Archive for March, 2012


Cheese and Culture is a “tour de force”

Friday, March 16th, 2012

The first review of Paul Kindstedt’s Cheese and Culture is in, from his colleague Cathy Donnelly at the University of Vermont.

When Ben Watson from Chelsea Green asked if I would review Cheese and Culture, I felt as if I had been given a gift. I have been most fortunate to enjoy a lengthy career working alongside my esteemed and academically talented colleague Paul Kindstedt. Only a true scholar could weave together the complexity of history, anthropology, language, geography, religion and science to inform and enlighten our understanding of the evolution of cheese making throughout the millennia. Kindstedt, first and foremost with his discerning scientific mind, helps historians inform the heretofore mysteries in the cheese making continuum. My favorite part of the narrative was reading the reasoning used by Paul when historical explanations fell short and defied scientific explanation. For instance, statements such as “cheese of the fig tree” were dismissed as nonsensical by Harry Hofffner in his translations of descriptions of fresh cheeses made in Turkey by the Hittite’s (1400 B.C.)  This statement is instead seen by Kindstedt as scientific documentation of rennet usage in cheese making by early civilizations. Similarly, the early origins of butter making from sheep milk are reasoned by Kindstedt using his scientific knowledge and logic. Kindstedt’s painstakingly researched account of cheese and culture will serve as a central reference for individuals passionate about food, food history and cheese. This work is a tour de force which can only emerge from the most deeply thoughtful intellectuals. This is the culmination of his scholarly career, where all of his knowledge and personal interests have intersected to produce a text which only he could so richly author. For those individuals who enjoy cheese for its sensory character, a read of this book will elevate cheese enjoyment to a whole new intellectual level. Students at the University of Vermont are most fortunate to be able to participate in Paul’s course which accompanies this book. Does dissemination of such rich and historical knowledge facilitate a newfound enjoyment and appreciation of cheese? I can’t wait to find out.

Kindstedt challenges previously held theories about cheese making practices and origins. For instance, he makes a compelling case which proposes that bandage wrapping of Cheddar cheese actually originated in the U.S. as opposed to England. He also weaves the unfortunate history of slavery and the role of slaves in cheese making within the U.S. He ends this treatise back in New England and Vermont and challenges all of us living in our global society to think of where cheese making is headed in the U.S. in the future. The rebirth of the U.S. artisan cheese movement gives us all hope, and this book illustrates how this movement has been richly informed by the deep cultural and historical origins of cheese making.

The historical literature, some of which equates barbarianism with the lack of cheese making knowledge and expertise, resonates today as we appreciate refinements which have expanded centuries old traditions of cheese making. Where gaps in knowledge remain, I hope this marvelous work will spur new inquiry by the next generation of food system scholars. This would be a fitting legacy for this remarkable effort documented by Paul.

Start a Polyculture Today, Toss Salad Tonight

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Have you ever tried a salad with dill, cabbage, and/or fava beans? This spring, try starting this polyculture blend. It will help you create your own crisp, delicious, unique salads for months to come. It comes from Ianto Evans (co-author of The Hand-Sculpted House: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage), by way of Toby Hemenway’s Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture.

Ianto Evans’s Polyculture

Prepare a garden bed, allowing about twenty square feet of bed for each person who will be fed from the polyculture.

