Chelsea Green Blog

Nature & Environment

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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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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