Archive for November, 2011


Joan’s Roasted What’s-In-The-Garden

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Food writer Alexandra Zissu shared this fun “non-recipe” recently. Since we’re approaching the food-oriented winter holidays, and you’re likely to have some root vegetables in the yet-unfrozen ground, we thought we’d share it afresh.

Joan Gussow is the author of This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader and last year’s Growing Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables. She’s long been a vocal and visible advocate for local foods and growing your own vegetables. Even Michael Pollan (quite possibly the Oprah of sustainable eating) famously quipped, “Once in a while, when I have an original thought, I look around and realize Joan said it first.”

We feel the same way, Michael.

Joan Gussow’s Roasted What’s-In-The-Garden

This isn’t really a recipe–which makes it the perfect recipe. It’s seasonal and doesn’t call for anything that isn’t growing in the same region (Gussow’s yard!) at the same time. Plus it gives wonderful insight into the mind-set of a deeply green thinker. “I tend to make things that are related to what I have. I save recipes when they come along, but I don’t make as much use of cookbooks as I might. They have an assortment of things I might not have. If I were thinking about dinner during the day, I am thinking of the fridge: What’s in it should I use up? What’s in the garden I should use up? I’m aware of what I have at a given time. I had my first Burbank russets this year that were big. I love to dig potatoes. It’s a pleasure, like finding gold in the earth–a wonderful bucketful of potatoes comes out of the ground. I rolled them in oil and stuck them in the hot oven. Then I thought, I’m not going to waste that oven heat.” She remembered that a friend had done a potato-and-green-beans thing, and called her to find out how to proceed. She wound up roasting potatoes, green beans, and Jimmy Nardello peppers on separate sheets in the oven for about a half hour. “It wasn’t a meal,” she says. “It was potatoes and green beans and peppers on a plate. And it was delicious.”

Criminal Moms Campaign for Raw Milk

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

A quiet fight is being waged across America today, a fight for the right to eat what you want.

At the top of the list of contentious foods is a beverage: raw milk. The FDA doesn’t mince words about its view of the food, calling it dangerous and advising that nobody consume it, under any circumstances, ever.

On the other side of the battle, consumers who believe in the healthful properties of raw milk, say that they should be allowed to purchase the stuff, and consume it if they choose.

Stuck in the middle are scores of small farmers who attempt to make a living by connecting those conscientious consumers with a product that can be hard to find — if it’s not downright illegal. In recent years farmers who stick their necks out to provide raw milk have seen their farm stands raided by armed guards, their computers confiscated as evidence, and their product destroyed. Basically, they’ve been treated like terrorists.

This week a group of 100 criminal moms decided to protest what they see as an outrageous imposition on their rights. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

A self-described “caravan of criminal mothers” defied federal law Tuesday by transporting raw milk across state lines from a Pennsylvania farm and drinking it in front of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in Maryland….The protest sprang from an FDA sting operation on Amish farmer Dan Allgyer’s tiny dairy of three dozen cows in Kinzer, Pa., that culminated in a predawn raid on the farm last year. Allgyer had been selling milk to consumers in Maryland who had formed a buying club. None of Allgyer’s milk was contaminated. His alleged crime was selling it across state lines.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/01/MNRG1LP5LU.DTL#ixzz1de4Err10

More hopefully, this week Chelsea Green attended the Weston A. Price Foundation annual conference, which was an oasis of whole-fat foods, raw dairy products, and grass-fed meats in the otherwise abjectly unhealthy American food landscape.

Writer Jessica Claire Haney shared a vignette from the smorgasbord:

Chicken broth was on tap today at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund fundraiser breakfast at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Literally on tap. Conference-goers filled up bowls of beef and chicken stock from a shiny silver carafe that you might, at any other conference, think was for dispensing coffee.

Serious about nutrient-dense food, attendees of the Weston A. Price Foundation’s annual Wise Traditions conference feasted on full-fat local and organic yogurt, soaked oatmeal, pastured hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the day, coconut wraps with pulled chicken and lard-fried tortilla chips for lunch, and garlic sauerkraut with grassfed beef for dinner. A far cry from standard conference fare, this food had big shoes to fill: to nourish a group of hundreds of people who believe in the power of food as medicine and who see sustainable farming as important as breathing.

