Archive for December, 2012


Happy Holidays! Save 35% with Code: CGFL12

Monday, December 17th, 2012

We continue our holiday sale this week, featuring books on the politics of sustainable living. Our political books are full of inspiring stories from the front lines of the movement to build resilient towns, and practical tools you can use to reinvigorate your own community.

Money is power, and local investment matters. Books like Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money by Woody Tasch, and Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman show how bringing finance back home can improve the health of the soil, your local economy, and your pocketbook.

Power also comes from within. Books like our bestseller Don’t Think of an Elephant! by George Lakoff, and Get Up, Stand Up by psychologist Bruce E. Levine take the idea of politics to a personal level, and show that even the ways you think and speak affect how empowered you feel — and how much positive change you can enact in the world.

Stock up on inspiring and educational gifts for your friends and family from Chelsea Green (and don’t forget about yourself). Our books will inspire and empower you for years to come. Keep in mind that the last day for you to get holiday orders in is Thursday December 20th, as we will be closed for inventory from December 21st to January 2nd.

Happy Holidays from the Employee Owners at Chelsea Green Publishing!

P.S. Don’t forget to use the code CGFL12 when you checkout at chelseagreen.com.

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Politics & Social Justice: 

Please keep in mind that discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale

for example. Phone orders please call 800-639-4099.

Simple and Tasty Recipes You Can Make Using Your Homegrown Sprouts

Friday, December 14th, 2012

The winter solstice is just one week away, making this the darkest time of the year.

Gardens have long gone dormant as the days have grown shorter, but you don’t have to stop eating fresh food just because the ground outside is frozen and sunset now happens around three in the afternoon.

Sprouts are a quick, simple, and ridiculously healthy way to keep your locavore appetite satisfied during the winter. We’ve got some simple tips for how to grow them here. And below, some easy ways to use your sprouts in recipes beyond just tossing them into salads or topping sandwiches with them.

The following is an excerpt from Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting by R. J. Ruppenthal. It has been adapted for the Web.

Vietnamese Sprouted Spring Rolls

This is a great appetizer. You can customize the ingredients depending on availability and preference. Dip the rolls in your favorite sauce, such as Thai hot sauce, hoisin sauce, sweet-and-sour sauce, or salad dressing. For a simple Asian-inspired dipping sauce, combine 1 T cider vinegar or lime juice, 1 T sesame oil, 1 tsp soy sauce, and a few freshly chopped chives. For a peanutty version, substitute salad oil for the sesame oil and then stir in 1 T peanut butter.

  • 6 large egg roll wrappers (These are available in Asian grocery stores and many supermarkets. Alternately, you can use large iceberg lettuce or cabbage leaves. The cabbage leaves can be boiled first to make them more flexible.)
  • 2 oz. vermicelli or thin rice noodles, cooked according to label directions and drained
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts, clover sprouts, or baby lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts (raw or lightly stir-fried, per your preference)
  • 1 medium-sized cucumber, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 handful of fresh mint
  • Some different options: 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced or 1/2 cup stir-fried tofu, thinly sliced or 1/2 cup stir-fried shiitake mushrooms or 1/2 cup coarsely grated red bell pepper

To make the rolls, take out the first egg roll wrapper and dip it in warm water for 30 seconds or until softened. Then lay it out flat on a plate or cookie sheet. Fill it as you would a burrito, leaving a little wrapper space on each end. Place cooked noodles into the wrapper lengthwise from end to end. Then add an equal part of each of the other ingredients, saving a few leaves of mint for a garnish. When it looks full, fold over the two ends of the wrapper. Then fold up the bottom, which should stick to each end, and roll it up to the top of the wrapper. Make sure that it all sticks well. Eat raw with dipping sauce (see instructions above). May also be pan-fried or deep-fried like an egg roll. Garnish with remaining mint leaves or extra cilantro.

Serves 2–3 as an appetizer course.

