Archive for October, 2012


Recipe: Traditional Italian Sponge Cake Soaked in Liqueur

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Is your happy hour missing something?

You’re sitting there, enjoying a glass of wine, a pint of beer, or a snifter of scotch — depending upon your tastes. The cares of the week are melting away as you slip under the spell of alcohol, one of the human race’s most ancient and most reliable methods of improving the general mood (and, of course, you are enjoying your spirits responsibly, and would never consume too much, nor operate an automobile after imbibing). But then you stop. You stop and you can’t help but wonder: where’s the cake?

Okay, so maybe your daydreams aren’t as floury as mine. Regardless, this recipe for boozy cake from Vermont author and chef Deirdre Heekin would make any hour happier. Give it a try!

The following is an excerpt from Libation: A Bitter Alchemy by Deirdre Heekin. It has been adapted for the Web.

recipe for pan di spagna, using alkermes

Pan di spagna, or Spanish bread, is a traditional “keeping cake” born out of the medieval convent kitchen. Because of the egg whites, this cake has incredible longevity (hence the “keeping” quality), and while it is delicious served fresh and spongy, I like it left to dry. Then it soaks up the liquid and flavor of the alkermes all the better.

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • Alkermes liqueur, for bathing the cake
  • Fresh whipped cream
  • Mint or rose garnish, if you like

Butter and flour an 8-inch cake pan, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until ribbony, then add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix thoroughly. Add the flour and mix it in thoroughly but gently; hard mixing will toughen the batter and the texture of the final cake. Let the batter rest while you whip the egg whites until they are just stiff, but still soft and not dry. Using your bare hand, mix one-third of the egg whites into the batter, taking care to break up the yellow cake mixture and saturate it with the whites. Add another third of the whites and mix it in gently but thoroughly. Finally, fold in the remaining whites, leaving streaks of whites throughout the batter. Fill the cake pan to a depth of 1 inch, and level the batter out in the pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a small knife comes out clean and the cake has just pulled away from the insides of the pan. Let the cake rest for 10 or 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely. For serving, you can spoon a little of the alkermes over each slice and garnish with fresh whipped cream. Another way to present the dessert is to pour some liqueur in a shallow dish, cut each portion in half horizontally, dip the cut face of the bottom half in the liqueur, place it on the serving plate with some whipped cream on it, then dip the cut face of the top half in the liqueur and place it on top, thus completing the portion. Add a dollop of whipped cream on top. Garnish with a sprig of mint or rose petals and serve.

Seize the Power — It’s Energy Awareness Month!

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

If you’re a Chelsea Green fan (read: you’re concerned about the planet) and you suffered through the first Presidential debate last week, your ears probably perked up when the President and Governor Romney faced off about energy. Since they are politicians, we can assume most of what they said was either completely untrue, or so massaged to fit a platform that it would probably be less confusing if it were completely untrue…

But regardless of these gentlemen and their prevarications, energy is one of the most important issues of our time.

October is Energy Awareness Month, and we would like to encourage you to learn a bit more about the problems of fossil fuels, and the promise of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal power, biomass, geothermal, and our favorite “source” of energy: increased efficiency.

Chelsea Green has published important books on renewable energy for almost thirty years. This week, we’ve put a handful on sale for 25% off.

Read on, learn, and enjoy!

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Power cover image
Reg. Price: $19.95
Sale Price: $12.97

Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects

More than ninety percent of the electricity we use to light our communities, and nearly all the energy we use to run our cars, heat our homes, and power our factories comes from large, centralized, highly polluting, nonrenewable sources of energy.

It doesn’t have to be that way. In Power from the People, energy expert Greg Pahl explains how American communities can plan, finance, and produce their own local, renewable energy that is reliable, safe, and clean.

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Reinventing Fire cover image
Reg. Price: $34.95
Sale Price: $26.21

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

Oil and coal have built our civilization, created our wealth, and enriched the lives of billions. Yet their rising costs to our security, economy, health, and environment now outweigh their benefits. Moreover, that long-awaited energy tipping point—where alternatives work better than oil and coal and compete purely on cost—is no longer decades in the future. It is here and now. And it is the fulcrum of economic transformation.

