Chelsea Green News Archive


Chelsea Green Across the Globe

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Here at Chelsea Green we love seeing how publishers from other parts of the world adapt our book covers for readers in their respective countries.

There are more than 150 foreign editions of Chelsea Green books in eighteen different languages, and each book has its own unique look and appeal. Each year we see more books being translated, thanks to an in-house team that travels to Frankfurt and London to meet with overseas publishers, as well as our helpful distributors in Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand, and South Africa.

We’ve created a slide show containing a number of our favorite foreign covers and have two simple questions for you:

Can you recognize the U.S. edition by its foreign cover? What do you think of their interpretation?

Take a look at the photostream below OR chime in on our Facebook Page and let us know what you think.

Preserving Food with Sugar: Make Whole Fruit Jam

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The supply of fresh summer fruit is waning in most temperate regions, and before you know it, apples and pumpkins will abound.

If you’re lucky and berries or stone fruits are still available to you, try this easy method of preserving them: whole fruit jam.

This recipe relies on the natural sugars in fruit to provide a balanced flavor and sweetness in this complimentary spread.  Preserve the last of your seasonal fruit simply – no added sugar and no freezing.

The following is an excerpt from Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning by the Gardeners and Farmers of Terre Vivante:

Sugar is a practical and economical method of food preservation—so much so that we tend to overindulge, and make jams that contain more sugar than fruit! When we discover that excess sugar is one of the great scourges of the modern diet, we might think it best to renounce jams completely. Besides, replacing white sugar with brown sugar is only a relative improvement. Whole or raw sugar (evaporated juice from sugar cane) would be a better substitute, but its strong flavor often masks the taste of the fruit.

The solution to this problem is twofold: avoid eating too much jam and other sugary foods, and make these foods using far less added sugar, or none at all. Knowing and applying these techniques, we can continue to preserve food properly and successfully. For example, certain jams made with very little sugar must be refrigerated once opened, preferably in small jars, to prevent premature spoilage. For those recipes that require sugar, we will use either brown or whole sugar. Other recipes are “sugar-free,” or use honey instead.

Note that the term “sugar-free jam” in essence is a contradiction in terms, since by definition, sugar is the preservative agent in jams. To be more precise, we should discuss “jams with no added sugar.” In reality, jam already contains sugar: both glucose and fructose, which naturally occur in all fruit.

Jams with no added sugar were not invented by health-food advocates wanting to reduce their sugar consumption. These preserves are an old tradition dating back to a time when sugar was scarce and expensive (or even nonexistent). Three classic examples, and the most commonly known jams of this type, are pommé (apple jelly), poiré (pear jelly), and raisiné (grape jelly). The first two have been made for centuries in certain regions of northern Europe, particularly Belgium and Germany, whereas the raisiné is a tradition of Périgord in southwestern France. Carob “honey” is a similar preserve that is found in the Middle East, Galilee (recipe follows in this chapter). All these preserves share this common feature: They are made from the juice only, and not from the whole fruit. Thus, they are jellies or thick syrups, rather than jams. Their preparation is based on this simple principle: Prolonged cooking evaporates enough water to concentrate enough of the naturally occurring sugars for preservation to take place. Jams from whole fruit can also be prepared by following the same principle. In general, after pouring hot jam or jelly into a jar and sealing it, turn the jar upside down. This will sterilize any air remaining in the jar and ensure preservation. It’s also a good idea to store the jars upside down.

Whole Fruit Jam
Very ripe fruit (any type)
A preserving pan or large saucepan
Canning jars and lids

This method is good for all types of fruit, including grapes, greengage plums, and so on. Use fruit that is very ripe; simply cut and crush it roughly. Bring the fruit to a boil; then cook it over very low heat for a very long time.

It is impossible to recommend a precise cooking time, since this depends on the type of fruit used, and its ripeness and water content, both of which vary from one year to the next. In any case, you should allow as much water as possible to evaporate. Stir often, because certain fruits have a tendency to stick during cooking. The jam is ready when it does not run off of the spoons but forms a bead that sticks to the spoon. At this stage pour the jam into scalded screw-top jars. It will keep for at least two years.

Renewable Energy for Resilient Communities

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

How can we successfully bring our neighbors together and relocalize our food, energy, and financial systems?

To glean some of the best ideas percolating throughout the United States, and the world, sign up for the Community Resilience Chats—a webinar series that delves into details essential for communities that are ready to take the necessary steps to reclaim their future. These online discussions stem from The Community Resilience Guides co-published by Post Carbon Institute and Chelsea Green.

