Archive for November, 2011

Holiday Sale – Save 35% on our entire selection

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

The holiday season has arrived, and Chelsea Green is the perfect place to stock up on inspiring and educational gifts for your friends and family (and don’t forget about yourself).

You’ll find the right gift for everyone on your list – from political activists and gardeners to entrepreneurs, philosophers foodies and cooks – we’ve got you covered.

Use the coupon code CGFL11 at checkout to save 35% off your entire order from now until the end of the year. Take a look at the some of the new titles and most popular titles below to get started, or browse our online bookstore. Happy reading from the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing. P.S. Don’t forget there is free shipping on orders over $100.

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

Reinventing Fire Book Cover

A global clean energy race has emerged with astounding speed. The ability to operate without fossil fuels will define winners and losers in business-and among nations.

Whether you care most about profits and jobs, national security, health, or environmental stewardship, Reinventing Fire charts a pragmatic course that makes sense and makes money. With clarity and mastery, Amory Lovins and RMI reveal the astounding opportunities for enterprise to create the new energy era.

Check out author article – Six Critical Levers to Transform our Energy Future.

Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm

Wild Flavors follows a year at Eva’s Garden through the seasons. It showcases Emmons’s creative talents, featuring herbs (African basil, calaminth, lovage) and wild foods (autumn olives, wild roses, Japanese knotweed). The author provides growing or foraging information for each of the forty-six uncommon garden plants profiled, as well as details on prepping, storing, preserving, and health benefits. The wide-ranging recipes reflect the shifting seasonal harvest and are easy to follow, but best of all, Emmons shows us how these herbs, greens, and wild foods improve and transform the flavors in our food. 

Check out Living on Earth who recently visited Eva’s Garden with Didi Emmons.

The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowel for Home and Market Growers

The most comprehensive and definitive guide to date on raising all-natural poultry, for homesteaders or farmers seeking to close their loop, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock offers a practical and integrative model for working with chickens and other domestic fowl, based entirely on natural systems.

Check out an Excerpt from Excerpt from Chapter 2 – The Integrated Small-Scale Flock.

When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival

In this disaster-preparedness manual, Mat Stein outlines the materials you’ll need-from food and water, to shelter and energy, to first-aid and survival skills-to help you safely live through the worst. When Disaster Strikes covers how to find and store food, water, and clothing, as well as the basics of installing back-up power and lights. You’ll learn how to gather and sterilize water, build a fire, treat injuries in an emergency, and use alternative medical sources when conventional ones are unavailable.

Listen to Mat Stein on the Power Hour.

The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times

Transition is the most vital social experiment of our times. The Transition movement has already motivated thousands to begin to adapt their lives to the twin challenge of peak oil and climate change. Drawing on this collective experience, The Transition Companion offers communities a combination of practical guidance and real vision for the future. 

 - Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity without Growth

Check out author videos here.

Killing the Cranes: A Reporter’s Journey Through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan

This September marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001. That’s probably when you first started thinking about Afghanistan, but the longer history of the troubled nation reveals much more than the influence of Al Qaeda. Killing the Cranes is a crash course in Afghan history and a scathing indictment of the Afghan War. For thirty years, Edward Girardet risked his life reporting from the world’s most notoriously troubled country. Now, in Killing the Cranes, he delivers a firsthand account of his years on the ground amid war, chaos, and strife that have come to define Afghanistan Watch Edward Giradet on PBS NewsHour.

The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm: A Cultivator’s Guide to Small-Scale Organic Herb Production

Peg Schafer, longtime grower and teacher, guides readers with information on propagating, cultivating, and harvesting Chinese herbs, and presents fascinating new scientific data that reveal the age-old wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine. Through 79 detailed herb profiles—all tested and trialed on Schafer’s certified organic farm—Schafer offers easy-to-follow information, suitable for both growers and practitioners, for growing efficacious wild-simulated herbs. This invaluable guide will speak to vegetable and CSA famers and beginner growers alike and will make eating-your-medicine more accessible than ever.  Check out what folks are saying about the book. 

Featured Video

Watch Harvey Ussery speak about Integrated System on this featured author video.

Featured Article: Legalize Local Investment!

Author Michael Shuman thinks Wall Street isn’t just greedy — he thinks it’s a bad investment too. He’s an advocate for keeping your investment dollars close to home, in small local businesses.

Nothing controversial there, but did you know that certain types of investment structures for small businesses are illegal? Click here to continue reading.

Featured Receipe: Maple-vanilla Panna Cruda

The first peoples to harvest maple sap were the indigenous peoples of the northern woodlands, where the sugar maple, Acer saccharum, is both native and prodigious. For many cultures…tapping maple trees was an annual ritual. The sap is watery and clear; Native peoples drank it as a spring tonic beverage and used it to make vinegar. European colonists often called it maple water. An Iroquois legend explains how the secret of maple sugaring was discovered. A chief named Woksis threw his tomahawk into a tree before leaving on a hunt. As the weather warmed, the sap began to flow from the gash into a container that happened to be sitting by the tree.

The woman of the house found the container full of liquid, assumed her thoughtful husband had already been to the stream to fetch it full of water, and used it to boil the evening’s meat. As the meat stewed, the sap cooked down into syrup, and thus the secret of maple sugaring was revealed.

