Archive for June, 2012


Books for Resilient Communities on Sale

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Trying to solve the twin problems of peak oil and climate change can be overwhelming, even make you feel a little hopeless at times. So, how can we meet these challenges together?

The quest to answer that question is what helped launch the Transition movement, and it is the success of that movement we celebrate today. Grounded in the holistic principles of permaculture, Transition groups look for community-based solutions to issues like food and energy—and in the process learn how to stand together to face any number of challenges. Since this movement began, Chelsea Green has been publishing books on and for communities looking for Transition solutions—as well as any individual looking for paths toward greater self-reliance and sustainability.

Books for Resilient Communities
On SALE—35% Off

We’ve published books about the Transition movement, complete with guides and stories to help you get a group started in your town. We’ve also published books about the practical methods of increasing your own resilience through sustainable gardening, and books to let you know what the future holds. If you’re engaged in this movement in any way, we have a book for you.Thank you for everything you do for our planet.

Happy reading from the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing.

P.S. Make sure to sign up for our June Book Giveaway. We are giving away a book a day for the whole month of June and each entry goes toward the Grand Prize drawing for a selection of our 10 most recent releases. Click here to enter.

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

Transition Companion Cover Image
Retail Price: $29.95
Sale Price: $19.47

What if the best responses to peak oil and climate change don’t come from government, but from you, me and the people around us?

In 2008, the best-selling The Transition Handbook suggested a model for a community-led response to peak oil and climate change. Since then, the Transition idea has gone viral across the globe.

The Transition Companion picks up the story today, and includes stories of success from groups around the world.

Watch Rob Hopkins’s TEDx talk, and hear the story of Transition Town Totnes. WATCH IT HERE….

Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security

Sowing Seeds in the Desert Cover Image
Retail Price: 22.50
Sale Price: $14.63

Fukuoka’s last major work—and perhaps his most important. Fukuoka spent years working with people and organizations in Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States, to prove that you could, indeed, grow food and regenerate forests with very little irrigation in the most desolate of places. Only by greening the desert, he said, would the world ever achieve true food security.

This revolutionary book presents Fukuoka’s plan to rehabilitate the deserts of the world using natural farming, including practical solutions for feeding a growing human population, rehabilitating damaged landscapes, reversing the spread of desertification, and providing a deep understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature.

From the author of the international bestseller The One-Straw Revolution.


Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity

Retail Price: $17.95
Sale Price: $11.67

Local economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies—and profit in the process.

 Shuman demystifies the growing realm of local investment choices—from institutional lending to investment clubs and networks, local investment funds, community ownership, direct public offerings, local stock exchanges, crowdfunding, and more. He also guides readers through the lucrative opportunities to invest locally in their homes, energy efficiency, and themselves.

In this article, Michael Shuman offers “Ten Reasons for Financial Optimism (if you invest locally).” FIND OUT WHAT THEY ARE…

The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience

The Transition Handbook Cover Image
Retail Price: $24.95 
Sale Price: $16.22

In an oil-dependent world, most of us avoid thinking about what happens when fossil fuels run out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable changes ahead can have a positive outcome.

These changes can lead to the rebirth of communities that will grow more of their own food, generate their own power, and build their own houses using local materials.

If your town is not a transition town, this upbeat guide offers you the tools for starting the process.

“But we’ve got no funding! How can we start a transition town?” Rob Hopkins has heard it all before. In this excerpt he rebuts seven common ‘buts’ people give as reasons why transition won’t work. READ IT HERE…

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

The Resilient Gardener Cover Image
Retail Price: $29.95 
Sale Price: $19.47

Scientist and gardener Carol Deppe shares her wisdom and methods for growing most of the food you eat—even if, like Carol, you suffer from intense food allergies, or a sensitive back, and even in the face of a changing climate.

The Resilient Gardener is both conceptual and practical, and includes detailed information about growing and using five key crops: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.

If you end up hankering for some of Carol’s special squash or corn varieties after reading the book, you can order seeds directly from her brand new seed company! Quantities may be limited.