These online chats are co-produced by Chelsea Green, Transition US, and Post Carbon Institute.

In the next chat — Power from the People — community clean power visionaries, Lynn Benander of Co-op Power and Lyle Estill of Piedmont Biofuels will share their experiences in moving away from big energy. Join the conversation:

Community Resilience Chat: Power from the People – Webinar
September 10, 2013 at 2:00pm (EST)

The webinar is free, but space is limited so don’t wait to sign up. Participants will receive an exclusive 35% discount on Greg Pahl’s Power from the People. There will be a presentation and time for Q&A, but send in your burning questions on community clean power in advance to help shape the conversation.

If you missed the first Community Resilience Chat: Rebuilding the Foodshed with Philip Ackerman-Leist, you can watch it here:

 Next up on Community Resilience Chats: Local Dollars, Local Sense. Michael Shuman’s perspective sheds light on rebooting the economy to meet the needs of investors and entrepreneurs for a healthy and secure local economy.

Want to learn more about these books and how to make your community more self-reliant? Chelsea Green is offering  The Community Resilience Guides series as a special book set to make sure you and your neighbors have the tools and strategies you need to become more resilient.

One Million Strong for Marijuana Is Safer

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Quick: What do one million Facebook fans and the U.S. Department of Justice have in common?

Apparently, they agree that it’s a waste of time to crack down on individual marijuana smokers. So, will the feds move toward legalization next? If they follow the leads of voters in states like Colorado and Washington, then perhaps we can end the prohibition era mentality when it comes to smoking pot.

In celebration of the Marijuana is Safer Facebook page gaining the support of more than one million fans, and the federal government’s announcement that it’s easing off it’s crackdown on individual smokers, we are offering a special discount on the updated and expanded edition of Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? – just use discount code MIS35 at checkout to take 35% off!

The position that marijuana is a safer alternative to alcohol is sparking a conversation in communities and legislatures across the country—forcing the media, policy makers and citizens to pay attention to this issue.

Renowned brain surgeon and CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently defended and endorsed the use of marijuana in medicinal applications (and was rewarded with his very own aptly-named strand of the drug). Gupta also exposed hypocrisy of the U.S. government, and in the documentary Weed, examined the benefits and relative safety of marijuana. Between this level of exposure and growing interest in the debate, a policy shift is on the horizon.

Marijuana is Safer debunks many marijuana myths and provides research and evidence supporting the relative safety of the substance. This new edition includes the same message, but with even more research and facts, explains the Colorado victory, and lays out the talking points that can help enable change in your state and community.

Whether you’re in support or have yet to be convinced, Marijuana is Safer will educate you, open your mind, and empower you to take action.

Don’t forget to visit the Marijuana is Safer Facebook page and add your support to the one million (and counting) fans. And get Marijuana is Safer for 35% off with discount code MIS35 at checkout.

Get to know the issue. Learn about the facts. Share it with someone else. Make a difference.

We’re Hiring! Join the Team as our Online Marketing Intern

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Chelsea Green – an employee-owned, mission-driven book publisher — is looking for a creative, book-loving, savvy Online Marketing Intern to join our growing marketing and publicity team in the company’s Burlington, VT office.

If you’re interested, please send resume and cover letter to Online Marketing Manager, Gretchen Kruesi: [email protected] No phone calls, please.

General Description

Online Marketing Intern is responsible for assisting the Online Marketing Manager in updating our consumer and media websites, working on consumer email and analytics program, and other administrative tasks as needed.

Responsibilities

• Support Online Marketing Manager including, but not limited to tasks listed below. Position will have opportunity to improve and expand skills and knowledge in website and online management.
• Assist in updating our ecommerce site (ChelseaGreen.com), keeping book data up to date and highlighting major media hits.
• Surveying website for problems and assist Online Marketing Manager to resolve quickly.
• Assist in updating media site for sales/media (Media.ChelseaGreen.com), updating book data and marketing information as needed.
• Conduct research on new authors to provide publicity background information on Media.ChelseaGreen.com.
• Update other Chelsea Green content on other platforms as needed, such as: Scribd, YouTube, affiliate sales program, etc.
• Assist Online Marketing Manager with researching potential online outlets for targeted promotion campaigns.
• Potential for other online marketing opportunities, such as: limited graphic design, video editing, etc.

