Archive for December, 2013


Chelsea Green’s Award-Winning Books of 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013

The James Beard Foundation. The Society of Environmental Journalists. The American Horticulture Society. The Garden Writers Association. Nautilus. The New York Book Show. ForeWord Reviews. These are just a few of the many prestigious outlets and organizations that honored Chelsea Green authors this past year with top writing and publishing awards.

These awards recognize the quality of our authors’ ideas, the power of their writing, and in some cases, the beauty of the book’s design and presentation.

Topping the awards list in 2013 were three books published in 2012: The Seed Underground by Janisse Ray, The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz, Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking by Gianaclis Caldwell; a fourth top award winner was published in early 2013, The Organic Seed Grower by John Navazio.

Ray’s book was honored with five awards in 2013, from horticultural and garden writers to journalistic organizations. This breadth of awards matches the range and depth of her book, which is a masterfully woven narrative about seeds, seed saving, and the people who are on the frontlines of preserving these heirloom and heritage seeds in a world dominated by the corporate control of seeds.

Caldwell’s gorgeously designed and illustrated cheesemaking book is a must-have for foodies who want to make cheese at home, or even start thinking about selling small batches. Caldwell walks readers through recipes and tips to make top-notch soft and hard rind cheeses. Chelsea Green’s production team also won some deserved credit, too, for the book design awards this book won.

One of the biggest awards this year was the James Beard Foundation Book Award, which was given to Sandor Ellix Katz for his book, The Art of Fermentation. Katz took home the top award in the Best Reference and Scholarship category.

Several other books took home top honors, or came darn close as finalists or honorable mentions. To recap another great year for Chelsea Green authors and our production and editorial teams, the full list of award-winners (and runners-up) are listed below:

The Seed Underground

Won: The Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, Agriculture
Won: Nautilus Award, Gold Book Award, Green Living
Won: Garden Writers Association Awards, Gold Award of Achievement, Writing-Book-General
Won: American Horticultural Society Book Award
Won: American Society of Journalists and Authors, Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing That Makes a Difference

The Art of Fermentation

Won: James Beard Awards, Best Reference and Scholarship
Finalist: IACP Cookbook Awards, Reference
Finalist: Books for a Better Life Award

Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking

Won: ForeWord Book of the Year, Gold, Reference
Won: New England Book Show Awards, Professional-Illustrated
Won: New York Book Show Awards, Scholarly
Finalist: IACP Cookbook Awards, Reference

The New Feminist Agenda

Won: ForeWord Book of the Year, Bronze, Women’s Studies
Won: Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize

Nuclear Roulette

Finalist: ForeWord Book of the Year, Ecology & Environment

The Organic Seed Grower

Won: Garden Writers Association Awards, Silver Award of Achievement, Publisher/Producer—Book—Technical
Won: American Horticultural Society Book Award

Reinventing Fire

Won: Nautilus Award, Gold Book Award, Business/Leadership
Won: ForeWord Book of the Year, Gold, Business & Economics

The Holistic Orchard - Won: American Horticultural Society Book Award

Taste, Memory - Won: Amazon Best Books of the Year, #9 in Food Literature

Cheese and Culture - Finalist: IACP Cookbook Awards, Culinary History

2052 - Honorable Mention: SEJ Awards: Rachel Carson Environment Book Award

Top-Bar Beekeeping - Finalist: New Mexico Book Awards, Craft/Hobby/How-To

Zero Waste: A concrete step towards sustainability

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

By Dr. Paul Connett

I can’t remember exactly when I concluded that we were living on this planet “as if we had another one to go.”

We would need at least four planets if the whole world’s population consumed like the average American and two if everyone consumed like the average European. Meanwhile India and China are copying our massive consumption patterns. If we want to move in a sustainable direction then something has to change. In my view, the best place to start that change is with waste. Because every day every human being on this planet makes waste. All the time that we do that we are living in a non-sustainable fashion, but with good political leadership – especially at the local level – we could be part of a movement towards sustainability. A sustainable society has to be a zero waste society.

The zero waste approach is better for the local economy (more jobs), better for our health (less toxics), better for our planet (more sustainable), and better for our children (more hope for the future).