When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency

When Technology Fails Cover Image
Retail Price: $35.00 
Sale Price: $22.75

There’s never been a better time to “be prepared.” Matthew Stein’s comprehensive primer on sustainable living skills—from food and water to shelter and energy to first-aid and crisis-management skills—prepares you to embark on the path toward sustainability.

When Technology Fails covers the gamut. You’ll learn how to start a fire and keep warm if you’ve been left temporarily homeless, as well as the basics of installing a renewable energy system for your home or business. 

Read author and MIT engineer Mat Stein’s warning about a possible nuclear armageddon. READ IT HERE…

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

The Small-Scale Poultry Flock Cover Image
Retail Price: $39.95 
Sale Price: $25.97

Longtime farmer Harvey Ussery has created the most comprehensive and definitive guide to date on raising all-natural poultry for the homesteader and small farmer.

No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems approach, or discusses producing homegrown feed and breeding in such detail—it is truly an invaluable and groundbreaking guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.

Harvey Ussery talks about growing food for your flock in this video. WATCH IT HERE…

The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way

The Holistic Orchard Cover Image
Retail Price: $39.95
Sale Price: $25.97

Growing a small-scale orchard of tree fruits and berries is something virtually anyone can do, given a bit of space and desire, and the willingness to observe and learn from nature.

In this groundbreaking new book, orchard guru Michael Phillips (author of The Apple Grower) takes readers “beyond organic” and into the universe of holistic growing practices—a place where backyard and small commercial fruit growers maintain a balanced orchard ecology and don’t just substitute hard-hitting organic sprays for chemical “controls.” 

Michael Phillips’s orchard and techniques were featured in a New York Times article this spring. READ IT HERE…

Gaia’s Garden, Second Edition: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

Gaia's Garden Cover Image
 Retail Price: $39.95
Sale Price: $25.97

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 extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.

Learn Permaculture 101 in Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. READ IT HERE…

“The world didn’t come with an operating manual, so it’s a good thing that some wise people have from time to time written them. Gaia’s Garden is one of the more important, a book that will be absolutely necessary in the world ahead.”—Bill McKibben

 

Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World

Confronting Collapse Cover Image
 Retail Price: $15.00
Sale Price: $9.57

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….

More New and Noteworthy Titles On Sale

PermacutlureFood Not LawnsGrow Your Food For FreeFresh Food From Small SpacesSeed to Seed
Honey Comb KidsInquiries Into the Nature of Slow MoneyThe Transition TimelineFind Your PowerThinking in Systems

 

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* Books on sale until July 1st*

Join us at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Join Chelsea Green this weekend at the largest and longest running renewable energy and sustainable living event in the country – Register today!

Each year the MREA Energy Fair transforms rural Central Wisconsin into the global hot spot for renewable energy education. The Energy Fair brings over 20,000 people from nearly every state in the U.S. and several countries around the world to learn, connect with others and ready them for action at home. The Energy Fair is the nation’s longest running energy education event of its kind.

The Energy Fair features:

  • Over 275 exhibitors – featuring sustainable living and clean energy products
  • Over 200 workshops – including introductory level to advanced hands-on education: solar, wind, green building, local sustainable food, and more
  • Clean Energy Car Show – featuring demonstration vehicles and exhibitors
  • Green Home Pavilion – emphasizing building and remodeling in a sustainable way
  • Green Building Demos – displaying sustainable building techniques in action
  • Sustainable Tables – including workshops, chef demos, and a farmers’ market to bring sustainability to your dinner table
  • Live Auctions – two live auctions featuring plants and shrubs, to PV systems and farm equipment
  • Inspirational keynotes, lively entertainment, great food, and local beer

Join us for the 23rd Annual Energy Fair, June 15-17, 2012

Visit Chelsea Green at Booth A32 to receive our show special discount, for featured new and bestselling titles, such as Amory Lovins’s hopeful and pragmatic Reinventing Fire; or our classic primer Wind Power.

Fermentation is culture: An Excerpt from The Art of Fermentation

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Editor’s note: Finally, Sandor Katz — the nation’s fermentation expert — has written a bible-sized book about his craft. Beyond sauerkraut, bread, and beer, The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World takes readers into the outer realms of the theory and practice behind this edgy, traditional approach to food preservation. What follows is an excerpt from Katz’ introduction, but it can also serve as a kind of manifesto for his work. See Katz’ recipe for homemade ginger beer and “ginger bug” for more on the how-to side of things.

