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Chelsea Green - Page 4 of 418 - The Politics and Practice of Sustainable Living. : Chelsea Green

A Look Back at 2014: Our Top 10 Blog Posts

December 11th, 2014 by admin

As we look back on the year almost finished, we’ve started to take stock in what our community has found most useful to them. If it’s one thing (or two) we know about our readers, it’s that they love growing food and getting their hands dirty. How can we be so sure? Six of our ten most popular blog posts from 2014 are garden related.

See for yourself: We’ve listed them all below, they offer a wealth of information on topics from growing mushrooms on a pair of old jeans, to drinking nutrient-rich sap straight from the tree, to tips on cooking the perfect grassfed steak, and more. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more about some of our favorite blog posts from the past year. So, be sure to check back.

For now, though, let the Top Ten countdown begin!

#10. What is a Plant Guild?

Plant experts and permaculture designers Wayne Weiseman, Daniel Halsey, and Bryce Ruddock share what they’ve learned about plant guilds in their new book, Integrated Forest Gardening.

#9. How to Plan the Best Garden Ever

This post features author Carol Deppe’s techniques and tricks, from her book The Resilient Gardener, to help alleviate some of the hard work that goes into growing your own food. Also, be sure to check out Deppe’s new book, The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, where she explores the practical methods as well as the deeper essence of gardening.

#8. Building Your Backyard Permaculture Paradise

More information on building plant guilds and drafting a master species list is shared in this excerpt from Paradise Lot.

#7. Grow Mushrooms on Your Jeans. Seriously.

The ultimate way to recycle, use old clothes to grow food! Tradd Cotter, author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation provides an easy, step-by-step outline of how to grow oyster mushrooms using the most unlikeliest of materials – a pair of jeans.

#6. The Ultimate Raised Bed: How To Make An Herb Spiral

The herb spiral: A beautiful year-round focal point for your garden that is easy and fun to build and saves both space and water. In Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist, author Michael Judd shows how to create this edibles-producing superstar.

#5. Tree Sap: Nature’s Energy Drink

It’s not as sticky as you might think. Tree sap, whether from maple, birch, or walnut, is comprised mostly of water with 2 percent or less sugar and loaded with minerals, nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants, and more. Learn about this incredible, all-natural beverage from Michael Farrell in this excerpt from The Sugarmaker’s Companion.

#4. How to Start Seedlings in a Cold Frame

Harness the heating power of the sun even in the winter months with these guidelines on how to start seedlings in a cold frame from master gardener Eliot Coleman. Excerpted from his book Four-Season Harvest.

#3. Recipe: Ginger Beer

A top 10 list certainly wouldn’t be complete without a couple contributions from the fermentation guru himself, Sandor Katz. Check out his recipe for all-natural ginger beer using a “ginger-bug” to start the fermentation process.

#2. DIY Dilly Beans: Voted “Best Snack Ever”

Sandor Katz is a self-proclaimed “vinegar obsessed freak on the verge of collapse every time a pickle is near.” His recipe for Dilly Beans will hopefully convince you these are indeed the “best snack ever.”

#1. How to Cook the Perfect Tender Grassfed Steak

It’s heartening to see so many people are supporting small-scale farmers and actively seeking out ways to properly cook their ethically sourced grassfed steak. This #1 most popular post features pointers from farmer and cookbook author Shannon Hayes (Long Way on a Little, The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook) on how to cook the most tender grassfed steak both indoors and on the grill. For more information on the environmental and health benefits of sustainable meat production, read Nicolette Hahn Niman’s new book, Defending Beef.

Here’s to a successful 2014 and we’re looking forward to sharing even more great content from our talented authors in 2015.

Cheers!

Wine Pairings for the Holidays

December 8th, 2014 by admin

As you prepare to celebrate with friends or sit down with family this holiday season, it’s good to know what kind of wine to serve on the right occasion with the right meal, right? Deirdre Heekin, wine maker and author of An Unlikely Vineyard, is here to share some of her favorite wines along with food pairing suggestions. Her selections include a variety of wines that pair well with anything from shellfish to roasted root vegetables to a plate of aged cheeses, and more.

