Permaculture Design Companion
A Practical Workbook for Integrating People and Places
A practical workbook to apply permaculture to any project from start to finish, this is a step-by-step guide for integrating places and people, buildings and ecosystems.
The Permaculture Design Companion is a tried and tested process to creating a coherent, relevant and engaging design. Based on over 20 years of experience, this design guide has been used to teach over 1000 people. Many have gone on to establish thriving permaculture smallholdings, build their own natural homes and ethical businesses, and create productive urban food gardens.
It is a thorough and effective design tool, suitable for absolute beginners and advanced practice. The process can be used for small to large projects, in urban spaces or the countryside–whatever your situation.
This unique resource combines analysis, creativity and inner work. It will inspire you to design with nature, bring clarity and organisation to your ideas, and provide the momentum and support to make your designs become reality.
Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy
A new “farm-to-closet” vision for the clothes we wear–by a leader in the movement for local textile economies
There is a major disconnect between what we wear and our knowledge of its impact on land, air, water, labor, and human health. Even those who value access to safe, local, nutritious food have largely overlooked the production of fiber, dyes, and the chemistry that forms the backbone of modern textile production. While humans are 100 percent reliant on their second skin, it’s common to think little about the biological and human cultural context from which our clothing derives.
Almost a decade ago, weaver and natural dyer Rebecca Burgess developed a project focused on wearing clothing made from fiber grown, woven, and sewn within her bioregion of North Central California. As she began to network with ranchers, farmers, and artisans, she discovered that even in her home community there was ample raw material being grown to support a new regional textile economy with deep roots in climate change prevention and soil restoration. A vision for the future came into focus, combining right livelihoods and a textile system based on economic justice and soil carbon enhancing practices. Burgess saw that we could create viable supply chains of clothing that could become the new standard in a world looking to solve the climate crisis.
In Fibershed readers will learn how natural plant dyes and fibers such as wool, cotton, hemp, and flax can be grown and processed as part of a scalable, restorative agricultural system. They will also learn about milling and other technical systems needed to make regional textile production possible. Fibershed is a resource for fiber farmers, ranchers, contract grazers, weavers, knitters, slow-fashion entrepreneurs, soil activists, and conscious consumers who want to join or create their own fibershed and topple outdated and toxic systems of exploitation..
Ending the War on Artisan Cheese
The Inside Story of Government Overreach and the Struggle to Save Traditional Raw Milk Cheesemakers
A prominent food scientist defends the use of raw milk in traditional artisan cheesemaking.
Raw milk cheese—cheese made from unpasteurized milk—is an expansive category that includes some of Europe’s most beloved traditional styles: Parmigiano Reggiano, Gruyère, and Comté, to name a few. In the United States, raw milk cheese forms the backbone of the resurgent artisan cheese industry, as consumers demand local, traditionally produced, and high-quality foods. Internationally award-winning artisan cheeses like Bayley Hazen Blue (Jasper Hill, VT) would have been unimaginable just forty years ago when American cheese meant Kraft Singles.
Unfortunately the artisan cheese industry faces an existential regulatory threat. Over the past thirty years the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has edged toward an outright ban on raw milk cheeses. Their assault on traditional cheesemaking goes beyond a debate about raw milk safety; the FDA has also attempted to ban the use of wooden boards, the use of ash in cheese ripening, and has set stringent microbiological criteria that many artisan cheeses cannot meet. The David versus Goliath existence of small producers fighting crushing regulations is true in parts of Europe as well, where beloved creameries are going belly-up or being bought out because they can’t comply with EU health ordinances. Centuries-old cheese styles like Fourme d’Ambert and Cantal are nearing extinction, leading Prince Charles to decry the “bacteriological correctness” of European regulators.
The dirty secret is that Listeria and other bacterial outbreaks occur in pasteurized cheeses more often than in raw milk cheeses, and traditional processes like ash-ripening have been proven safe. In Ending the War on Artisan Cheese, Dr. Catherine Donnelly forcefully defends traditional cheesemaking, while exposing government actions in the United States and abroad designed to take away food choice under the false guise of food safety. This book is fundamentally about where and how our food is produced, the values we place on methods of food production, and how the roles of tradition, heritage, and quality often conflict with advertising, politics, and profits in influencing our food choices.