One word that repeatedly comes to the fore in my exploration and thinking about fermentation is culture. Fermentation relates to culture in many different ways, corresponding with the many layers of meaning embedded in this important word, from its literal and specific meanings in the context of microbiology to its broadest connotations. We call the starters that we add to milk to make yogurt, or to initiate any fermentation, cultures. Simultaneously, culture constitutes the totality of all that humans seek to pass from generation to generation, including language, music, art, literature, scientific knowledge, and belief systems, as well as agriculture and culinary techniques (in both of which fermentation occupies a central role).

In fact, the word culture comes from Latin cultura, a form of colere, “to cultivate.” Our cultivation of the land and its creatures — plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria — is essential to culture. Reclaiming our food and our participation in cultivation is a means of cultural revival, taking action to break out of the confining and infantilizing dependency of the role of consumer (user), and taking back our dignity and power by becoming producers and creators.

This is not just about fermentation (even if, as a biological force upon our food, that is inevitable), but about food more broadly. Every living creature on this Earth interacts intimately with its environment via its food. Humans in our developed technological society, however, have largely severed this connection, and with disastrous results. Though affluent people have more food choices than people of the past could ever have dreamed of, and though one person’s labor can produce more food today than ever before, the large-scale, commercial methods and systems that enable these phenomena are destroying our Earth, destroying our health, and depriving us of dignity. With respect to food, the vast majority of people are completely dependent for survival upon a fragile global infrastructure of monocultures, synthetic chemicals, biotechnology, and transportation.

Moving toward a more harmonious way of life and greater resilience requires our active participation. This means finding ways to become more aware of and connected to the other forms of life that are around us and that constitute our food — plants and animals, as well as bacteria and fungi — and to the resources, such as water, fuel, materials, tools, and transportation, upon which we depend. It means taking responsibility for our shit, both literally and figuratively. We can become creators of a better world, of better and more sustainable food choices, of greater awareness of resources, and of community based upon sharing. For culture to be strong and resilient, it must be a creative realm in which skills, information, and values are engaged and transmitted; culture cannot thrive as a consumer paradise or a spectator sport. Daily life offers constant opportunities for participatory action. Seize them.

Just as the microbial cultures exist only as communities, so too do our broader human cultures. Food is the greatest community builder there is. It invites people to sit and stay awhile, and families to gather together. It welcomes new neighbors and weary travelers and beloved old friends. And it takes a village to produce food. Many hands make light work, and food production often gives rise to specialization and exchange. And even more than food in general, fermented foods — especially beverages — play a significant role in community building. Not only are many feasts, rituals, and celebrations organized around products of fermentation (such as bread and wine), ferments are also among the oldest and most important of the foods that add both value and stability to the raw products of agriculture, essential to the economic underpinnings of all communities. The brewer and the baker are central participants in any grain-based economy; and wine transforms perishable grapes into a stable and coveted commodity, as does cheese for milk.

Reclaiming our food means reclaiming community, engaging its economic interconnectivity of specialization and divisions of labor, but at a human scale, promoting awareness of resources and local exchange. Transporting goods around the globe takes a huge amount of resources and wreaks environmental havoc. And while exotic foods can be thrilling treats, it’s inappropriate and destructive to organize our lives primarily around them; most globalized food commodities are grown in vast monocultures, at the expense of forests and diverse subsistence crops. And by being totally dependent on an infrastructure of global trade, we make ourselves exceedingly vulnerable to disruptions for any number of reasons, from natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, tsunamis) and resource depletion (peak oil), to political violence (war, terrorism, organized crime).

Fermentation can be a centerpiece of economic revival. Relocalizing food means a renewal not only of agriculture but also of the processes used to transform and preserve the products of agriculture into the things that people eat and drink every day, including ferments such as bread, cheese, and beer. By participating in local food production — agriculture and beyond — we actually create important resources that can help fill our most basic daily needs. By supporting this local food revival, we recycle our dollars into our communities, where they may repeatedly circulate, supporting people in productive endeavors and creating incentives for people to acquire important skills, as well as feeding us fresher, healthier food with less fuel and pollution embedded in it. As our communities feed ourselves more and thereby reclaim power and dignity, we also decrease our collective dependency on the fragile infrastructure of global trade. Cultural revival means economic revival.