In her latest book, Heekin tells her unlikely story of growing wine in the hills of Vermont and her quest to express the essence of place in every bottle. Eric Asimov, wine critic for the New York Times lists An Unlikely Vineyard as one of the best wine books of 2014. He writes, “I love this book, which conveys beautifully why the best wine is, at heart, an agricultural expression.”

The natural wines on this list succeed in this expression of terroir and capturing landscape in a bottle.

Salut!

****
Sparkling Wines

For the holidays, the desire for celebration is always front and center, so having a few different kinds of bubbly on hand makes those impromptu toasts or dinners easy. Sparkling wines are a little higher in acidity making them great companions for all kinds of dishes— anything from raw oysters to roasted root vegetables beneath a golden roast goose.

Ca’ dei Zago Prosecco– Italy
This family makes one thing, and one thing very well, an ancestral-style biodynamically farmed prosecco. It’s distinctive, real, and very well-priced.

Podere Saliceto L’Albone – Italy
If you want to surprise and cause a little bit of stir, the L’Albone is your number. It’s a dark and savory, dry red Lambrusco, great when paired with good, fatty cured meats and stuffed agnelotti pasta in broth.

Furlani – Italy
For a splurge, any of the Furlani wines will please. These are true alpine wines from high in the Dolomites. They make a very dry Brut Natur and a stunning sparkling rosé. These wines make me think of snow and sitting by the fire.

White Wines

For whites, I look for wines with a lighter and intriguing offering that pair well with all kinds of appetizers and starters made from vegetables, smoked fish, shell fish, or salty cured meats.

Meinklang’s Somlo – Hungary
This wine is from northern Hungary. Biodynamically grown, this blend of four rather obscure Hungarian grapes, tells well the story of the landscape there.

Domaine Guillot-Broux – France
This medium-bodied Chardonnay is from one of the oldest certified organic vineyards in France. Elegant at the start of a meal, but also holds up to the main course, even that beef tenderloin.

Tanganelli’s Anatrino or Anatraso – Italy
These two wines come from vines more than 110 years old and their character is resplendent in a deep amber, or orange color. Because of the color, aroma, texture, and tannins these wines are the epitome of versatile, working effortlessly with oysters to aged cheeses.

Red Wines

The red wines that beckon to me during all these celebratory meals are ones that will not weigh me down. Since holiday food is often rich, I like a little counterpoint in the wine. My go-to bottles again exhibit that flexibility which allows them to go with so many different foods.

Montemelino Rosso – Italy
A cunning and silky blend of Sangiovese and Gamay, the wines from this tiny vineyard are naturally fermented and aged in old oak barrels that sleep under the farmhouse and in the little chapel on the property.

Paterna Rosso – Italy
Another medium-bodied to lighter red from outside Arezzo in Tuscany. The wine shimmers with flowers and fruit and a little earth and pairs well with vegetables, meat, and fish—think pork shoulder, or roasted trout.

San Fereolo Dolcetto – Italy
For a slightly brambly wine, though still very feminine, the biodynamically farmed San Fereolo Dolcetto always inspires me. Crushed cranberries, woodland fruit, slate and ink come to mind in winespeak, but the reality is the wine transports you to the edge of the forest. It makes me think of roast fowl, juniper, and clove, celebrations around the table, and raising glasses to the new year.

Stocking Stuffer Holiday Sale!

December 8th, 2014 by admin

UPDATED: Our Holiday Sale has been such a success we’re extending it through January 11, 2015! So, while the holidays may have passed, you can still save 35% sitewide with discount code CGS14 (plus free shipping if you spend $100 or more).

Our stocking stuffer holiday sale continues with 35% off any purchase at our online bookstore.

Simply use the code CGS14 at checkout from now until the end of the year. Take a look at some of our new and popular titles below to get started, or browse our full online bookstore.

Don’t forget there is free shipping on orders over $100!

Happy Holidays from the folks at Chelsea Green

Need more? Email us at [email protected] for recommendations.

