From the Editor Archive


Studen Loan Debt, Not Loan Rates, Is the Bigger Issue

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

As politicians stumble over themselves to agree on a legislative no-brainer — keeping student loan rates low — they are missing a bigger issue for many students and recent graduates: Student loan debt.

In a compelling new opinion piece posted on CNN.com, DIY U author Anya Kamenetz (Chelsea Green, 2010) argues that politicians should be focusing on debt forgiveness, not just keeping loan rates low.

She notes:

Some recent polls have shown that support for Obama among young voters, once Obama’s enthusiastic fans, may be waning in this election compared with four years ago. Student loans are seen by some as the president’s chosen key to regaining their hearts. But really, the issue has been raised for him by the Occupy movement, gearing up this May 1 with a new set of actions focusing on the cost of college and the depredations of the student loan industry.

Additionally, almost 700,000 people have signed a petition sponsored by MoveOn.org for student loan forgiveness, started by lawyer and student-loan debtor Robert Applebaum. And the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, introduced by U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Michigan, last month, is aimed at offering relief.

What’s at stake here is the basic equation of the American dream: Hard work plus merit equals opportunity. As usually happens, hard times have led to cuts in support to public education and attendant tuition hikes. Young people are graduating into a dismal job market with an average of more than $25,000 in debt. Loan default rates were up sharply last year, and many graduates are questioning the value of their education. In eight years of covering and advocating for student debtors, I’ve never seen such a level of public outcry.

In lieu of this renewed, election year interest in young folks (ahem) we here at Chelsea Green are offering a free download of a particularly salient chapter from Kamenetz’s 2010 book that leads off with – ironically enough – candidate Barack Obama at a Hofstra University forum on the rising cost of higher education.

Kamenetz then walks readers through just how this generation of students is facing some of the most crushing debtloads in order to attend post-secondary institutions. She also expertly lays out a three-part plan to reduce the overall cost of higher ed in the United States, including a call to restore free college tuition. Colleges didn’t always cost so much, and there are even some out there today where students graduate debt-free. What a concept.

Chapter 3 – Economics, An Excerpt from DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Highe…

The Hell Child: Citizens United Enters the Terrible Twos

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Today marks the second anniversary of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United. Yes, it’s true, our little devil-may-care campaign spending hellion is now entering his terrible twos.

And it shows.

If any one felt as if the United States was a plutocracy wearing democracy as a fig leaf, Citizens United stripped away the remaining fragments of illusion and laid it all bare. The problem, is do enough people actually care?

Cries from the dozens of Occupy Wall Street protests and encampments around the country included calls for an end to the influence of limitless corporate donations on our elections, if not an end to the notion that somehow corporations are people. I mean, really, can they be turned into Soylent Green? I think not.

If you think we’ve seen the worst of big-money influence on our elections, think again: Read this eye-popping report from our pals at AlterNet, which outlines just how much money some corporations are prepared to spend — and others to earn — thanks to Citizens United.

How to stop it?

It’s not as easy as it seems, as Stephen Rosenfeld points out at Alternet, but the Internet-wide effort to thwart proposed “piracy” legislation gives some hope that a focused, concerted “strike” against those in power can have a positive, if potentially short-term, effect and victory.

The electoral system is rigged against actual populist uprisings and what ordinary folks want from their politicians and the government. In this game, free speech is most protected for those who can spend more. Most of us can’t pump unlimited monies into a SuperPAC — or have a platform like satirist  Stephen Colbert to mock these Hydra-esque offshoots of Citizens United.

As Gina Kim at Moyers.com points out in this great interview with Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation, there may be ways in which we can bring greater attention to the companies and individuals donating to these SuperPACs as a way to better inform voters about who’s behind these groups. Legislation is in the works that would force donors to be listed publicly. Gee, imagine that!

A recent court ruling in California gives hope that local laws aimed at blunting the worst effects of Citizens United can be written in such a way as to stand the test of a court challenge.

We need more local efforts like that out of San Diego to combat Citizens United as it’s likely attempts at the federal level will meet with strong resistance by those who benefit from the status quo created under Citizens United.

Here in Vermont, lawmakers recently introduced a resolution — which, if adopted would be the first of its kind by a state legislature — calling on Congress to initiate a constitutional amendment to undo the damage of Citizens United. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has launched a petition calling for support of just such a constitutional amendment — one that he’s introduced in the Senate. Close to 190,000 people have signed the petition so far — have you? You should.

There’s also a statewide effort in Vermont to get folks on Town Meeting Day to also call on Congress to amend the constitution. The state’s largest city has already approved the question to be placed on its ballot. More are expected to follow suit this month. Town meetings are held in communities across the state in March and, while not binding votes, can help to send a clear message to policymakers about what citizens expect from their government.

You should be asking your local representatives and elected officials to be doing the same.

If I recall correctly, the preamble to the Constitution reads, “We the People …” not “We the People Corporations … .”

A Strike for Internet Freedom

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

We’ve been asked by some of our readers if Chelsea Green will go on strike today in solidarity with dozens of larger sites, and hundreds of smaller ones, protesting two proposed pieces of federal legislation that have the potential to greatly infringe upon the Internet and free speech.

The answer is no, we’re not blacking out the site, but we do stand with our fellow online free speech advocates and organizations in opposing the legislation and support efforts to ensure these bills never see the light of day.