Everywhere I go I meet people who are making the choice to be part of this culture of revival. Perhaps this is exemplified best by the growing number of young people who are choosing to take up farming. The second half of the 20th century saw the near extinction of the tradition of regional food self-sufficiency in the United States and many other places. Today that tradition is in revival. Let us support and become part of it. Productive local food systems are better than globalized food for many reasons: They yield fresher and more nutritious food; local jobs and productivity; less dependence on fuel and infrastructure; and greater food security. We must become more closely connected to the land via our food, and we must have people willing to do the hard physical work of agriculture. Value and reward that work. And get involved with it.

I don’t want to give the impression that this culture of revival is brand-new. There always have been holdouts who resist new technologies, such as farmers who never adopted chemical methods, or never stopped using and saving the legacy of seed resources they inherited, or still use horses in lieu of tractors, or families who have unceasingly maintained fermentation practices. There have always been seekers looking to reconnect to old ways, or unwilling to accept the “conveniences” of modern culture. As much as culture is always reinventing itself in unprecedented ways, culture is continuity. There are always roots.

Cultural revival certainly does not require abandoning cities and suburbs for some remote rural ideal. We must create more harmonious ways of life where people and infrastructures are, and that is mostly cities and suburbs. “Sustainability” or “resilience” cannot be remote ideals you have to go somewhere else to fully realize. They are ethics we can and must build into our lives however we are able to and wherever we find ourselves.

Nearly 20 years ago, I moved from a lifetime in Manhattan to an off-the-grid rural commune in Tennessee, and I’m so glad I did. Sometimes a dramatic change is exactly what you need. I was 30 years old, had recently tested HIV-positive, and was searching for a big change I could not yet imagine, when a chance encounter led me to a communal homestead of queers in the woods. I can personally testify that rural resettlement can be a rewarding path. But rural living is certainly not intrinsically better or more sustainable than city life. In fact, rural dwelling, as most of us (myself included) are practicing it, involves driving frequently to get around. In the city I grew up in, most people do not have cars and get around using mass transit.

Cities are where most people are, and much incredibly creative and transformative work is being done in urban and suburban areas. Urban farming and homesteading are on the rise, flourishing especially in cities with large expanses of abandoned properties. The revival of artisan fermentation enterprises is centered around cities, mainly because they hold the major markets, no matter where production may occur.

The late, great urbanist Jane Jacobs put forth an intriguing theory that agriculture developed and spread from cities rather than rural outposts. In her book The Economy of Cities, Jacobs rejects the prevailing assumption that “cities are built upon a rural economic base,” which she calls the “dogma of agricultural primacy.” Instead she argues that the inherent creativity of urbanism fostered the innovations that spawned (and continually reinvent) agriculture. “The first spread of the new grains and animals is from city to city … The cultivation of plants and animals is, as yet, only city work.” Her basic idea is that a trading settlement that is a crossroads for people migrating from different areas provides a dynamic environment for incidental seed crossing and selective breeding, as well as greater opportunities for specialization and the development and spread of techniques.

If Jacobs’s theory is correct, then fermentation practices must also have urban roots. Rural dwellers may frequently be guardians of inherited legacies such as seeds, cultures, and know-how; however, it is primarily urbanites who are spurring agricultural change in the countryside by creating demand — starting farmers markets and providing the bulk of the community support for what is known as community supported agriculture (CSA). Urbanites can grow gardens and ferment, just as rural dwellers can. They can also tap into the deep currents of creativity that exist in cities, and the inevitable cross-pollination that occurs there, to foster change. That change can incorporate ancient wisdom that is in danger of disappearing, just as much as it can foster innovation.

Totally wild illustration of Sandor Katz by Nathan Fox, borrowed from CHOW. Excerpt was originally published by Grist on June 5.

Father’s Day Sale!