Wetland, Woodland, Wildland
A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont, 2nd Edition
This book is a must-have for anyone wanting to understand Vermont’s forests, wetlands, mountaintops, and shores. Richly illustrated with beautiful line drawings and stunning color photographs, this accessible field guide will delight outdoor explorers and armchair naturalists alike. The book starts with an introduction to the natural community concept and the factors influencing our natural systems, from wind and water to soil and rocks. Then, the book offers a lucid and enjoyable journey into Vermont’s geologic past, with stories of colliding continents, sea floor sediments, and mysterious whale bones. This follows with a journey through all of Vermont’s nine distinct biophysical regions, from the cold and wild Northeastern Highlands to the warm and dry Taconic Mountains.
The bulk of the book describes Vermont’s natural communities—its northern hardwood forests, dry oak woodlands, alpine tundra, cedar swamps, bogs, and marshes—in comprehensive detail. Ecological settings, including geology, soils, climate, and natural disturbance processes, are described for each community, along with complete lists of characteristic plants and animals, as well as places to visit. Wetland, Woodland, Wildland is the definitive guide to Vermont’s natural communities, and is packed with information unavailable elsewhere. It offers practical information for naturalists, teachers, students, landowners, land managers, foresters, conservation planners, and all those with a love of nature who want to learn more about their surroundings.
The first edition of this book, published in 2000, has become a mainstay for naturalists and students throughout Vermont and surrounding states and provinces. This second edition is completely updated to incorporate new research and a growing knowledge about natural communities, as well as a deeper understanding of climate change and its implications for conservation into the future.
This newly updated book will be a prized addition to your natural history library, but it won’t remain on the shelf. You will want to take it with you every time you explore the outdoors. Each paragraph will bring new insights and will deepen your understanding and appreciation of wild nature around you. You will surely want to share this book with friends.
Towards Zero Waste
How to Live a Circular Life
ideas and inspiration for those looking to reduce their household waste
Is recycling really the answer to household waste? How do we eliminate microplastics from our wastewater? How do we avoid consumer goods that are designed to break? How do we stop the oceans being trashed? Towards Zero Waste offers practical tools for change in your own kitchen, on your weekly shop and around your home, as well as in the wider world. Féidhlim Harty explores how and why we need to go zero waste, firstly looking at where waste currently goes, and revealing the hidden world of food and product miles and embodied energy. He shares how to reduce waste room by room, at events, parties, during our travels, and at work. Having minimised waste for over two decades, Féidhlim and his family share their clever ideas to eliminate junk, buy wisely, free yourself from useless packaging, reduce not only your eco footprint but your household bills, compost all biodegradables, and reuse, repair and reroute. They share five simple steps to zero waste and inspire us to be active and push for change.
There is a hunger now within society to address the root causes of plastic waste, right back to the point of oil and gas extraction. People want no part in adding to plastics in the oceans or spreading microplastics into our water, soils and food. Nor do they want to be subjected to the cynical betrayal of consumer built-in obsolescence. Patience with government policy and corporate greenwashing is wearing thin. Towards Zero Waste offers clear guidance for anyone wanting to actively be part of the solutions and not the problems.
Growing Good Food
A Citizen’s Guide to Backyard Carbon Farming
A handbook for growing a victory garden when the enemy is global warming
Written by regenerative farmer Acadia Tucker, Growing Good Food calls on us to take up regenerative gardening, also known as carbon farming, for the good of the planet. By building carbon-rich soil, even in a backyard-sized patch, we can capture greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change, all while growing nutritious food.
To help us get started, and quickly, Tucker draft plans for gardeners who have no space, a little space, or a lot of space. She offers advice on how to prep soil, plant food, and raise the most popular fruits and vegetables using regenerative methods. She shares the gardening tools you need to get started, the top reasons gardens fail and how to fix them, and how to make carbon farming count when the only dirt you have is in pots.
