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Can We Afford to Keep Plundering the Planet?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Mineral treasures that took millions, even billions of years to form are now being squandered in just centuries—even decades. A central question that has been vigorously debated for the last two centuries is simple: Are we going to run out?

Ugo Bardi, author of Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet says, “We have been acting with mineral resources as if we were pirates looting a captured galleon: grabbing everything we can, as fast as we can.”

In Extracted, Bardi argues the issue is not purely one of depletion of mineral resources, but also that most minerals are becoming gradually more and more expensive to extract as the easy access to high-grade ores becomes progressively scarce.

For example, in the oil industry, scientists have examined the amount of energy needed to extract crude oil and compared it to the amount of energy that oil can produce. In the past, oil was an excellent investment with returns close to 50-100 to 1, but today, Bardi writes, “oil extraction is nearing that fateful point of non-return in which it becomes a useless exercise of energy waste.”

Skeptics will continue to claim there is an abundance of natural resources available beneath the Earth’s crust. They believe human ingenuity and technological advances will develop the mining machines necessary for extraction. However, the question remains, at what cost?

The issue of cost, and the broader global impacts, is a crucial reason that Library Journal had this to say in a review of the book: “With input from other mineral experts, Bardi also rebuts critics who argue that emerging technologies, like a ‘universal mining machine,’ will be able to solve most of these problems. A skillfully written guide to a crucial, little-understood subject and an urgent wake-up call.”

Or, as Jorgen Randers (2052) explains in his foreword, Bardi’s book arrives at a critical time when countries are beginning to question the headlong belief that we can continue to extract minerals at no incremental cost – either financial or environmental.

“At a time when discussion of mineral depletion often resorts to black-and-white analyses of what we are running out of, what has peaked, and how we might cope without it, Extracted offers a full-bodied analysis that illuminates the real consequences of relentlessly plundering the planet for its mineral riches: an altered landscape, massive pollution issues, potential economic upheaval, and, among other serious results, the unleashing of greenhouse gases by mining and burning fossil fuels,” writes Randers.

At present, with Russia flexing its natural resource muscles in its annexation of Crimea and the latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report warning policy makers that the world must take action now to save our climate balance, it seems clear we have reached a crossroads in our state of mineral wealth. Bardi’s Extracted reads like a road map of our mineral history and explores how we can use this knowledge to navigate toward a more sustainable future.

Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet is available now and on sale for 35% off until May 5th.

 

Extracted: Foreword and Preface by Chelsea Green Publishing

Spring Cleaning Sale: Time is running out!

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Don’t forget to soak up the savings as you dig into spring. There is just one week left to save big on select Chelsea Green books.

Through May 4th we’re having a Spring Cleaning Clearance sale to make room for our forthcoming Spring releases. But hurry it is only while supplies last!

As always, we offer FREE shipping on orders of $100 or more.

Happy reading from the employee owners Chelsea Green Publishing.


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)
Sale runs through May 4th, 2014 or until supplies last.


Deep Discounts: $9.99 Books
Wild Flavors
 
Home Baked
 
Cooking Close to Home
 
Food Not Lawns
 
Flying Blind
Dazzle Gradually
Adobe Homes for all Climates
The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese
9.99
Deeper Discounts: $4.99 Books
A Sanctuary of Trees
 
Up Tunket Road
 
Dreaming the Future
 
Power from the People
 
Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares
 
The Raw Milk Revolution
 
A Solar Buyer's Guide
 
Wild Law
 
4.99
Deepest Discounts: $1.99 Books

 

Crop Rotation and Cover Cropping
 
Organic Soil-Fertility and Weed Management
 
Growing Healthy Vagetable Crops
 
Organic Seed Production and Saving
 
Nontoxic Housecleaning
 
Sustainable Food
 
Composting
 
Energy
 
1.99

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)

Think Like a Creek: Using Water to Repair Rivers, Rebuild Floodplains

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Let the Water Do the Work is the book that introduced people to the important concept of “thinking like a creek,” or learning how to harness the regenerative power of floods to reshape banks and rebuild floodplains along gullied stream channels.