In Reinventing Fire, Amory Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute offer a new vision to revitalize business models, end-run Washington gridlock, and win the clean energy race—not forced by public policy but led by business for enduring profit. Grounded in 30 years’ practical experience, this ground-breaking, peer-reviewed analysis integrates market-based solutions across transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity.

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Glorious Glut cover image
Reg. Price: $14.95
Sale Price: $11.21

A Solar Buyer’s Guide for the Home and Office: Navigating the Maze of Solar Options, Incentives, and Installers

Solar power, once a fringe effort limited to DIY enthusiasts, is now fast becoming mainstream. Many home and business owners are curious about solar electric and solar thermal systems, and wonder how to go about getting a clean energy generation system of their own.

A Solar Buyer’s Guide for the Home and Office explains the options so that property owners can make the right choices both for their energy needs and their financial security. Understanding how solar power systems work will enable readers to be informed customers when dealing with professional installers—the book also provides advice on how to select a qualified installer and understand the expanding variety of tax credits and other incentives that are popping up around the country.

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Reg. Price: $39.95
Sale Price: $26.96

Masonry Heaters: Designing, Building, and Living with a Piece of the Sun

Masonry Heaters is a complete guide to designing and living with one of the oldest, and yet one of the newest, heating devices. A masonry heater’s design, placement in the home, and luxurious radiant heat redefine the hearth for the modern era, turning it into a piece of the sun right inside the home.

Like the feeling one gets from the sun on a spring day, the environment around a masonry heater feels fresh. The radiant heat feels better on the skin. It warms the home both gently and efficiently. In fact, the value of a masonry heater lies in its durability, quality, serviceability, dependability, and health-supporting features. And it is an investment in self-sufficiency and freedom from fossil fuels.

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Reg. Price: $29.95
Sale Price: $26.46

Wind Energy Basics, Second Edition:A Guide to Home- and Community-Scale Wind Energy Systems

Wind Energy Basics offers a how-to for home-based wind applications, with advice on which wind turbines to choose and which to avoid. He guides wind-energy installers through considerations such as renewable investment strategies and gives cautionary tales of wind applications gone wrong. And for the activist, he suggests methods of prodding federal, state, and provincial governments to promote energy independence.

Wind power can realistically not only replace the lion’s share of oil-, coal-, and naturalgas– fired electrical plants in the U.S., but also can add enough extra power capacity to allow for most of the cars in the nation to run on electricity. Gipe explains why such a startlingly straightforward solution is eminently doable and can be accomplished much sooner than previously thought—and will have the capacity to resuscitate small and regional economies.

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Reg. Price: $19.95
Sale Price: $12.97

COMING SOON – AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!

Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth

Nuclear Roulette dismantles the core arguments behind the nuclear-industrial complex’s “Nuclear Renaissance.” While some critiques are familiar—nuclear power is too costly, too dangerous, and too unstable—others are surprisin.

Nuclear Roulette exposes historic links to nuclear weapons, impacts on Indigenous lands and lives, and the ways in which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission too often takes its lead from industry, rewriting rules to keep failing plants in compliance. Nuclear Roulette cites NRC records showing how corporations routinely defer maintenance and lists resulting “near-misses” in the US, which average more than one per month.

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Project: Harvest Rainwater with Sand Filters

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Here’s a great tip from Stephen and Rebekah Hren from their book The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit. Harvested rainwater needs filtration before it is potable. Pollution, particles from the air, debris from the collection system (your gutters) are not things you want to find in your tall glass of ice water. Instead of investing in a garage-sized Brita pitcher, Stephen and Rebekah have another idea: sand.

Curious about more simple and effective energy-saving ideas? You can enter to win a copy of The Carbon-Free Home in our latest giveaway contest in partnership with Mother Earth News! Sign up here for your chance to win this and seven other foundational titles for your sustainable-living library.