  • Two weeks before the last frost: Indoors, start about five cabbage plants per twenty square feet of bed. The cabbages should be ready for transplanting a month or so after the seed mixture below is sown. To extend the season, choose both early- and fall-maturing cabbages.
  • Week One (at the last frost date in your region): In early spring, sow seeds of radish, dill, parsnip, calendula, and lettuce. For a lengthy harvest season, select several varieties of lettuce. A mix of looseleaf, romaine, butter, iceberg, and heat-tolerant varieties such as Summertime or Optima will stretch the lettuce season into summer.
    Broadcast all the seeds over the same area to create a mixed planting. Sow at a density of about one seed every couple of square inches and cover the entire bed with a light scattering of seed. Sow each seed type separately—don’t mix the seeds and toss them all onto the bed, because the heavy seeds will be flung the farthest, and you’ll wind up with all the radishes on one end and all the parsnips at the other. Then cover the seed with about a quarter-inch of compost and water gently.
  • Week Four: Some of the radishes should be ready to pluck. In a few of the gaps left by the radishes, plant cabbage seedlings about eighteen inches apart.
  • Week Six: The young lettuce will be big enough to harvest. The dense sowing of lettuce will yield a flavorful mesclun blend when the plants are young. Pick the whole plant to make space for the rest to grow. With continued thinning, the remaining lettuce will grow up full sized. If you’ve chosen varieties carefully, you’ll be crunching lettuce for up to four months.
  • Late Spring/Early Summer: When the soil has warmed to above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, plant bush beans in the spaces left by the lettuce. If more openings develop in early summer, sow buckwheat and begin thinning their edible greens shortly after they appear. The next crops to harvest after the lettuce will be the dill and calendula (calendula blossoms are edible and make a tasty addition to salads). The early cabbages will be coming on at about this time, too, followed in midsummer by the beans. Parsnips are slow growing and will be ready to eat in fall and winter. As gaps in the polyculture appear in early autumn, mild-winter gardeners can plant fava beans; others can poke garlic cloves into the openings, to be harvested the following spring.

Cheese, and the Origin of Civilization

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

“If cheese can help us understand the origin of civilization, it can help us learn who we are as a species. To think that cheese can help inform that process is extraordinary.” – Author Paul Kindstedt on Cutting the Curd

Heritage Radio Network was started in March of 2009 by Patrick Martins and Heritage Foods USA. Built into two re-purposed shipping containers, the station is located in the back garden of Roberta’s Restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Our shows are broadcast live, and subsequently archived on our website where they can be downloaded as podcasts or RSS feeds.

The content on Heritage Radio Network is absolutely unique, no other broadcast medium is offering the range of subject matter, or the depth of interest in matters of vital importance to every day living.

If there is one thing Anne Saxelby knows, its cheese. Cutting the Curd, heard every Monday on HRN, finds Anne disseminating that dairy know-how to the listening public. Every episode also includes guests from the world of dairy, ranging from historians to farmers, chefs to cheese mongers, all engaging in dairy discourse so that you might gain a better understanding (and a better block) of this thing we call cheese.

Last month, Anne Saxelby and Sophie Slesinger were joined by author Paul Kindstedt, whose forthcoming book Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its place in Western Civilization, explores the 11,000 year old history of cheese! Tune in to learn about everything from maritime trade, ancient pottery and religion as they relate to cheese on an especially historical episode of the best Cheese radio show in the world!

LISTEN

“You can’t chemical your way out of soil infertility” — Joel Salatin on The Organic View Podcast

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

June Stoyer, host of The Organic View, talks to Joel Salatin about his bestselling book Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer’s Guide to Farm Friendly Food. The “high priest of the pasture” is fun to listen to whenever he opens his wise, holistic, adjective-loving mouth!

In America, we have the luxury of being able to buy any kind of food in season as well as off-season. To boot, there is an incredible amount of waste because of the assumption that there will always be more. This mentality has been created by the mass marketers and now has lent itself to the rationale that we need to genetically modify our food so that we will not run out.

Listen on BlogTalkRadio, or use the plugin below.

Local Dollars, Local Sense: Discussion with Michael Shuman, March 22

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Orion magazine is hosting a discussion with Michael Shuman, author of Local Dollars, Local Sense on March 22, and you’re invited! Register for this free event here.

Wouldn’t you rather put money into your Main Street instead of Wall Street? Not even 1 percent of Americans’ long-term savings are invested locally, largely because it’s not possible under the current system. But what would our towns look like if a larger fraction of this $30 trillion was in local economies? Join a free live discussion featuring popular author Michael Shuman, on how to shift your money from Wall Street to Main Street, March 22nd at 7 PM Eastern, 4 PM Pacific.

Shuman is the author of the important new book, Local Dollars, Local Sense, which details how local investing can be done, using a variety of approaches from cooperatives to local exchanges. Exploring these options is increasingly important: the big multinational banks that hold the majority of the country’s savings mostly do not act in the interest of the places where their depositors and shareholders live.

But local businesses do care, and they comprise more than half the economy by output and jobs, so shouldn’t we try to make them bigger and better? Plus, increasing evidence suggests that local businesses are remarkably profitable and competitive, so it makes good investment sense, too.

