Archive for September, 2012


Roses are Red, Violets are Blue…

Monday, September 17th, 2012

…We love National Flower Week, don’t you?

Flowers serve many practical purposes for the plants that grow them. They attract bees, butterflies, and birds. They protect pollen and nectar from freeloading ants (who are too small to pollinate most flowers). But it is not for flowers’ pragmatic characteristics that they are so loved by one particular mammal.

We love flowers for the sensory excitement they offer: colors to dazzle our eyes, shapes to boggle our minds, and scents to soothe our senses.

And yet, so many flowers offer us useful ways to make our lives better as well, from the fruits they promise to the medicines they can make, and even the flavors they can add to our foods.

In the spirit of National Flower Week, we’ve combed through our catalog for a handful of books that celebrate flowers. These lovely books are on sale for 25% off until September 24.

Reg. Price: $35.00
Sale Price: $26.25

The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers

If you’re tired of your desk job, why not consider leaving it all behind? Swap the drabness of your cubicle for the dashing colors and pleasing fragrances of the flower field. Lynn Byczynski’s classic guide to organic flower farming will get you started.

 

 

Reg. Price: $34.95
Sale Price: $22.72

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

Flowers aren’t just for looking at. In Wild Flavors chef Didi Emmons will show you how to incorporate several different blossoms into your cooking. From arugula blossoms on your salads to rose petal ice cream, this cookbook will take you places you never thought to go!

 

 

Reg. Price: $34.95
Sale Price: $22.72

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

Many flowers have been used medicinally for centuries, such as honeysuckle for cough, and chrysanthemum for headaches. Peg Schafer’s book is the only one available for organic growers interested in adding Chinese medicinal crops to their portfolio. Full of growing and harvesting tips, plus the traditional usage of each herb, this book is an invaluable resource.

 

Reg. Price: $39.95
Sale Price: $25.97

The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way

April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers bring June, July, and August fruit! Take a stroll through the holistic orchard with Michael Phillips, and see what those flowers can do. From apples and pears to peaches and berries, The Holistic Orchard shows you how to care for more than just your fruit trees and vines, it shows you how to care for the overall health of the soil, too.

 

Reg. Price: $17.95
Sale Price: $13.46

The Weeder’s Digest: Identifying and Enjoying Edible Weeds

A weed is merely a rose by another name — but many weeds are just as sweet! This is a practical and attractive guide to identifying and using a variety of edible weeds. It will appeal to gardeners, botanists and horticulturalists, as well as to anyone with an interest in controlling weeds in eco-friendly ways.

 

 

 

 

Preserving: How to Drying Methods and Materials

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Preserving: Drying Apples

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Drying Apples by Chelsea Green Publishing

Preserving: Drying Prune Plums (and Figs, Apricots, Peaches and Nectarines)

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Drying Plums by Chelsea Green Publishing

Preserving: Olive Fruit Leather

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Olive Fruit Leather by Chelsea Green Publishing

How to Save Tomato Seeds

Friday, September 14th, 2012

“There is no despair in a seed.”

So says renowned nature writer and activist Janisse Ray in her latest book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food.

The Seed Underground follows Janisse across the United States as she visits people dedicated to preserving heirloom food varieties simply by growing them, enjoying them, saving and sharing their seeds. In the past century we have lost an overwhelming number of food varieties. Commercial agriculture has homogenized the flavor of our foods, for sure, but it has also literally exterminated hundreds of plants — simply by leaving them behind.

You too can be a seed-saving revolutionary. In the excerpt below Janisse Ray explains how to save tomato seeds. It takes a bit of care to get the seeds out of the gelatinous tomato goo they’re suspended in, but once you’ve done it you can use those seeds to cherish and perpetuate the unique flavor of your favorite variety.

Pass some seeds along to a friend and you’re doing your part to keep our food system diverse and strong!

Saving Tomato Seeds – An Excerpt from The Seed Underground by Janisse Ray

Be Prepared!

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

September is Preparedness Month!

We never want bad things to happen, but they’re inevitable. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods or man-made disasters like fires, or power outages and fuel-price spikes can easily disrupt our way of life.

We want you to be ready no matter what, so in honor of Preparedness Month we’ve put select books on sale this week to help you be prepared for unexpected, short-term emergencies as well as long-term emergencies.

From survival guides to forecasts of the future and how-to guise to help communities be more self-reliant and resilient, this set of books should help you take stock and make plans to keep yourself and your family safe from harm and discomfort.

To get a sample of what author Mat Stein — whom Chris Martenson recently called a guru of self-resiliency — check out his recent interview that is posted on Martenson’s website, Peak Prosperity.