From The Carbon-Free Home:

Sand filters (also called biofilters) are a biological way of purifying drinking water. Low turbidity (suspended sediment in the water) is a requirement for sand filters to function effectively. Fortunately, a well-functioning rainwater-catchment system should meet this requirement. Sand filters can purify only small amounts of water at a time, as they are unpressurized and work using gravity, so purifying is limited to drinking water. Essentially a sand filter is a large drum filled with sand. Water enters the top and slowly percolates through. A thin, biologically active layer (called the hypogeal layer) quickly forms on top, feeding on the bits of organic residue and other impurities in the water. By the time the water has made it through the several feet of sand, it is potable and remarkably clean. Eventually, the hypogeal layer becomes too thick and needs to be either scraped off or destroyed by drying and backflushing (the water from the flush being disposed of into a nearby thirsty plant). A new one quickly forms and water filtration can continue.

rainbarrel.jpg

Drawing courtesy of Dennis “Mad Man” Pacheco

New Arrival: Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

The long-awaited, complete guide to making gourmet cheeses is finally here! We welcome to our shelves the gorgeous and informative new book, Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking: The Ultimate Guide for Home-Scale and Market Producers by Gianaclis Caldwell.

Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is more than just a cheese cookbook. Caldwell’s mission is to give aspiring cheesemakers the deep know-how to become intuitive, experimental — and really good at what they do.

Take a look at the book’s acclaimed design by browsing the introduction, here. Or a set of sample recipes, here.

Gianaclis was recently interviewed by Ann Saxelby on her radio show Cutting the Curd, which airs on the Heritage Radio Network. Listen here.

In the video below, made by the Oregon Cheese Guild a few years ago, Caldwell explains her philosophy: “Take the milk you have, and the environment that you have, and make as many different styles [of cheese] as possible, until you learn what your milk, your environment, and you, are happy making.”

It’s this careful and generous philosophy that informs her new book, Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking.

Two Chelsea Green Authors Made AlterNet’s Top Ten Most Popular List!

Monday, October 8th, 2012

In a world of rampant, shallow consumerism, and short-term thinking that affects everything from the food we are sold to the news we are offered, it’s great to have friends. Friends, for an independent publisher like Chelsea Green, are many things, but especially media outlets that share a mission similar to ours. Media outlets that seek the truth, that are informed by a genuine concern for the wellbeing of individuals and communities, and do their best to avoid the smirch of corporate and political money.

AlterNet is one of those media outlets, providing provocative and compelling news and essays for the progressively minded — or really anyone who’s paying attention.

AlterNet publishes articles by thousands of authors each year, on almost every topic and news item under the sun. Some of their more frequent contributors, including in-house writers and many of their best known authors, routinely gain audiences in the tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands, and re-spread by blog links, Facebook, reposting and beyond.

We love the work AlterNet does, and that’s why we were thrilled to see that two of our very own authors made their list of the Top Ten Most Popular articles from the past year!

Weighing in at number three is Paul Armentano, co-author of Marijuana is Safer: So Why are we Driving People to Drink? (a book that had, a few years ago, more Facebook fans than the Bible — but not quite as many as Harry Potter). Paul’s recent article, Five Scientific Conclusions About Cannabis That The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You To Know, made waves on the blogosphere.

As Paul and NORML, the group he heads, fight for decriminalization of marijuana, they’ve seen over and over again how the government and mainstream media like to push studies touting the purported dangers of marijuana, while ignoring scientific evidence that demonstrates the opposite.

Also on AlterNet’s Top Ten is Les Leopold, author of The Looting of America, and The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor. Les writes often about the systemic inequalities built into our economy.

His recent article, What If the Greedy Rich Paid Their Share? 8 Things to Know About Wealth and Poverty in the US, shows that we’re far from poor — we just have a wildly lopsided distribution of wealth that makes us seem poor.

AlterNet is funded by people, not corporations. If you love independent media, please consider donating to AlterNet to keep their work alive and well. You can make a secure, tax-deductible donation here.

Pick A Peck of Pickling Books — It’s National Pickled Pepper Month!

Friday, October 5th, 2012

October is National Pickled Pepper Month!

If you put up some of your peppers this summer, they should be ready to open right about now.
Peppers aren’t the only produce you can pickle, of course. Preserving veggies in an acidic environment is one of the oldest and most reliable ways to keep the bounty of your growing season fresh and tasty through the winter.