This year’s conference theme was “Mythbusters,” with speakers challenging the wisdom of low-fat, low-salt and plant-based diets. In the exhibit hall, vendors sell lacto-fermented vegetables, sprouted flour, coconut oil, nutritional supplements, meats and lots of books from New Trends Publishing and Chelsea Green.

Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/reading-ingredients-tales-health-conscious-mom/2011/nov/11/wise-traditions-conference-celebrates-real-food-de/

Raw milk isn’t the only battleground food. This week farmers in Nevada were reprimanded for hosting an on-farm dinner with their own meat and vegetables. In an era when millions go hungry every day, these farmers were forced by the Southern Nevada Health District to destroy the wholesome food they were going to serve — they weren’t even allowed to feed it to their pigs. You can watch a video of the incident over at The Elephant.

What do you think, should consumers be allowed to choose the foods they want, accepting all reasonable risks thereof, or should the government try to protect them by making it harder or impossible to get foods they deem dangerous? Pop on over to our Facebook page to let us know!

A Congressional Plug for Wind Power

Friday, November 11th, 2011

From The Browser, a site that is “creating a 21st century library of Writing Worth Reading”:

One of their sections is FiveBooks, in which an editor interviews a renowned authority who discusses his or her area of expertise and provides their choice of the best five books to read. Ever wondered what the experts read? FiveBooks has the answers.

And this week, two of our books on renewable energy were referenced by former Congressman Jerry McNerney! Read the entire interview over at The Browser.

 

 

We’re in a “dual energy crisis”, says the author of Clean Energy Nation, and not doing enough about it. He tells us what we must do if we’re to overcome our dependence on oil and limit the damaging effects of climate change

 

 

Prior to joining Congress, you were an engineer and executive in the energy industry. What sort of work did you do and what did you learn from it?

The importance of our national energy picture stared me in the face when I graduated from college in the middle of the Arab oil embargo of 1973. It was clear how dependent we were on imported oil and how vulnerable we were as a result of that dependence. So I was motivated to go into clean energy by our national security interests. Although I wasn’t aware of global warming in the 1970s, I was very concerned about our long-term impact on the environment. Clean energy was a new and exciting field. The technical work that was being done in the 70s was novel and exciting. The people were fun to work with. Together we developed reliable high-tech products that are now producing a lot of clean energy, and we saw the wind business grow.

You are such an enthusiastic proponent of air-current energy that you named your daughter Windy.

We did. Her first name is Margaret. Windy is her middle name. But she likes it so much that she chooses to be known as M Windy McNerney.

You have calculated that your energy work contributed to saving the equivalent of about 30 million barrels of oil. Why did you run for Congress when you were doing such a great job in the private sector?

I loved being in the industry. It was a lot of fun, and there was a high personal reward for the type of work that we were doing. But after 9/11 my son signed up for the air force, and when he received his absentee ballot in the mail in 2004 and saw there was no one running against the incumbent congressman in our district, he said, “You know Dad, people need a choice. I’m serving my country and I want you to do the same.” I thought about that a lot and I didn’t know how I could say no.

In your book Clean Energy Nation you posit the notion that the world faces a “dual energy crisis”. Please explain.

The dual energy crisis is a twin problem. First, there’s only a finite amount of oil out there to use. We may not be at peak oil now, but our consumption is increasing exponentially. So even if we have twice the amount of oil reserves that we think we have, we’ll blow through those reserves within a fairly short period of time. So much of our technology, our society and our civilisation depends on oil. Food production to feed the seven billion people who inhabit the earth, water production for our cities and our homes, transportation, heating, cooling – it all depends on oil. So if we hit peak oil and the supply starts waning, we’ll see a huge shock to our markets and our economy.

The other problem is global warming. The more oil we use, the more carbon we pump into the atmosphere. And the atmosphere can only take so much before we start seeing significant changes in the way the climate behaves, like the melting of the polar caps, the migration of species and the acidification of the ocean. These are all problems that we’re going to experience. We need to start taking steps to mitigate them. And we need to develop alternative energy sources so that we don’t continue to add to the problem.

 

Let’s start with books that make clear the severity of this crisis. The Limits to Growth, first published in 1972, projected the consequences of continued population growth in a world of finite resources. What is its core argument?In the book, three scientists from MIT looked at five variables: World population, industrialisation, pollution, food production and resource depletion. They put population and consumption on the existing path of exponential growth, and showed that we’re going to start running out of resources and it’s going to start impacting civilisation. They projected pollution, food shortages and so on.

