Chelsea Green Blog

Nature & Environment

A Grassroots Revolution for Pesticide-Free Communities

August 17, 2018

As the ‘poison cartel’ creeps relentlessly across food systems, there is overwhelming evidence that something must be done to stop them. The small town of Mals, Italy took a stand and started a revolution to stop the corruption and pave the way for a pesticide-free future.  The following excerpt is the foreword by Dr. Vandana…

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Hip Hip, Hooray! It’s National Book Lovers Day!

August 9, 2018

 If you’re anything like us, this might be one of your favorite days of the year. To help you celebrate as only a book-lover can (with a stack of tomes in your favorite reading nook), we’ve rounded up a few Chelsea Green faves – from bestsellers to staff favorites to brand new, just hit the…

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Give a Dam and Worth a Dam

August 8, 2018

If you’ve been following our blog recently, you’ve probably read about the myriad abilities beavers have. With the ingenuity to help with things like water conservation, flood damage, and wildfires beavers are one of the few species capable of cleaning up after the ecological destruction caused by humans. If you’re not a Beaver Believer yet,…

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The Wild in Us and Us in the Wild

August 2, 2018

In the following Q&A, Martin Lee Mueller, author of Being Salmon, Being Human, discusses the importance of rethinking the human-Earth relationship, why salmon are the perfect creatures to start the conversation, and what we can do to give back. The Wild in Us and Us in the Wild Q: Part of your inspiration to write…

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Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

July 25, 2018

Authors Sy Montgomery and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas discuss Tamed and Untamed: Close Encounters of the Animal Kind—a “most delectable potpourri of tales about a whole host of nonhuman animals”—with writer and friend Marc Bekoff. Q: Why did you write Tamed and Untamed ? Liz: Tamed and Untamed is a collection of columns we wrote for…

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Planning a Community Food Forest

July 18, 2018

As Benjamin Franklin stated, “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” A good community food forest will always require robust planning but don’t let that scare you! By breaking down the work into the following five project management phases, you not only establish an initial plan you’ve also developed a dynamic system to allow…

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Appetite For Construction

July 9, 2018

Have you ever wondered why beavers build dams the way they do? Believe it or not, there is actually a method to the madness. Similar to the motives behind why humans manipulate the environment the way they do, beavers employ a strategic plan when building their dams. The animals are “among our closest ecological and…

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Agroforestry Versus Permaculture: Which Approach to Use for a Community Food Forest

July 2, 2018

Ok, so we’ve gone over some basics of community food forests:  Now it’s time to figure out how to plan one. There are two schools of thought on the best approach to building a community food forest: agroforestry or permaculture. The former offers a science-based approach while the latter incorporates elements of social design. Both work…

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What is a Community Food Forest?

June 27, 2018

The recent rise of community food forests and similar projects have come at an imperative time. More than 80 percent of the US population now resides in urban areas. This number is projected to rise in the next few decades. Not only can food forests provide a local source of food they can also serve…

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Focusing on Soil Remediation with Fungi

June 25, 2018

Nature does what needs to be done if we let her. Many people will step up to the task once provided with accurate facts and inspired by possibility. It really comes down to two simple concepts to take forward. One: Promote healthy plant metabolism as the guiding paradigm in growing anything. And two: Think and…

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Our Favorite Summer Reads

June 21, 2018

Wondering what to read this summer? Don’t worry, we have you covered! Grab your towel and claim the best pool chair or relax at your homestead with one of these perfect summer reads. Whether its nature reads, to healing your gut, everything wild, or inspirational books you’ll have your nose in a book all summer long…

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Snakes and Ladders & Tantalising Figs

June 19, 2018

You ever think about how important fig trees are to ecosystems all over the world? Me neither… until I read Gods, Wasps, and Stranglers. The complex nature of these trees and their interdependence with their surroundings is beyond fascinating. “As our planet’s climate changes and reminds us that nature really does matter, the story [of fig…

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Badlands without Beavers: How Teddy Roosevelt became a conservationist

June 14, 2018

There’s no doubt that beavers offer huge support to various ecosystems. Even Teddy Roosevelt learned that when on a hunting trip to beaverless badlands turned out disappointing. This experience was enough to turn him from naturalist to conservationist. Read the full story and you too will become a “Beaver Believer.” The following excerpt is from Eager by…