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Father’s Day is this Sunday — and now is a great time to order some fine reading material for the fathers in your life. All books are 25% off as part of this special Father’s Day sale. Dad is sure to appreciate one of these books from among our best sellers! Here are some book suggestions for seven different kinds of fathers, and all of them are on sale until Father’s Day (June 17th):

The Builder

The Natural Building Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to Integrative Design and Construction

Integrating holistic design and permaculture principles, this fully illustrated volume informs professionals making the transition from conventional building, homeowners embarking on their own construction, and green builders who want comprehensive guidance on natural building options. Includes an instructional DVD.


The Executive

2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years

Commemorating the fortieth anniversary of The Limits to Growth, 2052 asks, what will happen to humanity over the next forty years? Jorgen Randers, a renowned analyst of global trends, asked dozens of leading experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, natural resources, climate, political divisions, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades.

Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity

Local economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies—and profit in the process.

The Activist

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

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.

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

The Transition Companion 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.

The Naturalist

A Sanctuary of Trees

As author Gene Logsdon puts it, “We are all tree huggers.” But not just for sentimental or even environmental reasons. Humans have always depended on trees for our food, shelter, livelihood, and safety. In his latest book, Logsdon tells the story of his own life as one deeply intertwined with the woods.

The Cook

The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World

The most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents concepts and processes in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater insight for experienced practitioners.

Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese And Its Place in Western Civilization

A fascinating look at the 9,000-year history of cheese, the ways in which it
has shaped civilization, and what it can tell us about the future of food.

The Feminist

The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for
Women, Work, and Family

Dads could be important allies in the next feminist revolution, if Madeleine Kunin is leading the charge. Her new book proclaims the next battlefield in the fight for equal rights is where it all started: the family.


Give Weeds a Chance! Didi Emmons on Earth Eats Radio

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

“I consider ‘weed’ to be a politically incorrect term. There’s no biological definition of the term ‘weed’, it’s really a value judgment.”

That’s the opinion of Harvard scientist Peter Del Tredici, and chef Didi Emmons couldn’t agree more.

In her latest cookbook, Wild Flavors, Emmons shares many recipes using “feisty, flavorful, and nutritious” plants formerly known as weeds.

In this episode of Earth Eats Radio, she talks to host Annie Corrigan about a few of them, and how the eccentric farmer Eva Sommaripa taught her to walk on the wild side of the produce aisle.

Her segment starts around 22:30 here; or you can read the entire interview here.

From Women’s E-news, Madeleine Kunin Reflects on Mom-Career ‘Muddling’

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Originally published by Women’s E-News.

The first female governor of Vermont reflects on how she wound up running for office with children aged 3, 6, 8 and 10. In this excerpt from her book The New Feminist Agenda she credits, among other things, coming of age in a transitional time.

(WOMENSENEWS) — The 1950s portrait of the ideal family has almost become a museum piece: Mom standing by the kitchen counter wearing an apron; Dad sitting in an easy chair, wearing a shirt and tie; their two children–the boy always somewhat older and taller than the girl–playing quietly on the rug in front of the fireplace. Why, I wonder, is Dad always reading the newspaper and Mom incessantly stirring batter in a bowl?

That’s the way it was, and that’s the way it is for 21 percent of American families today, only Mom is more likely to be dressed for yoga than for the kitchen and Dad is no longer wearing a tie. However, in 79 percent of American families, both Mom and Dad are getting the children off to school before each rushes off to work.

Surprisingly, working families today– despite their guilt about not spending enough time with their children–actually spend more time with them than their parents did. Two economists from the University of California, San Diego, reported that child care time by parents was about 12 hours a week before 1995. “By 2007, that number had risen to 21.2 hours a week for college-educated women and 15.9 hours for those with less education.”

All parents, regardless of income, want the best for their children. Most parents question, from time to time, whether they are good parents and both Mom and Dad are likely to be stressed, depressed or both. Many families swing back and forth between the two models, depending on the time in their lives, whether they have an opportunity to work full- or part-time, their financial resources, their personal preferences and cultural expectations.When I am asked how I managed to have a political career and raise four children with my then-husband, I don’t have a clear answer. The most accurate reply is that I muddled my way through, but since I tell women not to berate themselves, I will answer that I did it in stages.

Marriage and Ambition

When I got married at the age of 25, considered “old” in 1959, I believed I could easily have a career in journalism and have a family. Marriage would be no substitute for my ambition.