Sprouted Lentil Burgers

  • 1 cup sprouted lentils (or your favorite sprouted beans), sprouted for 3 days.
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts, finely chopped
  • 1 egg or equivalent amount of egg substitute (can be omitted, but burgers may be crumbly)
  • 2 T olive oil, plus additional oil to cook the burgers
  • 2 T barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp herbs (whatever you have on hand: parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram, or rosemary)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Option 1: 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese or shredded hard cheese (Asiago, Parmesan, or Romano).
  • Option 2: 1/4 cup chopped olives
  • Option 3: 1 tsp chili peppers, finely chopped, or a few shakes of hot sauce
  1. Stir-fry onions, celery, red bell pepper, and mung bean sprouts in oil until onion is cooked. If any liquid remains, pour out and discard. Add herbs and a sprinkle of salt.
  2. In a bowl, combine lentils, chopped walnuts, and cooked brown rice. Add stir-fried vegetables and stir.
  3. Add optional ingredients (cheese, olives, and/or chili peppers) and stir. Taste mixture and adjust seasoning to your preference by adding more salt, pepper, herbs, or barbecue sauce as desired.
  4. Add egg and mix thoroughly.
  5. Heat oiled skillet to medium-high heat. Form mixture into small burgers, flatten as much as possible, and cook on medium high heat until bottom side is browned (about 5 minutes). You may cover pan for part of this time if you want to cook by steaming. Then flip over and cook other side equally, adding more oil to pan if needed.

Makes 12 burgers.

Korean Soybean Sprout–Miso Soup

This is a hybrid version of two traditional Korean soup recipes, using miso and soybean sprouts for the soup base. It goes very well with steamed brown rice. You could also add meat or seafood to the broth if you wish. Miso is a very salty fermented soybean paste that makes a terrific soup base; it is available in Asian grocery stores, health food stores, and many supermarkets. For a thin, mild soup start with 1 T of miso and add more as needed; 3T makes a thicker, saltier stew.

  • 8 ounces soybean sprouts, washed and with bean pod skins removed.
  • 1–3 T miso
  • 7–10 cups water
  • 1 zucchini squash, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 potato, chopped into small cubes
  • 1/2 package tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1–2 cups chopped napa cabbage, or mustard, turnip or radish greens
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • Optional: 1 small chili pepper, sliced, or a few shakes of hot sauce

Wash and cut the vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu.

Put 5 cups water in a soup pot on high heat. Add the bean sprouts, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn it down and let this simmer for about 15–20 minutes to create a bean sprout broth.

Stir in the miso.

Add the onion, potato, and mushrooms. Turn the heat up to high again. Let the soup boil for a few minutes.

Add the chopped zucchini, greens, and optional chili pepper. Let it boil a few minutes more, then turn down the heat to a simmer.

Stir the soup and taste it. If it is too thin and bland, add more miso. If it is too strong and salty, add more water.

Add in the chopped scallions and tofu. Cook about three more minutes.

Add the crushed garlic. Stir well, cover, turn off the heat, and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 4–6.

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Our Recent Releases are Receiving Rave Reviews

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

From Nordic foods to nuclear power, some of our recent releases have gotten some great reviews in the publishing world. Congratulations, authors!

Below is a quick round-up of our favorite praise from the latest round of reviews.

Gar Smith’s new book Nuclear Roulette dismantles the specious arguments we hear all-too-often about the safety, cleanliness, and sustainability of nuclear energy. Kirkus, in particular, called Nuclear Roulette, “A penetrating argument against today’s nuclear age.”

Booklist and ForeWord also weighed in with positive reviews, which you can read here.

From the kitchen of Danish organic grain farmer Hanne Risgaard comes the lushly illustrated cookbook Home Baked. With simple recipes that still manage to use fresh ingredients in surprising ways, and information on using grains like spelt and rye in addition to wheat, Home Baked is a great addition to any baker’s bookshelf. The editors of ForeWord Reviews agree: “This is an easy to follow, surprising, and inspiring baking book. Risgaard’s joy in sharing her craft is contagious and home cooks will find themselves headed to the kitchen for the both warmth this book promises and that the recipes deliver.”

Read the entire review here.

Taste, Memory by David Buchanan introduces readers to a world of forgotten flavors. Booklist‘s review calls the book: “Not just a feast for the palate, Buchanan’s book is a feast for the souls of those concerned about a fast-food culture that prizes uniformity and convenience over the kind of tastes that cannot be produced on an assembly line.”

Read the rest of this review, plus other reviews for Taste, Memory (which Amazon named one of the Top Ten Food Lit Books of 2012) here.

Last month marked the one-year anniversary of the death of scientist Lynn Margulis. Her son, Dorion Sagan, collated Lynn Margulis: The Life and Legacy of a Scientific Rebel, a book of essays from her colleagues and friends to commemorate her unique legacy. ForeWord Reviews writes: “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.”

And last but far from least, Slow Democracy, a new book from community organizer Susan Clark and scholar Woden Teachout looks at ways communities are coming together to decide their own destiny. Library Journal writes, “A convincing argument that time invested in this way benefits everyone in the community and reconnects citizens with their governments and each other. Recommended for anyone interested in being more politically engaged.” And Kirkus Reviews calls Slow Democracy,  “A valuable tool for improving the way government operates at the local level.”