This unique opportunity will allow you to hear about the rules that preclude 99 percent of Americans from investing locally, the alternatives, and ask your own questions of Shuman. It is free to join, will be moderated by Orion staff, and is open to all readers and friends.

Registration is required, so hop on over to Orion’s site and sign up!

Date:     Thu, Mar 22, 2012
Time:     07:00 PM EDT
Duration:     1 hour
Host:     Erik Hoffner

About Michael Shuman

An economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, Michael Shuman has authored, co-authored, or edited seven books, including The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006) and Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in the Global Age (Free Press, 1998). He is research and public policy director for Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), and he holds an A.B. with distinction in economics and international relations from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

His new book Local Dollars, Local Sense is the first in the Community Resilience Guide series from the Post Carbon Institute, published by Chelsea Green. A national book tour begins this month.

The Future of Meat is Either Permaculture or the Petri Dish

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

You love grass-fed steak, you’re all about organic, and locavore is your middle name, right? But are you ready for the meat of the future? Last month scientists at Maastricht University unveiled the first ever lab-grown meat. They were able to grow “a few thin strips of pinkish cow muscle measuring about an inch long and a half a millimeter thick,” and expect to produce the world’s first lab-grown burger by October. …Yum?

Ostensibly, mass-producing test-tube chow would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from raising livestock, which currently makes up about 18% of global emissions. 

East London Lines mentioned Simon Fairlie, author of Meat: A Benign Extravagance, and his research on the resource-use of livestock. Is lab-grown filet mignon in our future? If we don’t adopt the permaculture ethic Fairlie advocates, it may well be.

So you’re curled on a sofa halfway through the advert break when one of those lovingly filmed food-porn adverts comes on. “Sticky cow tissue with the consistency of an undercooked egg,” murmurs a sensual female voice. “Lovingly scraped from stem cells, hand-stretched on strips of Velcro, and minced into a delicious patty. Mmm.” It might not sound appetizing, but the vat-grown meat unveiled on Monday by scientists at Maastricht University may be the only viable answer to the crisis brewing under your dinner table.

The fact is that we might not be able to sustain our meat production much longer. Global meat and milk consumption is expected to double before 2050, and yet we already live in a world where, as Oxford biologist Colin Tudge puts it, “billions go hungry but 50 per cent of wheat, 80 per cent of maize and 90 per cent of soya are fed to livestock.” If it is possible to reform the meat industry along more sustainable lines, nobody’s trying. Fisheries are already harvesting mackerel at well beyond the replacement rate, cod and haddock stocks are depleted,and yet one third of Iceland’s catch went to feed land livestock.

Inefficiency abounds. In Meat: A Benign Extravagance, ecological campaigner Simon Fairlie called the US cattle industry “one of the biggest ecological cock-ups in modern history”. The agricultural resources of a small country go into making concentrated food for cattle that can’t efficiently consume them (but are given it because it best produces the fatty meat that sells). Pigs, which can eat almost anything, are prevented from consuming waste foods by the panic over BSE – which developed when meat and bone meal that would have been palatable for pigs was fed instead to cattle.

Fairlie rubbishes the claims of some environmentalists that every kilogram of beef takes 100,000 liters of water to produce, and his attack shows that a sustainable yet globalized meat industry is possible. But while campaigners and academics contend with the lobbyists of a lucrative industry and politicians who let lobbyists write legislation, the clock is ticking for the good we can get from the environment.

Worse, meat farming contributes to a growing medical crisis. The last ten years have seen increasing fears that over-prescription of antibacterial drugs is leading bacteria to develop resistance faster. But in 2007, the Union of Concerned Scientists estimated that more than 70% of antibiotics used in the USA were given to livestock. While governments have started taking action, the damage has been done: crammed together in their own filth, flushed with antibiotics as a cheap alternative to making any concession to their welfare, the billions of chickens, pigs and cattle farmed for our consumption were unintentional incubators for things that kill us. MRSA, NDM-1 and other ‘superbugs’ have a large part of their origin here.