~New Releases~

Slowspoke

Retail: $17.95

Sale: $11.67

Farming the Woods

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

The Heal Your Gut Cookbook

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

The Chelsea Green Reader

Retail: $15.00

Sale: $9.75

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Defending Beef

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Angels by the River

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

 

~Bundles and Sets~

The Joel Salatin Set

Retail: $90.25

Sale: $58.66

Holistic Orcharding with Michael Phillips Book and DVD Bundle

Retail: $79.95

Sale: $51.90

Preserving the Harvest Set

Retail: $54.95

Sale: $35.71

 

~Gardening and Agriculture~

The Sugarmaker's Companion

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

The Resilient Gardener

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Keeping a Family Cow

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

The Small-Scale Poultry Flock

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Paradise Lot

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

The Alternative Kitchen Garden

Retail: $27.95

Sale: $18.17

The Four-Season Harvest

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

~Sustainable Food~

The New Cider Maker's Handbook

Retail: $44.95

Sale: $29.22

Wild Fermentation

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

Full Moon Feast

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

The Permaculture Kitchen

Retail: $22.95

Sale: $14.92

~Nature & Environment ~

The Zero Waste Solution

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

Gene Everlasting

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

Cows Save the Planet

Retail: $17.95

Sale: $11.67

Extracted

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

~Green Building~

The New Net Zero

Retail: $90.00

Sale: $58.50

Compact Living

Retail: $14.95

Sale: $9.72

Roundwood Timber Framing

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Building a Low Impact Roundhouse

Retail: $14.95

Sale: $9.72

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

*Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only). International orders can be placed by phone (802-295-6300) or email.

Winter Survival Tips From Mat Stein

December 4th, 2014 by admin

Now that temperatures have started to dip below freezing and most folks living in colder climates have witnessed their first snow flurries of the season, it’s time to get serious about winter preparedness. Make sure you are ready for stormy weather and extreme cold on your next road trip with these winter driving tips from author and survivalist Mat Stein (When Disaster Strikes, When Technology Fails).

Stein’s books are comprehensive guides for self-reliance, sustainable living, and emergency planning. For more survival advice, check out his essential packing list for a grab-and-go compact survival kit.

Safe travels!

*****
Car Survival Tips for a Blizzard
By Matthew Stein

Every winter, thousands of people are stranded while driving in the snow. On more than one occasion, I have been overly confident in my abilities to drive in hazardous icy and snow covered roads, forgetting that I may know how to drive in the snow, but that does not mean the other guy does. When driving in winter weather, it is best to heed the old Yankee saying: “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst!”

Prep for Winter Driving:

  • Make sure that your car’s antifreeze and windshield washer fluid can handle the predicted lowest temperatures. It is both frightening and dangerous when you find yourself blinded by a slushy spray that coats your windshield, only to discover that your washer fluid is frozen and worthless. You can pick up an inexpensive plastic meter with different colored balls inside it for measuring to what temperature your car’s antifreeze is good for freeze protection.
  • Carry chains and make sure they really fit your tires and that you know how to install them. It is a good idea to practice putting your chains on in broad daylight on dry pavement. It is much harder to figure these things out in the middle of a blinding snow storm at night when you are cold and wet and lying on your belly in a foot of new snow. The night before I wrote this, I was helping a motorist around the corner who was stuck on a hill with wet snow that had packed to ice. He had a pair of brand new cable chains, but had no clue as to how to install them. That particular style of cable chain was pretty near impossible to properly tighten when installed in the snow, rather than on pavement, so after spending a half hour trying to get the cable chains properly installed, we ended up towing him with a rope and a four-wheel-drive pickup. Some states outlaw tire chains, but in a dicey situation on treacherous roads, I figure it is better to be safe and use the chains than to worry about breaking a rule. If you have a set of traditional tire chains, you should also carry spare chain repair links and at least one set of chain tensioners (not for use with cable chains).
  • Bring along a flashlight. Very useful for flagging down cars, warning people of an accident, and an absolute must
    for installing tire chains in the dark. I personally prefer a waterproof back country style headlamp over a standard flashlight, because it leaves my hands free and shines wherever I point my head. Have you ever tried installing tire chains by yourself while holding your flashlight in your teeth
  • Carry extra food, water, and clothing, including a warm hat, mittens or gloves, and a warm jacket that preferably has a waterproof but breathable outer shell, such as one made from Gore-Tex. Make sure you have boots that are adequate for trudging through miles of snow. Tennis shoes just don’t cut it in the snow, and frozen toes are no fun!
  • Carry a snow scraper for clearing your windshield, a broom for brushing snow off your car, a compact shovel for digging your vehicle out of a snow bank, and sand or a piece of burlap for traction in case your wheels become stuck.
  • Check the weather forecast and updated road conditions.
  • Stash a spare key on your car. Motorists sometimes get locked out of their vehicle while installing tire chains. I like to bring along a water proof poncho, tarp, or rain jacket and rain pants for lying in the slush while installing tire chains.