Check out the full recipe here.

Facebook Post: Criminal Moms Campaign for Raw Milk

What do you think about the fight over raw milk and farm-fresh foods? Should you the consumer have the right to choose whatever you want, or should the government protect you?

Take a look at the Facebook Post here.

Or if for those of you who aren’t on Facebook you can read an article about it on our website.

COMING SOON: Wild Flavors Book Giveaway

Who doesn’t like to win stuff? Well, keep checking back in December and you can win one of two copies of Wild Flavors. Sign up here.

In case you missed it!

Coming up in December is the annual Acres, USA Conference and Harvey Ussery, author of groundbreaking new book, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock, will be speaking.

Join us December 6-10th in Columbus, Ohio. Hope to see you there.

Lynn Margulis, 1938-2011

Chelsea Green is extremely saddened to announce the death of renowned evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis who died at her home on November 22 at the age of 73…Lynn was a great and generous friend and advocate for many other scientists and students, fierce truth seeker, and passionate teacher and life force. Her loss is going to be felt around the world and in the scientific community for many years to come. Click here to continue reading

Sneak Peak: The Holistic Orchard

We are thrilled to announce Michael Phillips newest book, which will be available to ship at the end of December. Many people want to grow fruit on a small scale but lack the insight to be successful orchardists. Growing tree fruits and berries is something virtually anyone with space and passionate desire can do—given wise guidance and a personal commitmentto observe the teachings of the trees. Take a closer look and pre-order a copy here.

100 Best Permaculture & Homesteading Books: The Ultimate Reading List for Sustainable Living

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Reposted from Permaculture Media!

This fabulous blogger has compiled an exhaustive list of books on various permaculture and homesteading topics. And of course, you’ll find tons of Chelsea Green titles amongst them. Even better, she’s included links to ebook previews for many — and a few have full-length ebooks available online.

Take a look at her top ten below, then pop on over to her website to read the rest of the list. In fact, bookmark it so you’ll always have it as a reference!

If you’ve ever considered getting into Permaculture, or if you’re a veteran Permaculturist who’s looking for a new skill to master, the following resources are the absolute best places for you to get started. Each of these books has the potential to introduce you to a whole new skill that you can enjoy for literally the rest of your life!

You will find here links to over 60 Free eBook previews and full eBooks!

Feel free to post down at the bottom if there are other books you would include on this list.

Enjoy and Share with Your friends!


Permaculture – Introductions to the Subject

1.’s Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway – The first edition of Gaia’s Garden sparked the imagination of America’s home gardeners, introducing permaculture’s central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens.

This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. Whatever size yard or garden you have to work with, you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive, and more beautiful. Best of all, once it’s established, an ecological garden will reduce or eliminate most of the backbreaking work that’s needed to maintain the typical lawn and garden.


Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison – Abundantly illustrated with detailed diagrams and line drawings throughout. Includes a listing of useful Permaculture plants with descriptions and uses, and a further species list in useful categories. The book is set out as a step-by-step introduction to Permaculture with detailed instructions. Using simple language it describes the range of Permaculture for general consumption.

3. Basics Of Permaculture Design by Ross Mars – Packed with useful tips, clear illustrations, and a wealth of experience, it guides you through designs for gardens, urban and rural properties, water harvesting systems, animal systems, permaculture in small spaces like balconies and patios, farms, schools, and ecovillages. This is both a do-it-yourself guide for the enthusiast and a useful reference for permaculture designers.



4. in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield - is a concise and accessible introduction to the principles and practice of permaculture in temperate climates. It covers how permaculture works in the city, the country and on the farm and explores ways in which people can work together to recreate real communities. This inspiring book clearly describes how we can live fruitfully and sustainably and is essential reading for anyone wishing to reduce their environmental impact.

5. Started In Permaculture: 50 Practical Projects to Build and Design Productive Gardens by Ross Mars, Jenny Mars – delivers step-by-step knowledge for a variety of useful projects including: making herb fertilizers, compost, organic sprays for pest control, and much, much more. It also includes how to recycle your soft drink bottles, waste paper, and tires in a number of useful projects such as ponds, fruit fly traps, retailing walls, and solar stills. Permaculture experts Ross and Jenny Mars outline the steps to transform your garden into a productive living system.



The Permaculture Way: Practical Steps to Create a Self-Sustaining World by Graham Bell – shows us how to consciously design a lifestyle which is low in environmental impact and highly productive. It demonstrates how to meet our needs, make the most of resources by minimizing waste and maximizing potential, and still leave the Earth richer than we found it. Graham Bell is the former editor of Permaculture News.

Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow – Fundamentally, permaculture is design science and in this new edition design is emphasised. This book will be most beneficial if you apply it to the space where you live and work. The same principles apply for becoming more sustainable and living lightly whether you live in a small city apartment with a balcony, in a house with a garden in the suburbs, or on acreage in the country.

 Permaculture – More in depth


Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual by Bill Mollison – This is the definitive Permaculture design manual in print since 1988. It is the textbook and curriculum for the 72-hour Certificate course in Permaculture Design. Written for teachers, students and designers, it follows on and greatly enlarges on the initial introductory texts, permaculture One (1978) and Permaculture Two (1979) both of which are still in demand over twenty years after publication. It covers design methodologies and strategies for both urban and rural applications, describing property design and natural farming techniques.




Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren – For students and teachers of Permaculture this book provides something more fundamental and distilled than Mollison’s encyclopedic Designers Manual. For the general reader it provides refreshing perspectives on a range of environmental issues and shows how permaculture is much more than just a system of gardening. For anyone seriously interested in understanding the foundations of sustainable design and culture, this book is essential reading. Although a book of ideas, the big picture is repeatedly grounded by reference to Holmgren’s own place, Melliodora, and other practical examples.

10. Earth Care Manual: A Permaculture Handbook For Britain & Other Temperate Climates by Patrick Whitefield – The long-awaited exploration of permaculture specifically for cooler Northern Hemisphere climates is finally here! Already regarded as the definitive book on the subject, The Earth Care Manual is accessible to the curious novice as much as it is essential for the knowledgeable practitioner. Patrick Whitefield is a permaculture teacher, writer, designer, and consulting editor for Permaculture Magazine. He is the author of the mini-classic Permaculture in a Nutshell, which has been translated into four languages.

  • eBook preview:  The Earth Care Manual

Want even more excellent recommendations? Peruse the entire top 100!

Now Available: The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm!

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

This is one of the most exciting books we’ve published in recent years, in my humble gardener’s opinion. If you’re a small farmer or avid homesteader, or even just curious about “eating your medicine” you need to check this one out!

Chinese medicinal herbs have been used for millenia to cure illness — and more importantly, to preserve and protect health before it turns into illness. Using these plants is becoming ever more popular, as Americans wonder just what the heck to do about health care, and yet almost nobody is producing effective medicinals here, organically.

Peg Schafer’s book changes all that. It offers growers information on seventy-nine different plants, both how to grow them and how to use them.

Here’s a recent radio appearance:

From the book description:

A leading light in the field of medicinal herb cultivation, The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm is the first cultivation guide of its kind, and presents invaluable information for growers interested in producing high-quality efficacious herbs in all climates of the US, with the historical connectedness of ancient practitioners.

It has become increasingly important—especially as the market for herbal medicine continues to grow—that we transition to local and domestic medicinal cultivation. Increasingly there are concerns in regards to not only the quality but the purity of imported herbs, and wild herbs picked for medicinal purposes are ever more endangered than in past years both at home and abroad.

Peg Schafer, longtime grower and teacher, guides readers with information on propagating, cultivating, and harvesting Chinese herbs, and presents fascinating new scientific data that reveal the age-old wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine. Through 79 detailed herb profiles—all tested and trialed on Schafer’s certified organic farm—Schafer offers easy-to-follow information, suitable for both growers and practitioners, for growing efficacious wild-simulated herbs. Also included is important information on species conservation, crop integration, and how to avoid the introduction of invasive species. Sidebars on traditional medicinal uses for each herb and delicious recipes are also featured throughout.

Vegetable and CSA farmers will find this book of great interest for adding value-added crops to their repertoire, and beginner growers looking to incorporate medicinals into their gardens will find this an invaluable guide to understanding where herbal medicine comes from, and will make eating-your-medicine more accessible than ever.

Lynn Margulis, 1938-2011

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Chelsea Green is extremely saddened to announce the death of renowned evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis who died at her home on November 22 at the age of 73. Lynn and her son, Dorion Sagan, created Chelsea Green’s Sciencewriters Books imprint, which Chelsea Green launched in the fall of 2006 to develop outstanding works of science for the general public.

Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan were the founders of Sciencewriters, an educational partnership devoted to advancing science through enchantment in the form of the finest possible books, videos, and other media. Blending exciting writing with depth of knowledge and dedication to scientific integrity, Sciencewriters Books published new and established authors on cutting-edge topics that are key to our survival. Chelsea Green has published 8 books in the Sciencewriters Books imprint, including 3 books authored or co-authored by Margulis: Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love; Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature (with Dorion Sagan); and Mind, Life, and Universe: Conversations with Great Scientists of our Time (with Eduardo Punset). The most recent Sciencewriters Book, The Mystery of Metamorphosis by Frank Ryan, was released in April, 2011 (for which Margulis wrote the foreword).

Lynn Margulis was best known for her theory of species evolution by symbiogenesis, put forth in Acquiring Genomes (co-authored with Dorion Sagan, 2002), which describes how speciation does not occur by random mutation alone but rather by symbiotic détente. Behavioral, chemical, and other interactions often lead to integration among organisms, members of different taxa. In well-documented cases some mergers create new species. Intimacy, physical contact of strangers, becomes part of the engine of life’s evolution that accelerates the process of change. Margulis worked in the laboratory and field with many other scientists and students to show how specific ancient partnerships, in a given order over a billion years, generated the cells of the species we see with our unaided eyes.The fossil record, in fact, does not show Darwin’s predicted gradual changes between closely related species but rather the “punctuated equilibrium” pattern described by Eldredge and Gould: a jump from one to a different species. She also co-developed the Gaia hypothesis with her friend James Lovelock, which describes how the earth acts like a self-regulating organism, not a dead piece of rock.