Position Details: 15- 20 hrs/week for 4 months with possible extension, paid $10/hour, based in Burlington, Vermont.

Reports to: Online Marketing Manager

Qualifications: This is a position for someone with a demonstrated interest in website management and marketing. Experience with Adobe Creative Suite and basic HTML and is required. The qualified candidate will be able to work within a team environment as well as work independently. Comfort with other multimedia experience and using Google Analytics and other online tracking software is helpful, but not required. Detailed oriented, reliable, strong computer skills and proficiency in Excel is essential. Successful applicant will have an opportunity to learn new skills and expand knowledge base.

About Us: For almost 30 years, Chelsea Green has been the go-to publisher for people seeking foundational books on the politics and practice of sustainable living, including organic gardening and agriculture, renewable energy, green building, eco-cuisine, and ethical business. In 2012, we decided to practice what we publish and became employee-owned. We are a founding member of the Green Press Initiative and have been printing books on recycled paper since 1985, when our first list of books went on sale. We print our books on paper that consists of a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer waste and aim for 100 percent whenever possible. We also don’t print our books overseas, but rather use domestic printers to keep our shipping costs (and impact on the environment) at a minimum.

Recipe: The Honey Wine of Legend

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Mead, or fermented honey, may be the oldest alcoholic beverage out there. The collection of honey predates agricultural practices and appears across most cultures in some form.

Take it from your ancestors – this sweet libation, often used in ceremony or celebration, is a gift from the gods.

The following recipe is from Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection by Jessica Prentice.

At the height of summer, when the days are long and the Earth is in bloom, we enter the lunar cycle known in sixteenth-century England as the Mead Moon. The beehives are heavy with honey made from the pollen of spring and summer flowers, and honey was the crucial ingredient for making mead—the honey wine of legend, myth, and human history brewed from the precious produce of industrious bees.

Mellow Mead

Makes 2 quarts

This lacto-fermented mead has very little alcohol but showcases the flavor of honey, and is delicious. Mead was traditionally drunk on the summer solstice.

  • 2/3 cup raw, unfiltered honey
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water, very warm (about 110°F)
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup kefir grains—rinsed grains from making milk kefir, or water kefir grains
  1. Pour the honey into a clean, 2-quart mason jar.
  2. Pour the hot water over the honey and stir to dissolve.
  3. Pour the rest of the filtered water into the jar.
  4. Add the kefir grains.
  5. Cover the jar and put it in a warm place for 1 week.
  6. Strain into two glass bottles with screw tops. I use the bottles from the mineral water Gerolsteiner. Put an even amount into both bottles. If they are 1-quart bottles, they should be full; if they are 1-liter bottles, add enough water to fill to the top. Screw the lids on tightly, label and date the bottles, and return to the warm place for another week.
  7. Transfer to the fridge. Once they are cold you can enjoy them anytime! When you are ready to drink the mead, open the bottles carefully because they may have built up a lot of carbonation. Open them outside or over a sink. Turn the lid very slowly to see if the drink begins to release foam. If so, then allow it to release some of the carbon dioxide by not opening the bottle all the way and letting out some of the pressure, then opening it more and more, bit by bit. This way you won’t lose your drink to its carbonation.

Hurricane Irene: The Road to Resiliency

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Two years ago Hurricane Irene ravaged Vermont—displaced families, isolated communities, and washed away homes, roads and bridges.

Many communities and families are still rebuilding from the devastation caused by this powerful storm—a storm that hit Vermont harder than almost any other state.

Could much of the damage caused by Hurricane Irene—and similar storms—be prevented by implementing some basic permaculture principles on open land? Below, Ben Falk convincingly argues that point using video from his research farm taken during Hurricane Irene to show how swales can productively retain water on farmland.

Hurricane Irene and Swales at the WSRF from Ben Falk on Vimeo.

Nothing defines the nature of a place more than water. The quantity, qualities, forms, distribution, and intensity of its entry into a landscape determine nearly everything else that happens ecologically in a place,” Falk writes in his recent book The Resilient Farm and Homestead. “Though there are many physical aspects of a place, including the type of bedrock, soils, and climate, it is the play of water that most directly determines an ecosystem’s behavior and capacity for production or regeneration. Thus, the most optimal design within which to fit human activities in a place start and end with water.”

As we continue to rebuild and look for ways to become more resilient in the wake of these powerful, and unpredictable, storms, Falk urges us to consider how we can slow, spread and sink our water according to the condition, climate and needs of the landscape.