To Stay in Your Car or Abandon It?

People ask me this question, and I tell them there is no single right answer, though there is an optimal answer for each situation. Assuming you are stuck either in traffic that has come to a stop, or along the side of a road, here are a few thoughts and guidelines:

  • Is your car in a dangerous position where there is a significant chance you may be run into by another car? If so, abandon your car and relocate yourself to some nearby place where you aren’t in danger!
  • How much gasoline do you have in your tank? Do you have enough spare clothing to stay warm inside your car without running the engine? If not, and you may be stuck for a long time, ration your gasoline by turning your car on for a few minutes at a time to warm the heater, then turn it off again. In my part of the country (High Sierras near Lake Tahoe), major freeways over mountain passes can stay closed for days, and I have been stopped in traffic for eight hours while waiting for accidents to clear. At times like these, it is common for motorists to run out of gas while idling to keep their car heaters going.
  • What is your footwear like? Are you equipped to walk for miles in the snow and spend the night outside if necessary?
  • If your clothing is not really adequate for spending long hours outside in the snow, is there enough passing traffic to hitch a ride to a nearby town, or is all traffic stopped and the road shut down? If your chances of hitching a ride are slim, and your car is parked in a safe spot, you are probably better off staying inside your vehicle.
  • In a desperate situation, lacking suitable boots for snow country travel, you could use a knife to slice up your car seat cushions to make strips of thick insulation that could be wrapped around your feet and lower legs to provide the insulation needed to protect your feet from freezing while trudging for miles through the snow. Wires from your car could be twisted until they break to provide cordage for tying the insulation around your feet and legs. If you lacked a knife, a piece of plastic or metal trim could be pried off your car, or perhaps broken from an item like your glove box, to provide a sharp edge for slicing your seat cushions into usable pieces of insulated fabric. Also, the mirrors of your car could be broken to provide a sharp piece of glass, though it would not do any good to break the windows, since they are made from tempered safety glass and would shatter into tiny unusable pieces.

Looking for the perfect gift? We’ve got you covered

December 2nd, 2014 by admin

UPDATED: Our Holiday Sale has been such a success we’re extending it through January 11, 2015! So, while the holidays may have passed, you can still save 35% sitewide with discount code CGS14 (plus free shipping if you spend $100 or more).

Chelsea Green is the perfect place to stock up on inspiring and educational gifts for everyone on your list (and don’t forget about yourself).

You’ll find the right gift for anyone, from gardeners and political activists to entrepreneurs, builders, foodies and cooks. We’ve got the book for you!

Use the discount code CGS14 at checkout to save 35% off your entire order from now until the end of the year. Take a look at some of our new and popular titles below to get started, or browse our full online bookstore.

Happy Holidays from the folks at Chelsea Green

P.S. Don’t forget there is free shipping on orders over $100*


Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only). International orders can be placed by phone (802-295-6300) or email.