If synthetic meat seems strange and unnatural, consider the way we eat now – and a recent architecture project at the Royal College of Art which takes the logic of the meat industry to its natural end. Student André Ford imagined immobilized and lobotomized chickens farmed vertically as unconscious ‘crops’ in close-packed pods. It is not very far from how broiler chickens are farmed now, with the notable difference that it is actually more humane. Modern farming is as far from our fantasy of real meat as the skin-and-cartilage paste in a tasty chicken nugget.

Let’s hope the scientists pull it off – because unless we can either convince companies to stop maximizing their profits or stop the governments regulating them from taking their money, it’s either this meat or no meat.

Reposted from East London Lines.

Wake Up, Little Seedlings! Essential Gardening Titles are 25% Off

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

As planting season arrives for many of us in the Northeast, Chelsea Green is offering some of our essential gardening books to help make this year’s garden — and those to come — more resilient and more productive.

Whether it’s saving heirloom seeds, finding new techniques to boost flavors and variety, restoring and rejuvenating your soil or growing food in small spaces — we have a book for you.

If you have a garden obsession—or want to nurture a budding obsession—we’ve got a book for you.

Chelsea Green is proud to have published some of the foundational books about sustainable and resilient gardening—books that go beyond just how-to techniques, but are aimed are restoring our depleted soils and reconnecting us to our communities and our food.

Happy reading from the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing. 

P.S. Have you liked‘ us yet? Well, take a look at our Facebook page. It is a great way to stay connected to our authors, special events, how-to tips for gardening, as well as plenty of news about the politics and practice of sustainability. So, if you haven’t yet, click on over, and let us know how much you like us!


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

Resilient Gardener Book Cover Image

The book is packed with expert advice on plant varieties and discusses the best way to grow, prepare, and store five “key crops”—potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs. Beginner and the most expert gardeners will find this an invaluable resource, with new information, recipes, and simple tips for self-sufficiency they won’t find elsewhere. At its heart, this is a realistic book about how resilient gardeners (and their gardens) can flourish even in challenging times.

The Resilient Gardener is so essential, timely and important, and I will recommend it to everyone I know. It doesn’t matter if you garden or if you don’t—this is practical wisdom good for humans to know, passed on by a careful student who has deeply studied her life. Carol Deppe’s lens is the garden—which is great for gardeners, but really, she speaks clearly to all of us. If you try to think like Deppe, you will find you have a new view of your life no matter who you are. This is a wise and intelligent book. Hats off to Carol Deppe!” —Deborah Madison, Author of Local Flavors and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone


Slow Gardening: A No-Stress Philosophy for All Senses and Seasons

Slow Gardening Book Cover Image

Sharing the wisdom of well-known garden expert Felder Rushing, Slow Gardening offers a commonsense, informal, and outright funny philosophy that will appeal to gardeners no matter where they live or how often they weed.

By taking the road less traveled, Slow Gardening will have gardeners focusing on the long haul and remembering to take it easy along the way. As Felder says,“Life has lots of pressures—why include them in the garden?”

“Slow Gardening is a delight—a welcome stress-free approach, refreshing in its simplicity and firmly placing the gardener in their own space, at their own pace.” —Sandy Felton, Reckless Gardener UK


Fresh Food From Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermentng, and Sprouting

Fresh Food Book Cover Image

Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive “how-to” guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces.

With this book as a guide, people living in apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes will be able to grow up to 20 percent of their own fresh food using a combination of traditional gardening methods and space-saving techniques such as reflected lighting and container “terracing.” Those with access to yards can produce even more.


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

Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm Book Cover Image

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 ageold wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine.

Through seventy-nine 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.

“Peg Schafer is the best artisanal grower I know. For this book, she has distilled the knowledge of the small group who, over the past two decades, has pioneered North American production of Chinese medicinal herbs, and tested it through direct experience. This book clearly explains the whys as well as the how-tos, and delivers information into the eager hands of all perennial polyculturalists who will grow us a post-peak oil healthcare system; it is a gift to us all.” —Jean Giblette, owner, High Falls Gardens and co-founder, LocalHerbs.org

The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way

The Holistic Orchard Book Cover Image

Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower, demystifies the basic skills everybody should know about the inner workings of the orchard ecosystem, as well as orchard design, soil biology, and organic health management. Detailed insights on grafting, planting, pruning, and choosing the right varieties for your climate are also included, along with a step-by-step instructional calendar to guide growers through the entire orchard year.