Besides, today is more like holding up a protest sign in the street. A good start, but to really ensure the government doesn’t quash free speech and access to information on the Internet action must be taken.

This site has a list of the major players who are on “strike” today to protest these bills — largely because they are rightly concerned with the government given too much leeway to shut down websites allegedly selling pirated material. There is little in the bill that actually combats piracy, rather it gives large companies more tools to shut down sites they deem a threat and using the government and the courts as their sledgehammer.

The bills are known as SOPA and PIPA and they stand for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is in the U.S. House, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), which is in the U.S. Senate.  ProPublica has a cool feature that shows you where your Representatives and Senators stand on the bill.

If you don’t like what you read, drop ‘em a line and let ‘em know. Congress reconvenes on Monday and the Senate vows to take up the legislation despite growing outcry over key provisions.

Here in Vermont, our senior senator U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, is the lead Senate sponsor of PIPA. He also chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee that has jurisdiction over the legislation.

Leahy has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and organizations who have been pushing SOPA and PIPA. And, last fall the Directors Guild of America feted Leahy in New York City for his “unflagging commitment to safeguarding the content created by DGA members and others in the creative and business communities against the ravages of digital theft and counterfeiting.” Read: He did our bidding and how we’re going to throw him a party.

More than a dozen groups that promote free speech — including the American Library Association and Reporters Without Borders — are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to tone down the proposed law.

In a May letter to Leahy, the coalition wrote that the bill “makes nearly every actor on the Internet potentially subject to enforcement orders under the bill, raising new policy questions regarding government interference with online activity and speech.”

If pissing off librarians wasn’t enough for Leahy and his ilk, they’ve since upset major Internet companies, too.

Here are a few great sites where you can learn more about the dangers lurking in SOPA and PIPA , including the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF has also set up an easy way for you to contact your federal representatives and voice your opposition to these bills.

As EFF notes, today is just the start of a series of actions. Some of the bigger efforts come next week when the House and Senate return from their “recess” and take up the legislation.

Though Leahy has offered to dump some of the more controversial sections of the legislation, expect the bill to rear its ugly head again. PIPA, in fact, was simply another Internet censorship bill — the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act — gussied up and given a new name. COICA never came up for a full Senate vote, and died a natural death at the end of the last session of Congress. Let’s hope the same happens with PIPA.

Yesterday Leahy castigated the strike, calling it an act of self-censorship that misstates the intent of PIPA. He urged his colleagues to debate and approve the bill next week.

All I can say is that if this “strike” is successful in mobilizing enough people to kill this bill, perhaps we should be thinking more broadly about physical, national strikes across all sectors of the economy to protest bad government policies. You know, the policies that seem to only benefit the 1 percent and leave us 99 percenters behind.

Just a thought.

Chelsea Green Announces New Hires, New Plans for 2012

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Coming off a strong financial finish for the year, Vermont-based independent book publisher Chelsea Green today announced a series of new hires and strategic reorganization for 2012.

“We had a very strong finish to the year, with significant growth overall for both print and digital. We remain focused on the content, acquiring the very best books in our niche, but we’re also strategically experimenting with digital content and enhanced ebooks,” said Margo Baldwin, President and Publisher of Chelsea Green.

In 2011, Chelsea Green reorganized its in-house sales staff to focus its efforts on key markets — such as book trade, library, academic, corporate and special sales, and digital — rather than geographic territories. In 2012, Chelsea Green is returning to using independent commission groups to represent its books to the independent bookstores, where it has spearheaded an innovative branded area program with select stores.

In 2012, Chelsea Green expects to expand its digital book offerings and further enhance its online presence as an effort to further meet the needs of its readers and to help build a stronger sense of community around the company mission, its books, and authors.

To further its digital book development across multiple ebook platforms and to introduce enhanced ebooks for key titles, Chelsea Green hired Justin Nisbet, formerly of Workman Publishing, as its director of digital development.

To augment its communications and outreach strategy with its readers and its community, Shay Totten, a longtime journalist and former editorial director at Chelsea Green, has been named communications director.

Chelsea Green also hired Melissa Jacobson, formerly of Quirk Books, as its in-house book designer in order to better handle the demands — and costs — of ebook production.

In addition, Chelsea Green opened up an office in Burlington, VT, in late 2011. This office houses key communications, website, and author-events staff. Moving these functions to a new office was an effort by Chelsea Green to attract high-quality talent in a more urban setting, said Baldwin.

SALE: Bestsellers of 2011

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Welcome to a new year — full of opportunities to live more sustainably. In celebration of the new year we have put together a selection from some of our our bestsellers from 2011.

As we enter our 28th year, Chelsea Green continues to publish groundbreaking books to help you examine your food choices, fuel political change, dig in to the joys of gardening, and organize for resilience within your community.

We look forward to bringing you more inspiring tools and resources this year. We’re putting the finishing touches on our 2012 books, including Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman (due in March). Fermentation guru Sandor Katz has also completed a groundbreaking new book on the Art of Fermentation.
We’ll have more details about all of our exciting 2012 titles in our next e-newsletter.
Wishing you a wonderful 2012 from the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing.
P.S. Don’t forget, we offer free shipping on orders over $100.