The Chelsea Green edition of this important book aims to bring its innovative contributions to the field of riparian restoration—including the concept of Induced Meandering—to a wider readership.

Induced Meandering is at once a science, an art, and a philosophy of river restoration; it is an artful blend of the disciplines of geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology that govern channel-forming processes. The river “self-heals” as the growth of native riparian vegetation accelerates the meandering process. Floodplains are essential to the proper functioning of many, but not all, types of rivers—serving as pressure relief valves, escape ramps for rivers swollen by rainfall or melting snows.

Let the Water Do the Work includes sample field charts, diagrams, project outlines, and step-by-step instructions on how to evaluate, implement, monitor and maintain a restoration project.

Let the Water Do the Work is on sale for 35% off. But hurry – it only lasts until May 1!

Anyone with an interest in natural resource management in these uncertain climatic times should read this book, put these ideas to work, and learn how to go with the flow.

Praise for Let the Water Do the Work

“This book is equally at home in the class as it is in the field, expertly bridging theory and practice throughout. It is a unique contribution that provides students of ecology and resource management with a powerful set of tools to manage what is quickly becoming our most valuable natural resource.”—Craig Conley, PhD, Natural Resource Management, New Mexico Highlands University

“Truly one-stop shopping to tackle a hands-on stream restorative project at almost any scale.”—Owen Hablutzel, Permaculture Whole Systems Design and Holistic Management Certified Educator

“Anyone interested in natural resource management will find this book helpful and thought-provoking.”—Ann Adams, Holistic Management International

 

Permaculture 101: Ask the Experts

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

This May, in honor of Permaculture Month, we’re putting our pioneering permaculture authors at your disposal for a month-long Q&A session designed to help you become a better permaculturalist.

What is permaculture? In essence, permaculture is a system of designing households and communities that are productive, sustaining, and largely self-reliant, and have minimal impact on the environment.

Chelsea Green is proud to publish some of the most recognized, and award-winning names (both present and future) in permaculture, and we’re making several of them available to our readers to answer any and all permaculture-related questions.

The participating authors are: Ben Falk, author of the award-winning The Resilient Farm and Homestead, Toby Hemenway, author of a perennial Chelsea Green bestseller Gaia’s Garden, Eric Toensmeier, author of the award-winning Perennial Vegetables and the latest Paradise Lot. Joining this trio will be Wayne Weiseman, Daniel Halsey, and Bryce Ruddock, authors of the forthcoming book Integrated Forest Gardening, the first book to delve deep into plant guilds and polycultures, as well as Michael Judd, whose book Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist, we are distributing in our catalog.

Ben Falk Toby Hemenway Eric Toensmeier
Wayne Weiseman Dan Bryce Ruddock Judd

Do you need to learn more about a specific design you have in mind? Or are you just getting started and want to know how to best evaluate your backyard or homestead? Whether you’re tackling edible garden spaces or farm fields, our expert authors are prepared to answer your questions on permaculture design, edible landscaping, plant guilds, perennial plantings, as well as the economics and social impact of permaculture.

To submit your permaculture question, use the form below and either put your query to the attention of a specific author (if you have a question about something you’ve read or tried in their book), or ask a general question and we’ll direct it to the right author to respond.

Keep checking back throughout the month as we’ll not only be posting answers, but excerpts and other information to celebrate permaculture month. And, all our permaculture titles will be on sale for the entire month of May.

Get digging!

Fill out my online form.

How Would You Change the World with 20,000 Twitter Followers?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

To celebrate Earth Day, Chelsea Green Publishing is doing something a little different, something that, perhaps, has never even been done before. We are giving away Twitter followers—20,600 to be exact.

Over the years, through our @GreenTweet handle, we have developed a community of people interested in sustainability by sharing green tips, techniques, and inspiration.

As part of our yearlong 30th anniversary celebration, we’ve decided it’s time to pay it forward and pass that community on to a worthy advocate.  We are launching an open call for a socially conscious individual, organization, or business whose mission is focused on sustainability to take over the @GreenTweet Twitter handle.