Though we cannot always accurately predict the weather, we can prepare to endure anomalies with care and consideration in our design.

August 29, 2013: Farm and Homestead Resiliency Strategies with Ben Falk
As part of their Summer Workshop Series, NOFA-VT and Ben Falk host a tour and report on the Whole Systems Design Research Farm. Register for the workshop and start preparing your pressing permaculture questions!

RECIPE: It’s The Perfect Time For Rosehip Jam

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

All good things must come to an end – and that includes warm summer nights.  But with the close of summer comes overnight frosts, the ideal time to gather plump, ripe rosehips.

A rosehip’s sweet, unique flavor is perfect on morning toast. There are endless variations on ingredients and many ways to make rosehip jam.  Here are two simple techniques – no canning or freezing required!

The following is an excerpt from Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation by Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante. It has been adapted for the web:

Marinated Rosehip Jam

VARIATION 1 :

Rosehips (fruit of the wild rose)
White or red wine (optional), or water
Sugar
A preserving pan or large saucepan
A food mill
Canning jars and lids

This jam is seldom made, unfortunately. It’s true that you have to gather rosehips during the winter, after several frosts have softened them. The cold and the wild-rose thorns take their toll on your fingers, and the preparation for this jam
takes quite a bit longer than for most other kinds. Having said this, the delicious taste and velvety smoothness of rosehip jam make it all the more worthwhile! Rosehips are also very rich in vitamin C (one-half pound of rosehips contains as much as is found in two pounds of lemons). The Causses region, where I live (in extreme south-central France) is poor, but covered with wild-rose bushes. Every year, I partake of frozen, silent mornings, for the pure pleasure of giving my friends this glowing nectar to savor.

Pick the rosehips when they are very soft (January or February, depending on the winter). Remove the black tip from each end, place the fruit into a preserving pan, and cover it with a good white or red wine. Marinate one week, stirring
every day. (You can leave out the wine and omit this marination step, cooking the rosehips with just enough water to cover them, but the flavor of the jam will be different. Jams made with white wine or red wine also taste different from each other, but they’re both a treat!)

After one week, cook the contents of the pan over high heat for fifteen minutes. Then put the rosehips through a food mill, using a fine grind (this is the longest part of the process, due to the quantity of seeds in rosehips). Weigh the purée obtained and add one and two-thirds pounds of sugar per two pounds of purée. Cook this mixture for thirty minutes, stirring constantly. Put the jam in jars and seal them. The consistency of the jam will vary from year to year; some years it comes out firmer than others.

–Emmanuelle Bompois, St. Énimie

VARIATION 2:

Rosehips
Sugar
A large saucepan
A food mill
Canning jars and lids

Gather the rosehips when they are very ripe, immediately after the first frosts. Sort and wash the rosehips, if necessary. Immerse them in boiling water for a few minutes; then put them through a food mill with the cooking water, using a fine grind. Weigh the puréed rosehips, and add one and one-third pounds of sugar per two pounds of purée. Cook this until thick enough. Put it in jars, closing them immediately. The normal consistency of this jam is thick, but it will become very hard if you cook it for too long.

–Sophie Jacmart, Coux

Uncooked Rosehip Jam with Honey

Rosehips
Liquid honey
A food mill
Canning jars and lids

Pick the rosehips after the frost, when they’ve become soft. Wash them, remove the stems and the black tips, and purée the fruit in a food mill. Using the back of a knife, scrape off the purée that comes out. This process may seem long and tedious, but it’s worth it. Mix the purée along with an equal amount of liquid honey. This jam is very rich in vitamin C and will keep indefinitely. You can serve it as a garnish on desserts, cakes, and so on.

--Odille Angeard, Cognin

Low-Impact DIY Solutions From Our Publishing Partners

Monday, August 19th, 2013

At Chelsea Green, our mission is to publish books designed to help people live more sustainable, self-sufficient, and ecologically conscious lives. Along with the books that we bring into print, we also partner with publishers and writers around the world and distribute their books throughout the United States.

A new addition to our catalog comes from Green Man Publishing. Author Frank Tozer self-publishes books on plants and their uses. With an abundance of new information on even more crops, The New Vegetable Growers Handbook is the most comprehensive manual on vegetable gardening available. This updated version, like the original, covers the what, when and why of growing common and unique crops, firsthand from Tozer’s gardening expertise.