I knew from the start what I did not want, and that was to be like a typical 1960s doctor’s wife I had met at teas for the Woman’s Auxiliary to the American Medical Association, who had sacrificed her career to “put her husband through medical school” and then, for her reward, settled into full-time motherhood. A woman’s identity was closely tied to her husband’s in those days. Protocol demanded that every envelope be properly addressed to Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Kunin. I, like most of the women of my generation, had no first name.

But when my daughter Julia was born in 1961 I dropped all ambivalence about family and work and reveled in the miracle of motherhood. I saw myself as the original earth mother when she nursed at my breast; I was now part of the Great Chain of Being. I was happy and determined to take total responsibility for her care.

When did my attention wander off from motherhood and back to thoughts of a career? On my 30th birthday, my friend Terry and I were sitting at an outdoor café in Cambridge, Mass., rocking our navy blue English baby carriages back and forth in rhythm. We lived in Cambridge, where my husband was pursuing post-doctoral research at Harvard and I had recently given birth to our second child, Peter. I said to Terry, “My God, I’m 30. What’s going to become of my life?” (This was the hippy era, when the mantra was “Don’t trust anyone over 30.”)

I came of age as a mother and a politician in a transitional time, when the women’s movement was beginning to illuminate a new world in front of our eyes. Some women my age looked the other way. I was transfixed. The women’s movement gave me permission to change my timetable for reentry into the adult world. The usual schedule for mothers was that they would wait until their children were fully grown and safely ensconced in college.

Not Waiting

The environmental movement and the women’s movement had both drawn me in with a passion and given me a cause. Instead of waiting, I ran for a seat in the Vermont legislature when my children were 3, 6, 8 and 10 years old and served for three terms, before being elected lieutenant governor and then governor.

But in the early 1990s, when I was writing my first book, “Living a Political Life,“a memoir, the first draft had so many passages about guilt that my editor took large chunks out. Most distressing to me is that my children have almost no memory of the chocolate chip cookies I baked, the macaroni and cheese I cooked or the hours on the playground I spent shoveling sand–for 11 years between 1961 and 1972.

The answer to the question of “How did you do it?” is that there is no simple single answer. Each person walks through the labyrinth at a different pace, and even in a different direction, before she or he comes out the other side. I know that if my husband had not been the primary wage earner and supported my ambitions I would not have had the flexibility or finances to launch and sustain a 16-year political career.

I had one other advantage not often discussed: a high-quality nursery school (what would now be called a preschool), called Jill’s School, that my youngest son Daniel loved to attend. Then there was Mabel Fisher who babysat and later Shirley Labelle whose specialties were apple pie and baked potatoes. Her real talent was that she greeted my children when they came home from school. Without the help of these women, I would have been still standing by the stove stirring batter.

Madeleine M. Kunin was the first female governor of Vermont and the first woman in the U.S. to serve three terms as governor. She served as deputy secretary of education and ambassador to Switzerland in the Clinton administration. She lives in Burlington, Vt.

For more information:

Buy the book, “The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family”:
http://www.powells.com/partner/34289/biblio/9781603582919?p_ti

Madeleine M. Kunin on The Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/madeleine-m-kunin/

Madeleine M. Kunin on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MadeleineMKunin

June is Perennial Gardening Month!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

June is Perennial Gardening Month! Perennial plants don’t die completely in the winter cold. Some store energy in bulbs underground, sprouting forth again next spring. Some have woody stems that aren’t destroyed by freezing. All of them can be planted once and enjoyed again and again.

We’re celebrating with a selection of books on sale that will help you learn about the lasting wonders of these plants you don’t have to re-plant.

If you’re interested in permaculture, you’ll definitely want to learn how to work with perennials. They help you form a lasting relationship to the land, provide a unique view into the changing seasons—and many of them provide delicious foods as well!

The books listed below are on sale for 25% off until Sunday June 10.

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

by Peg Schafer

The first cultivation guide of its kind, presenting invaluable information for growers interested in producing high-quality efficacious herbs in all climates of the US.