~New Releases~

Retail: $35.00

Sale: $22.75

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Retail: $15.00

Sale: $9.75

~Gardening and Agriculture~

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Retail: $40.00

Sale: $26.00

Retail: $22.95

Sale: $14.92

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

~Permaculture~

Retail: $150.00

Sale: $97.50

Retail: $45.00

Sale: $29.25

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

~Sustainable Food~

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

Retail: $44.95

Sale: $29.22

~Nature and Environment~

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

Retail: $12.95

Sale: $8.42

Retail: $26.00

Sale: $16.90

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

~Politics and Social Justice~

Retail: $15.00

Sale: $9.75

Retail: $17.95

Sale: $11.67

Retail: $17.95

Sale: $11.67

Retail: $15.00

Sale: $9.75

~Bundles and Sets~

Retail: $90.25

Sale: $58.66

Retail: $79.85

Sale: $51.90

Retail: $99.90

Sale: $64.94

~Instructional DVDs~

Retail: $49.95

Sale: $32.47

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.96

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

Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only). International orders can be placed by phone (802-295-6300) or email.

Make the Most of Your Woods with Forest Farming

November 26th, 2014 by admin

Many people think forests are primarily reserved for timber and firewood harvesting. Not so, according to forest farmers Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel.

In their new book Farming the Woods, they invite a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicine, and other non-timber products.

Permaculture Magazine calls this book, ”a tome destined to become a classic.” It includes a wealth of information on how to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value non-timber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, ornamental ferns, and more.

Check out this excerpt from chapter 4 to learn about the variety of food crops you can grow using forest farming techniques. You just might be inspired to plant a grove of pawpaw trees or elderberry bushes in your nearby woods.

Also, Steve Gabriel is featured in a new documentary film, Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective, premiering in 2015. Watch a sneak peek of Steve talking about our role in the forest ecosystem.

INHABIT: “Farming the Woods” with Steve Gabriel from Costa on Vimeo.

Happy Holidays from Chelsea Green Publishing!

November 22nd, 2014 by admin

UPDATED: Our Holiday Sale has been such a success we’re extending it through January 11, 2015! So, while the holidays may have passed, you can still save 35% sitewide with discount code CGS14 (plus free shipping if you spend $100 or more).

We’ve kicked off our Holiday Sale – with 35% off any purchase at our on-line bookstore. Simply use the code CGS14 at checkout from now until the end of the year. Along with this great discount, we have free shipping on any orders over $100*.

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

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

Need a recommendation? Email us at [email protected].

Happy Holidays from the Employee Owners at Chelsea Green Publishing

P.S. Make sure to take a look at our newest release, The Chelsea Green Reader, an anthology celebrating our first thirty years in publishing. With more than one hundred books represented in this collection it’s a great read covering a large range of subjects.


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). International orders can be placed by phone (802-295-6300) or email.


~The Homesteader~

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Retail: $35.00

Sale: $22.75

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Retail: $45.00

Sale: $29.25

Retail: $40.00

Sale: $26.00

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

~The Fermenter~

Retail: $39.95

Sale: $25.97

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

Retail: $40.00

Sale: $26.00

~The Naturalist~

Retail: $17.95

Sale: $11.67

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

Retail: $17.95

Sale: $11.67

~The Gardener~

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

Retail: $24.95

Sale: $16.22

Retail: $35.00

Sale: $22.75

~The Foodie~

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Retail: $44.95

Sale: $29.22

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

Retail: $49.95

Sale: $32.47

~The Small Farmer~

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Retail: $49.95

Sale: $32.47

Retail: $34.95

Sale: $22.72

Retail: $25.00

Sale: $16.25

~The Natural Builder~

Retail: $29.95

Sale: $19.47

Retail: $59.95

Sale: $38.97

Retail: $90.00

Sale: $58.50

Retail: $14.95

Sale: $9.72

~The Local Economist~

Retail: $17.95

Sale: $11.67

Retail: $15.95

Sale: $10.37

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

Retail: $19.95

Sale: $12.97

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

Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only). International orders can be placed by phone (802-295-6300) or email.

 

Tasty Ways to Use Pumpkin Seeds

November 19th, 2014 by admin

As much as we love pumpkins, sometimes it can be a challenge to figure out how to take advantage of all those nourishing seeds. Packed with rich nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and plant-based omega-3s, these seeds are certainly worth the extra effort in the kitchen.  If you’re tired of the standard roasting drill, try some of the following alternative ways to enjoy pumpkin seeds.