Read the entire reviews here.

These reviews are from magazines and websites dear to the world of book-industry insiders, but they’re not the only reviews that matter to us. If you love a Chelsea Green book, and happen to shop online, don’t keep it to yourself! Taking a moment to post a review of an important book will help other readers find it, and discover the same empowerment and inspiration that you did.

WATCH: Greg Pahl’s Sustainably Heated Home: A Fireplace Insert

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Greg Pahl, author of Power from the People, the latest installment in our Community Resilience Guides Series, also wrote Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options, which we published in 2003.

The book is a guide to using woodstoves, passive and active solar, biomass, and other natural methods for keeping your nest as toasty as possible. It may be too late for you to prep your home for the winter that’s already here, but perhaps the cold weather and the video below can inspire you to scheme some sustainable heating upgrades for your home in the coming year.

Greg Pahl performed an energy overhaul on his 1950s tract home in northern Vermont. In the process, he transformed a house that was built with no consideration for energy efficiency or sustainability into a naturally heated home using sustainable fuel sources.

In this video, Greg explains the conversion of his decorative living room fireplace—a “smoke alarm tester,” as he puts it—into a usable and efficient home heating appliance. He’ll explain what’s involved in installing one in your own home, saving you money and energy this winter.

This video is part of a series. See also:

If you’re curious about Pahl’s new book on community-based renewable energy systems, and our partnership with the Post Carbon Institute, visit Resilience.org to find out more. For an easy intro to the concepts in Power from the People, you can watch a recent webinar that Pahl led, here.

Save on Nature and Simple Living Books this Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

It’s as likely as anything that the sun will rise on December 22 on a planet still facing all the same problems we face now: climate change, political division, corporate exploitation of people and the planet, environmental degradation. With an everyday reality like this, who needs a Mayan-inspired apocalypse?!

Whether the world ends on December 21, or the day passes just like any other, you’ll be set with plenty of inspiring and useful reading material as this week we’re featuring all our Nature & Environment and Simple Living books as part of our end-of-year sale.

If you’re prepping for the worst, take a look at Matthew Stein’s classic survival guide When Technology Fails for suggestions on how to survive in the post-apocalypse world—or, how to live in a post-peak-oil world. Pair that with Stein’s latest book, When Disaster Strikes, which details how to survive six specific disaster scenarios—fire, hurricanes, earthquakes, solar flares, and even nuclear fallout. Or perhaps, Dreaming the Future, a good choice for everyone who wants to build a better future by exploring the changes needed to chart a sustainable path forward.

Happy Apocalypse, er, Holidays from the Employee Owners at Chelsea Green Publishing!

P.S. Don’t forget to use the code CGFL12 to save 35% when you checkout at chelseagreen.com. Plus, get free shipping on orders over $100.

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Simple Living, Nature & Environment: 

Please keep in mind that discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale

for example. Free shipping of orders $100 or more applies after discount code.  Phone orders please call 800-639-4099.

Coming Soon: Farms with a Future

Monday, December 10th, 2012

After years of hard work raising grassfed cattle, Rebecca Thistlethwaite and her husband decided to put their farm dreams on pause for a while, travel the country, meet other farmers, and figure out what makes the best farms work. They were well beyond any romantic notions of the farming life themselves, but Rebecca wanted to know more.

Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business introduces readers to some of the country’s most innovative farmers who are embracing their “inner entrepreneur”: unabashedly marketing and sharing the pride they have for what they produce; building systems and finding efficiencies and cost savings so they don’t have to keep raising prices every year; shying away from huge debt loads by developing ways to build their businesses patiently over time using earned income or creative arrangements with their community of customers; harnessing natural processes to ensure they are not degrading the natural resources the farms depend upon, and treating their employees and volunteers like family.

Each chapter of Farms with a Future features a case study from one of these exceptional farmers, but you can also follow Rebecca’s travels by reading her blog Honest Meat.

The book has been praised by old-time farmers—the toughest audience around. Gene Logsdon, farmer and author of A Sanctuary of Trees, said,

“What is so great about Rebecca Thistlethwaite’s new book, Farms with a Future, is that it is not a generalized treatment about how to succeed in the new farm and food revolution, but a detailed and complete description of how some fourteen farms of various kinds have done it. This book does what books are supposed to do, that is, it gives the reader on-the-ground experience that would otherwise take years to gain.”