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The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter

June 8, 2018

“Beavers, the animal that doubles as an ecosystem, are ecological and hydrological Swiss Army knives, capable, in the right circumstances, of tackling just about any landscape-scale problem you might confront.” From promoting salmon populations to capturing more water for agriculture, author and “Beaver Believer” Ben Goldfarb wants us all to appreciate beavers more. A better…

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The Foraging Brewer: California Sagebrush Beer

June 6, 2018

Hyperlocal brewing, making concoctions only out of the ingredients available in your immediate environment, is a fun way to become more familiar with your surroundings and the possibilities within them. According to wildcrafting author Pascal Baudar, “the number of possible ingredients you can use is mind boggling.”  And the end results can be so rewarding! The…

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Mushroom Adventures: Mushroom Composting and Recycling

June 1, 2018

In the United States, an average of 35 percent of home waste and 60 percent of business waste is suitable for use as a mushroom growing substrate. Mushrooms can be grown on toilet and paper towel rolls, egg cartons, newspapers, magazines, coffee grounds, tea bags, old cotton clothing, tissue boxes, shredded paper, cardboard boxes, and more.…

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What in the world is Silvopasture?

May 31, 2018

Have you heard of silvopasture? This system of managing grazing animals in a temperate forest ecosystem is quite common in Europe but it didn’t quite make its way over to North America with the colonists. They must not have realized the benefits of silvopasture: healthier animals, better soil, less pest control and mowing, and climate…

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Victory Over Big Ag: How a small town said “Yes!” to a pesticide-free future

May 29, 2018

A Precautionary Tale shares the inspiring story of a group of citizens in Mals, Italy who fought Big Ag and won and, in doing so, became the first place on Earth to ban pesticides by a referendum vote. Their colorful, courageous, and ultimately savvy campaign is being heralded around the world as a landmark effort in…

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Gourmet Root Systems: Edible Mushrooms Wonders

May 25, 2018

For people who enjoy foraging for food in the wild, there are plenty of mushrooms to choose from — “ten thousand mushroom species to be considered on the North American continent alone”. But foraging for mushrooms should never be thought of as a game of chance. You need to know all the clues when it comes to identifying…

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Foraging For Wild Strawberries

May 8, 2018

Have you ever stumbled across wild strawberries? Growing along the sunny banks and around a forest edge, along roadsides, hillsides or even in your own back yard, wild strawberries are delicious. Wild strawberries are much smaller than those hollow, crunchy, off-season truck farm monstrosities most of us allow to pass for strawberries. Cultivated in-season berries, the…

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Strong, Spicy, and Pleasant: Wild Green Kimchi

May 1, 2018

Experiment with what you have, anything from the mustard family will work extremely well.

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The Secret Life of Fungi: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility

April 18, 2018

Did you know that our collective future could well pivot on people coming to understand that soil fungi matter? Or that there’s such a thing as fungal consciousness?  Fungi have intricate lives, behaviors, and uses most people are unaware of. Mychorrizal fungi form symbiotic relationships with the root systems of other plants. The crucial, symbiotic role…

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Freedom from Poison: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement

April 9, 2018

“The movement for freedom from poisons in our food and agriculture is the most important freedom movement in our times. . . . Read the story of Mals to get inspired. And act.” —from the foreword by VANDANA SHIVA The recent uncovering of The Poison Papers—a collection of documents revealing years of apparent collusion between companies…

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Organic No-Till: Farming like the Earth Matters

April 2, 2018

If we could do one thing for the planet it would be to ditch the plough. When we turn over soil, the air and sun wreak havoc on the microbes, which is why we need chemicals to bring the fertility back. No-till creates thin furrows in the soil and drops seeds in. It’s difficult to…

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Bubbling Waters: Raspberry and Blueberry Soda

March 30, 2018

Now fermentation fans and home brewers can rediscover these “primitive” drinks and their unique flavors in The Wildcrafting Brewer. You’ll be surprised at how easy making your own natural drinks can be! One of the best ways to begin brewing is by dipping your toes in the bubbling waters of homemade soda. Mountain raspberry and blueberry soda…

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