The book was written 30 years ago. I read it in the 1980s and it made a big impact on me. The predictions were pretty accurate. They foresaw the strains of growth, and the wear on our planet is certainly starting to show. So it’s a good book, an easy read and it gives you some idea of what we’re up against. We must clean up our environment and find cleaner sources of energy.

Some critics argued that the authors loaded their case by projecting exponential population and pollution growth but sporadic technology growth. Isn’t clean energy technology keeping pace?

Any model of society or human behavior is not going to be entirely accurate but nonetheless there is explosive growth, and if we don’t find the technology to replace oil we’re going to be in trouble. We have the know-how to produce the technology that can keep pace. Solar, wind – these technologies can supply a large fraction of the requirements of our civilization, as long as we don’t keep growing exponentially. So we need to find new clean energy sources and become very, very efficient.

Lastly, you cite Wind Power by Paul Gipe. Please tell us about this book.

Paul Gipe is a very well-known wind energy personality. He’s been in the field a long time, he’s traveled a lot and he’s written a number of books. This one is fun to read because it’s about how ordinary people can harness wind power for homes, farms and businesses. It lays out the basics – it talks about the foundation requirements and how to lift the wind turbine up there. It conveys the idea that you don’t have to rely on giant industrial-sized windmills to supply power. It’s aimed at the little guy.

Not everyone is looking to erect wind turbines on their property, but Gipe reminds us that there’s more to renewable energy than massive plants. In some countries, turbines are dispersed throughout the countryside instead of concentrated. Household-sized turbines can even generate surplus energy that can be stored and shared. So even if you’re not in the market for a “how-to”, you might be interested in this book’s vision of the potential of wind energy.”

Our latest title in this category is making a splash as well! Here’s a podcast interview with Amory Lovins, author of Reinventing Fire on ThinkProgress:

Now Available: When Disaster Strikes!

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Would you be ready if a tropical storm flooded your town?  Don’t say it couldn’t happen, even bucolic, boreal Vermont experienced such a disaster this fall! What about an earthquake, or terrorist attack, or wild fire? It’s tempting to ignore the possibility, but if you do you could end up one of the zombie-like victims you see on the news after major catastrophes, wandering aimless and thirsty through broken streets with frowny faces*.

There’s no reason to worry, but there is ample reason to get ready, and that is why we’re happy to announce that Mat Stein’s latest book, When Disaster Strikes, is now available to help you out!

Smaller than his encyclopedic first book, When Technology Fails, When Disaster Strikes is perfect to stow in your ready-kit, along with your hand crank radio, flashlight, and water filter. Inside, you’ll find tips on how to prepare for many different sorts of sudden disaster, each with its own hazards and challenges.

This book could save your life.

Here to explain more is Mat Stein himself, in a recent appearance on the Sacramento & Company show:

Get your copy of When Disaster Strikes today!

*I’m paraphrasing Mat Stein in the video here, just in case you were wondering.

Do you ‘Like’ us?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

It’s nice to be liked.

 

“Like” us on Facebook and learn more about the politics and practice of sustainable living!

 

Chelsea Green’s Facebook Page consolidates our news and blog postings, special offers, video, author articles, and events, all in one place, where it’s easy to share articles you enjoy with your friends, chime in on compelling conversation, and generally be a part of our community. Please become a fan of our page on Facebook. And please tell your friends and family about it, too!

 

https://www.facebook.com/chelseagreenpub

 

Twenty-seven years ago, we started Chelsea Green with the conviction that growing your own food is inherently political. Today, we’re the leading publisher of books on the politics and practice of sustainable living. We lead the industry both in terms of content, with foundational books on renewable energy, green building, organic agriculture, eco-cuisine, and ethical business; and in terms of environmental practice, by printing on recycled paper. 

 

We are determined to keep Chelsea Green independent and to create a business model that will reflect our commitment to sustainability at as many levels of structure and function as possible.  While continuing our commitment to remain at the forefront of information about the practical aspects of sustainability, we also publish books on the politics of sustainability, for the cultural resistance that the world demands of us now. 


At the end of the day, that’s what we’re about at Chelsea Green: nurturing the crucial voices of those who see ever-widening disparities of wealth, the collapse of rural economies, the hegemony of industrial agriculture, the build up of toxins in the environment, and other accumulating costs of an ever-accelerating, ever-expanding economy based on material wealth.