Chelsea Green has seen a huge response this year to our new book The Art of Fermentation, but we have been publishing books on simple, healthful methods of preserving food for decades.

Enjoy your pickles, and enjoy our tasty selection of pickling, preserving, and pepper books! The books below are on sale for 25% off until October 12.

Chasing Chiles cover image
Reg. Price: $17.95

Sale Price: $13.46

Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail

Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper—from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

Over a year-long journey, three pepper-loving gastronauts—an agroecologist, a chef, and an ethnobotanist—set out to find the real stories of America’s rarest heirloom chile varieties, and learn about the changing climate from farmers and other people who live by the pepper, and who, lately, have been adapting to shifting growing conditions and weather patterns. They put a face on an issue that has been made far too abstract for our own good.

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Preserving Food cover image
Reg. Price: $25.00

Sale Price: $18.75

Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation

Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning offers more than 250 easy and enjoyable recipes featuring locally grown and minimally refined ingredients. It is an essential guide for those who seek healthy food for a healthy world.

Typical books about preserving garden produce nearly always assume that modern kitchen gardeners will boil or freeze their vegetables and fruits. Yet here is a book that goes back to the future—celebrating traditional but little-known French techniques for storing and preserving edibles in ways that maximize flavor and nutrition.

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Glorious Glut cover image
Reg. Price: $24.95

Sale Price: $18.71

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 or 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. Even if you haven’t grown them yourself, it is easy to end up with too many fruits or vegetables after just one visit to the local pick-your-own center or a trip to a country hedgerow.

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Reg. Price: $34.95

Sale Price: $26.21

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

The minute Didi Emmons, a chef from Boston, met Eva Sommaripa—a near legendary farmer whose 200-plus uncommon herbs, greens, and edible “weeds” grace the menus of many famous restaurants in the Northeast—something amazing happened. Not only did Eva’s Garden become Didi’s refuge and herb-infused Shangri-La, the two women also forged a lasting friendship that has blossomed and endured over time.

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

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Remembering Lynn Margulis: An Evolutionary Eulogy

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

When renowned scientist Lynn Margulis died last November, she left behind a vibrant legacy. Her inspiring, innovative work on evolution touched scientists, environmentalists, and nature writers alike. This winter, Chelsea Green is publishing a book to celebrate her memory, filled with essays by her colleagues, collaborators, and other thinkers who were influenced by her work. Lynn Margulis: The Life and Legacy of a Scientific Rebel, will be available in mid-October. Foreword Reviews recently wrote,

“In this thoughtful and expertly curated collection, Margulis’s son and long-time collaborator, Dorion Sagan, calls her ‘indomitable Lynn.’ A fearless and zealous advocate of her theories who could also display a loving heart, he writes, ‘[H]er threat was not to people but to the evil done to the spirit by the entrenchment of unsupported views.’

In other essays, Margulis’s complex personality beguiles, frustrates, charms, and elevates various writers, resulting in a stunning portrait that no single remembrance could have captured. Luminaries throughout the scientific world share their memories of her bulldog attitude and scientific contributions, showing that although she’s gone, her work definitely still resonates and informs evolutionary biology and other fields.”

The article below was written by her son, Dorion Sagan. For more information, click here.

Grandma Lynnie is dead. But what is life? Where do we go when we die?

It’s a funny thing: Death is the opposite of life. But so is birth. Your birth continues the life of your parents—here Zach, Jenny, Robin, and Jeremy—just as your parents’ lives continued the life of their parents.

What does this mean? It means that life and death are not so simple.  Although a body may disappear, its form—with some changes—continues. We are one of the changed forms of our parents.

Your grandmother studied an organism—it may look like a plant, but it’s a bryozoan, an animal—named Pectinatella magnifica—in this very pond. It is a funny-looking, puffy creature that looks kind of like a brain on a stick. And she made a discovery: it lives with other organisms, purple bacteria I think, that help it grow. She was still working on this when she died.

When a caterpillar becomes a butterfly it changes, and when a butterfly lays its eggs, it changes again: We say the butterfly dies when the body that lays the eggs dies, but, if you think about it, the cycle goes on. We could say that the caterpillar dies and the butterfly is born.