“For decades experts have insisted that organic orcharding is an impossibility. Michael Phillips has led the effort to show that the truly sustainable, organic orchard is something we all can have. His example has been an inspiration. His tireless research has provided a road map to creating our own holistic orchards.” —John Bunker, apple historian and author, Not Far from the Tree


The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses

The Winter HarvestBook Cover Image

From the bestselling author of The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest, a revolutionary guide to year-round harvests of fresh, organic produce—with little or no energy inputs. Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.


Make sure to read the New York Times article that recently featured Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch. The in-depth story focused on the couple’s continued ability to innovate and thrive on their year-round organic farm in Maine. Well worth the read.

“Eliot Coleman’s books have been called Bibles for small farmers and home gardeners. I suspect that’s because he writes about not just gardening but about everything that connects to good food and pleasure; a Renaissance man for a new generation, he’ll quote Goethe in the same breath as Ghandi, and as a result, you’ll dig, weed, eat, think, and live more fully.” —Dan Barber, Chef, Blue Hill and Blue Hill Stone Barns


Making the Most of Your Glorious Glut: Cooking, Storing, Freezing, Drying & Preserving Your Garden Produce

Making the Most of Your Glorious Glut is the answer to the perennial problem of an over abundance of wonderful fruit and vegetables. From cucumbers to spinach, tomatoes to runner beans, and blackcurrants to plums, most gardeners will recognize the sinking feeling that creeps over you when you realize you have had such a good harvest that you cannot actually face picking, cooking or eating any more.

With the help of this book you will be able to make the most of any glut; as well as recipes for using fresh produce in new and exciting ways, you will learn how to pickle, preserve, dry, bottle, and juice all your surplus fruit and vegetables so that they can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Grow Your Food for Free (Well Almost)

Grow Your Food For Fee Book Cover Image

Don’t like spending money in garden centers? Think you can make it yourself for a fraction of the price or find a cheaper option?

Dave Hamilton shows you how, by recycling and reusing materials creatively and making the most of what you have, you can gather all you need to grow your food on a budget.

 

In Grow Your Food For Free you’ll get:

  • Money-saving tips for every season plus occasional tips on the actual gardening!
  • Is crammed full of projects from seed-saving and making your own plant feed to building a fence or garden shed.
  • Gives step-by-step instructions, with easy-to-follow diagrams.
  •   Includes beautiful photos and quirky illustrations.

Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners

Seed to Book Cover Image

Seed to Seed is widely acknowledged as the best guide available for home gardeners to learn effective ways to produce and store seeds on a small scale.This newly updated and greatly expanded second edition includes additional information about how to start each vegetable from seed, which has turned the book into a complete growing guide.

The author has grown seed crops of every vegetable featured in the book, and has thoroughly researched and tested all of the techniques she recommends for the home garden.


Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard Into a Garden and Your Neighborhood Into a Community

Food Not Lawns Book Cover Image

Gardening can be a political act. Creativity, fulfillment, connection, revolution—it all begins when we get our hands in the dirt.

Food Not Lawns combines practical wisdom on ecological design and community-building with a fresh, green perspective on an age-old subject. Activist and urban gardener Heather Flores shares her nine-step permaculture design to help farmsteaders and city dwellers alike build fertile soil, promote biodiversity, and increase natural habitat in their own “paradise gardens.” In Food Not Lawns, Flores shows us how to reclaim the earth one garden at a time.


Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, a Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious, Easty-to-Grow Edibles

There  is a fantastic array of vegetables you can grow in your garden, and not all of them are ann uals. In Perennial Vegetables the adventurous gardener will find information, tips, and sound advice on less common edibles that will make any garden a perpetual, low-maintenance source of food.

Imagine growing vegetables that require just about the same amount of care as the flowers in your perennial beds and borders–no annual tilling and planting. They thrive and produce abundant and nutritious crops throughout the season.

Perennial vegetables are perfect as part of an edible landscape plan or permaculture garden. Perennial Vegetables is a groundbreaking and ground-healing book that will open the eyes of gardeners everywhere to the exciting world of edible perennials.

More Gardening Essential Titles on Sale:

 

 

Sale Valid through April 3rd 2012

U.S. orders only. International orders click here.

