Chelsea Green Blog

Nature & Environment

Survive the Winter Blues: Grow, Eat and Plan

February 15, 2018

There is no denying it: the days are short and unless you planned for a winter garden, fresh vegetables from your backyard have long passed. But don’t let the winter get you down. There are plenty of recipes to last you through the cold season and into the ‘hungry gap’. And we’ve shared a few…

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Books to Curl up with this Winter!

February 12, 2018

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading…

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Grow Mushrooms on Your Jeans. Seriously.

January 25, 2018

Thinking about getting rid of that pair of worn out jeans? Think again. You could use them to grow mushrooms. That’s right, mushrooms. Mycologist Tradd Cotter has been experimenting with mushroom cultivation for more than 20 years. Through his ongoing research he has not only discovered the best ways to successfully grow morels but also…

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How to Make Biochar

March 16, 2017

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by…

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The 10 Steps that Establish Your Baby’s Microbiome

March 2, 2017

Research is emerging almost daily on the role of the microbiome in human health. But how do we acquire this mysterious community of microbes and more importantly how do we make sure the good bacteria outnumber the bad? According to a new book by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, Your Baby’s Microbiome, it all starts…

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Prepare! Keep a Grab-n-Go Survival Kit Handy

January 16, 2017

Are you prepared in the event of a sudden emergency? Blizzard, earthquake, insurrection after the inauguration? We know a lot of people are wondering what’s coming next in the US, as well as the world, given terrorism, politics, and global warming, among other threats. In this excerpt from When Technology Fails, a popular book on…

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Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

December 15, 2016

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community.…

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Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

December 13, 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and…

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What's a Carbon Sink?

December 7, 2016

World leaders met in Marrakech this month as part of COP22, to discuss the next steps to reducing global climate emissions. One of the solutions being discussed is carbon farming. Author Eric Toensmeier participated in COP22, in part, because he literally wrote a book on it. First off – what is carbon farming? It’s a…

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The Seven-Point Protocol for a Lean Economy

November 28, 2016

In the future, what will our local economies look like? How will they function if there is little, to no, state or national support? The late David Fleming envisioned a post-capitalistic society that we could call “deep local” — in which all needs are met at the local level — from income to social capital…

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Sex, Violence, and Figs

November 16, 2016

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are the fig trees. Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilization. They feature in every major religion, starring alongside Adam and Eve, Krishna and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. This is no coincidence – fig…

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10 Fascinating Fig Facts

November 16, 2016

“As our planet’s climate changes and reminds us that nature really does matter, the story [of fig trees] has important lessons for us all.” –Mike Shanahan In short, fig trees are awesome. They have been around for 80 million years and during that time they have shaped our world and impacted humanity in profound but…

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Author Nicolette Hahn Niman to Speak at Nobel Dialogue on the Future of Food

November 14, 2016

What does a former environmental lawyer and vegetarian turned cattle rancher have in common with Bob Dylan? They’ll both be — theoretically — in Stockholm in December during the Nobel Prize ceremonies. That’s right – Chelsea Green author Nicolette Hahn Niman will be one of several global opinion leaders and experts taking part in this…

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Success: Make the Intense Commitment, Plod On

November 11, 2016

How would you define “success”? To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that you can delve more deeply into how various words, or concepts,…

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Author Thomas Cowan: The Heart is Not a Pump

November 2, 2016

For centuries, we’ve been told that the heart is a pump. Guess what? We were misinformed, and it may have had deadly consequences. In his new book Human Heart, Cosmic Heart, Dr. Thomas Cowan offers up a daring claim: that the heart is not a pump, and our understanding of heart disease—with its origins in…

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The End of Stationarity

October 24, 2016

Welcome to the End … of Stationarity. And what is “stationarity”? We’re glad you asked. Scientists have devised a new term to explain the turmoil caused by climate change: the end of stationarity. It means that our baselines for rainfall, water flow, temperature, and extreme weather are no longer relevant—that making predictions based on past…

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Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

October 14, 2016

How does the word “bullshit” connect to Charisma, Intelligence and the notion of The Empty Sandwich? To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that…

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The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

September 26, 2016

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow). In this excerpt from…

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Three Principles to Survive the Future

September 20, 2016

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one?  Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary…

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Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

September 19, 2016

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.” That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book,…

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True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

September 17, 2016

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story. Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key…

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Eight Seed-Saving Myths

September 15, 2016

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank. Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond…

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Solar Dollars: Promote Renewable Energy & Support Local Economies

September 12, 2016

How can you use the sun as a way to not only generate renewable energy, but support the local economy and provide interest-free financing for utility companies? Author Thomas Greco (The End of Money and the Future of Civilization) has the answer: Solar Dollars! In a recent post on this blog (Beyond Money), Greco makes…

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Ketogenic Diet and the Metabolic Theory of Cancer (Q&A)

September 9, 2016

Emerging research suggests that a ketogenic diet, in conjunction with conventional treatments, offers new hope for those coping with cancer and other serious diseases. For decades, the ketogenic diet—which shifts the body’s metabolism from burning glucose to burning fat, lowering blood sugar and insulin and resulting in a metabolic state known as ketosis—has been used…

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Why Modern Wheat Is Making Us Sick

August 25, 2016

Why is modern wheat making us sick?  That’s the question posed by author Eli Rogosa in her new book Restoring Heritage Grains. Wheat is the most widely grown crop on our planet, yet industrial breeders have transformed this ancient staff of life into a commodity of yield and profit—witness the increase in gluten intolerance and…

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