The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers

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The most comprehensive and definitive guide to date on raising all-natural poultry. For homesteaders or farmers seeking to close their loop, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock offers a practical and integrative model for working with chickens and other domestic fowl, based entirely on natural systems.

No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems approach, or discusses producing homegrown feed and breeding in such detail—it is truly an invaluable and groundbreaking guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_smallscale_poultry_flock:paperback

 

The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses

 

 

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Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that’s taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.

Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_winter_harvest_handbook:paperback

 

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

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Bread. Cheese. Wine. Beer. Coffee. Chocolate. Most people consume fermented foods and drinks every day. For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed the distinctive flavors and nutrition resulting from the transformative power of microscopic bacteria and fungi. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods is the first cookbook to widely explore the culinary magic of fermentation.

 The flavors of fermentation are compelling and complex, and quite literally alive. This book takes readers on a whirlwind trip through the wide world of fermentation, providing readers with basic and delicious recipes—some familiar, others exotic—that are easy to make at home.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/wild_fermentation:paperback

 

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

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A global clean energy race has emerged with astounding speed. The ability to operate without fossil fuels will define winners and losers in business—and among nations.

Whether you care most about profits and jobs, national security, health, or environmental stewardship, Reinventing Fire charts a pragmatic course that makes sense and makes money. With clarity and mastery, Amory Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute reveal astounding opportunities for enterprises to create the new energy era.

 

http://www.chelseagreen.com/item/reinventing_fire:hardcover

 

Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners

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Seed to Seed is a complete seed-saving guide that describes specific techniques for saving the seeds of 160 different vegetables, and is widely acknowledged as the best guide available for home gardeners to learn effective ways to produce and store seeds on a small scale.

This newly updated and greatly expanded second edition includes additional information about how to start each vegetable from seed, which has turned the book into a complete growing guide.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/seed_to_seed:paperback

 

 

The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times

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In 2008, the best-selling The Transition Handbook suggested a model for a community-led response to peak oil and climate change. Since then, the Transition idea has gone viral across the globe, from Italian villages and Brazilian favelas to universities and London neighborhoods.

The Transition Companion picks up the story today, and tells inspiring tales of communitites working for a future where enterprise, creativity, and the building of resilience have become cornerstones of a new, localized economy.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_transition_companion:paperback

 

Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation

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Typical books about preserving garden produce nearly always assume that modern kitchen gardeners will boil or freeze their vegetables and fruits. Yet here is a book that goes back to the future—celebrating traditional but little—known French techniques for storing and preserving edibles in ways that maximize flavor and nutrition.

Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning offers more than 250 easy and enjoyable recipes featuring locally grown and minimally refined ingredients. It is an essential guide for those who seek healthy food for a healthy world

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/preserving_food_without_freezing_or_canning:paperback

 

Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening

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In this book, Holzer shares the skill and knowledge acquired over his lifetime, covering every aspect of his farming methods—not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it. Holzer writes about everything from the overall concepts, down to the practical details.

Holzer offers a wealth of information for the gardener or alternative farmer, yet the book’s greatest value is the attitudes it teaches. He reveals the thinking processes based on principles found in nature that create his productive systems.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/sepp_holzers_permaculture:paperback


Thinking in Systems: A Primer

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Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.

In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/thinking_in_systems:paperback

 

 Some more 2011 Bestsellers on Sale:

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Pluck ‘em!

Friday, January 6th, 2012

With all the doom and gloom about the future of the book industry, it can feel like book sellers and publishers are being led, like lambs — or chickens — to the slaughter.

Which gave us an idea here at Chelsea Green: Pluck ‘em!

Why limit ourselves to publishing books about sustainability and regeneration and small-scale farming? Why not diversify our holdings? Spread our wings, so to speak.

Our idea is a combined mobile poultry processor and bookmobile. Wait, I can explain.

Sure this move could ruffle some feathers in the book-publishing world (or leave us with egg on our face), but that’s part of Chelsea Green’s mission and joie de vivre.

The inspiration for our mobile bookstore and poultry plucker was inspired by a notice issued today from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. It turns out the state is looking to offload its successful “mobile poultry processing unit.”

Their press release read:

Calling all Vermont meat producers and processors! The Vermont Agency of Agriculture Mobile Poultry Processing Unit is currently available for purchase. The mobile unit, which was the first of its kind for farmers to process poultry under state inspection right on the farm, has been a huge success in developing Vermont’s poultry industry. With the market for locally produced poultry and rabbit continuing to rise, this piece of infrastructure offers a great business opportunity.

( …)

The mobile unit has a daily processing capacity of 250 chickens or 100 turkeys, with two operators. It can be docked either at farms or at fairgrounds across the state.

The mobile unit is currently listed for sale at http://www.auctionsinternational.com/item.cgi?show_item=0000077280. There will be an open house on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the north end of the Waterbury State Complex parking lot.  To RSVP for the open house, please contact Chelsea Bardot Lewis at 802-828-3360 or [email protected]   The bidding process closes at 6:00 p.m. on January 13, 2012.

What better way to put into practice what we preach? By bringing fresh, local meat from small-scale farmers directly to market we’d put more money into the pockets of local farmers and growers rather than giant agri-business; we’d also help put a chicken in every pot.