Pricing and sales for online orders only. Please contact a representative for wholesale or retail orders

 

Presenting the Community Resilience Guides, a Partnership with the Post Carbon Institute

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Reposted from Post Carbon Institute.

We’re excited to announce the publication of our first Community Resilience Guide: Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity by PCI Fellow Michael Shuman. This book series will be part of a larger new effort we have launched—the Community Resilience Initiative. Use discount code LOCAL to pick up your copy directly from the publisher.

As you know all too well (and if you don’t, the Post Carbon Reader will bring you up to speed), we face a set of interconnected economic, energy, and environmental crises that require all the courage, creativity, and cooperation we can muster. These crises are forcing us to fundamentally rethink some of our most basic assumptions, like where our food and energy come from, and where we invest our savings.

While national and international leadership are key to navigating the bumpy road ahead, that leadership thus far is sadly wanting. And, in any case, many of the best responses to these challenges are inherently local.

Thankfully, a small but growing movement of engaged citizens, community groups, businesses, and local elected officials are leading the way. These early actors have worked to reduce consumption, produce local food and energy, invest in local economies, and preserve local ecosystems. While diverse, the essence of these efforts is the same: a recognition that the world is changing and the old way of doing things no longer works.

Post Carbon Institute is producing this series of Community Resilience Guides to detail some of the most inspiring and replicable of these efforts.

Why community resilience?

Community because we believe that the most effective ways to work for the future we want are grounded in local relationships—with our families and neighbors, with the ecological resources that sustain us, and with the public institutions through which we govern ourselves.

Resilience, because the complex economic, energy, and environmental challenges we face require not solutions that make problems go away but responses that recognize our vulnerabilities, build our capacities, and adapt to unpredictable changes.

The Community Resilience Guides will cover these four elements, so critical in creating thriving, resilient communities:

  • Investing in the local economy.
  • Growing local food security.
  • Producing local, renewable energy.
  • Planning locally for an uncertain future.

Local Dollars, Local Sense is the first in this series, and the series is just one element of a bigger effort: the Community Resilience Initiative. Stay tuned for more announcements, and ways you can participate.

These are challenging times. But they are also full of opportunity. We hope Local Dollars, Local Sense and the slew of other resources we’ll provide through the Community Resilience Initiative will inspire you, and help you build resilience in your community.

In solidarity,

Asher

Take the Subway — Reinventing Fire in the New York Times

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

In his latest column, Thomas Friedman takes a look at Reinventing Fire. News flash everybody: energy efficiency makes sense!

OUR plan was to meet for lunch at noon in Moscow. It was to be just myself and Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor of the journal Russia in Global Affairs. He picked the restaurant. It had been snowing that day, and the Moscow traffic — already nearly impossible because the city, which 15 years ago had 300,000 cars and today hosts nearly four million registered vehicles — was even more impossible than usual. Soon the e-mailing between us started. I was first: “I’m running a few minutes late.” Lukyanov said the same a few minutes later. Then me again: “I am going to be 20 minutes late.” He then saw my 20 minutes and raised me 20. In the end, I was 50 minutes late, and I beat him by two minutes. We sped through an interview about Russian foreign policy in 30 minutes, before I rushed out so as not to be late for my next appointment. As we hurriedly put on our coats, Lukyanov had one piece of advice for me, and it wasn’t that the U.S. should stay out of Syria.

It was: “Take the subway.”

But this is not a column about traffic — per se.

This is a column about energy and environment and why we must not let the poisonous debate about climate change so tie us in knots that we cannot have any energy policy at all, particularly one focused on developing much more efficient use of resources, through better designs and systems. …

The planet is getting flatter and more crowded. There will be two billion more people here by 2050, and they will all want to live and drive just like us. And when they do, there is going to be one monster traffic jam and pollution cloud, unless we learn how to get more mobility, lighting, heating and cooling from less energy and with less waste — with so many more people. We can’t let the climate wars continue to derail efforts to have an energy policy that puts in place rising efficiency standards, for buildings, windows, traffic, housing, packaging and appliances, that will drive innovation — which is our strength — in what has to be the next great global industry: energy and resource efficiency.