At the time of her death, Lynn Margulis was Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She received the 1999 National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton and had been a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences since 1983 and of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences since 1997. In 2008 she received the very prestigious Darwin-Wallace Medal, given every 50 years by the Linnean Society of London. Author, editor, or coauthor of chapters in more than forty books, she has published or been profiled in many journals, magazines, and books, among them Natural History, Science, Nature, New England Watershed, Scientific American, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science Firsts, and The Scientific 100. She has made numerous contributions to the primary scientific literature of microbial evolution and cell biology.

Lynn was a great and generous friend and advocate for many other scientists and students, fierce truth seeker, and passionate teacher and life force. Her loss is going to be felt around the world and in the scientific community for many years to come.

In lieu of flowers, friends may contribute to the Lynn Margulis Memorial Fund to support students to continue her scientific research. Checks may be sent directly to “Lynn Margulis Memorial Fund” at Northampton Cooperative Bank, PO Box 550, Amherst, MA 01004. A public celebration of her life is being scheduled for early in 2012.

Here are a few other articles about Lynn’s Passing:

New York Times obituary “In Memorium”

John Horgan blog at Scientific American

Also an interview  with Lynn earlier this year: Discover Magazine interview

Join us at the 2011 Acres, USA Conference!

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Coming up at the beginning of December is the annual Acres, USA conference, and Harvey Ussery, author of the groundbreaking new book The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers, will be speaking! Join us December 6-10 in Columbus, Ohio.

From the Acres website:

The annual Acres U.S.A. conference sets the standards for innovation and learning. It is where you find farmers and consultants from every side of eco-farming who come together to share their experience and expertise. Attend the non-stop event, learn the latest in cutting-edge technology and methods, and return home ready to make your farming operation the best it can be.

Here are some of the events you can look forward to . . .

Pre-Conference Study
Optional, intensive courses by eco-farming’s top consultants, practitioners and thinkers . . . details to be announced soon.

Seminars & Workshops
Hear presentations by some of the world’s leading authorities and practitioners of ecological agriculture. Successful large-scale farmers, leading consultants, and cutting-edge scientists . . .

Eco-Consultants’ Hall
Special rooms are dedicated to eco-consultants and staffed throughout the day by some of the leading advisors in eco-agriculture. Be prepared by bringing your soil audits, yield data, herd health records, etc.

Trade Show
The exhibitors at the Acres U.S.A. Conference are some of the top innovators in agriculture.

Find out more and register here.

Legalize Local Investment!

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Author Michael Shuman thinks Wall Street isn’t just greedy — he things it’s a bad investment too.

He’s an advocate for keeping your investment dollars close to home, in small local businesses.

Nothing controversial there, but did you know that certain types of investment structures for small businesses are illegal?

To find out more, read Shuman’s latest blog post over at the Here’s an excerpt:

For decades, we’ve lived under an oppressive system of investment apartheid. The 1% who are millionaires (known under federal securities law as “accredited investors”) are free to invest in anything they choose. With the referees in their back pockets and all kinds of home-court advantages, it’s easy for them to win the wealth-accumulating game. The other 99% of us are stuck with the slim pickings of the Fortune 500 public companies listed on Wall Street—the companies least connected to the well being of our communities.

Before small businesses can accept investment from the 99%, they have to spend many tens of thousands of dollars on legal, accounting, and government filing fees. While most of us would like to invest in small businesses in our community, practically speaking, securities laws make it impossible.

This is a far more extreme big-business bias than exists in banking, where we can easily move our money to local banks and credit unions. Worse, we have four times more money in Wall Street investments – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance funds – than we do in banks . We are the ones fueling the multinational companies we distrust.

If we could overhaul securities laws that we enacted during the early Jurassic Period, local businesses could be fabulous investments. They are the most important job producers in the economy. They account for more than half of private sector jobs. They are increasingly competitive—so much so that their their share of the national workforce actually growing. Stunningly, sole proprietorships are three times as profitable as C-corporations.

For the first time in decades, reform is finally possible. A remarkable coalition has emerged bringing together leaders of the Tea Party and the Obama Administration. They agree that investment apartheid should be abolished. Republican Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina is leading the charge in the House to legalize small businesses raising money through large numbers of small investments (aka “crowdfunding”), with minimal paperwork, for companies raising less than $1 million. Recent changes in his bill (HR 2930, The Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act) actually make it very similar to reforms President Obama proposed in his jobs package in September.


Michael includes links in his post to a petition and list of representatives for you to contact personally.

And stay tuned here to find out more about his forthcoming book, Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity!

A Thanksgiving Feast: Recipes for an Unusual and Sustainable Dinner!

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

If there’s one thing we’re thankful for, it’s you, our dedicated readers. You’re curious about the world, and how to make it a better place. You’re dedicated to the planet you call home, and to finding new and fun ways to keep it (and yourself) healthy and happy.

One of the best ways to do this is through food, and as we approach the holiday season, we want to share a feast of recipes and tips with you! From how to cook a heritage-breed turkey or use wildcrafted herbs, hints on how to care for your own backyard flock, or ideas for preserving last season’s harvest, our books are full of ways to say thank you to the earth for all she provides.

Take a look at the recipes below and have yourself one of the most sustainable (and unusual) Thanksgiving dinner’s of all time.