The attached bookmobile would allow farmers and their guests to browse some of our inspiring food and farming titles – like Harvey Ussery’s The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers — while we process the poultry. Or whatever small farm animal is on the menu.

I can see the slogan now: “We Chop, While You Shop.”

Holiday Sale – Save 35% on our entire selection

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

The holiday season has arrived, and Chelsea Green is the perfect place to stock up on inspiring and educational gifts for your friends and family (and don’t forget about yourself).

You’ll find the right gift for everyone on your list – from political activists and gardeners to entrepreneurs, philosophers foodies and cooks – we’ve got you covered.

Use the coupon code CGFL11 at checkout to save 35% off your entire order from now until the end of the year. Take a look at the some of the new titles and most popular titles below to get started, or browse our online bookstore. Happy reading from the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing. P.S. Don’t forget there is free shipping on orders over $100.

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

Reinventing Fire Book Cover

A global clean energy race has emerged with astounding speed. The ability to operate without fossil fuels will define winners and losers in business-and among nations.

Whether you care most about profits and jobs, national security, health, or environmental stewardship, Reinventing Fire charts a pragmatic course that makes sense and makes money. With clarity and mastery, Amory Lovins and RMI reveal the astounding opportunities for enterprise to create the new energy era.

Check out author article – Six Critical Levers to Transform our Energy Future.

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

Wild Flavors follows a year at Eva’s Garden through the seasons. It showcases Emmons’s creative talents, featuring herbs (African basil, calaminth, lovage) and wild foods (autumn olives, wild roses, Japanese knotweed). The author provides growing or foraging information for each of the forty-six uncommon garden plants profiled, as well as details on prepping, storing, preserving, and health benefits. The wide-ranging recipes reflect the shifting seasonal harvest and are easy to follow, but best of all, Emmons shows us how these herbs, greens, and wild foods improve and transform the flavors in our food. 

Check out Living on Earth who recently visited Eva’s Garden with Didi Emmons.

The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowel for Home and Market Growers

The most comprehensive and definitive guide to date on raising all-natural poultry, for homesteaders or farmers seeking to close their loop, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock offers a practical and integrative model for working with chickens and other domestic fowl, based entirely on natural systems.

Check out an Excerpt from Excerpt from Chapter 2 – The Integrated Small-Scale Flock.

When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival

In this disaster-preparedness manual, Mat Stein outlines the materials you’ll need-from food and water, to shelter and energy, to first-aid and survival skills-to help you safely live through the worst. When Disaster Strikes covers how to find and store food, water, and clothing, as well as the basics of installing back-up power and lights. You’ll learn how to gather and sterilize water, build a fire, treat injuries in an emergency, and use alternative medical sources when conventional ones are unavailable.

Listen to Mat Stein on the Power Hour.

The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times

Transition is the most vital social experiment of our times. The Transition movement has already motivated thousands to begin to adapt their lives to the twin challenge of peak oil and climate change. Drawing on this collective experience, The Transition Companion offers communities a combination of practical guidance and real vision for the future. 

 - Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity without Growth

Check out author videos here.

Killing the Cranes: A Reporter’s Journey Through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan

This September marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001. That’s probably when you first started thinking about Afghanistan, but the longer history of the troubled nation reveals much more than the influence of Al Qaeda. Killing the Cranes is a crash course in Afghan history and a scathing indictment of the Afghan War. For thirty years, Edward Girardet risked his life reporting from the world’s most notoriously troubled country. Now, in Killing the Cranes, he delivers a firsthand account of his years on the ground amid war, chaos, and strife that have come to define Afghanistan Watch Edward Giradet on PBS NewsHour.

The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm: A Cultivator’s Guide to Small-Scale Organic Herb Production

Peg Schafer, longtime grower and teacher, guides readers with information on propagating, cultivating, and harvesting Chinese herbs, and presents fascinating new scientific data that reveal the age-old wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine. Through 79 detailed herb profiles—all tested and trialed on Schafer’s certified organic farm—Schafer offers easy-to-follow information, suitable for both growers and practitioners, for growing efficacious wild-simulated herbs. This invaluable guide will speak to vegetable and CSA famers and beginner growers alike and will make eating-your-medicine more accessible than ever.  Check out what folks are saying about the book. 

Featured Video

Watch Harvey Ussery speak about Integrated System on this featured author video.

Featured Article: Legalize Local Investment!

Author Michael Shuman thinks Wall Street isn’t just greedy — he thinks it’s a bad investment too. He’s an advocate for keeping your investment dollars close to home, in small local businesses.

Nothing controversial there, but did you know that certain types of investment structures for small businesses are illegal? Click here to continue reading.

Featured Receipe: Maple-vanilla Panna Cruda

The first peoples to harvest maple sap were the indigenous peoples of the northern woodlands, where the sugar maple, Acer saccharum, is both native and prodigious. For many cultures…tapping maple trees was an annual ritual. The sap is watery and clear; Native peoples drank it as a spring tonic beverage and used it to make vinegar. European colonists often called it maple water. An Iroquois legend explains how the secret of maple sugaring was discovered. A chief named Woksis threw his tomahawk into a tree before leaving on a hunt. As the weather warmed, the sap began to flow from the gash into a container that happened to be sitting by the tree.

