is proud to publish and distribute some of the most recognized, and award-winning names (both present and future) in permaculture, and we’re making several of them available to our readers to answer any and all permaculture-related questions.

Our Permaculture Experts

The participating authors are: Toby Hemenway, author of a perennial Chelsea Green bestseller Gaia’s Garden and a new book out this summer The Permaculture CityEric Toensmeier, author of the award-winning Perennial Vegetables and the latest Paradise Lot, and a host of new Chelsea Green authors including Josh Trought (The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm), founder of D Acres—an ecologically designed educational center in New Hampshire, Olivia Rathbone (The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook), kitchen manager for one of the most successful and established permaculture sites in the word, Steve Gabriel (Farming the Woods), co-founder of the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute and forest farming extraordinaire, and Tao Orion (Beyond the War on Invasive Species), teacher of permaculture design at Oregon State University and active in ecosystem restoration. Also joining this group will be plant specialists Stephen Barstow (Around the World in 80 Plants) and Anni Kelsey (Edible Perennial Gardening) whose books we are distributing in our catalog.

Toby Hemenway Eric Toensmeier Josh Trought Olivia Rathbone
Steve Gabriel Tao Orion Stephen Barstow Anni Kelsey

Do you want to learn more about a specific design you have in mind or how to incorporate permaculture into your community? Or are you just getting started and want to know how to best evaluate your backyard or homestead? Whether you’re tackling edible garden spaces or acres of farm fields, our expert authors are prepared to answer your questions on permaculture design, edible landscaping, plant guilds, perennial plantings, as well as the economics and social impact of permaculture.

To submit your permaculture question, use the form below. Feel free to put your query to the attention of a specific author (if you have a question about something you’ve read or tried in their book), or ask a general question and we’ll direct it to the right author to respond. Keep checking back throughout the month as we’ll not only be posting answers, but excerpts and other information to celebrate permaculture month.

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Wild Edibles: 5 Tips for Beginner Foragers

April 13th, 2015 by admin

Ever spotted a dandelion growing in your backyard and wondered, can I eat that? According to wild plants expert Katrina Blair, the answer is a resounding yes. And there are plenty of other commonly found weeds that fall into this category as well.

In her book The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, Blair introduces readers to thirteen weeds that can be found growing all over the world—especially in densely populated areas like cities and suburbs. These nutritious “survival plants”, as she calls them, can be eaten from root to seed and used for a variety of medicinal purposes to achieve optimal health.

If you are new to foraging, below are a few beginner tips from Katrina Blair to get you started on your hunt for wild edibles. And, next time you are taking a walk around the neighborhood keep your eyes peeled for these thirteen plants: dandelion, mallow, purslane, plantain, thistle, amaranth, dock, mustard, grass, chickweed, clover, lambsquarter, and knotweed.

For more information on edible weeds and how Blair uses them for food and medicine listen to her interviews on Sierra Club Radio and Heritage Radio Network’s “Sharp and Hot”. Or if you’re ready to eat now, check out her suggestions for how to use lambsquarter.

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5 Tips for Beginner Foragers

  1. Ask for help. Seek the guidance of a local plant expert who can help you identify the subtle differences between various plant species.
  2. Stay close to home. The wild plants that grow closest to where you live are the ones best adapted to support your ability to thrive in your current environment. Wild plants are extremely resilient and they help us embody those same qualities of excellence.
  3. Be mindful of where you harvest wild weeds. Use your observation skills to determine if an area may have been sprayed with herbicides or heavily fertilized with chemicals. If a plant is discolored or curls downward in an unnatural way it may best to harvest elsewhere.
  4. Start off simple. Look for the common simple plants first that are easy to recognize like dandelions. Dice them up finely and add to your dinner salad along with something sweet like apple slices.
  5. A little goes a long way. Wild plants are very potent so it is best to start by ingesting small amounts. Begin by nibbling a taste of a common wild edible plant and slowly introduce it to your body and taste buds.

 


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