Chelsea Green News Archive


Forget Something? Holiday Sale Extended!

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Our Holiday Sale has been such a success we’re extending it through January 15, 2014! So, while the holiday’s may have passed, you can still save 35% site-wide with discount code CGS13 (plus free shipping if you spend $100 or more).

Need some inspiration? Browse some of our Classic and Best Selling Books. Or maybe you’re planning ahead for spring? Check our gardening, homesteading and permaculture titles. Want to beef up your foodie skills? Give our preserving, fermenting and cooking books a look.

And don’t forget about our New Releases and Award Winning books of 2013.

Happy New Year from the Employee Owners at Chelsea Green

P.S. We’ve highlighted some books below but you can always browse our full online bookstore here: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore


*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).

Classic and Best Selling

The Art of Fermentation
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Gaia's Garden
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Four-Season Harvest
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
The Straw Bale House
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $22.72

View More

Gardening, Homesteading and Permaculture

Paradise Lot
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
The Resilient Farm and Homestead
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
The Winter Harvest Handbook
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47

View More

Preserving, Fermenting and Cooking

From the Wood-Fired Oven
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
Wild Fermentation
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25

New Releases

Fields of Farmers
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
The New Cider Maker's Handbook
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
Keeping a Family Cow
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
The Sugarmaker's Companion
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)

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

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.

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)

Happy Holiday’s from Chelsea Green Publishing!

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

UPDATED January 1st: Our Holiday Sale has been such a success we’re extending it through January 15, 2014! So, while the holiday’s may have passed, you can still save 35% site-wide with discount code CGS13 (plus free shipping if you spend $100 or more).

—–

We’ve kicked off our Holiday Sale – 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. Along with this great discount, we have free shipping on any orders over $100*.

Is there a small farmer or organic gardener on your gift list? How about a builder? Or foodies and cooks? Whomever you have on your shopping list, we’ve got you covered.

Don’t forget about our bundles, sets and DVDs!

Need a recommendation? Email us at [email protected]

Happy Holiday’s from the Employee Owners at 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). 

~ The Homesteader ~

The Resilient Farm and Homestead
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
The New Cider Makers Handbook
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
The Sugarmaker's Companion
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Keeping a Family Cow
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Natural Beekeeping, Revised and Expanded
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $22.72
Holistic Orchard with Michael Phillips
Retail: $49.95
Sale: $32.47
Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47

~ The Fermenter ~ 

The Art of Fermentation
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Wild Fermentation
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
Mastering Artisan Cheese
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00

The Naturalist ~ 

Out on A Limb
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
The Zero Waste Solution
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
2052
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Cows Save The Planet
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $11.67

The Gardener ~ 

Gaia's Garden, 2nd Edition
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Winter Harvest Handbook
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Seed to Seed
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Perennial Vegetables
Retail: $35.00
Sale: $22.75

The Foodie ~ 

Rebuilding the Foodshed
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
Raising Dough
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Food Rights
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97

The Small Farmer ~ 

Market Farming Success, Revised and Expanded Edition
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Organic Seed Grower
Retail: $49.95
Sale: $32.47
The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $22.72
Fields of Farmers
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25

The Cook ~ 

From the Wood-Fired Oven
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
Home Baked
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Cooking Close to Home
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Farm-Fresh and Fast
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22

The Natural Builder ~ 

No-Regrets Remodeling, Second Edition
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Greened House Effect
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Natural Building Companion
Retail: $59.95
Sale: $38.97
Compact Living
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $9.72

The Local Living Economist ~ 

What Then Must We Do?
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $11.67
Good Morning, Beautiful Business
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $11.67
Local Dollars, Local Sense
Retail: $17.95
Sale: $11.67
Slow Money
Retail: $15.95
Sale: $10.37

 

View All Books
Gardening  Food  Simple Living  Renewable Energy
Nature and Environment Green Building Business Science
Instructional DVDs New Releases Bundles and Sets

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)
per inceptos himenaeos.

We’re Hiring! Join the Team as Media and Communications Associate

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

 

Chelsea Green Publishing is looking for an experienced, book-loving, sustainability-minded Media and Communications Associate to join our growing marketing team in the company’s Burlington, VT office.