Focusing on this idea, we could say that her body died, but part of her—you and me—has already been born again: not in a religious sense but as your bodies and minds, which don’t know as much as her yet, but do contain some of the same thoughts and feelings.

So we should not be so sad. You are not just a grown up who is twenty or thirty or forty years old, or a kid who is 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 years old. You are part of a collection of microbes, including symbiotic bacteria that joined forces—fast ones and slow ones, oxygen breathers and those that could live in the mud, green ones and transparent ones—billions of years ago. Life on Earth is 3.8 billion years old and it has not stopped reproducing since it started. You may disappear but you may also become part of a new form—not a ghost, but a grandchild.

She and I wrote about this in What is Life?. We tried to show that life is not just a thing, a body, but a process—and that looking at it this way was not make-believe, but scientific.

“‘What is life?‘ is a linguistic trap. To answer according to the rules of grammar, we must supply a noun, a thing. But life on Earth is more like a verb. It is a material process, surfing over matter like a strange slow wave. It is a controlled artistic chaos, a set of chemical reactions so staggeringly complex that more than 4 billion years ago it began a sojourn that now, in human form, composes love letters and uses silicon computers to calculate the temperature of matter at the birth of the universe.”

Your grandmother was so smart, talked so fast, and about so many subjects that hardly anybody—maybe even not she herself—could always understand everything she said.

She said: “Evolution is no linear family tree, but change in the single multidimensional being that has grown to cover the entire surface of Earth. ”

She said: “The idea that we are ‘stewards of the earth’ is another symptom of human arrogance. Imagine yourself with the task of overseeing your body’s physical processes. Do you understand the way it works well enough to keep all its systems in operation? Can you make your kidneys function? . . . Are you conscious of the blood flow through your arteries? . . . We are unconscious of most of our body’s processes, thank goodness, because we’d screw it up if we weren’t. The human body is so complex, with so many parts. . . The idea that we are consciously caretaking such a large and mysterious system is ludicrous.”

She said: ‘The notion of saving the planet has nothing to do with intellectual honesty or science. The fact is that the planet was here long before us and will be here long after us. The planet is running fine. What people are talking about is saving themselves and saving their middle-class lifestyles and saving their cash flow.”

She said: “We are walking communities. . . Of all the organisms on earth, only bacteria are individuals.”

By that she meant that we are not who we think, just animals, but also bacteria, and other microbes. These bacteria help us make vitamins, they live in and on our bodies, and, though they sometimes make us sick, they also come together to make new forms of life. The amoebas and Paramecia and Pectinatella that Grandma discovered in this pond, which she swam across every day this summer, are examples of such creatures that bring together bacteria and other kinds of life in their bodies. They are connected. So are you. We are connected not only to the beings inside us, but also to the beings outside us, of which we are a part. So remember this—and when you think of grandma gone and are sad, remember also that her body is going back to the water and the ground, and that her memory is now part of you, and you are part of her, and that in a sense she is not leaving us but coming back to us in another form.

Related Links:

Image Notes: 1. Lynn Margulis on November 13, 2011, just nine days before her passing on November 22, 2011, at Uxmal Pyramids, Yucatan, Mexico. (Photo credit: Amarella Eastmond.)

Dorion Sagan is a science writer, essayist, and theorist. He is author of numerous articles and twenty-three books translated into eleven languages, including Death and Sex, and Into the Cool, coauthored with Eric D. Schneider. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, Wired, and the Skeptical Inquirer. Look for Lynn Margulis: The Life and Legacy of a Scientific Rebel, an anthology of essays about the late Lynn Margulis, from scientists and philosophers around the world, due out this fall.

Article originally published by Seven Pillars Press.

Permaculture Books on Sale

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Gardening and planting are not only relegated to springtime. Autumn is a perfect time to begin planning next year’s garden—whether that’s a complete redesign, or adding new features like rain barrels, bees, or herbs and companion plants.

A little planning can go a long way toward making sure your garden or small farm grows the way you want it. That’s where permaculture comes in.