Recently, Publishers Weekly had this to say,

“In this down-to-earth, business-oriented guide to running a farm, Thistlethwaite gives new and prospective farmers a hard-nosed taste of what it takes to run a sustainable farm and what steps are needed to succeed in this field, drawing on her six years of farming and a yearlong adventure visiting and interviewing small farmers across America. . . .Thistlethwaite’s experience teaching beginning farmers is evident in the logical, easy-to-follow, realistic but encouraging text, which will help separate the wheat from the chaff. “

Farms with a Future is on sale this week for 35% off.

How-To: Making Yogurt or Kefir Cheese

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Making your own yogurt is an easy, healthy, and affordable way to experiment with fermentation, make milk last longer, and replace an industrial food product filled with mysterious chemical ingredients with one you know all about.

Yogurt itself is a wonderful, versatile food, but you can also turn it into a spread or dip by thickening it with this simple method.

The following is an excerpt from Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting by R. J. Ruppenthal.

You can make a spreadable cheese (resembling cream cheese or sour cream) from either yogurt or kefir. You will notice that when you make either yogurt or kefir, it becomes more solid and sour the longer you let it ferment. Make sure to start the cheese with some mature yogurt or kefir, not the particularly runny stuff; give it a few extra hours of fermentation time for good measure.

  • A few ounces of strong yogurt or kefir
  • Large glass jar, measuring beaker, bowl, or clay pot
  • One square of cheesecloth or large coffee filter
  • Strainer that fits over this container or an extra-large piece of cheesecloth
  • Large rubber band or twine

Wrap your homemade yogurt in cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Using the strainer or extra cheesecloth (with rubber band or twine if needed), suspend this package above the container. Make sure it has room to drip. Put this in the refrigerator, an unused oven, or anywhere else it will fit and be relatively undisturbed. Leave and allow it to drain for 24 to 48 hours. Your main goal here is to strain out the water (whey) from the yogurt or kefir, leaving a solid mass that can be used like cheese. This recipe makes a nutritious, low-fat cheese. Be aware that your yogurt or kefir will continue to ferment during this time, so if you want a milder version, then you might want to put the cheese into the refrigerator as it drains. (This will slow down the fermentation.) Use the finished product as you would use cream cheese or sour cream. And don’t forget the whey: this liquid byproduct makes a refreshing drink on its own, or, if coming from kefir, it could be used to culture a batch of kimchi or sourdough starter.

Related Posts:

How to End Blackouts Forever: Amory Lovins on Time.com

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

In a recent online article for Time magazine, Amory Lovins spells out what we need to do in order to make our electrical power system more resilient in the face of catastrophic disruption brought by the likes of Hurricane Sandy, wild fires, earthquakes, or solar flares.

Come hell or high water — and Hurricane Sandy brought both to many Americans — most of us can’t get the electricity we need. More than two weeks after the storm’s departure, 25,000 homes were still without power. We live high in the Rockies and were unaffected, but a couple of Februaries ago snowstorms knocked out our neighbors’ electricity on five different days. But ours stayed on — by design. Our house’s efficient lights and appliances save most of the electricity. This shrinks the solar power system that runs our meter backwards and sells back its surplus to the grid. But unlike most solar-powered buildings, ours is wired to work with or without the grid.

A resilient power system wouldn’t be linked together in a top-down trickle, getting energy from a central source. Instead it would be made of independent nodes that can power themselves, and that won’t take the whole network out if they fail. Especially if these nodes gain their power from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal, and if the buildings they support are energy efficient to begin with, we could be looking at a completely different relationship to electricity. One that wouldn’t be threatened by a monstrous, climate-change-heated superstorm like Sandy.

Lovins goes on to explain that this strategy seems rational enough for at least one major stakeholder in our country to consider seriously. The Pentagon, caring very much that their war machine offices and bases don’t lose power all at once, is looking into microgrid technology. If it’s good enough for the Pentagon, Lovins argues, it’s good enough for regular folks like us! Read the entire Time article here.

Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute explore an optimistic view of the future of energy in their latest book, Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

Resilience is the name of the game these days, as those of us interested in “sustainability” start to develop a deep understanding of what the word really means, and develop robust tools with which to make it happen. Resilience doesn’t just mean continuing forever as-is, it takes into account the fact that disruptions will happen, and that communities must simply find ways of developing that allow them to bounce back.

Asher Miller’s recent article for the Post Carbon Institute has much the same take as Lovins, and encourages readers to put their money where their beliefs are, and invest in this new vision of efficient, distributed, community-owned electrical power.

On the day following the election, 350.org kicked of a 20-city, 20-day “Do the Math” tour to “mount an unprecedented campaign to cut off the industry’s financial and political support by divesting our schools, churches and government from fossil fuels.”