The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way by Michael Phillips
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.
Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening by Sepp Holzer
Covers every aspect of Hozer’s unique farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it.
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway
Introduces permaculture’s central message: working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens.
Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, a Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious, Easy-to-Grow Edibles by Eric Toensmeier
Learn to grow vegetables that require just about the same amount of care as the flowers in your perennial beds and borders—no annual tilling and planting.

Chapter 1: Worrying About the Future, An Excerpt from 2052

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Forty years ago, three researchers teamed up with a computer model and attempted to predict the future.

The result was a report to the Club of Rome entitled The Limits to Growth. But that was just the beginning.

In the years that followed, the future scenarios the model predicted — the most dire of which showed humanity using up its nonrenewable resources as fast as possible, and then sliding into myriad catastrophic shortages and crises — were hotly contested, and viciously derided as bad science. They were also occasionally championed as a Cassandra story — telling a truth nobody wants to admit.

The controversy surrounding Limits to Growth remains to this day, even as actual observations track right along with some of the more dire scenarios outlined by World3 (the model), Dennis Meadows, Donella Meadows, and Jorgen Randers (the researchers).

Randers has continued to worry productively about the future, and his new book, 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, offers a best guess at what that future might be. To develop this new forecast, Randers spoke to numerous experts, and asked what they saw coming in the realms of economy, resource-use, environment, climate change, and more. What will happen to us in the coming decades? Some of the answers may surprise you.

The book is now available, and to celebrate its arrival we’re putting it on sale for 25% off.

Below is an excerpt from the book’s first chapter, “Worrying About the Future.”

An Excerpt from 2052 by Jorgen Randers

Join our June Giveaway – Win A Book a Day!

Friday, June 1st, 2012

This is your lucky month! We’re hosting a fun, month-long giveaway on Facebook, with plenty of chances to win one — or  a set of ten — of our top books on sustainable living!

We have a selection of 30 books (one for each day in June) for our daily drawing for the whole month of June,  so make sure to sign up.  You can enter once a day — and you should — because each entry will also go into the drawing for a grand prize of ten books.

Take a look at the books we’ll giveaway each day in June: 