How do we get there?

Zero Waste a New DirectionIn The Zero Waste Solution I outline “Ten Steps to Zero Waste,” which are essentially common sense. Most people would have little trouble dealing with the first seven steps:

• source separation
• door-to-door collection
• composting
• recycling
• reuse and repair
• pay-as-you-throw systems for the residuals, and,
• waste reduction initiatives at both the community and corporate level.

However, it is Step Eight where some people are going to have trouble and where, if we are not careful, the waste industry could easily co-opt all our good work.

The incineration industry has discovered that by introducing two words it can continue to insert its poisonous, polluting activities into the mix. The phrase “Zero Waste to Landfill” cynically takes the good intentions of the Zero Waste movement and moves it back in a non-sustainable direction.

Instead, step eight calls on communities to build a residual separation and research facility in front of the landfill. The point of this step is to make the residual fraction very visible as opposed to landfills and incinerators that attempt to make the residuals disappear.

It is at this facility that we have to introduce a new discipline on waste. The community has to say to industry “if we can’t reuse it, recycle it or compost it, you shouldn’t be making it.” In other words waste is a design problem, and that is Step Nine: We need better design of both products and packaging if we are going to rid ourselves of the wretched “throwaway ethic” which has dominated both manufacture and our daily lives since WW II. We need to turn off the tap on disposable objects.

The final step is to create interim landfills — and I use interim because the goal of zero waste initiatives is to eliminate the need for traditional landfills. These interim landfills should be seen as temporary holding facilities until we can better figure out how to recycle, reuse, or better dispose of these materials than just tossing them in the ground, and capping them.

Summing it up with the Four Rs

Zero Waste four RsThe simplest way to explain Zero Waste is that it involves four Rs. The three familiar R’s of community responsibility—Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (including composting)—are joined by the less familiar “R” of industrial responsibility: Re-design.

In fact, the first person that talked about zero waste was one of the greatest designers of all time: Leonardo da Vinci. Somewhere in his writing he said that there is no such thing as waste: one industry’s waste should be another industry’s starting material. No doubt he was copying nature’s approach to materials. Nature makes no waste; she recycles everything. Waste is a human invention. Now we need to spend some effort to “de-invent” it.

Dr. Paul Connett is the author of The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community at a Time.

From Horse Power to Pee Power: Best Blog Posts of 2013

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

It’s hard to pick favorites. But, we took some time to reflect on some of the blog posts that you loved the most from this year.

To start on a good note, we had two books featured in The New York Times. The New Horse-Powered Farm  and Paradise Lot both graced the pages of the Home and Garden section.

apocalypticaContinuing on our great media streak, The Art of Fermentation was selected as a James Beard Award Winner!

And remember April Fools Day? Chelsea Green introduced Apocalyptica —a new sustainable erotica imprint. Everyone had a laugh over our re-worked book titles. And, who knows? With the continued strong growth among Romantic titles, perhaps some of these books will be discreetly placed on a bookshelf in a bookstore near you.

SauerkrautWe continued the year by telling readers about the The Power of Pee  — a natural way to enrich your soil. We also taught folks how to make the best sauerkraut on Earth  and said over and over again, “we can pickle that!”. Because, well, you can pickle that. Whatever it is.

From The New York Times features to April Fools Day fun, we enjoy bringing you fresh content on all things related to sustainable living.

What were your favorite posts of 2013? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

How to Grow Oyster Mushrooms Indoors

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Is frost setting in? Dipping temperatures terminating your backyard projects?

The growing season for temperate climate gardeners is pretty much over by this time of year. But we know locavores are hungry all-year-round, and that’s why we love to publish books to help you take control over your food supply even in the dead of winter. From Eliot Coleman’s easy methods of gardening under cold frames, to Sandor Katz’s techniques for turning your kitchen into a bubbly fermentation factory, our authors keep the homegrown fun going.

One of our favorite resources for off-season growing or simply growing food year-round in your urban “homestead” is Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting by R. J. Ruppenthal. The book shows you how to grow vegetables on balconies and patios, but also how to grow some simple and nutritious foods indoors such as sprouts and mushrooms.