The woman of the house found the container full of liquid, assumed her thoughtful husband had already been to the stream to fetch it full of water, and used it to boil the evening’s meat. As the meat stewed, the sap cooked down into syrup, and thus the secret of maple sugaring was revealed.

Check out the full recipe here.

Facebook Post: Criminal Moms Campaign for Raw Milk

What do you think about the fight over raw milk and farm-fresh foods? Should you the consumer have the right to choose whatever you want, or should the government protect you?

Take a look at the Facebook Post here.

Or if for those of you who aren’t on Facebook you can read an article about it on our website.

COMING SOON: Wild Flavors Book Giveaway

Who doesn’t like to win stuff? Well, keep checking back in December and you can win one of two copies of Wild Flavors. Sign up here.

In case you missed it!

Coming up in December is the annual Acres, USA Conference and Harvey Ussery, author of groundbreaking new book, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock, will be speaking.

Join us December 6-10th in Columbus, Ohio. Hope to see you there.

Lynn Margulis, 1938-2011

Chelsea Green is extremely saddened to announce the death of renowned evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis who died at her home on November 22 at the age of 73…Lynn was a great and generous friend and advocate for many other scientists and students, fierce truth seeker, and passionate teacher and life force. Her loss is going to be felt around the world and in the scientific community for many years to come. Click here to continue reading

Sneak Peak: The Holistic Orchard

We are thrilled to announce Michael Phillips newest book, which will be available to ship at the end of December. Many people want to grow fruit on a small scale but lack the insight to be successful orchardists. Growing tree fruits and berries is something virtually anyone with space and passionate desire can do—given wise guidance and a personal commitmentto observe the teachings of the trees. Take a closer look and pre-order a copy here.

Nature does the heavy lifting – All Permaculture books on Sale

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Nature doesn’t till. Nature doesn’t need chemical pesticides. And monoculture? Nature ain’t even trying to hear that noise. So why do we break our backs fighting uphill battles when we can just look at the way natural systems work and, basically, rip them off?  Take a look at the selection of books below that will tell you  about a little something called permaculture: it’ll save you money, time, and wear and tear on your precious back

 Save 25% on all our permaculture books!

 

 Think that gardening and planting is only for the spring time? Well, autumn is great time for those perennials and planning your sustainable garden. The concept is simple – everything should serve multiple functions and let nature do the heavy lifting. 

We’d also like to give a shout out to Permaculture MagazinePermaculture Institute. They’re great resources on learning more about creating permaculture ecosystems and gardens. 

 

Check out the titles below of our permaculture books on SALE for 25% off.

Happy reading from the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing.

(Image credit Paul Kearsley)

 

Gaia’s Garden, Second Edition
A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
By Toby Hemenway

SAVE 25%

The first edition of Gaia’s Garden sparked the imagination of America’s home gardeners, introducing permaculture’s central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens. This extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.

“The world didn’t come with an operating manual, so it’s a good thing that some wise people have from time to time written them. Gaia’s Garden is one of the more important, a book that will be absolutely necessary in the world ahead.” - Bill McKibben

Permaculture is one of those words people toss around a lot, especially nowadays with the upped interest in gardening, and the increase in concern about connection to our food. And to the novice ear, it might sound like a complicated process, something with swabs and chemistry and unsolvable equations. But it’s actually simpler than you think.
Permaculture is the act of working with Mother Nature, not against her. It’s about creating an ecosystem by putting together communities of plants that work cooperatively. It’s about building and maintaining healthy soil. Catching and conserving water, naturally. Allowing a habitat for birds and animals, alongside your garden. And being able to eat your bounty, too. Continue reading here…
Creating a Forest Garden
Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops
By Martin Crawford

On Sale 25% Off

Creating a Forest Garden tells you everything you need to know – whether you want to plant a small area in your back garden or develop a larger plot. It includes advice on planning, design (using permaculture principles), planting and maintenance, and a comprehensive directory of over 450 trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, annuals, root crops and climbers – almost all of them edible and many very unusual.

Check out the author video here.

 

Martin Crawford in addition to being the author of Creating a Forest Garden, he is also the co-star of the DVD A Forest Garden Year (the real star of course, is his lovely garden!). In this brief trailer, he show us a few of the edible plants that grow in the simulated natural ecosystem that is a forest garden.

Permaculture Pioneers
Stories from the New Frontier
Edited by Kerry Dawborn and Caroline Smith

25% Off

Permaculture is much more than organic gardening. Arguably it is one of Australia’s greatest intellectual exports, having helped people worldwide to design ecologically sustainable strategies for their homes, gardens, farms and communities. This book charts a history of the first three decades of permaculture, through the personal stories of Australian permaculturists. From permaculture co-originator David Holmgren, to ABC TV’s Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne, the authors span the generations and the continent.

 

Listen to Contributing author David Holmgren
For those whose lives have been changed by permaculture, this book provides a context for articulating and celebrating their own stories and experiences. Even more, it invites each of us, permaculturists or not, to embrace our power in designing our world out of the best in ourselves, for the benefit of the whole earth community.
Meat
A Benign Extravagance
By Simon Fairlie

SAVE 25% off

Meat is a groundbreaking exploration of the difficult environmental, ethical, and social issues surrounding the human consumption of animals, and the future of livestock in sustainable agriculture. It answers the question: should we be farming animals, or not? The answer is not simple; indeed, we must decrease the amount of meat we eat (both for the planet and for ourselves), and the industrial meat system is hugely problematic, but Simon Fairlie presents in-depth research in favor of small-scale, holistic, and integrated farming systems that include pastured, free-range livestock as the answer to the pro-meat or no-meat debate. This is a life-changing book.

