Food & Health Archive


Presenting our Newest Paperbacks

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Our latest paperback releases will help you form a deep connection with the land around you and cultivate its flavors so you can eat in season. Rediscover old favorites with the softcover editions of Wild Flavors, Cooking Close to Home, and Sowing Seeds in the Desert. Your bookshelf will thank you.

Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm by Didi Emmons


Wild Flavors is a down-to-earth book rich in ideas and inspiration for people seeking to eat from their gardens and local areas. It’s filled with mouth-watering recipes and valuable cultivation, shopping, and storage tips.” – Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation

Alongside unique seasonal offerings, author and chef Didi Emmons provides profiles and tips on forty-six uncommon plants and shares celebrated farmer Eva Sommaripa’s wisdom about staying connected and maintaining a sane and healthy lifestyle in an increasingly hectic world.

Curiosity sparked Emmons’ initial venture down the Massachusetts coast to meet Sommaripa, whose 200-plus uncommon herbs, greens, and edible “weeds” supply many top Northeastern chefs. Wild Flavors follows Didi through a year in Eva’s garden and offers both the warmth of their shared tales as well as the exquisite foods Didi came to develop using only the freshest of ingredients and wild edibles.

Cooking Close to Home: A Year of Seasonal Recipes by Diane Imrie and Richard Jarmusz


“This is a cookbook for the future—in the world we’re building, where local food means both security and pleasure, this will be a companion for many a pioneer!” – Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy

Eating locally is becoming a priority to people everywhere, but preparing local food throughout the four seasons can be a culinary challenge. Common questions like, “how can I eat locally in January?” or “how do I prepare what my CSA provides?” can confront even the most committed locavore. Cooking Close to Home is a seasonal guide that will inspire you to create delicious and nutritious meals with ingredients produced in your own community. Award-winning chef Richard Jarmusz and registered dietitian Diane Imrie make the ideal partners to stimulate your creativity in the kitchen, teaching you how to prepare fabulous local foods without ever sacrificing flavor for nutrition.

Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security by Masanobu Fukuoka


Sowing Seeds in the Desert will persuade readers that the imperiled living world is our greatest teacher, and inspire them to care for it as vigorously as Fukuoka has.” – Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden

Sowing Seeds in the Desert is Masanobu Fukuoka’s last major work—and perhaps his most important. After the publication of his best-known work, One-Straw Revolution, Fukuoka spent years working with people and organizations around the world to prove that food can be grown and forests regenerated, with very little irrigation, even in the most desolate of places. Sowing Seeds in the Desert follows Fukuoka’s efforts to rehabilitate the deserts of the world using natural farming, to feed a growing human population, rehabilitate damaged landscapes, reverse the spread of deserts, and encourage a deep understanding of the relations.

Wild Flavors, Cooking Close to Home, and Sowing Seeds in the Desert are available now and on sale for 35% off until October 14.

From Flame to Ash: How to get the Most out of Your Wood-Fired Oven

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

What could be better than an oven you can build yourself, that allows you to cook an array of delicious edibles outside, and can help restore the individual and communal resiliency we’ve lost in recent decades?

Wood-fired ovens are no longer reserved for commercial, or dedicated, artisan bakers. In recent years, they’ve resurfaced as an invaluable and entertaining addition to any home.

From the Wood-Fired Oven is not just a bread book — but a bread book, a cookbook, and an oven building book all in one. Author Richard Miscovich offers readers oven building and design plans and tips, how to produce grilled or roasted fish, vegetables, and meats, and why it’s a good idea to re-learn the tradition of cooking with fire.

“In addition to the romance of masonry, fire, and food, this book is written out of the reemergence of, and need for, resilience in both our global food culture and everyday lives,” writes Miscovich.

Miscovich, a leading baker and instructor, breaks down the book into three parts—an overview of ovens and fire, the bread baking process itself, and instruction on how to capture and utilize the full heat cycle of a wood-fired oven. In other words, from the first kindling to the last ember — learn how to use the oven’s rising, and falling, temperatures to cook different foods, oil infusions, and more.

“Richard has done so much more than just transfer his extensive knowledge about baking and wood-fired ovens onto paper in this book;” says Jeff Yankellow, board chair of the Bread Baker’s Guild of America. “He talks to the reader in a way that makes you feel that he is right in front of you. You will learn about the bones of a wood-fired oven, including not just how to use it but how to make the most of it. It is a must-have addition to the collection of any food enthusiast, amateur or professional!”

“We have needed a book that addresses everything a wood-firing baker and cook has to know, and here it is,” writes Dan Wing, co-author of The Bread Builders, in the book’s Foreword. “This book is going to change the way I use my oven—how I make and control the heat and steam, the things I bake and cook, and how much of the heat of the oven I use instead of waste. If you are just starting now to plan a masonry oven—or if you have been using one for 20 years—you are still going to want to own this book.”

From the Wood-Fired Oven: New and Traditional Techniques for Cooking and Baking with Fire is available now and on sale for 35% off until October 7th. 

From the Wood-Fired Oven Preface

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.