If you’re interested, please send resumé and cover letter by November 20th, to Communications Director, Shay Totten  at [email protected] No phone calls, please.

Details:

The Media and Communications Associate is a full-time staff position with responsibilities in leading the Chelsea Green marketing team’s social media and web content strategy and assisting with publicity, media outreach, and relevant marketing strategies to expand audience engagement and brand development. The Media and Communications Associate reports to the Communications Director. This is a full-time, salaried position based in the Burlington, VT, office with the expectation that one day per week, on average, is spent in CGP’s White River Junction, VT office.

Below is an outline of the Associate’s core responsibilities and duties:

Social Media and Online Content

  • Take the lead role in creating social media postings and engaging with our online community via social media. Tasks include:
  • Maintain a regular calendar and share with marketing staff;
  • Work closely with authors to manage their book release campaigns and speaking tours;
  • Tracking and responding to social media statistics to ensure high quality, and high levels of engagement on all platforms. Provide monthly reports to key staff and managers; and,
  • Prepare Chelsea Green content for other content-sharing platforms, as needed, such as Scribd.
  • Research and draft content topics posted to the company’s blog, social media, and multimedia channels for maximum SEO, reach, branding, and effectiveness. Tasks include:
  • Monitoring the emerging, and existing, trends and best practices in SEO, social media, and other online marketing strategies to build our online presence and brand awareness;
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with like-minded organizations to help build our online community and expand the brand identity of our books, authors, and CGP; and,
  • Develop and manage content strategies to expand our engagement into new audiences, and deepen our reach into existing markets.

Media and Publicity Tasks

Publicity

  • Handle requests for review copies, via email.
  • Develop and manage media campaigns for individual books, as well as individual authors.
  • Track media hits, (or assign to Marketing and Publicity Intern when necessary), send weekly report to staff and publicists.

Media Outreach

  • Assist the Communications Director in researching and engaging with bloggers, reporters, and reviewers to review our books and/or authors.
  • Assist Communications Director in the drafting and distribution of press releases and targeted emails promoting authors as they travel to select cities and regions.
  • Assist Communications Director in the research, drafting, and distribution of targeted promotions to select media, producers and hosts.
  • Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with members of the media.

Requirements

  • College degree
  • Commitment to Chelsea Green’s business and publishing mission
  • Excellent organizational skill
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Proven background in media relations, marketing and/or publicity
  • Detail-oriented
  • Strong social skills
  • Background in community engagement and audience development a plus
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently with little supervision
  • Able to prioritize and juggle competing deadlines
  • Proficiency in MS Word, Excel a must, as well as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media and blogging platforms. Knowledge of database management a plus, as well.
  • Familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat)
  • Provide weekly reports to Communications Director to be included as part of their reports to full staff
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics, and other online tracking software.
  • Participate in weekly sales and marketing meetings
  • Travel to trade shows and author events as necessary

To Apply:

To apply, please email a cover letter, resumé, three references, and a selection of writing samples to Shay Totten, Communications Director, [email protected] Please, no phone calls.

Save 35% off on our New Crop of Fall Books

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Finishing your preserving and gardening projects? Dreaming of what next year’s plans will bring?

Whether you are looking to tackle cider making; raising a family cow; tap into sugaring (spoiler alert: it’s not just for maple); or to learn from farmer Joel Salatin on building the next generation of farmers — you’ll find that and much more with our new fall releases.

For nearly thirty years, Chelsea Green has published books, written by experts that focus on being a resource for timeless skills that you will turn to again and again. Books that contain both a holistic approach, and detailed, how-to ways to expand your skills.

Don’t miss some of our favorite titles just released in paperback!

 

New Books: On Sale until November 22nd

 

From the Wood Fired Oven
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
Keeping a Family Cow
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
The New Cider Makers Handbook
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
The Sugarmaker's Companion
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
The Zero Waste Solution
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Out on a Limb
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Market Farming Success
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Flying Blind
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Marijuana is Safer
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $9.72
Fields of Farmers
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
The Organic Grain Grower
Retail: $45.00
Sale: $29.25
Retail: $49.95
Sale: $32.47
Pre-Order your copy!!