That’s why we founded this company, and that’s why we need your help to build the world we want to live in.

 

So don’t forget to become a fan of our page on Facebook. Whether it is a special on one of our books or a whole section of books, an article by one of our authors, a new videointeresting article, or events that you might care about, you’ll be connected to this and much more on our Facebook page. It’s a great way to ask questions and share your thoughts and ideas. We want to hear from you! 

 

Thanks – always know that we like you right back. 

 

The folks at Chelsea Green Publishing

 

P.S. – We are on Twitter too.  And make sure to check out our current sale on all our permaculture books now 25% off:  http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/nature-does-the-heavy-lifting-all-permaculture-books-on-sale/

VIDEO: Harvey Ussery on Integrated Systems

Monday, November 7th, 2011

“Wendell Berry says the way we eat determines to a large extent how the world will be used. And for me that points to the way that our effort in the backyard with the small flock can be integrated into a more holistic way of producing our food.”

With these wise words Harvey Ussery will lead aspiring flocksters to learn how poultry fit into the larger system of working elements, whether their goal be to provide for themselves, or to feed a local market.

Check out the latest in our series of videos from Harvey’s visit to Vermont last Spring!

Lynn Margulis – One of the 20 Most Influential Living Scientists

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Scientist and author Lynn Margulis is one of the 20 most influential scientists alive today, according to Super Scholar! Her ideas about symbiogenesis have vastly enriched conventional ways of understanding biological evolution.

We couldn’t agree more. Since 2006, Chelsea Green has partnered with Margulis and her son, scholar Dorion Sagan, to produce Sciencewriters Books, an imprint created to develop outstanding works of science for the general public. The imprint incorporates the work of Sciencewriters, an educational partnership devoted to advancing science through enchantment in the form of the finest possible books, videos, and other media (www.sciencewriters.org).

Read the Super Scholar article.

And check out these Sciencewriters Books, which are guaranteed to blow your mind.

The Mystery of Metamorphosis: A Scientific Detective StoryMetamorphosis has intrigued human observers for thousands of years. While everyone knows this trick of nature transforms caterpillars into butterflies, fewer are aware that this process of transformation also occurs in many other insect species, as well as in amphibians and—in its greatest diversity—in marine creatures.
Death and SexTwo books under one cover deliver a brief, incisive, and entertaining romp through the science of sex and death.
Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and LoveA unique look at the inner lives of scientists.

Read the Preface to Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Sepp Holzer is an Austrian farmer, author and an international consultant for natural agriculture. He took over his parents’ mountain farm business in 1962 and pioneered the use of ecological farming, or permaculture, techniques at high altitudes (1,100 to 1,500 meters above sea level) after being unsuccessful with regular farming methods.

He has been called the “rebel farmer” because he persisted in these practices despite being fined and even threatened with prison for practices such as not pruning his fruit trees (unpruned fruit trees survive snow loads that will break pruned trees). He has also created some of the world’s best examples of using ponds as reflectors to increase solar gain for passive solar heating of structures, and of using the microclimate created by rock outcrops to effectively change the hardiness zone for nearby plants.

Read the preface to Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture via Scribd:

Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture is available now.

Amory Lovins at Greenbuild

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Last month Amory Lovins, author of Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, spoke to a fascinated crowd at the US Green Building Council’s conference, Greenbuild.

Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Thousands of building professionals from all over the world come together at Greenbuild for three days of outstanding educational sessions, renowned speakers, green building tours, special seminars, and networking events.

Watch a video of Amory’s keynote speech:

Greenbuild 2011 – Master Speaker: Amory Lovins from U.S. Green Building Council on Vimeo.

And check out this recent interview with Amory on PBS’ Nightly Business Report!

Join us at the Weston A. Price Foundation Conference!

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Since 1999 the Weston A. Price Foundation has advocated on behalf of traditional foods–especially those containing animal fats. Dr. Price’s research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.

Their annual conference is coming up next month! Join Chelsea Green and the Weston A. Price Foundation in Dallas, Texas from November 11th to 14th for a rich weekend full of healthy and delicious foods, lectures by experts, and even a farm tour.

Visit the Foundation’s site for more information, and to register.

Our authors Jessica Prentice (The Full Moon Feast) and Harvey Ussery (The Small-Scale Poultry Flock) will be speaking and signing their wonderful books.


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