But first, remember to soak your seeds. All seeds, as well as nuts, grains, and beans, have phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that hinder healthy digestion. According to the authors of The Heal Your Gut Cookbook, Hilary Boynton and Mary Brackett, taking the 

time to soak and dehydrate your raw pumpkin seeds neutralizes these harmful “anti-nutrients.” Going through this vital process will not only please your stomach, but also improve nutrient absorption. See the excerpt at the end of this post for step-by-step instructions on how to soak and dehydrate nuts and seeds.

Once you’ve properly prepared your seeds, put them to good use in a Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto from Cooking Close to Home or try this Pumpkin Granola recipe from The Heal Your Gut Cookbook.

Granola – makes 1 quart

1/2 cup cashews, soaked 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup pecans, soaked 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
2 tbsp cinnamon 1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until a very chunky paste is formed. Spread on your dehydrator’s nonstick drying sheet and set at 145°F for 12 to 24 hours, stirring once or twice. (Or spread on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven on its lowest possible setting for 12 to 24 hours, depending on temperature.) Break up granola; store in an airtight container in the fridge.

The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nuts and Seeds

Chelsea Green Publishing Turns 30!

November 17th, 2014 by admin

Explore a slideshow of cover images from some of our most iconic books over the past 30 years. Excerpts from these books and close to 100 others are all part of a new Chelsea Green anthology celebrating our 30th anniversary – The Chelsea Green Reader.

This collection offers readers a glimpse into our wide-ranging list of books and authors and to the important ideas that they express. Interesting and worth reading in their own right, the individual passages when taken as a whole trace the evolution of a highly successful small publisher—something that is almost an oxymoron in these days of corporate buyouts and multinational book groups.

Take a walk down memory lane with us and check out this selection of book covers from 1985 to the present.

Fresh Fig Pecan Bread for the Holidays

November 14th, 2014 by admin

Sure to be a hit at any holiday gathering, master bread baker Richard Miscovich describes this Fig Pecan Bread as slightly sweet, delicious, nutritious, and soothing. Here is the full recipe from his latest book, From the Wood-Fired Oven.

*****

Fig Pecan Bread
By Richard Miscovich

One of my favorite baking books—and one that gives me a lot of inspiration to develop new breads—is The Book of Bread by Jérôme Assire. It’s a beautiful book with great photos of breads from around the world. I was ready to put a dried fruit and nut bread into production when I saw a collection of Swiss breads that included Sauserbrot made with wheat and spelt flours and including chestnut and grape must—unfermented freshly squeezed juice. I dropped the juice and whole wheat flour but added a higher ratio of spelt flour and included walnuts, dried figs, and oats. I immediately recognized it as a slightly sweet bread that was also delicious, nutritious, and soothing. Have it at breakfast, at teatime, or as a bedtime snack.

Be sure to use old-fashioned oats or the thicker, chewy kind you might be able to get through your local miller. “Quick” oats don’t give the bread the same texture and don’t look as pretty on the outside of the loaf. Whole wheat flour can be substituted for the spelt flour, but the taste won’t be quite so distinctive. Whole-grain spelt flour and the addition of a high percentage of pecans and figs will make a denser dough. Be aware that the dough will be delicate and that spelt has a shorter proofing tolerance than hard red winter wheat.

It took me several years to realize I should replace the walnuts in this formula with pecans, partly because a pecan tree grows right next to my ovenhouse. In the fall, local pecans are available at roadside stands and people stock their freezers with bags of the rich nut meats, more milky, tender, and fresh than those available in most stores. Enjoy fresh, local nuts if you are lucky enough to have access to them.