The concept of permaculture is simple—everything should serve multiple functions and let nature do the heavy lifting. By paying attention to natural systems and working with them, you can spend less effort, improve the health of your soil, and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Chelsea Green has been the go-to publisher for key home-scale permaculture books for nearly thirty years, and to help you get familiar with the concept (or add to your existing collection) we’ve put a selection of our best permaculture titles on sale, as well as some new titles that we expect to become classics in time.

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

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

Gaia's Garden Cover Image
Retail Price: $29.95
Sale Price: $19.47

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

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Edible Forest Gardens (Two volume set)

Edible Forest Gardens Cover Image
Set Price:$150.00
Sale Price: $97.50
Volume Price: $75.00
Sale Price: $48.75

Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates.

Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work.

In Volume II, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical considerations: concrete ways to design, establish, and maintain your own forest garden. Along the way they present case studies and examples, as well as tables, illustrations, and a uniquely valuable “plant matrix” that lists hundreds of the best edible and useful species.

Taken together, the two volumes of Edible Forest Gardens offer an advanced course in ecological gardening—one that will forever change the way you look at plants and your environment.

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

Perennial Vegetables Cover Image
Retail Price: $35.00
Sale Price: $22.75

There is a fantastic array of vegetables you can grow in your garden, and not all of them are annuals. 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.

Perennial vegetables are perfect as part of an edible landscape plan or permaculture garden. Profiling more than a hundred species, with dozens of color photographs and illustrations, and filled with valuable growing tips, recipes, and resources.

Perennial Vegetables is a groundbreaking and ground-healing book that will open the eyes of gardeners everywhere to the exciting world of edible perennials.

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Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability

permaculture Pioneers
Retail Price: $30.00
Sale Price: $19.50

David Holmgren brings into sharper focus the powerful and still evolving Permaculture concept he pioneered with Bill Mollison in the 1970s.

Permaculture draws together and integrates 25 years of thinking and teaching to reveal a whole new way of understanding and action behind a simple set of design principles.

For anyone seriously interested in understanding the foundations of sustainable design and culture, this book is essential reading. Although a book of ideas, the big picture is repeatedly grounded by reference to Holmgren’s own place, Melliodora, and other practical examples.

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

Food Not Lawns Cover Image
Retail Price: $25.00 
Sale Price: $16.25

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.” 

 Excerpt from Chapter Two: Urban Ecology. READ IT HERE…

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Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture Cover Image
Retail Price: $29.95
Sale Price: $19.47

Sepp Holzer’s farm is an intricate network of terraces, raised beds, ponds, waterways and tracks, well covered with productive fruit trees and other vegetation, with the farmhouse neatly nestling amongst them.

This is in dramatic contrast to his neighbors’ spruce monocultures. Holzer covers every aspect of his farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it.

“A fascinating book written by a man who has devoted a lifetime to working with nature and creating extraordinarily diverse polycultures. His work is breathtaking.” —Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture Magazine

Read the Foreword by Patrick Whitefield…

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Permaculture Design: A Step-By-Step Guide

Permaculture Design Cover Image
Retail Price: $24.95 
Sale Price: $16.22

In this unique, full color guide, experienced permaculture teacher Aranya leads you through the design process from beginning to end, using clear explanations, flowcharts and diagrams.

It is based on course worksheets which have been designed, refined and tested on students over time. Linking theory to practice, he places the ethics, principles, philosophies, tools and techniques directly into the context of the process itself. While written for anyone with a basic grasp of permaculture, this book also has plenty to offer the more experienced designer.

WATCH Aranya’s Presentation at the London Permaculture Festival…

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People & Permaculture: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home

People & Permaculture Cover Image
Retail Price: $34.95Sale Price: $22.72

People & Permaculture widens the definition of permaculture from being mainly about land-based systems to include our own lives, relationships, and society.

This book provides a framework to help each of us improve our ability to care for ourselves, our friends, families, and the Earth. It is also a clear guide for those who may be new to permaculture, who may not even have a garden, but who wish to be involved in making changes to their lives and living more creative, low-carbon lives. People & Permaculture transforms the context of permaculture making it relevant to everyone.