The book includes calls to action and insights from leaders in the regenerative movement, including David Montgomery, Gabe Brown, and Tim LaSalle. Aimed at beginners, the book is designed to inspire an uprising of citizen gardeners.
Growing Good Food suggests what could happen if more of us saw gardening as a civic duty. By the end of it, you’ll know how to grow some really good food and build a healthier world, too.
Growing Good Food: A citizen’s guide to backyard carbon farming is part of Stone Pier’s “Growing Good Food” series. It joins Growing Perennial Foods: A field guide to raising resilient herbs, fruits, and vegetables, also written by Acadia Tucker.
Recovery from Injury, Surgery and Infection
This latest title from the Nature Cures stable provides a comprehensive guide to the foods richest in the nutrients required for healing and boosting the immune system. At some time during their lifetime, everyone suffers an injury or infection of some kind and many are not aware that there are numerous natural foods that can help the body improve its defences, attack its enemies more effectively and heal faster. Some of these should be consumed internally and some should be used externally, and there are some that can be used in both ways. Recovery from Injury, Surgery and Infection, backed up by historic and current research findings, explains the properties of these foods, what is most effective in specific situations, and how best to consume them.
Do You Really Need Spine Surgery?
Take Control With a Spine Surgeon’s Advice
Deciding whether to undergo spine surgery is one of the most important choices you will ever make.
Author and spine surgeon Dr. David Hanscom has observed that in this era of corporate medicine, surgical decisions are often made quickly without a complete evaluation or attempt at non-surgical rehabilitation before proceeding. The result? The majority of spine operations are unnecessary and many surgeries are performed on spines with normal, age-related conditions.
When performed for a specific anatomical problem with matching symptoms, the outcomes are consistently satisfying. Conversely, when surgery is conducted to address pain without a clear source, the consequences can be unpredictable, with a high percent of patients faring poorly or becoming much worse (catastrophic). A failed spinal surgery can virtually destroy one’s life. Additionally, when a patient’s nervous system is fired up from stress, results are often poor.
A common cry from patients is, “If I only knew how badly this could turn out, I would have never had this surgery.” The depth of frustration at making the wrong decision is beyond words because there is no turning back.
If you are facing a decision about spine surgery, Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? provides you and your medical providers important information to help make the best choice. All relevant variables are addressed and organized into a “treatment grid.” With this grid, you and your health care team can determine the most effective approach and course of action, with full consideration to the potential downside of a failed spinal surgery.
Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? gives back control of the surgical decision to you, the patient. Take it!!
The Power of Fastercise
Using the New Science of Signaling Exercise to Get Surprisingly Fit in Just a Few Minutes a Day
A revolutionary program of short burst, high-intensity exercise that uses your body’s signals to curb hunger as it burns fat and builds muscle
Over the last 26 years, thyroid pioneer Denis Wilson, MD, has trained thousands of physicians on the crucial relationships between the thyroid system, metabolism, and body temperature. He’s heard patients recount their inability to get fit using conventional approaches, and he’s understood their frustration. Based on the latest medical research, Dr. Wilson has created fastercise, a revolutionary practice that uses brief, strategically timed bursts of exercise to cancel hunger pangs, allowing people to more easily stick to a healthy eating plan and shift their bodies toward becoming leaner, faster, smarter, stronger, and healthier. Fastercise holds the promise of vindicating and liberating many of those who have struggled to improve their fitness, enabling them to transform their lives and reach their full potential.
By combining simple analogies and clear explanations of the physiology of the body’s energy pathways and response to food and exercise, Dr. Wilson reveals how conventional approaches to dieting and weight management can actually fight against the body’s priorities and lead to frustration and poor results. Fastercise is a time-efficient, convenient, and natural approach powerfully signals the body to burn fat and build muscle synergistically, leading to surprisingly beneficial and quick results.