 

 

In the 1960s, the American biologist Robert Paine conducted an experiment involving the removal of a predator species from a seashore environment:

 

When he removed the main predator, a certain species of starfish, from a population of fifteen observable species, things quickly changed. Within a year the area was occupied by only eight of the fifteen species. Numbers within the prey species boomed and in the resulting competition for space, reasoned Paine, those species that could move left the area; those that could not simply died out. Continue reading….

Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture
A Practical Guide to Small-Scale,
Integrative Farming and Gardening
By Sepp Holzer

NOW ON SALE

“After reading this book, all I can say is Sepp Holzer is a Superstar Farmer. Holzer turns out an absolutely remarkable volume and variety of food products, all without one smidgen of chemical fertilizer, and on land in Austria that an Illinois corn farmer would pronounce too marginal for agriculture. American farmers and gardeners will be particularly interested in Holzer’s raised beds-which are quite different in construction from ours in the U.S.-as well as his inventive water well irrigation systems, unique methods for integrating livestock into his fruit and vegetable gardens, and practical, low-labor way to grow mushrooms. A fascinating book for anyone who aspires to become the ultimate, champion professional of sustainable farming.” - Gene Logsdon, author of Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind, and The Contrary Farmer

Read the Preface:

Continue Reading…

Perennial Vegetables
From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, a Gardener’s
Guide to over 100 Delicious, Easy-to-Grow Edibles
By Eric Toensmeier
ON SALE – 25% OFF

There is a fantastic array of vegetables you can grow in your garden, and not all of them are annuals. In Perennial Vegetables the adventurous gardener will find information, tips, and sound advice on less common edibles that will make any garden a perpetual, low-maintenance source of food.
Perennial vegetables are perfect as part of an edible landscape plan or permaculture garden. Profiling more than a hundred species, with dozens of color photographs and illustrations, and filled with valuable growing tips, recipes, and resources, Perennial Vegetables is a groundbreaking and ground-healing book that will open the eyes of gardeners everywhere to the exciting world of edible perennials.

 

 Author Eric Toensmeier transformed his yard in Holyoke, Massachusetts into a garden that produces food for him nearly year-round. In this video, he provides a tour of his food-producing garden while providing how-to tips on pest-control, nitrogen management, water gardening, and composting.

Edible Forest Gardens
2 Volume Set
By Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier

ON SALE – 25% OFF

Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work. In Volume II, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical considerations:concrete ways to design, establish, and maintain your own forest garden. Along the way they present case studies and examples, as well as tables, illustrations, and a uniquely valuable “plant matrix” that lists hundreds of the best edible and useful species.

 

Taken together, the two volumes of Edible Forest Gardens offer an advanced course in ecological gardening-one that will forever change the way you look at plants and your environment.

 

“These will be the benchmark works in the field for many years. The level of scholarship and meticulous footnoting is unsurpassed by anything I’ve seen in permaculture literature.” -Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden
Check out the introduction to Volume I 

Food Not Lawns
How to Turn Your Yard Into a Garden
and your Neighborhood Into a Community
By Heather C. Flores

ON SALE – 25% OFF

Gardening can be a political act. Creativity, fulfillment, connection, revolution-it all begins when we get our hands in the dirt.
Food Not Lawns combines practical wisdom on ecological design and community-building with a fresh, green perspective on an age-old subject. Activist and urban gardener Heather Flores shares her nine-step permaculture design to help farmsteaders and city dwellers alike build fertile soil, promote biodiversity, and increase natural habitat in their own “paradise gardens.”

 

Read an excerpt from Chapter 2: Urban Ecology:

Many people see ecological living as something they will do later, when they can finally afford a big place in the country, but I say, “Start now!” Even, or perhaps especially, if you live in a tiny apartment surrounded by a concrete jungle, you should always try to find simple ways to repair the earth, educate others, and prevent further destruction of the natural world.

 

Growing ecological gardens, wherever you can, is never a waste of time. Nothing lasts forever, and if you can get a few baskets of food without damaging the environment, and perhaps leave behind some long-living fruit trees, then the larger ecological community will surely benefit from your labors. If you can do these things while also educating others, then your work will succeed many times over.

Continue reading…

DON’T MISS OUT – HOLIDAY SALE!

Monday, December 13th, 2010

The year is quickly counting down and time is running short to find those perfect gifts for friends and family. We have you covered for whoever is on your list and with our holiday sale you’ll save 35% on your entire order.

Use the coupon code CGFL11 at checkout to get 35% off your entire order from now until the end of the year. Take a look below at some suggestions we have for friends and family, and a selection of some of our most popular titles to get started, or browse our online bookstore.

Happy Holidays from the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing.
P.S. Don’t forget, we offer free shipping on orders over $100.

THE COOK

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

Wild Fermentation Book Cover

Bread. Cheese. Wine. Beer. Coffee. Chocolate. Most people consume fermented foods and drinks every day. For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed the distinctive flavors and nutrition resulting from the transformative power of microscopic bacteria and fungi. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods is the first cookbook to widely explore the culinary magic of fermentation.