Eliot Coleman: Creating a Root Cellar

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

As we enter into autumn, the gardening locavore starts assessing her stock of pickled beans, dried herbs, and preserved fruits. But what about the potatoes, beets, turnips, carrots? What’s a gardener to do with those when the thermometer drops?

Most homesteaders opt for the simple solution of a root cellar. Eliot Coleman, a successful farmer in Maine, weighs in with some tips for building one below.

The following is an excerpt from Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables From Your Home Garden All Year Long by Eliot Coleman. It has been adapted for the Web.

No one wants second best. A slimy cabbage from a dingy corner of the basement will never compete with the crisp specimens on the vegetable shelf of the supermarket. Wilted, dried-out carrots look unappealing next to the crunchy, plastic-wrapped beauties in the refrigerator. When home storage is unsuccessful, a case can be made for artificial refrigeration. But the cabbage need not be slimy nor the carrots wilted. A properly constructed root cellar does not take a backseat to any other method of food storage. It is no great feat to manage a simple underground root cellar so that the produce will be equal or superior in quality to anything stored in an artificially refrigerated unit, even after long periods of storage.

A successful root cellar should be properly located, structurally sound, weather tight, convenient to fill and empty, easy to check on and clean, and secure against rodents. Proper location means underground at a sufficient depth so frost won’t penetrate. The cellar should be structurally sound so it won’t collapse on you. It needs to be weather tight so cold winds can’t blow in and freeze the produce. You need to have easy access to fill it, to use the produce, and to clean it at the end of the winter. And it should be rodent-proof so all the food you have stored away won’t be nibbled by rats and mice.

Provision must be made for drainage as with any other cellar, and the cellar should be insulated so that it can maintain a low temperature for as long as possible and provide properly humid storage conditions. Finally, microclimates within the cellar (colder near the floor, warmer near the ceiling) should allow you to meet different temperature and moisture requirements for different crops. The cellar will be most successful if it incorporates your underground food storage needs into one efficient, compact unit. It’s surprising how easily a hole in the ground meets all those conditions.

Any house with a basement already has a potential root cellar. You just need to open a vent so cold air can flow in on fall nights, and sprinkle water on the floor for moisture. The temperature control in the root cellar is almost automatic because cold air, which is heavier than warm air, will flow down, displacing the warmer air, which rises and exits. This lowers the temperature in the cellar incrementally as fall progresses and the nights get cooler. By the time outdoor conditions are cold enough to require moving root crops to the cellar (around October 21 to November 7 here in Maine), conditions in the underground garden are just right-cool and moist. With minimal attention, they will stay that way until late the next spring.

No wood or other material that might suffer from being wet should be used in root cellar construction. The ideal root cellar is made of concrete or stone with rigid insulation around the outside. Any permanent wood in a root cellar soon becomes damp and moldy. Wood will not only rot but also will serve as a home for bacteria and spoilage organisms and is subject to the gnawing entry of rodents. The stone or concrete cellar is impregnable. It won’t rot or decompose, and the thick walls hold the cool of the earth.

The easiest way to make a root cellar is to wall off one corner of the basement as a separate room. The best material is concrete block. There is no problem even if the rest of the basement is heated. You simply need to insulate one temperature zone from the other. Leave enough space between the top of the walls and the joists of the floor above so you can install a cement-board ceiling with rigid insulation above it. Also attach rigid insulation to the heated side of the cellar walls you build. The insulation can be protected with a concrete-like covering such as Block Bond. Install an insulated metal door for access, and the structure is complete.

There are several simpler options, especially for storing small quantities of vegetables. If your house has an old-fashioned cellar with a dirt floor and there is enough drainage below floor level, you can dig a pit in the floor 18 to 24 inches deep, line it with concrete blocks, and add an insulated cover. You will want to open the cover every few days to encourage air exchange in the pit. The pit won’t be as easy to use as a room you can walk into, but like any hole in the ground, it should keep root crops cool and moist. In warmer climates, you can use similar pits or buried barrels for storage either outdoors or in an unheated shed.

One of the simplest techniques we ever used, before we had a root cellar, was to dig pits in one section of the winter greenhouse. In that case we used metal garbage cans and buried them to their edge in the soil under the inner layer. To make sure they stayed cool we insulated their lids. We filled those cans with all the traditional root crops after their late fall harvest. Our whole winter food supply that year was in one central spot and when we went out to harvest fresh spinach and scallions for dinner we would bring back stored potatoes and cabbage at the same time.

Preserving and Conserving: 35% Off

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

As we harvest (and feast upon) the late summer, autumn fruits – it’s also time to preserve those flavors so they can be enjoyed throughout the winter.

To better enjoy the fruits of your labor, we’re offering a 35% discount on select books on drying, canning, and preserving food.

Below are a few easy, DIY recipes for building drying trays, and drying some fruit that can be easily foraged, or found close to home. Follow additional links below to even more books, resources, and savings.

Happy preserving from your fruitful friends at Chelsea Green Publishing

Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: Easy-to-Make Drying Trays

Ever want to dry your own food, but didn’t want to buy a dehydrator? How about simple, DIY food trays?

Food is usually dried on a flat surface, such as a tray or screen, using a natural or artificial heat source. Trays should be placed in a dry, well-ventilated spot, generally out of the direct sun, or in specially designed solar dryers.