 

Sowing Seeds in the Desert
Retail: $15.95
Sale: $10.37
Reinventing Fire
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Wild Flavors
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Cooking Close to Home
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
The Log Book
Retail: $12.95
Sale: $8.42
No-Regrets Remodeling, Second Edition
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The New Vegetable Growers Handbook
Retail: $27.95
Sale: $18.17
Letting in the Wild Edges
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Permaculture in Pots
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $9.72
Do it Yourself 12 Volt Solar Power
Retail: $14.95
Sale: $9.72
Moneyless Manifesto
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
The Woodland Way
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47

 


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)
per inceptos himenaeos.

Classic and Best Selling

Friday, October 18th, 2013

 

The Resilient Farm and Homestead
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
The Art of Fermentation
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
The Organic Grain Grower
Retail: $45.00
Sale: $29.25
The New Cider Maker's Handbook
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
Retail: $150.00
Sale: $97.50
The Resilient Gardener
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Gaia's Garden, Second Edition
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Man Who Planted Trees
Retail: $22.50
Sale: $14.62
Out on a Limb
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
The Sugarmaker's Companion
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Paradise Lot
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
From the Wood-Fired Oven
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
Four-Season Harvest
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
Wild Fermentation
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
You Can Farm
Retail: $35.00
Sale: $22.75
The Organic Seed Grower
Retail: $49.95
Sale: $32.47
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
Natural Beekeeping, Revised and Expanded Edition
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $22.72
The New Organic Grower
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
The Bread Builders
Retail: $35.00
Sale: $22.75
Seed to Seed
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
Sepp Holzer's Permaculture
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Rebuilding the Foodshed
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
https://www.chelseagreen.com/common/files/image/_tmb_product/162.jpg
Retail: $35.00
Sale: $22.25
The Holistic Orchard
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Limits to Growth
Retail: $22.50
Sale: $14.62
Thinking in Systems
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
When Technology Fails
Retail: $35.00
Sale: $22.75
Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money
Retail: $15.95
Sale: $10.37
The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $22.72
The Grafter's Handbook
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
The New Horse-Powered Farm
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Farms with a Future
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Desert or Paradise
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Straw Bale House
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $22.72
The Winter Harvest Handbook
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
The Natural House
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00

 


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)
per inceptos himenaeos.

Do you ‘Like’ us?

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

There’s been a lot of media attention recently to “the sharing economy” — a tech-enabled way for people to share rides, rent out rooms or houses, and much more.


For nearly 30 years, Chelsea Green Publishing has practiced an age-old form of the sharing economy — sharing recipes, DIY tips for your home, garden, farmkitchen, and community.


Books are the primary way we share information, but we use social media — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, as well as our twice-monthly newsletter— on a daily basis to share simple projects you can tackle in a weekend, special bargains, and more that you can then, in turn, share with friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

Join our growing online community:

If you haven’t already, consider joining the 18,000+ like-minded readers who already “like” us on Facebook, or the 21,000+ who follow us on Twitter, or the more than 50,000 people who receive our newsletter.


From your sharing friends Chelsea Green Publishing


P.S. All new subscribers to our newsletter receive a 25 percent discount on their next purchase when they buy direct from us.

 

 

 

The Book that Fermented a Cultural Revival

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the first printing of Sandor Ellix Katz’s Wild Fermentation, a book that helped launch a fermentation revival in this country.

Since its publication, Katz has traveled the globe teaching hands-on workshops and learning from others about the many foods and beverages made by the process of fermentation. His travel schedule – and his personal appeal– aptly earned him the title of “The Johnny Appleseed of Fermentation” from Michael Pollan. To see why Katz has earned this reputation, check out his workshop DVD (a clip is below).

The additional knowledge Katz has gained since the publication of Wild Fermentation is found in The Art of Fermentation, Katz’s award-winning book published last year. The book landed on The New York Times bestseller list, was featured on Fresh Air, and won a Beard Foundation Book Award in the reference category.