The flavors of fermentation are compelling and complex, quite literally alive. This book takes readers on a whirlwind trip through the wide world of fermentation, providing readers with basic and delicious recipes–some familiar, others exotic–that are easy to make at home.

 

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/tem/wild_fermentation:paperback

 

Cooking Close To Home: A Year of Seasonal Recipes

Cooking Close to Home Cover Image

 

Cooking Close to Home: A Year of Seasonal Recipes is a collection of over 150 original recipes designed to follow the seasons.


Whether you are a home gardener, a farmers’ market regular, or a member of a community-supported agriculture program, this cookbook will serve as a guide to using the foods available in your region year-round.


Each recipe includes useful “Harvest Hints” that explain how to find, purchase, prepare, and preserve fresh and seasonal ingredients. Within each chapter you will find information about sustainable food, small family farms, and how to reduce your carbon footprint by buying local foods.

 

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/cooking_close_to_home:hardcover

 

 

THE GARDENER

 

The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses

 

The Winter Harvest Handbook Cover

Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that’s taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.

Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_winter_harvest_handbook:paperback

 

Slow Gardening: A No-Stress Philosophy for All Senses and Seasons

 

Thanks to the resurgence of home and community gardening, more and more people are discovering the pleasure of biting into a sun-ripened tomato picked right off the vine, the earthy smell of freshly turned soil, and the cheerful harbingers of spring such as daffodils, irises, and pansies. But they are also discovering that gardening can be a heck of a lot of work. So what happens when keeping up with the weeds turns into a full-time job? What do you do when gardening becomes stressful?

 

Slow Gardening to the rescue! Inspired by Slow Food, an international movement that promotes local food systems and biological and cultural diversity, the slow-gardening approach can help us appreciate and enjoy our gardens more, year in and year out.

 

Slow Gardening will inspire you to slip into the rhythm of the seasons, take it easy, and get more enjoyment out of your garden, all at the same time.

 

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/slow_gardening:paperback

 

THE ACTIVIST

 

Dream of a Nation: Inspiring Ideas for a Better America

Dream of a Nation Cover

Across the nation countless individuals and organizations are dreaming a new future. Dream of a Nation sheds lights on some of the groundbreaking leaders, projects and ideas that have the potential to solve society’s toughest problems. Dream of a Nation restores faith that humanity can solve our current looming environmental, economic and societal challenges. This is a comprehensive resource for any reader interested in gaining critical information and deepening their role as an empowered citizen.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/dream_of_a_nation:paperback%20with%20french%20flaps

 

THE SURVIVOR

 

 

When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival

When Disaster Strikes Cover

 

Disasters often strike without warning and leave a trail of destruction in their wake. Yet armed with the right tools and information, survivors can fend for themselves and get through even the toughest circumstances. Matthew Stein’s When Disaster Strikes provides a thorough, practical guide for how to prepare for and react in many of life’s most unpredictable scenarios.

 

Stein instructs you on the smartest responses to natural disasters—such as fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods—how to keep warm during winter storms, even how to protect yourself from attack or other dangerous situations. With this comprehensive guide in hand, you can be sure to respond quickly, correctly, and confidently when a crisis threatens.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/when_disaster_strikes:paperback

 

The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times

When Disaster Strikes Cover

 

In 2008, the best-selling The Transition Handbook suggested a model for a community-led response to peak oil and climate change. Since then, the Transition idea has gone viral across the globe, from Italian villages and Brazilian favelas to universities and London neighborhoods. In contrast to the ever-worsening stream of information about climate change, the economy, and resource depletion, Transition focuses on solutions, on community-scale responses, on meeting new people, and on having fun.

 

The Transition Companion picks up the story today, drawing on the experience of one of the most fascinating experiments under way in the world. It tells inspiring tales of communities working for a future where local economies are valued and nurtured; where lower energy use is seen as a benefit; and where enterprise, creativity, and the building of resilience have become cornerstones of a new economy.

 

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_transition_companion:paperback

 

THE EXECUTIVE

 

Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Thinking in Systems Cover

 

Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. This essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.

While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to keep learning.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/thinking_in_systems:paperback


THE SCRABBLE LOVER

 

Logodaedaly, or Sleight-of-Words

Logodaedaly Image Cover

 

What is a “balanoid”? Who carries an “ombrifuge” into a storm? How is a “filipendulous” city destroyed? These and other fabulous questions are found in Logodædaly, or, Sleight-of-Words: a dictionary of the imagination.

 

Young author Erzsébet Gilbert has delved into the history of the English language to unearth a host of forgotten, quirky, obsolete and utterly bizarre words, and created a phrasebook like no other. It is a dictionary whose entries are not merely words, but the fantastical stories and wild musings behind them. Through Logodædaly one might not learn an everyday vocabulary, but beyond A and Z the reader finds that the meaning of a word is always much more than it seems.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/logodaedaly_or_sleightofwords:hardcover


Before the WI Raw Milk Train Leaves the Station, Let’s Not Forget About Protecting Protesters Like Scott Trautman

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

By David E. Gumpert

From his blog, The Complete Patient

I think it’s a good thing that there’s so much back-and-forth about the specifics of the Wisconsin raw milk legislation currently under consideration in the state senate. The prospect of legalizing raw milk in the nation’s second-largest dairy state would probably not have gotten anywhere near this much consideration a couple years ago, so much has changed in a brief amount of time.