We are also especially proud to partner with Permanent Publications, a forward thinking publisher in the UK. Like Chelsea Green, Permanent Publications produces innovative books and DVDs, and publishes the influential Permaculture magazine.

Below are the newest additions to our catalog from Permanent Publications.

Looking to eliminate debt and maximize freedom? Compact Living offers design solutions for minimalists, downsizers and small spaces. Embrace what you have, optimize your space and free yourself of clutter with Michael Guerra’s latest book.

After finding himself dissatisfied with conventional life and traveling Europe, Michel Daniek has incorporated solar energy into his daily life. His second edition of Do It Yourself 12 Volt Solar Power will guide you through a sustainable, low-impact, low-cost approach to energy for any home – traditional or off the grid.

With unique recipes, projects and foraging tips for every season, Glennie Kindred reconnects us to the natural world. Letting in the Wild Edges encourages openness to the world around us, by incorporating simplicities of nature into our everyday lives.

The Moneyless Manifesto teaches us how to live more with less. After three years of living without money, Moneyless Man Mark Boyle breaks down his philosophy and experience of breaking free from the constraints of our modern financial system and living a truly sustainable life.

Kemp has become an expert on growing food in small spaces by feeding herself from her tiny balcony garden. With low-impact and high-subsistence standards, Permaculture in Pots provides the power and know-how to grow your own food even in the smallest of spaces.

The updated and revised edition of The Woodland Way is an alternative approach to healthy and diverse woodland management. Ben Law is creating a woodland renaissance in the UK, using permaculture woodlands for the betterment of community, environment and climate.

Cooked Without Heat: Michael Pollan on Sandor Katz & Fermentation

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

In his latest book, Cooked, Michael Pollan takes the reader on a journey through history, explaining the evolution of cooking using the four elements – fire, water, air, and earth.

In the Earth section of Cooked, Pollan explores just how deeply we’re connected to death, the earth itself, and “’the microcosmos’ – the biologist Lynn Margulis’s term for the unseen universe of microbes all around and within us.” Pollan also leans heavily on the expertise of Chelsea Green author Sandor Katz, the man who piqued his curiosity on fermentation.

In his inspired foreword to Katz’ bestselling and James Beard Foundation Book Award-winning book The Art of Fermentation, Pollan’s admiration of Katz and his skills as a teacher and ground-breaking “fermento” bubbles over. The same collegial admiration is found in Cooked, where Pollan talks about his own “first solo expedition into the wilds of the post-Pasteurian world” where he tested some of Katz’ recipes:

“After three weeks, I first opened my crock to assess the progress of my kraut, but the scent that wafted up from the fermenting pinkish mass put me back on my heels. It was nasty. “Note of septic tank” would be a generous descriptor. In view of the off-putting scent, I wasn’t sure whether sampling the sauerkraut was a good idea, but in trying my best to channel Sandor Katz’s nonchalance, I held my nose and tasted it. It wasn’t terrible and I didn’t get sick. That was a relief, but…well, this seemed kind of a low bar for a food. Judith compounded my disappointment by requesting that I get the crock out of the house as soon as possible. I wondered if I should throw out the whole batch and start over.

But before doing anything rash, I decided to check in with Sandor Katz. He advised me to stick with my kraut a little longer.”

After an explanation of the “funky period” that ferments can go through, Pollan decided that “Sandor was right. A month later, when I dared to open the crock again, the stink was gone.”

Pollan goes on to describe Katz’s anticharismatic, unpretentious presentation after attending one of his many fermentation workshops, as seen in the video below. In one episode from the book, Pollan recalls attending a Fermentation Festival with Sandor, where despite his seeming reserve, “Sandor Katz was a major celebrity, unable to cross a room or field without stopping to sign an autograph or pose for a picture.”

For nearly a decade — when his first book Wild Fermentation was published — Katz has been criss-crossing the country, if not the world, to lead workshops on fermentation. Pollan aptly dubs Katz the “The Johnny Appleseed of Fermentation” and names him as likely the most famous of the growing league of fermentos.

It’s a legacy well-deserved for the understated Katz, and we can see why this combination draws Pollan to to Katz, especially given how in Cooked the writer explores man’s manipulation of culture and nature through cooking, while Katz “regards his work as a form of “cultural revival” – by which he has in mind both meaning for the word “culture, the microbial and the human.”

Whether you’re grilling, making sauce or reductions, baking breads, or fermenting anything from cheese to pickles, you are connecting with the elements, your culture, and its food.


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