The challenge is to turn those 20,000+ followers into 200,000, or why not go for 2M. Here at Chelsea Green we like to think big, so go ahead, show us what you’ve got to help make the world a greener and more just place to live.

And, for folks who’ve come to look to @GreenTweet for all things DIY from our authors, don’t fret. We’ve been adding a lot of that DIY, hands-on content—book excerpts, videos, and more—to our @ChelseaGreen Twitter feed so we can have all of our great offerings provided by one, simple channel.

Here’s How to Win

1. Fill out this entry form.

2. Tweet this message: “I just entered @ChelseaGreen #MyGreenTweet giveaway to takeover @GreenTweet incl all 20K followers. Interested? http://goo.gl/gUAFIP

3. Throughout the submission period, keep in touch by tweeting @ChelseaGreen messages, videos, images, and links that demonstrate your vision for @GreenTweet. Include examples of what kind of content you will share and how you will use this platform to motivate others and spread the word about sustainable living. Make sure to use #MyGreenTweet in all posts.

4. Periodically we will tweet questions and challenges to help us select a winner, so keep an eye on the @ChelseaGreen twitter feed for updates.

The submission deadline is June 18. We will announce the new owner of @GreenTweet on July 2, 2014—our official 30th anniversary. In addition to the followers, the winner will receive a collection of Chelsea Green books that are sure to inspire future projects and activism.

Get your green on and start tweeting for your chance to win. Good luck!

The Fine Print:
Chelsea Green will make every good-faith effort to contact the winner. Any winner whom we are unable to contact in a reasonable amount of time will lose their claim to the prize and Chelsea Green will award that prize to the next runner up. In the event that a winner is not declared, @GreenTweet will be retained by Chelsea Green. Unfortunately, Chelsea Green cannot be responsible for any technical problems in email transmissions. Once you fill out the entry form, you will receive a confirmation screen that your entry has been submitted. We will inform you via direct email on July 2nd if you have won.  Thanks for your participation!

Spring Cleaning Sale!

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Congratulations, you’ve survived another long winter! Now it is time for some Spring Cleaning.

Through May 4th we’re having a Spring Cleaning Clearance sale to make room for our forthcoming Spring releases.

We’re offering three chances to save big—up to 90% off—on select titles. But hurry it is only while supplies last!

As always, we offer FREE shipping on orders of $100 or more.


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.
Sale runs through May 4th, 2014 or until supplies last.

Deep Discount: $9.99 Books

 

Home Baked
 
Food Not Lawns
 
Wild Flavors
 
Flying Blind
 
The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese
 
Sippewissett
 
Cooking Close to Home
 
Luminous Fish
 
Deeper Discounts: $4.99 Books

 

Wild Law
 
Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares
 
Cheesemonger
 
The Raw Milk Revolution
 
The Wat on Bugs
 
Dreaming the Future
 
Notes from the Holocene
 
An Unreasonable Woman
 
Deepest Discounts: $1.99 Books

 

Compost, Vermicompost, and Compost Tea
 
Organic Seed Production and Saving
 
Bye Bye Miss American Empire
 
Sustainable Food
 

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.

RECIPE: From the Homemade Hooch Files: Dandelion Wine

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

The following recipe is an excerpt from Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.

“Wine made from flowers preserves the exquisite flavors and benevolent properties of the blossoms from which it is made. It also preserves the memories of fine, clear, sunshiny days—alone or with Someone Else—in woods, meadows, and hills, picking millions of tiny flowers for hours until they become etched on the insides of the eyelids.” These wise words were written by my friend and neighbor Merril Harris, in an article, “Nipping in the Bud: How to Make Wine from Flowers,” published in Ms. Magazine nearly thirty years ago.

Dandelion wine is the classic flower wine, made with the bright yellow flowers of the plentiful and easy-to-find weed. Don’t believe the hype of the manicured lawn lobby; dandelion is not only beautiful and tasty, but potent liver-cleansing medicine. Many other flowers can transfer their delicate bouquets and distinctive essences into wines, as well, including (but certainly not limited to) rose petals, elderflowers, violets, red clover blossoms, and daylilies.