“Whether you’re concerned about the fallout from a breakdown of today’s weakened global economy, or simply want to be better able to deal with the aftermath of a natural disaster if you live in an earthquake/hurricane/flood/wildfire/tornado-prone part of the world, the personal resiliency measures Mat recommends make sense for almost everyone to consider,” writes Martenson.

Couldn’t have said it better. Enjoy this thoughtful and thorough interview (audio and a printed transcript are available) and then check out Mat’s books below.

Books are on sale for 25% off until September 19.

Reg. Price:$35.00
Sale Price:$26.25

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

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. But unlike any other book, Stein not only shows you how to live “green” in seemingly stable times, but to live in the face of potential disasters, lasting days or years, coming in the form of social upheaval, economic meltdown, or environmental catastrophe.

 

Reg. Price:$24.95
Sale Price:$18.71

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

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

 

Reg. Price:$24.95
Sale Price:$18.71

2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years

What does our future look like? In the book 2052, Jorgen Randers, one of the co-authors of Limits to Growth, issues a progress report and makes a forecast for the next forty years. To do this, he asked dozens of experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, energy supplies, natural resources, climate, food, fisheries, militaries, political divisions, cities, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades.

 

 

Reg. Price:$12.00
Sale Price:$9.00

Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change

Permaculture co-originator and leading sustainability innovator David Holmgren outlines four scenarios that bring to life the likely cultural, political, agricultural, and economic implications of peak oil and climate change, and the generations-long era of “energy descent” that faces us.

 

 

 

Reg. Price:$17.95
Sale Price:$13.46

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

The first in our Community Resilience Guides series – in partnership with the Post Carbon Institute – this book explains how local investment can make for a strong economy.

 

 

 

 

Killing the Cranes Now Available in Paperback

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Few reporters have covered Afghanistan as intrepidly and humanely as Edward Girardet. In his latest book, Killing the Cranes, Girardet delivers a story of that nation’s resistance fighters, foreign invaders, mercenaries, spies, aid workers, Islamic extremists, and others who have defined Afghanistan’s last thirty years of war, chaos, and strife.

Released last year in hardcover, Killing the Cranes was nominated for the Helen Bernstein award for outstanding journalism, was praised by the New York Review of Books, and was a finalist for ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year award in History.

Since the release of Killing the Cranes, the United States made concrete plans to end its combat mission in Afghanistan. This is a step in the right direction toward an autonomous nation that can fend for itself and keep corruption and terrorist organizations at bay — but what will be the lasting effects of our occupation?

One could look for clues in Girardet’s book, now available in paperback for the first time. Killing the Cranes traces the past thirty years of Afghan history, the forces that have shaped it, and some of the important players that have influenced it.

The paperback edition includes a new epilogue by Girardet. To celebrate its arrival we’re putting it on sale for 25% off until September 18.

In this video from PBS NewsHour, Girardet shares his perspective on the current state of affairs in the long-misunderstood middle eastern nation.

Watch Journalist Reflects on Covering 3 Decades of War in Afghanistan on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Great Reviews for Recent Releases

Monday, September 10th, 2012

It’s that time of year when our Fall books begin to hit the bookstores. Their first stop, however, is a visit with key book reviewers whom we hope (fingers crossed) will enjoy them enough to recommend them to their readers (which include bookstore owners, librarians, and other bibliophiles).

A fair number of our recent releases have garnered some great reviews from publications that focus specifically on the book industry.

Here are snippets from some of the best of these early reviews that we thought we’d share with you:

Power from the PeopleForeWord Reviews

“The movement to source energy at the local level has boomed in recent years. Power from the People is a good guide for entrepreneurs looking to get in on the trend in an environmentally conscious way. From the Burlington Cohousing Solor Project in Vermont to liquid biogas initiatives at Quad County Corn Processors in Iowa to geothermal power plants at the Oregon Institute of Technology, Power from the People gives real-life examples of the ways that a community can energize itself. Containing appendices with extensive endnotes, a virtual library of additional resources, and a glossary of common industry terms, this book provides a great starter guide for anyone pursuing a local energy project.”

Mastering Artisan CheesemakingForeWord Reviews
“Somewhere between art and science, cheesemaking is not for the faint of heart. Caldwell begins her guide to the enterprise with a great deal of science. An extremely nuanced process becomes friendly through the author’s cheery advice and enthusiasm, then the book transitions into recipes that range from simple to quite advanced. A great guide for beginners and experts alike, Caldwell makes sense of the culture of cheese-making. From equipment to acidity, humidity to storage, Caldwell takes care to make sense of every step and each element. Throughout the process, she offers multiple options for further study and understanding, encouraging her readers to embrace the art, science, and community of cheesemaking. Caldwell’s comforting and impassioned talk of cheese will encourage any student willing to take on the adventure of cheesemaking. With its depth of information, this book will keep on giving as cheesemakers increase their mastery of the craft.”