Drying trays are easy to make, and our friends from Centre Terre Vivante have two simple designs anyone can buildGet the Design »»


Wild Flavors: Choen’s Autumn Olive Fruit Leather

Autumn olive was first cultivated in United States in the 1800s, but don’t let the name mislead you. These shrubs grow berries, not olives, but their leaves resemble olive leaves. The berries appear in midfall and remain for six to eight weeks, offering a complex mix of tart and sweet flavors, intensifying in sweetness steadily from October through November.

Chef and author Didi Emmons explains how to make fruit leather from this foraged fruit. Get the Recipe »»

Resilient Gardener: Drying Prune Plums (and Figs, Apricots, Peaches and Nectarines)

Apples aren’t the only fruit to be picked in the fall. Prune plums, figs, apricots, peaches, and nectarines are also abundant (depending on where you live).

Resilient gardener Carol Deppe shares her favorite ways to collect and dry some of the various (non-apple) fruits in her backyard. Put those drying trays to good use! Get the Recipe »»

 

     
 
Wild Flavors Cover

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

 
 
The Resilient Gardener Cover

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

 
 
Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning Cover

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

More Preserving Books: 35% Off

 
 
From Asparagus to Zucchini Cover

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

 
 
Farm-Fresh and Fast Cover

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

 
 
Fresh Food from Small Spaces Cover

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

 
 
Letting in the Wild Edges Cover

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

 
 
Four-Season Harvest Cover

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

 
 
Seed to Seed Cover

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

 
 
Full Moon Feast Cover

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

 
 
Wild Fermentation Cover

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

 
 
Cooking Close to Home Cover

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

 
 
The New Vegetable Growers Handbook Cover

Retail: $27.95

Sale: $18.17

 
 
Perennial Vegetable Gardening with Eric Toensmeier (DVD) Cover

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

 
 
The New Food Garden Cover

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

 
 
Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties Cover

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

 
 
Preserving With Friends DVD Cover

Retail: $34.95

Sale: $22.72

 
 
The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm Cover

Retail: $34.95

Sale: $22.72

 
 
Perennial Vegetables Cover

Retail: $35.00

Sale: $22.75

 
 
Long Way on a Little Cover

Retail: $34.95

Sale: $22.72

 
 
The Holistic Orchard Cover

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

 
 
The Art of Fermentation Cover

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

 
 
The Resilient Farm and Homestead Cover

Retail: $40.00

Sale: $26.00

     
 
The Preserving the Harvest Set Cover

Retail: $54.95

Sale: $35.72

 
 
The Sandor Katz Fermentation Set Cover

Retail: $99.90

Sale: $64.94

   



per inceptos himenaeos.

 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 October 15th, 2013.

Is Cider the New Craft Beer?

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Autumn is arriving. And with it comes an abundance of everyone’s favorite fall crop—apples.

An increasingly popular, and mouth-watering, approach to handling the overflow of orchard-fresh apples is to make a batch—or five—of hard cider.

Claude Jolicoeur’s The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is the orchard-to-bottle book that amateur cider makers have been waiting to read. Jolicoeur guides cider makers through every step of the cider making process and provides in-depth direction for the more experienced craftsperson. “The book is really the book I wish I had had when I started to gain interest in cider making and wanted to know more,” writes Jolicoeur in the book’s preface.

“The last two years…have seen a surge in artisan producers bent on resurrecting the region’s centuries-old cider-making tradition,” writes Corin Hirsch in Seven Days. “Sales of U.S. hard ciders have tripled since 2007 — to roughly $600 million last year, according to market-analyst firm IBISWorld. For the first time since the 1800s, cider makers are a force to be reckoned with.”

The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is broken down into five parts: Basic principles of cider making; instruction on obtaining the best possible apples; how to extract juice from apple; properties of the apple juice itself; and, the actual fermentation and transformation that turns apples into cider.

“Cider has greater visibility in this country than at any time in the past 100 to 150 years, and is growing fast as a category,” says Ben Watson, Chelsea Green senior editor and author of Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own (Countryman Press, 1999). “The modern cider renaissance is spurring an interest in more distinctive, higher quality products now, made by small to medium-size cider makers. In this sense, cider’s rebirth mirrors the phenomenally successful craft beer movement. Claude Jolicoeur is a passionate cider maker who has mastered his craft both through his own experience and research, and from advice gleaned from craft producers and experts around the world. His book is the most useful one on the subject to be published in America in the past century.”

Whether you’re an orchardist, a cider connoisseur, or a novice apple-lover, The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is the definitive guide your bookshelf is begging for.

“This is the book so many craft cider makers have been waiting for,” writes Dick Dunn, president of the Rocky Mountain Cider Association. “At once comprehensive, detailed, and authoritative. It really is ‘orchard to bottle,’ with both guidance and technical background all along the way.”

The New Cider Maker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for Craft Producers is available now and on sale for 35% off until September 23rd.

Read an excerpt from Part 1, The Basics of Cider Making, below:

The New Cider Maker’s Handbook: The Basics of Cider Making

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.

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.

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.


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