“Begin by gathering your flowers,” writes Merril, “perhaps the most pleasurable part of the winemaking process.” As a general guideline, pick about a gallon of flowers per gallon of wine you intend to make. If you cannot gather this many in a single outing, freeze what you gather until you accumulate enough. Be sure to pick flowers from places that have not been sprayed, which usually means not roadsides.

TIMEFRAME: 1 year or more

INGREDIENTS (for 1 gallon/4 liters):

  • 1 gallon/4 liters flowers in full bloom
  • 2 pounds/1 kilogram (4 cups/1 liter) sugar
  • 2 lemons (organic, because you will use the peel)
  • 2 oranges (organic, because you will use the peel)
  • 1 pound/500 grams raisins (golden raisins will preserve the dandelion’s light hue better than dark raisins)
  • Water
  • 1⁄2 cup/125 milliliters berries (for wild yeast) or 1 packet wine yeast
  • PROCESS:

    1. As much as possible, separate flower petals from the base of the blossoms, which can impart bitter flavors. With dandelions this can be a tedious project.
    2. Reserving about ½ cup/125 milliliters to add later in the process, place the flower petals in a crock with the sugar, the juice and thinly peeled rinds of the lemons and oranges (to add acidity), and the raisins (to introduce astringent tannins). Then pour 1 gallon (4 liters) of boiling water over these ingredients, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover the crock to keep flies away, and leave to cool to body temperature.
    3. Once the mixture cools, add the reserved flower petals and berries to introduce wild yeasts. (Or to use commercial yeast, remove 1 cup of the cooled mixture, dissolve a packet of yeast into it, and once it starts to bubble vigorously add it to the crock.) Cover the crock, and stir as often as you think of it, for 3 to 4 days.
    4. Strain out the solids through a clean cheesecloth and squeeze moisture out of the flowers. Then transfer liquid to a carboy or jug with an airlock, and ferment about 3 months, until fermentation slows.
    5. Siphon into a clean vessel and ferment at least 6 months more before bottling.
    6. Age bottles at least 3 months to mellow wine; even longer is better.

    Hemp is on the Horizon! Get Ready for America’s Next Agricultural Revolution

    Sunday, April 13th, 2014

    You can eat it, drink it, read it, tie it, wear it, drive it, live in it, and make money growing it, all while saving the soil and protecting the climate.

    What is it? Hemp. That’s right, hemp.

    Hemp is on the Horizon! Just this year hemp was approved to be cultivated for university research – a huge first step in hemp’s domestic comeback as the crop of the future.

    Author Doug Fine is ready for that future. In his latest book, Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution, Doug explains why one of humanity’s longest-utilized plants is poised to rejuvenate the U.S. economy and help save the planet.

    Hemp Bound is on sale for 35% off. But hurry – it only lasts until 4/21!

    Whether you are a farmer, entrepreneur, investor, or just a curious reader, this book could turn you into the next voracious hemp consumer and leave you wondering why we ever stopped cultivating this miracle crop in the first place.

    Happy reading from the employee owners of Chelsea Green Publishing

    P.S. Wondering how a single plant can possibly live up to all this hype? Click here to test your hemp knowledge with our Hemp Pop Quiz and to dig even deeper into the History of Hemp.


    *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


    Hemp Bound

    Praise for Hemp Bound

    “The issue is simple: farmers need hemp, the soil needs hemp, forests need hemp, and humanity needs the plant that the good Lord gave us for our own survival—hemp. . . Hemp Bound tells us with detail and humor how to get to the environmental Promised Land. Doug has created a blueprint for the America of the future.” —Willie Nelson, songwriter, president of Farm Aid -

    “Fine’s style and storytelling ability make this one of the most fun books you’ll ever read about the future of farming.” —Joel Salatin, author of Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal 

    “A short, sweet, logical and funny argument for the potential of one of the world’s most dynamic cash crops.” — Kirkus Reviews 

    Growing Your Own Herbs in 6 Easy Steps

    Thursday, April 10th, 2014

    Author Didi Emmons understands it’s intimidating to work with unfamiliar herbs. In her book, Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking From Eva’s Farm, she takes the simple approach that herbs, like any other plant, need good soil, water, sun, and air to thrive. Just vary the amounts of these four life-giving resources for each plant variety and you’ll be able to tend to the freshest of herbs anywhere, anytime.