This is where Amory Lovins, the physicist who is chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute, begins in his new book, Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, which is summarized in the current Foreign Affairs. The Rocky Mountain Institute and its business collaborators show how private enterprise — motivated by profit, supported by smart policy — can lead America off both oil and coal by 2050, saving $5 trillion, through innovation emphasizing design and strategy.

“You don’t have to believe in climate change to solve it,” says Lovins. “Everything we do to raise energy efficiency will make money, improve security and health, and stabilize climate.”

 Read the entire article over at the New York Times.

What Does Earth Day Mean to You?

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Events like Earth Day are so important. They help support the global movement toward greater awareness of our responsibility to this planet we call home. With a mountain of challenges before us, we need a new way of living—from the way we grow our food, to how we build our homes, to where we invest our resources.

There’s never been a better time to stand together for our rights and take action on the issues that matter. Whatever Earth Day means to you, whether you want to examine your food choices, fuel political change, dig into the joys of gardening, or organize for resilience within your community, the books below have something for you. From veteran gardening techniques, to a shocking expose of fluoride, to a helpful guide to climate change and an industry insider’s take on the BP oil spill—we have books for every interest in the fight for our planet.

Chelsea Green is proud to be the leading publisher on foundation books on sustainable living—books that go beyond just how-to techniques, but are aimed at restoring our depleted soils and reconnecting our fragmented communities. We couldn’t do it without you, our dedicated readers, with your curiosity about the world, and your passion for making it a better place. Thanks for all that you do for our planet!

Happy reading from the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our full list of books on sale here: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/sale

A Sanctuary of Trees: Beechnuts, Birdsongs, Baseball Bats, and Benedictions

List Price: $19.95 
Sale Price: $14.96

Humans have always depended on trees for our food, shelter, livelihood, and safety. In many ways, despite the Grimm’s fairy-tale version of the dark, menacing forest, most people still hold a deep cultural love of woodland settings, and feel right at home in the woods.

In his latest book, Logsdon offers a loving tribute to the woods, tracing the roots of his own home groves in Ohio back to the Native Americans and revealing his own history and experiences living in many locations, each of which was different, yet inextricably linked with trees and the natural world.

“I am more enamored with Gene Logsdon than ever after reading A Sanctuary of Trees. Without melodrama, angst, or anything resembling shock value, this lush autobiography details Mr. Logsdon’s relationship with—of all things—trees! Trees. How sane and civilized it is. I learned so much from this grounded and completely wonderful book.”—Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and Pinhook: Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land

Take a look at Chapter 14—The Living Architecture of a Tree. READ MORE…

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

 List Price: $34.95
Sale Price: $26.21

Oil and coal have built our civilization and enriched the lives of billions. Yet their rising costs now outweigh their benefits. Amory Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute offer a new vision to win the clean energy race—not forced by public policy but led by business.

Grounded in thirty years’ practical experience, this ground-breaking analysis integrates market-based solutions across transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity. It maps strategies for a U.S. economy that needs no oil, no coal, no nuclear energy, one-third less natural gas, and no new inventions. Read an excerpt from Chapter One: Defossilizing Fuels. READ MORE…

Finalist in the Business and Economics Category for Foreword’s Book of the Year awards!

“My friend Amory Lovins knows that the most important question of the 21st century is the ‘how’ question—how we turn good ideas into working solutions. Reinventing Fire is a wise, detailed, and comprehensive blueprint for gathering the best existing technologies for energy use and putting them to work right now to create jobs, end our dependence on climate-changing fossil fuels, and unleash the enormous economic potential of the coming energy revolution.”—President Bill Clinton

Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform

List Price: $19.95 
Sale Price: $14.96

As demonstrators worldwide demand change, Occupy World Street offers a sweeping vision of how to reform our global economic and political structures, break away from empire, and build a world of self-determining sovereign states that respect the need for ecological sustainability and uphold human rights.

In this refreshingly detailed plan, Ross Jackson shows how a handful of small nations could take on a leadership role; create new alliances, new governance, and new global institutions; and, in cooperation with grassroots activists, pave the way for other nations to follow suit.