We’re also grateful when somebody drops off a load of pecan wood. The logs split nicely, and the branches can be cut into manageable lengths with a pair of heavy-duty loppers and a reciprocating saw. Pecan wood provides fewer BTUs than oak, which means it is less dense. This is an advantage when a fire is just starting and needs heat to accumulate so that the hot firebox will support a more complete combustion. Oak requires a hot environment to get started, so it’s best to add pecan early on and save the oak for later. The pecan also combusts efficiently—little ash is left over after a load of pecan is burned.

We inherited three fig trees when we bought this property. Mid- to late July is when the figs start to ripen. I like to harvest twice a day, once in the morning and again in the late afternoon when the sun warms the sweet and sensual fruit. I so appreciate these two local trees, pecan and fig, that give us beauty, shade, oxygen, fresh nuts, bountiful bowls of figs, and fuel.

Yield: 3 medium loaves
Prefermented flour: 20%
Wood-fired oven temperature window: 425°F to 450°F (218–232°C)
Home oven: Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).

Levain Ingredient Weight (g) Volume Baker’s %
Bread flour 120 1 cup 100
Water 120 1/2 cup 100
Liquid sourdough starter 14 1 1/2 tbsp 12
Total 254

Combine the flour, water, and starter. Mix until smooth. Cover and allow to ferment at 77°F (25°C) for 8 to 10 hours.

Final Dough Ingredient Weight (g) Volume Baker’s %
Pecans, halves 150 1 3/4 cup 26
Figs, dried, chopped 230 1 1/2 cup 40
Water 345 1 1/2 cup 80
Levain 240 *
Bread flour 335 2 3/4 cup 79
Whole spelt flour 123 1 1/4 cup 21
Oats 57 2/3 cup 10
Instant active yeast 2.3 1/2 tsp 0.4
Salt 12 1 tbsp 2.1
Total 1,494.3
Extra oats to roll loaf as needed as needed

* Best measured by weight; volume varies with ripeness.

Desired dough temperature: Adjust the water temperature so the dough is 77°F (25°C) at the end
of mixing.
Lightly toast the pecans, chop them, and let them cool. (Be sure they are completely cool before adding them to the dough so they don’t affect the dough temperature.)
Before measuring the figs, remove any tough stems, chop the figs, and set them aside.

Autolyse: Remove 14g of starter from the levain. Pour the water around the edge of the levain to help release all of the preferment. Add the water and levain to the mixing bowl. Add the flours and oats, but hold back all the other ingredients. Mix by hand or a mixer until thoroughly incorporated and homogeneous, but you needn’t develop the dough at this point. It’s okay if the dough is still shaggy. Cover to prevent a skin from forming and autolyse for 20 to 30 minutes.

Mixing:
By hand: After the autolyse, add the yeast and salt. Mix the dough with your hand and a plastic dough scraper for a minute to incorporate the ingredients.
Turn the dough out of the bowl and knead by hand using the techniques described in chapter 6. Hand mixing will take about 8 to 10 minutes. The dough is going to seem wet, but you’ll see the pecans and figs transform the consistency when you add them at this time.
By mixer: After the autolyse, add the yeast and salt and mix on slow speed for 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. Stop occasionally while mixing to scrape the dough off the hook. Reduce the mixer speed to slow, add the pecans and figs, and mix until incorporated.
When complete, the dough will be smooth and slightly tacky; it’ll pull back when tugged. Remember, the dough will develop considerably during fermenting and folding.

Primary fermentation: Place the dough in a covered container and let it ferment for 2 hours, folding once after 60 minutes.

Dividing/preshaping: Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into three pieces. Preshape each piece into a loose round ball, and place bottom up on a lightly floured surface. Cover the loaves and let them rest for about 20 minutes.

Shaping: Shape the loaves into bâtards. Roll each onto a damp cloth and then into a tray of oats. Place the loaves seam side up on a non-floured couche. Allow to proof for 1 to 11⁄2 hours.

Scoring and baking: Just before baking, turn the loaves onto a lightly floured peel. Score with three angled cuts across the loaf. The oat coating makes scoring a bit difficult. Be sure to use a new blade and score assertively. Bake in a steamed 450°F (232°C) oven.
Or place in a heated combo cooker, score, cover, and place in the oven. Bake for approximately 40 minutes.


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