To celebrate Wild Fermentation’s 10th anniversary, we asked Senior Editor Ben Watson to recount meeting Katz for the first time, and bringing this important book to print.

I will never forget the day I first met Sandor Katz, though oddly I can’t remember exactly what year it was—either 2000 or 2001. He was traveling, staying with friends in Vermont, and had arranged to come into the Chelsea Green offices to meet with our editorial team: myself; Jim Schley, our longtime editor-in-chief; and Stephen Morris, the publisher and president of the company at the time. This was when Chelsea Green was in the old Gates-Briggs Building in the center of White River Junction, an historic edifice with a lot of what could generously be called “character.” The drop ceilings in the editorial office were just that—ceiling panels would work themselves loose and float down periodically, exposing wiring and pipes. The theater just down the hall was the scene of summer musical rehearsals, with kids belting out chestnuts like “Tomorrow” from Annie . . . all day long. And of course the whole building shook ever so slightly whenever the Amtrak train would pull into the little passenger station across the street. It was the furthest thing from a typical corporate setting one could imagine.

Jim and Stephen were already used to meeting authors and signing up books in interesting places and circumstances. They had previously signed the contract for The Sauna in Rob Roy’s round, cordwood masonry sauna, trying hard not to drip sweat on it from their naked bodies. And there was even talk about arranging a meeting with Canadian author Robert Henderson in a hall in Newport Line, Vermont, which had entrances in both Canada and the U.S. (Robert’s wife, for reasons I never quite understood, was considered persona non grata in this country, and Quebec—on the other side of the building—was as close as we could get her to White River.)

Sandor arrived, looking very flamboyant in what I remember as a multicolor ring-striped sweater and corduroy pants that were very soft and velour-like in texture, and golden-mustard yellow in color. Clearly neither he nor we were going for the corporate image. He entered, carrying a jar of his homemade “kraut-chi” and a small, saddle-stitched pamphlet—the original, self-published version of Wild Fermentation. As the meeting progressed, and we passed around the jar, scooping out delicious fermented vegetables with our fingers, we became more and more impressed and fond of this bright, articulate, and passionate young man, who was part social activist, part cultural preservationist—and clearly obsessed with all things fermentable. It wasn’t a hard decision to sign up his book.

Time passed, and most of the staff turned over during a major reorganization at Chelsea Green. Our offices changed as well, moving a few hundred feet up the street to the Tip Top Building, a big open space inside what was once a production bakery and that had been converted into artists’ studios and other uses. The new, expanded edition of Wild Fermentation was one of the first titles Chelsea Green issued under our “new” Publisher, Margo Baldwin, who with her husband Ian had founded the company in 1984 and had run it for many years before taking a well-deserved break.

I remember when we opened the box containing the advance copies of Wild Fermentation. There was a stunned silence, then a mixture of bemusement and outrage. We had struggled over the cover design for a long time (“Should we have microscopic photos of bacteria on the front?”), but had opted in the end for a funky type-heavy cover. The color in the printer proofs we’d seen had been a dark forest green. Imagine our surprise then when we saw, on the front cover, a shockingly lighter, almost bilious pea green color, and a neon-pink, childrens’ chewable vitamins color in the title and on the back cover. Our first reaction was to reach for the light switch and see if the damn thing would glow in the dark.

We had no clue how this garish-looking, flamboyantly fabulous book that we were sending off into the world would sell. Fortunately, we had an equally flamboyant and fabulous author to promote it. Sandor carried this book to the four corners of the earth, tirelessly spreading the word and talking to everyone who cared to listen about the wonders of fermentation. And over the course of time, this book has grown to become a classic.

Like many of the books we have published at Chelsea Green, Wild Fermentation was way ahead of its time. Today fermentation is a “hot topic,” with everyone from self-reliant anti-government bunker dwellers to tragically urban hipsters from Brooklyn to San Francisco jumping on the bandwagon and eagerly discovering (or rediscovering) the traditional skills for transforming and preserving a wide range of foods. And with the 2012 publication of The Art of Fermentation—Sandor’s best-selling magnum opus—even more readers are now discovering Wild Fermentation, his first book. It’s the one that made it all possible, the original “culture” that started a great and growing ferment.


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