And to help you spread the gratitude, all of these featured books are 25% off! Got any organic farmers or gardeners on your gift list?

Thanks for being part of our community!

Happy reading (and eating) from the folks at Chelsea Green.
P.S. We’d like to give an extra special thank you to everyone who ‘liked’ our

Facebook page last week! It’s a great way to stay connected to the world of green and progressive news, so if you haven’t yet, click on over and let us know how much you ‘like’ us!

A Bitter Alchemy

Start off your sustainable turkey day dinner with a delightful and unique cocktail: Sazerac!

For many years, Deirdre Heekin has been creating an unusual, revitalist wine archive of rare and traditional Italian varietals at Osteria Pane e Salute, the nationally celebrated restaurant and wine bar she shares with her chef husband, Caleb Barber. Self-taught in the world of Italian wines, she is known for her fine-tuned work with scent and taste and her ability to pair wines and food in unexpected yet terroir-driven ways. This drink is no exception.

Recipe: Sazerac Cocktail


“The key to a true Sazerac is in the provenance of the ingredients: the rye, the anise, and the bitters. While many substitutes are available, an authentic drink is made with Old Overholt rye whiskey distilled in Clermont, Kentucky; Herbsaint anise liqueur; and Peychaud’s bitters, the last two ingredients hailing from New Orleans. This recipe is adapted from the dry and spicy version prepared for us at Arnaud’s in the Crescent City.”

Get the full recipe, and find out about Deirdre’s special connection to New Orleans, where the drink was born!

Cooking Close to Home
A Year of Seasonal Recipes

Cooking Close to Home is a collection of over 150 original recipes designed to follow the seasons. Whether you are a home gardener, a farmers’ market regular, or a member of a community-supported agriculture program, this cookbook will serve as a seasonal guide to using the foods available in your region. Within each chapter you will find information about sustainable food, small family farms, and how to reduce your carbon footprint by buying local foods.  


The book contains ample recipes for cooking fresh vegetables in their proper season. Here’s a tasty appetizer to start your Thanksgiving meal off right:   


 Simmered Mushroom Trio with Garlic Crostini


Mushrooms are actually not a vegetable, but are fungi. Mushrooms have a lot to offer nutritionally — they are low in calories, and rich in selenium and ergothionine (both antioxidants). Once exposed to sunlight, mushrooms are also an unexpected source of vitamin D. Store mushrooms in the refrigerator in a paper bag, and rinse only when ready to use. Local producers are now growing mushrooms throughout the year, so indulge in whatever varieties are available.”


Get the full recipe for this delectable and healthy Thanksgiving appetizer!  

The Resilient Gardener
Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times  

Scientist/gardener Carol Deppe combines her passion for gardening with newly emerging scientific information from many fields – resilience science, climatology, climate change, ecology, anthropology, paleontology, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, health, and medicine. In the last half of The Resilient Gardener, Deppe extends and illustrates these principles with detailed information about growing and using five key crops: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.

Be sure to balance the richness of your Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, and dessert with a fresh salad. If you follow Carol Deppe’s advice, you won’t even need dressing! 
Recipe: Why the Best Salads Don’t Need Dressing

“The modern paradigm for a salad is a bowl of relatively bland vegetables to which we add the flavor via salad dressing…However, if we include substantial amounts of highly flavorful greens in a salad and dress it with a standard salad dressing, we end up with overwhelming flavor. Many people respond by sticking to salads based mostly upon lettuce. I opt for biodiversity in the salad bowl, the diet, and the garden. What I eliminate is the salad dressing. I challenge the entire concept of salad dressing. Here’s my approach…”

Take that, salad dressing! Read on to find out how tasty a “naked” salad can be!

The Small-Scale Poultry Flock
An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers

Follow Harvey Ussery’s advice, and next Thanksgiving you could be feasting on your very own holistically-raised turkey (or chicken, or duck)!
No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems approach, nor discusses producing homegrown feed and breeding in such detail. The Small-Scale Poultry Flock is a truly invaluable and groundbreaking guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.

Broth is Beautiful – Ellen Ussery’s Recipe for Chicken Broth

cricket logo
VIDEO: Harvey Ussery on Natural Feeds

“Chicken broth is not only a delicious base upon which to build a flavorful soup or sauce — it is an extremely nourishing food in its own right. Properly prepared, it is an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is rich in gelatin, an extraordinary digestive aid that, although not a complete protein, helps the body more fully utilize protein from other foods — in effect, you do not need to eat as much protein. And modern research has confrmed traditional wisdom: Chicken broth does indeed help prevent and moderate colds and flu.”

Read on to find out all the health benefits of making your own delicious broth at home!

Renewing America’s Food Traditions
Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods

Renewing America’s Food Traditions is a beautifully illustrated, dramatic call to recognize, celebrate, and conserve the great diversity of foods that gives North America a distinctive culinary identity that reflects our multicultural heritage. It offers us rich natural and cultural histories as well as recipes and folk traditions associated with the rarest food plants and animals in North America.
Is anyone raising heritage breeds of livestock or localized heirloom veggies in your neck of the woods? If so, support them by including their products in your holiday meals, and help sustain their efforts to preserve these important parts of our nation’s biological legacy. Here’s a recipe for a heritage turkey to get you started: 


Roast Narragansett Turkey with Jerusalem Artichokes

“Named for Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, where it was first developed by early colonists, this rare standard breed of heritage turkey emerged from crosses between the wild turkeys of eastern America and already domesticated turkey breeds such as the Norfolk Black…The Narragansett breed is legendary for its stunning beauty, with black metallic plumage on its breast and back, banded black and gray tail feathers tipped with white, and toes and shanks that turn a deep salmon.” 