This excerpt explains how to start your very own oyster mushroom farm. Give it a try!

~

Oyster mushrooms are probably the easiest kind of mushrooms to grow. Though they are accustomed naturally to growing in wood, you also can raise oyster mushrooms in a variety of other growing media, including straw or sawdust. The easiest way to begin is with a kit. If you want to experiment on your own, then oysters give you a greater chance of success than other mushrooms. There are dozens of varieties of oyster mushrooms, from pin-sized to trumpet-sized, so check with your kit or spore supplier to see which kinds are available and recommended for your climate. Most grow in an ideal temperature range of about 55 to 65 degrees F.

Most oyster mushroom growing kits consist of either a small inoculated log or a holey plastic bag filled with sterilized, inoculated straw or sawdust. You can make your own kit using any of these materials, but I will recommend one other method that has worked well for many indoor mushroom growers. For this you will need two milk cartons or small waxed-cardboard boxes, enough sawdust to fill them, 2 cups of whole grain flour or coffee grounds, and some oyster mushroom spawn. The basic steps are as follows, but feel free to improvise. If sawdust is unavailable, you could also use straw for this.

  1. Cut out the top of the milk cartons so that their edges are of even height. Punch several small holes in each side of both cartons.
  2. Sterilizing (optional): If you are using sawdust that has already been inoculated with spawn, then do not try to sterilize it or you will kill the fungi. If you are using additional sawdust that has not been inoculated yet, then you may want to sterilize it. The easiest ways to do this are by boiling, steaming, or microwaving it. If anyone else in your household might object to cooking sawdust in the kitchen, then you might want to try this step when no one else is home. To sterilize with a microwave oven, fill a microwave-safe bowl with sawdust, plus the flour or coffee grounds, and wet down this mass with enough water so that it is the consistency of a wet sponge. You may need to do several successive batches to sterilize all of your sawdust. Nuking the sawdust on high for two minutes or until the water begins to boil off will kill any unwanted organisms and leave your kitchen smelling like either a wood shop or coffee shop. You also can boil or steam the growing medium in a pot of water in the kitchen or over a campfire, with or without a steamer basket. After it has boiled for a few minutes, turn off the heat, keep the sawdust covered, and let it return to room temperature.
  3. Using non-chlorinated water, wet the sawdust until it’s thoroughly damp. Then mix in your spores or inoculated material.
  4. Tightly pack this damp growing medium into your milk cartons and leave them in a cellar, garage, storage locker, or dark cabinet. You can put some plastic underneath the cartons and cover them loosely with plastic if desired. If insects are a problem, then spray cooking oil around the plastic to trap them. Keep the sawdust mix moistened regularly with nonchlorinated water, and in a few months your fungi should fruit repeatedly. To harvest mushrooms, twist them out gently so that their stems do not break.

Related Posts:

Time is Running out on our Holiday Sale!

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Good books always make great gifts. And there are only a few days left to find something for everyone on your list. Shop our online bookstore and find that perfect gift for your friends and family. Who knows, you may even find a gift for yourself!

Some of our favorites are below or you can browse our entire bookstore here. Save 35% off every purchase with discount code CGS13 until the end of the year.

Need a recommendation? We’re here to help. Email us at [email protected]

Don’t forget about our DVDs and bundles!

Resilient Farm and Homestead Art of Fermentation From the Wood-Fired Oven Out on a Limb
Edible Forest Gardens Sugarmaker The New Cider Makers Keeping a Family Cow
paradise Lot Gaia's Garden Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking Natural Beekeeping
View All Books New Releases Bundles and Sets Instructional DVDs

*Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only)

 

Calling All Young Farmers: This Land is Your Land

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

If you’ve seen Food, Inc., read Michael Pollan, or heard of Polyface Farm, chances are you’re familiar with Joel Salatin—the charismatic leader of the local food movement and arguably America’s most influential farmer.

Salatin’s latest book, Fields of Farmers, is a response to the aging farmer phenomenon (the average farmer is now 60 years old) and a call to action: To inspire a new generation of young famers to take over the fields from their aging mentors.