Top-Bar BeekeepingForeWord Reviews

“Farmers who seek a guide to hive maintenance told through a thoughtful personal narrative will benefit from the discussion of this topbar style of beekeeping. The first-person style of the book allows a window into the practices of the topbar beekeeper while conveying a wealth of knowledge and a well-researched comparison of hive practices. The book is appropriate for beginning beekeepers as well as those experienced but looking for information on natural and organic beekeeping practices. Whether the reader is looking to start their own hive or simply increase their knowledge of honeybees, the book provides interesting and detailed discussions of all aspects of raising them. Crowder and Harrell offer not only advice on how to get started, but an in-depth discussion of all aspects of keeping a hive, from bee capture, breeding, and selection to honey processing. They have crafted a book that is both informative and engaging, filled with introspective advice and practical knowledge.”

The Seed UndergroundKirkus Reviews

Ray unabashedly proclaims that seeds are “miracles in tiny packages.” Through accounts of her own journey in saving them, as well as facts and anecdotes, she urges readers to consider the practice, in order to avoid genetic erosion, to improve health, to work against a system that determines and limits availability, and more. Without stridence, Ray forthrightly presents her case, advocating for small organic farmers and less corporate dependence. In her most persuasive chapters, she recounts her travels in Georgia, Vermont, Iowa and North Carolina to meet others involved in saving specific varieties. Readers new to the topic will find that Ray’s impassioned descriptions skillfully combine discussions on plant genetics and the metaphorical potential of seeds. With a nod toward Wendell Berry, this work emphasizes the importance of individuals working as a community. Recommended for experienced gardeners—guerrilla or otherwise—and novices searching for alternatives to processed, corporatized food.

Win 10 Books from the Department of Homestead Security

Friday, September 7th, 2012

The good folks over at Mother Earth News and Grit magazines have declared September International Homesteading Education Month.

Here at Chelsea Green, we know that back-to-the-land folks do it all year round, come snow, sleet, rain, hail, or presidential elections: Nothing shall stop thee from collecting thy eggs, hoeing thy rows, or harvesting thine apples. We consider ourselves chief defenders of your self-sustaining right to generate your own renewable electricity, compost your kitchen scraps, build a straw bale dream home, and otherwise care for the planet and your community.

Consider us here at Chelsea Green your Department of Homestead Security, and we’re here to say, “Yes you can … can, pickle, plant, harvest, build and share with your neighbors.”Unlike the all-knowing U.S. Department of Homestead Security, we here at Chelsea Green’s DHS are all about learning, listening, sharing and exploring. We don’t collect your name, personal information, read your thoughts or ask you to take you shoes off and tell you what size bottles of liquid you can, or can’t take with you. And, taking your shoes off should be a personal decision between you and your feet.

So feel free to join the CIA (Compost Intelligence Agency), the FBI (Fermentation Bureau of Interdependence), and the TSA (Timber-frame and Straw-bale Administration) — we’ve got you covered.

To help you celebrate Homesteading Month, the DHS is teaming up with Mother Earth News to offer one lucky winner a selection of ten books perfect for the self-reliant library. Sign up here for your chance to win.

Here are the books:

Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader

By Philip Ackerman-Leist

The inspiring true story of a young couple who embraced the joys of simple living while also acknowledging its frustrations and complexities.

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

By Sandor Ellix Katz

Quite simply the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published.

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

By Carol Deppe

Filled with detailed information about growing and using five key crops: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.

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

By Mat Stein

A comprehensive primer on sustainable living skills—food, water, shelter, energy, first-aid, and more.

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

By Eliot Coleman

Grow produce of unparalleled freshness and quality in customized un- or minimally-heated greenhouses.

Small-Scale Grain Raising: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains for Home Gardeners and Local Farmers

By Gene Logsdon

Logsdon covers the basics of grain production—planting, dealing with pests, harvesting, processing, storing, and using whole grains.

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

By Toby Hemenway

Learn how to apply basic permaculture principles to make your garden more diverse, more natural, more productive, and more beautiful.

The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit

By Stephen and Rebekah Hren

Transform your home with projects both small and large, listed by skill, time, cost, and energy saved.

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.

Top Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health

By Les Crowder and Heather Harrell

Provides complete information on hive management and other aspects of using innovative and natural top-bar beehives.

Don’t forget to share the giveaway with your gardening, farming, and fermenting friends. Good luck, and happy homesteading!


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