Read more, and get the recipe for this heritage breed of turkey, with a traditional native starch!

Wild Flavors
One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm

Get now for 25% off

Curiosity sparked chef Didi Emmons’s initial venture down the Massachusetts coast to meet the celebrated farmer Eva Sommaripa, where she experienced a flavorful epiphany. She discovered a whole repertoire of wild flavors that transformed her connection to the food she creates — and, in the process, made a lifelong friend. 


Wild Flavors is the fruit of that friendship. Alongside the unique seasonal offerings, Didi provides profiles and tips on forty-six uncommon plants, and shares Eva’s wisdom about staying connected and maintaining a sane and healthy lifestyle in an increasingly hectic world.

Featured Excerpt and Recipes – Cod Potato Leek Gratin and Smashed Leeky Potatoes 

“Leeks are long, slim, and glamorous-the ultimate in the “layered” look (a term popularized by the movie Annie Hall). Cut straight through a leek and you can see the layers of white and green rings, like concentric growth rings of a baby sapling. Leeks are a pet vegetable of Eva’s. She quips, “I don’t mean to disrespect the onion, but leeks are far better. They are sweeter, milder, prettier.”

Read more about this sweet, delicious vegetable and get your pick of two recipes for your Turkey Day feast. 

In Late Winter We Ate Pears
A Year of Hunger and Love 

Get now for 25% off

More than a cookbook, In Late Winter We Ate Pears is a love affair with a culture and a way of life. In vignettes taken from their year in Italy, husband and wife Caleb Barber and Deirdre Heekin offer glimpses of a young, vibrant Italy: of rolling out pizza dough in an ancient hilltown at midnight while wild dogs bay in the abandoned streets; of the fogged car windows of an ancient lovers’ lane amid the olive groves outside Prato.


For a simple vegetable side dish to serve with your heritage turkey, try this recipe for sauteed radicchio, and daydream yourself right into the Italian countryside!

Sauteed Radicchio


“A versatile dish, suitable as an antipasti or as a contorno alongside roasted chicken or sausages. Serves 4.“ 


Get the full recipe, one of the simplest ever!

Full Moon Feast   
Food and the Hunger for Connection  

Full Moon Feast invites us to a table brimming with locally grown foods, radical wisdom, and communal nourishment.  Accomplished chef and passionate food activist Jessica Prentice champions locally grown, humanely raised, nutrient-rich foods and traditional cooking methods. The book follows the thirteen lunar cycles of an agrarian year, from the midwinter Hunger Moon and the springtime sweetness of the Sap Moon to the bounty of the Moon When Salmon Return to Earth in autumn. Each chapter includes recipes that display the richly satisfying flavors of foods tied to the ancient rhythm of the seasons.Have you planned your Thanksgiving dessert yet? Why not give this creamy delight a try:


Featured Dessert: Maple-Vanilla Panna Cruda    


“An Iroquois legend explains how the secret of maple sugaring was discovered. A chief named Woksis threw his tomahawk into a tree before leaving on a hunt. As the weather warmed, the sap began to flow from the gash into a container that happened to be sitting by the tree. The woman of the house found the container full of liquid, assumed her thoughtful husband had already been to the stream to fetch it full of water, and used it to boil the evening’s meat. As the meat stewed, the sap cooked down into syrup, and thus the secret of maple sugaring was revealed.”

Get the full recipe, and more traditional food wisdom!

Thanks again, and don’t forget: all these
featured books are on sale right now for 25% off! 

Maple-Vanilla Panna Cruda – A Recipe from Full Moon Feast

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

This is an excerpt from Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection, by Jessica Prentice.

The first peoples to harvest maple sap were the indigenous peoples of the northern woodlands, where the sugar maple, Acer saccharum, is both native and prodigious. For many cultures—the Anishnabeg (or Ojibway or Chippewa), Abenaki, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquody, Penobscot, Potawatomi, and Iroquois, to name a few—tapping maple trees was an annual ritual. The sap is watery and clear; Native peoples drank it as a spring tonic beverage and used it to make vinegar. European colonists often called it maple water. An Iroquois legend explains how the secret of maple sugaring was discovered. A chief named Woksis threw his tomahawk into a tree before leaving on a hunt. As the weather warmed, the sap began to flow from the gash into a container that happened to be sitting by the tree. The woman of the house found the container full of liquid, assumed her thoughtful husband had already been to the stream to fetch it full of water, and used it to boil the evening’s meat. As the meat stewed, the sap cooked down into syrup, and thus the secret of maple sugaring was revealed.

