As we take our first steps into the New Year, we wanted to take a few minutes to look back and tally up some of the awards, honorable mentions, and “best of” accolades that our authors racked up in 2014—our 30th anniversary in publishing.
The Resilient Farm and Homestead won the American Horticultural Society Book Award. The reviewers said Falk’s book is full of “exciting ways to more fully engage with the land you call home.” The book also “eloquently advocates for taking a holistic approach to self-sufficiency that can have broad applications beyond the farm … a thought-provoking and comprehensive resource, unlike anything else out there on the subject of sustainable living.”
Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land by Gary Paul Nabhan won a silver medal in the Garden Writers Association Book Award for 2014. Nabhan and his book won a New Mexico Book Award, too.
Judith Wicks and Judith Schwartz won Nautilus Book Awards. Now in its 15th year, the Nautilus Awards is a unique program honoring books that inspire and connect our lives as individuals, communities, and global citizens. Wicks received a Gold Award in the Business and Leadership category for her book Good Morning, Beautiful Business, while Silver Awards in the Green Living/Sustainability category were given to Schwartz for Cows Save the Planet.
Several of our authors were also recognized with Atlas Awards. This initiative was established to honor climate heroes that are focused on building a converging, unified, and urgent voice for the climate movement. Congratulations to Jorgen Randers (2052), Greg Pahl (Power from the People), Susan Clark and Woden Teachout (Slow Democracy), and Amory Lovins (Reinventing Fire).
Sometimes it truly is just an honor to be in the running – especially when it comes to such prestigious award ceremonies as the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards and Taste Canada Cookbook awards. The New Cider Maker’s Handbook was a finalist for both awards. Author Claude Joliceour didn’t win, but was in very good company as a finalist.
In addition, two other authors were finalists for big writing prizes this year:
Best of the Best
At the end of the year, some of our favorite writers and publications compile their “best of” lists, and Chelsea Green authors found themselves on a number of those roundups.
An Unlikely Vineyard
An Unlikely Vineyard was called one of the best wine books of 2014 by New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov. Here is part of what he had to say: “I won’t mince words … . I love this book, which conveys beautifully why the best wine is, at heart, an agricultural expression. … The book is not solely about grape-growing. Ms. Heekin places wine in the context of a diverse farm, an alternative to the agricultural and critical view of wine as a monoculture. In the end, she writes, what’s most important is ‘the shared experience around the table that is defined by the culture of food, wine, friendship, ideas and heart.’ If you can find her soulful wine, produced in tiny quantities and labeled La Garagista, it resonates with every sentiment in the book.” Similarly glowing reviews appeared in The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, and other notable publications.
Nicolette Hahn Niman’s Defending Beef was named by Mother Jones’ Tom Philpott as one of the best food books of 2014, claiming, “A longtime critic of industrial agriculture and a lawyer by training, Niman mounts a lawyerly case for pasture-based beef production. She does so from an interested position. She’s the wife of Bill Niman, one of the nation’s most celebrated grass-based ranchers. But critics who want to dismiss Niman’s advocacy on economic-interest grounds have to grapple with the mountains of evidence she brings to bear.” The organization Food Tank also named Defending Beef one of the best food books of 2014, saying: “In response to the ecological objection that cattle production produces more harm than good, biologist, environmental lawyer, long-time vegetarian and rancher, Nicolette Hahn Niman presents the case that raising cattle can in fact have many environmental benefits. Using scientific data, Niman argues how small-scale, grass-fed cattle operations are actually part of a long-term sustainability solution. Niman’s book picked up fantastic reviews from The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic (which also included it among the “best” of 2014 books) among other key publications and food writers; a sure sign the book has the attention of foodies and food writers around the country. Look for more on this book in 2015.
The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat
The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat is Vermont-based butcher Cole Ward’s how-to guide to home and small-scale butchery (along with a history of gourmet butchery and includes a step-by-step how-to CD of images). This book, published in February, was named one of the best food books of 2014 by The Atlantic’s award-winning food writer Corby Kummer. In his review, Kummer also gave a nod to two other Chelsea Green books, the award-winning and bestselling The Art of Fermentation as well as the aforementioned Defending Beef.
Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation
Tradd Cotter’s impressive debut received plenty of praise from mycologists and fungi fans around the world, and Booklist editors named it one of their Top 10 books on gardening and crafts for 2014. “With plenty of photographs and other illustrations and comprehensive back matter, including glossary, bibliography, list of resources and suppliers, and index, Cotter’s advanced how-to is best for those seeking serious mycological knowledge,” Booklist’s reviewers wrote.