Look inside the book…

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How to Grow Perennial Vegetables: Low-Maintenance, Low-Impact Vegetable Gardening

How to Grow Perennial Vegetables Cover Image
Retail Price: $26.95Sale Price: $17.52

Martin Crawford gives comprehensive advice on all types of perennial vegetables (edible plants that live longer than three years), from ground-cover plants and coppiced trees to plants for bog gardens and edible woodland plants.

There are many advantages to growing perennial vegetables. They need less tillage than conventional vegetables and so help retain carbon in the soil, they extend the harvesting season, especially in early spring, and, of course, they are much less work.

How to Grow Perennial Vegetables features over 100 perennial edibles in detail, both common and unusual – from rhubarb to skirret; Jerusalem artichoke to nodding onions.

Read Chapter One: Why Grow Perennial Vegetables?…

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Permaculture Pioneers: Stories from the New Frontier

Permaculture Pioneers Cover Image
Retail Price: $34.95 
Sale Price: $22.72 

Permaculture is much more than organic gardening. Arguably it is one of Australia’s greatest intellectual exports, having helped people worldwide to design ecologically sustainable strategies for their homes, gardens, farms and communities.

This book charts a history of the first three decades of permaculture through the personal stories of Australian permaculturists. From permaculture co-originator David Holmgren, to ABC TV’s Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne, the authors span the generations and the continent.

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More New and Noteworthy Titles On Sale

Creating a Forest Garden coverThe Fruit Tree Handbook coverEarth User's Guide to Permaculture coverThe Permaculture Way coverSmall Scale Grain Raising cover
Forest Gardening coverFuture ScenariosThe Small Scale Poultry Flock coverGrow Your Food for Free coverThe Resilient Gardener cover
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*Books on Sale until October 15th*

Make Your Vote Count!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Elections are one month away, and without touching the Presidential race with a forty foot pole, we’d like to share some of the campaigns and initiatives we’re interested in. Take a gander, investigate the issues, and make your vote count!

If you live in California, you’ve probably heard about Proposition 37. This bill is big. It is the first serious movement to insist that foods containing genetically-modified organisms be clearly labeled so that we consumers can choose whether we want to eat them. The reason this bill is such an important step is owing largely to the size of the California market — the state is the world’s eighth largest economy. Labeling in California will lead to efforts elsewhere, including Vermont, where a GMO Labeling measure was accepted earlier this year. Vermont’s law will only go into effect if California’s passes.

For more information, you can follow the CA Right to Know organization, here. You can also follow the Organic Consumers Association. Author Jeffrey Smith has been writing on the GMO issue for years, and his books are still some of the best authorities on the subject. Take a look at Genetic Roulette, and Seeds of Deception. New this coming spring, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth will be another great resource for the movement. Author Stephen Druker is offering the first eight chapters of the book as an ebook sample, available for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.

It may surprise you to find out that, for the past several years the perennial number one page on ChelseaGreen.com in terms of traffic is this: an excerpt from The Revolution will not be Microwaved on how to extract cannabis into oil or butter! And our book Marijuana is Safer was the “#1 Most Read Book of 2010” on Scribd. Chelsea Green fans care deeply about having the right to care for their health and choose the foods they want. Campaigns to decriminalize the use of marijuana have been ramping up across the nation. Is there one in your state? Take a look at the various campaigns listed by NORML, here.

Another topic of heated debate in this election cycle are various issues of women’s rights. It seems like a heck of a throwback to be discussing women’s rights to abortion and birth control in 2012, but with the coming advent of the Affordable Care Act conservatives have been up in arms about women’s reproductive rights. There’s a quick rundown of some candidate’s positions on women’s rights here.

Once the election season is past, one would hope we could move past these fundamental levels of discourse, and onward to issues of family care. Madeleine M. Kunin’s recent book, The New Feminist Agenda is the perfect jumping-off place for this kind of discussion.

Governor Kunin has been hitting the road this year, talking about the issues in her book, and women’s issues at large. She is speaking at the Goldman School of Public Policy in Berkeley tonight, and at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon on October 6 at 4pm. To stay abreast of all Ms. Kunin’s upcoming events, check here.

It’s easy to feel manipulated and cynical as a voter in the USA, but there are ample opportunities to make a difference — especially if you think local.

Take some time this month to get educated about the issues important to you, and rock the vote!


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