Maple-vanilla Panna Cruda
Serves 3–4

  • 1 cup raw cream or crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon Bernard Jensen’s gelatin see page 315) or 2 teaspoons Knox gelatin
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, or to taste (this mount may be too sweet for some palates—start with 2 tablespoons and then taste)

1. Put the cream or crème fraîche into a bowl with the vanilla extract.
2. In a very small pan, heat the water until almost boiling. Add the gelatin and tiny pinch of salt.
3. Simmer the water for a minute or so until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
4. Stir the gelatin-water mixture into the cream.
5. Add the maple syrup to the cream mixture, and taste it. You want it sweet but not too sweet.
6. Pour into three or four wineglasses, ice cream dishes, or little parfait cups. Place in the freezer for about half an hour or until just gelled. Transfer to the fridge if you’re not ready to eat. Alternatively, just put the dishes straight into the fridge and allow a couple of hours for the mixture to gel.
7. Serve as is, or with fresh seasonal berries or other fruit.

A Conversation with Slow Food’s Josh Viertel

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

From The Faster Times:

When Josh Viertel took the helm at Slow Food USA in 2008, the organization had a reputation—at least in this country—as a club for foodies. Under Viertel’s leadership, though, the organization has dispelled this image with an increasing focus on food justice issues such as improving the abysmal quality of cafeteria food and fighting “ag-gag” bills that would’ve made it illegal to take photos or videos of farms. Last month, Slow Food organized its members to “take back the happy meal” by showing that it’s possible to cook a nutritious meal for less than $5 a person. Over 30,000 people came together at over 5,500 events to participate in Slow Food’s $5 challenge.

When I spoke to Viertel a few weeks ago, he had just returned from a board meeting in Portland, Oregon, and was full of praise for both Andy Ricker’s Thai restaurant Pok-Pok and Portland’s energetic food justice scene. As I talked to him, I came to the happy realization that Slow Food is a flourishing network of people from all backgrounds and socioeconomic levels—from advocates of Native American fishing methods to radical kimchee makers in Indianapolis. All these members are coming together to overthrow the industrial food system and buy and make food that is good, clean, and fair.

Mark Bittman had an op-ed in the Times a few weeks ago in which he argued that, despite subsidies, junk food can actually be more expensive than cooking meals from scratch. You have said in the past that we live in a country where it’s cheaper to feed  our children Froot Loops than it is to feed them fruit. So, which is it?

We live in a country where it’s easier—to feed our kids Froot Loops than it is to feed them fruit. Sometimes that’s price but a lot of times that’s access and a lot of times it’s knowledge, too. Price, access, and knowledge come together as this set of three factors, which can make it really hard to do the right thing when it comes to food.

Take potato chips. To buy a pound of potatoes in the form of potato chips, you are probably spending $11 or $12 a pound for potatoes. And potatoes, even the fanciest organic fingerlings, are never more than $2.75 or $3 pound, which is obscenely expensive. (Generally potatoes are $1 per pound.) So we’re talking ten or twelve times more for the junk food version.

Now the issue with that, though, is that it’s not just a matter of personal choice. It’s not that low-income people are making bad choices—it’s that they live in a food environment where making good choices is really really difficult. And so we need to change the structures that make that the case.

Bittman did acknowledge food deserts, but he implied that most people are lazy and opt to watch T.V. rather than cook. I think there’s some truth to these skewed values, but I also know there are many poor people who want to eat better but don’t because they’re pressed for time and are surrounded by fast food.

If we pretend that food is a democracy, you have to acknowledge that for a lot of people in a lot of neighborhoods, there are no polling stations and there’s only one candidate, and it’s the incumbent. And just saying “Well, if you just voted differently, we’d have a different food system,” verges on pathologizing poor people for bearing the traits of poverty. We can’t do that. We do have to talk about, “Hey, everyone needs to learn how to cook.” This should be something we value and the time should be valued, as well. Everyone should be engaged in building a world where it’s not easier to feed our kids Froot Loops than it is to feed them fruit. Whether that’s a matter of price, access, or knowledge.

Before you became the president of Slow Food USA, you were the co-director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. Tell me a little about that project.

I was hired by Yale to get local, sustainable food into the dining halls and to build a farm on campus. And also to build curriculum and extra-curricular programs for undergraduates. It was a great adventure.

The idea was, “Let’s intervene with this incredibly intelligent—and for the most part very privileged—group of young people right before they catapult into the world.” Since ’72, every single presidential election at that time had a Yale graduate as one of the top two candidates. If you can intervene in that population you can create incredible change in the world.

At the same time, I was feeling a need to tap into the energy that was growing all over the country—particularly post-Omnivore’s Dilemma. I was seeing a lot of people—not just college students—either really angry or really inspired about food. They needed a place to put that energy. After Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, you saw the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations take readers of the book—people who would be engaged in pushing for social change. So I thought, “Slow Food should be the vessel for all that energy.” I got asked to join the board and eventually got asked to take it over.

So was that your charge as president—to engage in movement building?

Exactly. Which takes organizational change. But we turned ourselves into an organization that’s built to do that work.

Every mom who drops her kid off at school for the first day and realizes, “My child may be eating something that’s going to make her sick”—that mom needs a path to do something about that concern. Everyone who reads Michael Pollan and complains about corn subsidies with a friend over a cup of Fair Trade coffee—they need something to do about it! And our job is to give them something to do about it. That’s what gets me up in the morning. I think it’s what gets all of our staff and volunteers up in the morning—how do we make sure that we take that energy and turn it into power to make change?