   
Local Dollars Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperityby Michael ShumanLocal economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies—and profit in the process.
Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm by Didi EmmonsWhen creative chef Emmons meets eccentric and inspired farmer Eva Sommaripa, delicious recipes emerge from unusual plants.
Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform by Ross Jackson
How to reform our global economic and political structures to build a world that respects the need for ecological sustainability and upholds human rights.
A Sanctuary of Trees: Beechnuts, Birdsongs, Baseball Bats, and Benedictions by Gene Logsdon
As author Gene Logsdon puts it, “We are all tree huggers.” In this latest book he offers a loving tribute to the woods.
Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its place in Western Civilization by Paul Kindstedt
A comprehensive look at the 9,000-year history of cheese, the ways in which it has shaped civilization, and what it can tell us about the future of food.
The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family by Madeleine M. Kunin
Feminists opened up thousands of doors in the 1960s and 1970s, but decades later, are U.S. women where they thought they’d be? The answer, it turns out, is a resounding no.
The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World by Sandor Ellix Katz
The most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published.
Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth by Diane Wilson
Jailed more than 50 times for civil disobedience, Wilson has stood up for environmental justice, and peace, around the world—forcing progress where progress was hard to come by.
Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security by Masanobu Fukuoka
This revolutionary book presents Fukuoka’s plan to rehabilitate the deserts of the world using natural farming, and provides a deep understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature.
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway
Introduces permaculture’s central message: working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens.
Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail by Kurt Michael Friese, Kraig Kraft, Gary Nabhan
Over a year-long journey, an agroecologist, a chef, and an ethnobotanist set out to find the real stories of America’s rarest heirloom chile varieties.
2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years by Jorgen Randers
What will our future look like? That is the question Jorgen Randers tries to answer in 2052.
Alone and Invisible No More: How Grassroots Community Action and 21st Century Technologies Can Empower Elders to Stay in Their Homes and Lead Healthier, Happier Lives by Allan Teel, MD
Teel describes how to overhaul our eldercare system using technology and community.
The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses by Eliot Coleman
Gardeners and farmers can use Coleman’s innovative, highly successful methods to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.
Killing the Cranes: A Reporter’s Journey Through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan by Edward Girardet
Provides crucial insights into why the West’s current involvement has turned into a disaster, not only rekindling a new insurgency, but squandering billions of dollars on a recovery process that has shown scant success.
The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times by Rob HopkinsWhat if the best responses to peak oil and climate change don’t come from government, but from you and me and the people around us?
When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival by Matthew Stein
A thorough, practical guide for how to prepare for and react in many of life’s most unpredictable scenarios.
The Small Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers by Harvey Ussery
The most comprehensive and definitive guide to date on raising all-natural poultry, offering a practical and integrative model for working with chickens and other domestic fowl, based entirely on natural systems.
Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era by Amory Lovins
How U.S. businesses can lead the nation from oil and coal to efficiency and renewables by 2050, and profit in the process.
It’s Probably Nothing: More Adventures of a Vermont Country Doctor by Beach Conger, MD
A collection of stories showcasing Conger’s irreverent view into the doctor’s role and his profound empathy for the characters he encounters along the way.
The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm: A Cultivator’s Guide to Small-Scale Organic Herb Production by Peg Schafer
The first cultivation guide of its kind, presenting invaluable information for growers interested in producing high-quality efficacious herbs in all climates of the US.
DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya KamenetzThe old system of higher education, unchanged for a century, is crumbling. Technology and innovation are knocking down the ivy-covered walls. Kamenetz explores what’s taking their place.
The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way by Michael Phillips
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.
Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie
A groundbreaking exploration of the difficult environmental, ethical, and social issues surrounding the human consumption of animals, and the future of livestock in sustainable agriculture.
Sex and the River Styx by Edward Hoagland
Called the best essayist of his time by luminaries like Philip Roth, John Updike, and Edward Abbey, Edward Hoagland brings readers his ultimate collection.
Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening by Sepp Holzer
Covers every aspect of Hozer’s unique farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it.
Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite by Bruce E. LevineWhen fatalism and defeatism set in, truths about social and economic injustices are not enough to set people free. Levine explains how major US institutions have created this psychological situation.
Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice, Second Edition by Cormac Cullinan
Cullinan explains how the survival of life on Earth (including humans) requires us to fundamentally alter our understanding of the nature and purpose of governance, rather than merely changing laws.
Slow Gardening: A No-Stress Philosophy for All Senses and Seasons by Felder Rushing
Slow Gardening will inspire you slip into the rhythm of the seasons, take it easy, and get more enjoyment out of your garden, all at the same time.
When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency by Matthew Stein
This comprehensive primer on sustainable living skills—from food and water to shelter and energy to first-aid and crisis-management—will prepare you for any scenario.

And here is the Grand Prize set of our most recent releases:

2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years by Jorgen Randers
What will our future look like? That is the question Jorgen Randers tries to answer in 2052.
Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security by Masanobu Fukuoka
This revolutionary book presents Fukuoka’s plan to rehabilitate the deserts of the world using natural farming, and provides a deep understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature.
The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World by Sandor Ellix Katz
The most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published.
The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family by Madeleine M. Kunin
Feminists opened up thousands of doors in the 1960s and 1970s, but decades later, are U.S. women where they thought they’d be? The answer, it turns out, is a resounding no.
A Sanctuary of Trees: Beechnuts, Birdsongs, Baseball Bats, and Benedictions by Gene Logsdon
As author Gene Logsdon puts it, “We are all tree huggers.” In this latest book he offers a loving tribute to the woods.
Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its place in Western Civilization by Paul Kindstedt
A comprehensive look at the 9,000-year history of cheese, the ways in which it has shaped civilization, and what it can tell us about the future of food.
Local Dollars Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperityby Michael ShumanLocal economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies—and profit in the process.
Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform by Ross Jackson
How to reform our global economic and political structures to build a world that respects the need for ecological sustainability and upholds human rights.
The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way by Michael Phillips
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.
The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm: A Cultivator’s Guide to Small-Scale Organic Herb Production by Peg Schafer
The first cultivation guide of its kind, presenting invaluable information for growers interested in producing high-quality efficacious herbs in all climates of the US.

Remember to come back each day to enter again, and tell your friends. Good luck!


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