    In the following excerpt from Wild Flavors, Emmons turns to her expert gardening friend, Kelly Lake, for six easy steps to growing your own herbs. From choosing the right location to harvesting and maintenance, this overview will help you plan your herb garden.

    If you really want to make herbs your next backyard project, check out this tutorial about how to build an herb spiral. This beautiful, year-round focal point is sure to be the envy of all your neighbors.

    How to Start a Traditional Compost Pile in Your Yard

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

    As a society, we make a lot of waste, especially in this culture of on-the-go single-serve disposables. As we work toward the Zero Waste Solution with Extended Producer Responsibility and other government mandated universal recycling of solid waste in the works, there is plenty you can do to reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill.

    Use less, recycle and reuse packaging materials, and compost your organic waste. And if you’re a gardener, there’s no reason to throw away this beneficial (and cheap!) source of nourishment for your soil. Compost is the key to a flourishing garden. Easily turn your kitchen scraps and yard waste into food your garden will love.

    ******

    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.

    If you have enough space to start a compost pile in your yard, make sure your local city and county ordinances permit it. Some of them have restrictions because open piles can attract rodents and create odors. Assuming that your area allows open-air composting, consider whether you can fit three piles in your yard: one for new compost, one for aging compost, and one for the finished stuff that goes back on your plants. If you just have room for one, that is fine, but in order for your pile to fully break down, you will need to stop adding new material at some point and let it decompose.

    Some compost piles are hot, while others never get very warm, and this is a function of the biological activity in the pile while the organisms do their thing. Getting your pile to heat up naturally depends on a long list of factors, including pile size, materials, layering, moisture, external heat, and other variables. But even if it does not heat up much, sooner or later the stuff will break down and you’ll have some good dirt to use on your plants.

    Cold compost is perfectly acceptable stuff; it just takes a bit longer to make. Some gardening purists hold that the nutritional content of hot-cooked compost is far superior, but if you are using it as more of a soil amendment than a fertilizer, then this should not matter much. If you want to follow the pure wisdom, then the minimum size for a hot pile is about 4′ x 4′, which will allow enough internal space to create the proper conditions for this biological activity to take place.93 In lieu of this, any untidy heap will break down at its own pace.

    Compost Bin

    What should you put in your compost pile? Will it stink? Do you have to turn it regularly? The answers are: anything organic, a bit, and not really.

    Dead leaves, lawn clippings, food scraps (except meat or fat), newspaper, cardboard, and manure are all organic matter and will break down in your compost pile. Ideally, you want to add a diversity of ingredients.

    The pile will break down faster if you add both “browns” (dry ingredients such as dead leaves, newspaper, and cardboard) and “greens” (wet stuff such as food scraps, lawn clippings, and fresh manure).

    “Greens” contain plenty of nitrogen while “browns” have more carbon, and your pile needs both. Conventional wisdom holds that the proper ratio is 2 parts “browns” to 1 part “greens,” but you can vary this ratio somewhat. Just remember that a pile of 100 percent leaves takes a lot longer to break down, and 100 percent food scraps may turn into a very wet and slimy mess long before it breaks down. Also, the more diverse sources of waste you add, the better its nutritional output will be for your soil.

    Your new pile will stink a bit at first, but if you have never composted before, then you will be pleasantly surprised. It’s not as smelly as you would think. In its early stages, you can cover the compost pile with burlap, a tarp, or a layer of “brown” ingredients such as leaves or cardboard, which will help seal in the moisture and limit any odors. As the compost ages, it begins to smell more earthy, a fragrance that some actually enjoy.

    Your compost is finished when you can no longer recognize the individual materials that went into it.

    Aerating the pile is optional, but it may speed up the process by delivering oxygen where it’s needed. Use a pitchfork to turn the pile and make sure that both air and moisture are reaching each part. You can do this weekly or less often. And, if you do not want to turn the pile, then it will aerate naturally with time as the layers break down and settle.


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