“If you own land and don’t know what to do with it, this book is for you. If you want to farm, but don’t know how to start, this book is for you. If you are an aging farmer struggling with a succession plan, this book is for you. And if you are a farmer’s child trying to make a place for yourself on the family farm, this book is for you,” writes Salatin in the Introduction. “We are all utterly and completely dependent on soil, honey bees, raindrops, sunlight, fungi, and bacteria. Neither the greatest scientific discovery nor the highest gain on Wall Street compares to the importance of a functioning carbon cycle or dancing earthworms.

Based on Salatin’s decades of experience at Polyface Farm, Fields of Farmers discusses problems and solutions surrounding the land and knowledge transfer crisis of the present day.

The problem is widely discussed in the farming community. For example, take The Greenhorns
—a grassroots non-profit dedicated to promoting and supporting a new generation of young farmers, or the National Young Farmers Coalition – an organization that works to mobilize and engage young farmers. Everywhere you look, there are people and organizations working to combat the problem of the aging farmer.

“As usual, Joel Salatin is once again on the cutting edge of change, writes Allan Nation, Editor and Co-owner of The Stockman Grass Farmer, in the Foreword. “Whether you want to be an intern, or hire an intern, reading this book will be invaluable for you.”

Fields of Farmers: Interning, Mentoring, Partnering, Germinating is available now and you can get for 35% off as part of our Holiday Sale with discount code CGS13 until the end of the year. Read the introduction below.

Looking for the Perfect Gift?

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Chelsea Green is the perfect place to stock up on inspiring and educational gifts for everyone on your list (and don’t forget about yourself).

You’ll find the right gift for anyone, from gardeners and political activists to entrepreneurs, builders, foodies and cooks – we’ve got the book for you.

Use the discount code CGS13* at checkout to save 35% off your entire order from now until the end of the year. Take a look at some of our new and popular titles below to get started, or browse our full on-line bookstore.

Happy Holiday’s from the folks at Chelsea Green

P.S. Don’t forget there is free shipping on orders over $100*


*Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale for example.
Free shipping for orders $100 or more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only).

Gardening and Agriculture

Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
Retail: $150.00
Sale: $97.50
The Resilient Farm and Homestead
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
Gaia's Garden, 2nd Edition
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Market Farming Success, Revised and Expanded Edition
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Grafter's Handbook
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
Keeping a Family Cow
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
The Resilient Gardener
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Perennial Vegetables
Retail: $35.00
Sale: $22.75

View More

Sustainable Food

From the Wood-Fired Oven
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
The Sugarmaker's Companion
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Farm-Fresh and Fast
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
The New Cider Makers Handbook
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
The Art of Fermentation
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Home Baked
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
Cooking Close to Home
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22

View More

Socially Responsible Business

Raising Dough
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
Good Morning, Beautiful Business
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $11.67
Local Dollars, Local Sense
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $11.67
Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money
Retail: $15.95
Sale: $10.37

Green Building

The Greened House Effect
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
No-Regrets Remodeling, Second Edition
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Compact Living
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $9.72
The Natural Building Companion
Retail: $59.95
Sale: $38.95

Nature and Environment

Out on a Limb
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
The Zero Waste Solution
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Flying Blind
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Cows save the Planet
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $11.67

Politics and Social Justice

Marijuana is Safer, Updated and Expanded Edition
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $9.72
What Then Must We Do?
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $11.67
Slow Democracy
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
The New Feminist Agenda
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $11.67

Renewable Energy

Reinventing Fire
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Log Book
Retail: $12.95
Sale: $8.42
Do it Yourself 12 Volt Solar Power
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $9.72
Power of the People
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97



Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only)

Buying Meat for the Holidays? Here Are Key Questions to Ask Your Farmer or Butcher

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

As the holiday season approaches, you may be wondering what delicious meats you’ll cook up for roundtable family feasts. But before you buy a cut of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, or anything else, there are some things you should research first.

In his forthcoming book The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat, master butcher Cole Ward arms you with key questions you should ask your local farmer or butcher.