Photo: Wisconsin dairy farmer Scott Trautman addresses protesters outside a courthouse in Viroqua in December–an image that apparently doesn’t sit well with DATCP.

Yesterday saw the politicians engaged in all kinds of horse trading—pulling out the liability exemption, making the legislation temporary, requiring farmers to keep the names of their customers. Steve Bemis of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund went back-and-forth with Bill Marler, the food poisoning lawyer who has a big following among regulators, to possibly eliminate some troubling language limiting milk consumption to those who purchase the milk.

But something else was going on yesterday in connection with the raw milk legislation: retribution.

Two inspectors from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, Consumer Protection visited the dairy owned by Scott Trautman. You may remember him.  He became an activist in the movement to legalize raw dairy sales after he came under attack by DATCP for selling raw milk, helping organize the protest on behalf of Max Kane in Viroqua in December, and then briefly chaining himself to the fence around the governor’s mansion on Christmas Eve.

DATCP inspectors had given Trautman’s dairy passing grades four times before last fall, as a Grade A dairy. (He lost his license last fall after he was dropped by a dairy processor. Under Wisconsin dairy rules, you lose your Grade A license if you fail to sell milk for 60 days.) Now Trautman wants to be part of the proposed new law (as well as sell cheese) that was the focus of all the horse trading yesterday, which could well be enacted and would allow Grade A dairies to sell raw milk. But yesterday, there were suddenly a number of things the inspectors didn’t like about his dairy.

The big problem was that they didn’t approve of his wooden milking parlor, and want him to build a new one. “Anybody sitting on ten thousand dollars to waste on closing in our beautiful parlor and making it ‘safe’ and ‘unpleasant’?” he asks.

“Isn’t it interesting,” he observed to me. “I have perfect inspections in a facility signed off on by DATCP. Then I am sounding off about raw milk and suddenly I don’t pass. Amazing.”

DATCP is highly conflicted about the proposed legislation. I spoke with DATCP’s spokesperson, Donna Gilson, Thursday morning to inquire about the agency’s position on the pending raw milk legislation. “We still don’t believe there’s a way to produce raw milk safely,” she began. Hmmm, not real positive. What about the pending legislation? “This makes it slightly less risky,” she said. DATCP likes the elimination of the liability exemption, and the  requirements for testing and signage. It also approves of the collection of names of purchasers. “When there is an outbreak—you notice I don’t say if there is an outbreak—this is the most efficient means for notification of people.” I guess you could say DATCP will be a reluctant supporter at best of the new legislation.

But one thing DATCP has no hesitation about is payback. Once the legislation passes, it’s going to be payback time for those farmers who pushed things to this point where the agency has to regulate raw milk rather than just stamp it out. DATCP just seems to have gotten going a little early with Scott Trautman.

As long as there’s all this horse trading going on, here’s my suggestion for an addition to the legislation: an amnesty clause. This is what typically happens when wars between countries end—everyone releases their prisoners and starts over again.

But sometimes, following a war, when the original rulers remain in place over an alienated population, there is a blood letting. The rulers tell the ruled via force: yes, you may have won the latest round in the war, but we’re still in charge. And we want you to remember who is in charge.

DATCP has shown itself to be nearly obsessive when it comes to making life difficult for certain raw milk activists. Witness Max Kane. According to one media report, he appeared briefly at a Viroqua courthouse today for what was supposed to be another effort by DATCP attorneys to question him about the names of his buying group participants. He left a copy of a motion to cancel the session because he has appealed a previous order that he testify, and quickly left the courthouse. 

I’d suggest that the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund make sure that, as part of any legislation to legalize raw milk, that those farmers brave enough to challenge DATCP aren’t setupon by the agency in retaliation. Even prisoners of war get protection under the Geneva Convention.

***

In New York, raw milk protesters Barb and Steve Smith of Meadowbrook Dairy are awaiting the wrath of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, in the wake of the agency’s court victory invalidating Meadowsweet’s limited liability company to distribute raw milk. In the meantime, the couple has some words of warning for Wisconsin dairy farmers:

“As we have gone through the last 3 years of trouble with Ag and Markets we have seen very clearly that their compulsive desire to control all the milk in the state means they will never allow the raw milk farmers to survive if they can help it. Their real agenda is to eliminate the existence of raw milk farming completely. We were told this years ago by our inspector at the time but didn’t really believe him. Now we know he was right. As long as you have a permit you are voluntarily placing the noose around your own neck. You are agreeing that the department has the authority to come on your farm anytime, to control your farm and farm operations, to find violations, to fine you, and even to shut you down if they want. Raw milk farmers around New York who do have permits are in an almost constant struggle with the state as they are threatened with being shut down for test result violations that later prove to be in compliance afterall. And most importantly, if you do have a problem with the way they treat you, there is absolutely NO recourse! Their word is law, period. If you do not have a permit you are technically NOT under their jurisdiction, though they will try to say otherwise. And finally, if you have a permit you can ONLY sell milk on your farm and ONLY milk, no butter, yogurt or kefir.”

Something to think about.


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