I want to set out a challenge to everyone who recognizes the need to divest from the fossil fuel industry: Moving our investments from a mutual fund that holds shares in ExxonMobil to some kind of socially responsible investment (SRI) is important, but it’s just a baby step.

What we also need is to invest our capital (both financial and sweat) in community-owned, distributed, and small-scale renewable energy. Why? Because we must fundamentally remake the energy economy as if nature, people, and the future actually mattered.

That means investing in renewable energy that is distributed, because renewable sources themselves are diffuse and distributed, and because redundancy and distribution are key to building resilience in the face of shocks like Superstorm Sandy, which are increasingly likely in a climate-changed world.

It also means investing in renewable energy that is community-owned, because we’ve seen what happens when large, multinational companies control essential human needs, whether they be food, healthcare, or energy. By their very nature, these corporations place profits and shareholders over the well-being of the communities they ostensibly serve. A new energy future must be part of a new economy future, a new economy that puts people and planet over profits.

And finally, it means investing in renewable energy that is small-scale, again because distribution increases resilience but also because even renewable energy can have profoundly negative impacts on ecosystems if not sited and scaled in ways that are appropriate to the environment in which it — and we — reside.

Sounds like a tall order, I know. But thankfully there are a number of great, replicable examples of individuals, institutions, and communities meeting the challenge. Below are just a few. (For a much more complete resource, check out Power from the People: How to Organize, Launch, and Finance Local Energy Projects by Greg Pahl, the 2nd in the Community Resilience Guide Series published by Chelsea Green Publishing and Post Carbon Institute.)

Read Miller’s entire article, including his favorite examples of resilient energy projects, here.

And check out the other books in our Community Resilience Guides Series, Local Dollars, Local Sense (on how to shift investments from Wall Street to Main Street), and the forthcoming Rebuilding the Foodshed (about ways to develop food systems that are secure, appropriately-scaled, and good for the environment).

Featured Book: Taste, Memory

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

In Taste, Memory, which was recently named one of Amazon.com’s top ten food literature books of 2012, author David Buchanan takes readers on a stroll through orchards and gardens around the country to find rare crops carefully saved over the years for their exceptional flavors.

David collects heirloom crop plants, but doesn’t just preserve them in some kind of garden-museum. He grows these strange fruits and vegetables, eats them, and sells them at markets in Maine so that others will be introduced to the peculiar deliciousness of a Waldoboro Greenneck Rutabaga, or the luscious tang of cider made from Harrison apples.

Food is alive, and only if more people eat these foods and grow to love them, can they return to our gardens and farms, and thus remain part of our cultural legacy. In the excerpt below, Buchanan tells the story of finding a very large, very old apple tree on the site of a long-abandoned homestead in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He returns in the early spring to take scions from the ancient tree, which has stopped bearing fruit, in hopes of reviving whatever unique taste its apples must have had in order for it to survive through the centuries.

To hear more about David Buchanan’s work, and his journey with rare foods, listen to this extended interview on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

The Cider Tree – An Excerpt from Taste, Memory

Diane Wilson Released from Jail!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

This just in from Tar Sands Blockade, Diane Wilson, author of Diary of an Eco-Outlaw and An Unreasonable Woman has been released from jail!:

After being held for nearly a week under the torturous and inhumane conditions of the Harris County Jail, Diane Wilson has been bailed out!

Diane is a 4th generation shrimper and a lifelong Texan. She is the Executive Director for the San Antonio Bay Waterkeeper’s, and a founding member of the following organizations: Code Pink-Women for Peace, the Texas Jail Project, Texas Injured Workers, and Injured Workers National Network. While in jail Diane was denied water for over 78 hours and will soon be giving a first person account of her experience.

On Thursday, November 29th, Diane locked her neck to an industrial tanker that was hooked up to a pumping station outside the Valero refinery in the Manchester neighborhood of Houston. She is also on the 7th day of a sustained hunger strike, demanding that Valero divest from the Keystone XL Pipeline and vacate the community that they have been poisoning for decades.

Diane is pictured here with a member of Tar Sands Blockade; they are wearing masks as a display of solidarity with all those who do not have the privilege of having their identity exposed. In the neighborhood of Manchester many people have differing levels of “legal” status. Let us make their struggle our struggle as well. ¡Compañer@s en la rebeldía!

To learn more about the inhumane conditions of the Harris County Jail please visit: www.texasjailproject.org

For photos and information about last Thursdays action: http://tarsandsblockade.org/13th-action/

NO REFINERIES! NO PIPELINES! NO COMPROMISE!


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