Let’s start with what you should look for at your local charcuterie. But first—what exactly is a butcher you ask? We’ll let Cole tell you:

“You may think that the guy or gal who cuts and packages meat behind the glass window of your supermarket meat department is a butcher,” writes Ward. “You’re wrong. Those folks are meat-cutters. In the case of today’s large supermarkets, they’re really what I prefer to call meat slicers. Their training and knowledge are limited to a small set of skills that they repeat over and over. A true butcher—and there are very few left—is someone who can take a live animal from slaughter to table.”

Now that Cole has cleared that up, here are a few things to keep in mind when you visit the meat market:

• Avoid “Manager’s Special” or similarly labeled product
“When a piece of meat is nearing the end of its shelf life, you can bet that it’s suddenly the Manager’s Special,” writes Ward. “’Cause if they can’t sell it fast, they have to throw it out. Probably tomorrow.”

• If they won’t let you smell, don’t let them sell
If you’re considering pre-packaged meats, Ward warns, be sure to ask the butcher to open them up first so you can smell before you buy. “Remember, if you even question the freshness of meat, don’t eat it!”

• Beware of marinated meat in a large supermarket
“I know that many meat markets marinate their old stuff to give it more shelf life,” Ward writes.

If you go with the direct farm-to-table route, you’ll want to ask your farmer these key questions:

• How long have you been raising animals
The longer, the better!

• What is the breed of animal you use? Do you breed your animals yourself, or purchase young animals to raise?
Here, you should do some research on what are the best meat breeds for various animals. Some breeds are good for meat while others are not.

• Do you use any growth hormones, feed additives, or nontherapeutic antibiotics? If so, why?
“No” is the best answer here.

• Are they humanely slaughtered?
First, decide what “humanely slaughtered” means to you. A good first sign is an Animal Welfare Approved facility.

• Is it USDA-graded? If not, how well is it usually marbled? How do you believe it grades?
Prime, choice, and select are the best grades. The more marbling, the higher the quality grade.

Learn more tips and tricks for purchasing the best quality meat in Cole Ward’s
The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat: How to Source it Ethically, Cut it Professionally, and Prepare it Properly. This book – due in stores in February – includes a CD of more than 800 images that provide a step-by-step guide to home butchery of select cuts of pork, beef, lamb, and chicken.

Stocking Stuffer Holiday Sale!

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Our stocking stuffer holiday sale continues with 35% off any purchase at our on-line bookstore.

Simply use the code CGS13 at checkout from now until the end of the year. Don’t forget there is free shipping on orders over $100.*

Need more? Email us at [email protected] for recommendations.

« New Releases »

From the Wood-Fired Oven
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
The Sugarmaker's Companion
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Market Farming Success
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Zero Waste Solution
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Keeping a Family Cow
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
The New Cider Makers Handbook
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
Flying Blind
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Out on a Limb
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22

« Bundles and Sets »

The Eliot Coleman Set
Retail: $79.85
Sale: $51.90
The Sandor Katz Fermentation Set
Retail: $99.90
Sale: $64.94
Joel Salatin Set
Retail: $90.25
Sale: $58.66
The Preserving the Harvest Set
Retail: $54.95
Sale: $35.72

« Permaculture »

Gaia's Garden, 2nd Edition
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Paradise Lot
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
Retail: $150.00
Sale: $97.50
Permaculture in Pots
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $9.72
The Resilient Farm and Homestead
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Desert or Paradise
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97

« Sustainable Food »

The Art of Fermentation
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
Farm-Fresh and Fast
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00

« Instructional DVDs »

Natural Beekeeping with Ross Conrad
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Top-Bar Beekeeping with Les Crowder and Heather Harrell
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $9.72
Fermentation Workshop with Sandor Ellix Katz
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $22.72
Perennial Vegetable Gerdening with Eric Toensmeier
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Holistic Orchard with Michael Phillips
Retail: $49.95
Sale: $32.47
Business Advice for Organic Farmers with Richard Wiswall
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Preserving with Friends
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $22.72
Year-Round Vegetable Production with Eliot Coleman
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97


* Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only)

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