An Excerpt of Chapter Five: The Neoliberal ProjectREAD IT HERE…

 

 

 

Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice, Second Edition

List Price: $19.95 
Sale Price: $14.96

Cormac Cullinan shows that the survival of the community of life on Earth (including humans) requires us to fundamentally alter our understanding of the nature and purpose of law and governance, rather than merely change laws.

In describing what this new “Earth governance” and “Earth jurisprudence” might look like, he also gives practical guidance on how to begin moving toward it.

“Every now and then, an idea emerges that helps the human species to evolve. Wild Law is one such idea and is brilliantly explained in this book. Cormac Cullinan leads us toward a new relationship with Mother Earth—just in time.” —Maude Barlow, activist, co-founder of the Blue Planet Project and author of Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis

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

List Price: $29.95 
Sale Price: $22.46

In 2008, the best-selling Transition Handbook suggested a model for a community-led response to peak oil and climate change. The Transition Companion picks up the story today, and tells inspiring tales of communities working for a future where local economies are valued and nurtured; where lower energy use is seen as a benefit; and where enterprise, creativity, and the building of resilience have become cornerstones of a new economy.

This book looks in detail at the process a community in transition goes through, calling on the experience of those who have already embarked on this journey.

Read an excerpt of Chapter One—A Potted History of Transition. READ IT HERE….

 

 

Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth

List Price: $17.95 
Sale Price: $13.46

As George Bernard Shaw once said, “All progress depends on unreasonable women.” And in Diary of an Eco-Outlaw, the eminently unreasonable Wilson delivers a no-holds-barred account of how she—a fourth-generation shrimper, former boat captain, and mother of five—took a turn at midlife, unable to stand by quietly as she witnessed abuses of people and the environment.

“An unstoppable tale of true bravery . . . This book will shake the ground beneath your feet.” —Janisse Ray, author of Pinhook

Chapter One – Made In Texas, An Accidental Activist. READ IT HERE…

 

 

The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It There

List Price: $24.95 
Sale Price: $18.71

When the U.S. Public Health Service endorsed water fluoridation in 1950, there was little evidence of its safety. Now, six decades later and after most countries have rejected the practice, more than 70 percent of Americans, as well as 200 million people worldwide, are drinking fluoridated water.

Just because the dental and medical establishments endorse a public-health measure doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Chapter One – Poor Medical Practice. READ IT HERE…

 

 

 

 

Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World A 25-Point Program for Action

List Price: $15.00 
Sale Price: $11.25

In Confronting Collapse, author Michael C. Ruppert, a former LAPD narcotics officer turned investigative journalist, details the intricate connections between money and energy, including the ways in which oil shortages and price spikes triggered the economic crash that began in September 2008.

“Michael Ruppert does not mince words in this stirring and uncompromising book on the vital issue of global energy and economics. He addresses some simple but widely ignored concepts relating to the critical role of oil and gas in the modern world. First, they are finite resources formed in the geological past and are, therefore, subject to depletion. Second, they have to be found before they can be produced, the peak of which is long past.”—Colin Campbell, co-founder of The Association for the Study of Peak Oil, from the Foreword. READ MORE….

 

 

Climate Solutions: A Citizen’s Guide

List Price: $9.95 
Sale Price: $7.46

Explains in clear and simple language what proposed climate policies will do—and what they won’t do. A simple guide that demystifies environmental policies being shaped in the coming years, as well as who is behind each proposal, their potential effects, who would pay for them, and who would profit.

“This citizen’s guide demystifies climate policy so that you can play an active role in forming it. We can’t wait any longer, and we can’t get it wrong.” —Bill McKibben, from the Foreword

 

 

Disaster on the Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks, and the Story Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout

List Price: $14.95
Sale Price: $11.21

With thirty years in oil and gas operations, insider Bob Cavnar provides a candid, engaging, and chilling look at the industry, its resistance to regulation, and the government concessions that are now putting people and the coastlines in jeopardy. He brings the industry’s technology and people to life, delivering the untold story of the blowout, response, and decisions made by BP, Transocean, and the U.S. government.

“Phoom! It was that impossible-to-describe sound that happens when you’re too close to the blast to hear the full roar. I could see nothing but orange, black, and red as I was ingulfed in an inense, all-consuming heat. It was immediately sickening, and I began to process that face that I was in serious trouble”—from the Preface. READ MORE…

   

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