I noticed the shift in Slow Food’s mission right around Slow Food Nation, in August of 2008. After that, the popular perception started to change from the notion that Slow Food was a club for foodies (whether or not it was) to a social justice organization.

It wasn’t just me. It was a mood—a tone and tenor and culture of the movement that needed to change. We realized we needed to move in that direction.

But social justice has always been embedded in Slow Food’s overall mission, no?

Absolutely—and globally. Right now we have members in 150 countries. Slow Food has nothing to do with being a gourmet club in these countries. It has to do with changing the world, preserving traditions and maintaining the sovereignty of the people who are growing and eating in their countries. It has a lot to do with corporate power and the way globalization plays out.

Slow Food’s tag line has always been about making food good, clean, and fair.

At the very beginning it was a protest against McDonald’s on the Spanish Steps. And so it started with that sense of anti-corporate protest—it’s in its DNA. And I think some people forgot and thought it was good, clean, or fair. But the “and” is really important.

The latest e-mail I got expands on that: “Food that is good for those who eat it, good for the farmers and workers, and good for the planet.”

And that’s basically how I describe what Slow Food is. It’s the opposite of fast food—it’s all those things.

Read the rest of the interview over at The Faster Times.

Donella Meadows and Cobb Hill Cohousing

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

From the Burlington Free Press:

About a decade after first breaking ground, Cobb Hill Cohousing in southern Vermont is taking stock of its progress toward building a sustainable community. Residents of the 22 green-built households are motivated by the words of the development’s founder, the late pioneering environmental scientist Donella Meadows: “We need people willing to work seriously at human community and at loving this land, caring for it, and making it productive.”

HARTLAND FOUR CORNERS — On a recent cool, damp afternoon at Cobb Hill Cohousing in southern Vermont, there were plenty of warm spots in which to seek refuge from alternating drizzle and steady rain.

There was the toasty room housing the wood-fired gasification boiler that heats Cobb Hill’s 22 clustered, green-built homes and provides back-up water heating power to the solar panels on each roof. (Even though it had not yet been turned on for the season, it radiated heat from a recent maintenance run.)

Then there was the animal-generated warmth in the long red barn, where calves from the on-site farm’s registered Jersey milking herd were cuddled down in straw near the first few of Cobb Hill’s Icelandic sheep to move into their winter quarters.

Another option was the steamy cheesemaking room, where two of the business partners (also Cobb Hill residents) of one of the community’s many independent enterprises packed molds full of fresh curds made from the Jersey milk for their award-winning farmstead cheese.

And, finally, in the cozy common house dining room — where many of the 60 residents, ages 3 to 76, gather twice weekly for communal meals — a visitor was offered a cup of hot herbal tea. The tea accompanied conversation about the ongoing mission of Cobb Hill, originally envisioned by its late founder, pioneering environmental scientist Donella (Dana) Meadows, as “a loving human community that does its utmost to practice the skills of sustainable living.”

A little more than a decade since Cobb Hill’s first buildings were completed, the resident-members of the community are proud of what they have built together through joint investments of energy, effort and capital. But they also are cognizant that future decades will call for renewed efforts and fresh approaches toward their goal of living as lightly as possible on the land.

“It isn’t the same world as it was 10 years ago,” said Judith Bush, 76, a social worker and former cheesemaker at Cobb Hill who has been involved since the early planning stages. “Communities need to figure out what makes them resilient for whatever comes along.”

A Clear Vision of Sustainability

In the common house, on the mantle above the community’s only fireplace, sits a photograph of Meadows. Among many accomplishments, Cobb Hill’s founder was a Harvard- and MIT-trained scientist, longtime Dartmouth College professor, organic farmer, MacArthur Foundation fellow and Pulitzer-Prize-nominated columnist.

Perhaps most famously, she was lead author of the influential and controversial 1972 book “The Limits to Growth,” which was based on a computer model that suggested global resources would run out in the face of continued population growth and unchecked consumption patterns.

Meadows died unexpectedly in 2001 at age 59 after a brief illness — about six months after the groundbreaking for Cobb Hill.

“Dana was one of the most important environmentalists of our time,” environmental author, activist and Ripton resident Bill McKibben wrote in a recent email. “She did more than anyone else to explain the essential fact of life on earth: the planet is finite, and can’t support endless growth. She did this with computer models, but also with beautifully written essays, with her farm, and with the vision that became Cobb Hill.”

Added Bush, “She was the seminal thinker. She was the glue that brought people together to realize her vision of sustainable farming within a sustainable residential community.”

Cobb Hill, Bush said, is a living example of the mission of The Sustainability Institute, a nonprofit that Meadows founded in 1996 to apply systems thinking, system dynamics modeling and organizational learning to economic, environmental and social challenges. It was characteristic of Meadows, Bush explained, that while others founded think tanks, she created what she called, “a ‘think-do’ tank.”

Read the rest of the article over at the Burlington Free Press’s website.

And check out a forthcoming book by one of Meadows’ coauthors on The Limits to Growth, Jorgen Randers. Next summer we will be publishing his book 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years.

(Photo: GLENN RUSSELL, Free Press)

Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By