The Power of Fastercise explains how fastercise can help you:
• Burn fat without going hungry
• Build your mitochondria to burn more fat and provide greater energy
• Stimulate muscle growth in just a few minutes a day
• Shift your body composition to less fat and more muscle
• Boost your body temperature and metabolic rate
• Look and feel younger
• Increase mental focus, learning, and productivity
• Decrease insulin resistance
• Decrease inflammation and improve immune function
• Improve respiratory fitness and athletic performance
• Get great results with any healthy diet, including low-carb and high-carb
In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Wilson lays out simple, practical strategies for combining fastercise with smart eating choices. Fastercise can provide excellent results for a wide range of people: seasoned athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and even those who dislike exercising or have physical limitations. Whatever your fitness goals are, fastercise can help you achieve them.
From What Is to What If
Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want
The founder of the international Transition Towns movement asks why true creative, positive thinking is in decline, asserts that it’s more important now than ever, and suggests ways our communities can revive and reclaim it.
In these times of deep division and deeper despair, if there is a consensus about anything in the world, it is that the future is going to be awful. There is an epidemic of loneliness, an epidemic of anxiety, a mental health crisis of vast proportions, especially among young people. There’s a rise in extremist movements and governments. Catastrophic climate change. Biodiversity loss. Food insecurity. The fracturing of ecosystems and communities beyond, it seems, repair. The future—to say nothing of the present—looks grim.
But as Transition movement cofounder Rob Hopkins tells us, there is plenty of evidence that things can change, and cultures can change, rapidly, dramatically, and unexpectedly—for the better. He has seen it happen around the world and in his own town of Totnes, England, where the community is becoming its own housing developer, energy company, enterprise incubator, and local food network—with cascading benefits to the community that extend far beyond the projects themselves.
We do have the capability to effect dramatic change, Hopkins argues, but we’re failing because we’ve largely allowed our most critical tool to languish: human imagination. As defined by social reformer John Dewey, imagination is the ability to look at things as if they could be otherwise. The ability, that is, to ask What if? And if there was ever a time when we needed that ability, it is now.
Imagination is central to empathy, to creating better lives, to envisioning and then enacting a positive future. Yet imagination is also demonstrably in decline at precisely the moment when we need it most. In this passionate exploration, Hopkins asks why imagination is in decline, and what we must do to revive and reclaim it. Once we do, there is no end to what we might accomplish.
From What Is to What If is a call to action to reclaim and unleash our collective imagination, told through the stories of individuals and communities around the world who are doing it now, as we speak, and witnessing often rapid and dramatic change for the better.
Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Garden Diary
No Dig, Healthy Soil, Fewer Weeds, 3rd Edition
An updated 3rd edition of Dowding’s full-color gardener’s journal with perpetual diary—75% advice on how to grow great crops, 25% writing space for each day of the year—a manual to inform and inspire, from a no-dig pioneer and one of Britain’s most trusted vegetable gardeners
Use this journal year after year to make the best decisions, with your notes alongside Charles Dowding’s suggestions for future reference. Advice in the diary section is linked to each week of the season, and takes you through the annual cycle, from clearing weeds, feeding soil, and sowing to harvesting and storing vegetables.
- Advice on sowing and planting methods, plus raising plants at home
- Best sowing dates: seeds neither fail in cold nor start too late
- Advantages of no dig: saving time, fewer weeds and bigger crops
- How to maintain control of weeds through timely mulching and hoeing
- How to feed soil just once a year, for strong and healthy growth
- When and how to make all the harvests, with advice on storing produce too
Charles’ garden beds grow two crops a year, are cheap to establish and easy to maintain. His growing methods are easy to understand and work on small areas as well as large ones.
Charles’ gardens are famous for the absence of weeds, and it’s a fact that untilled soil, with a humus-rich surface, germinates fewer pioneer weed seeds. By feeding and favouring the life in your soil and working in sympathy with how nature runs things, you create a clear path to bigger harvests with less effort.
The diary explains these methods and weaves them into a timeline of action, to increase your success rate. Good timing is good gardening! Book is most appropriate for zones 8/9, for other zones the dates need adapting: for example he has great feedback from zone 6 gardeners using his methods. And readers can flesh out the detail with his You Tube videos, where over half the audience is North American.
Going Over Home
A Search for Rural Justice in an Unsettled Land
An intimate portrait of the joys and hardships of rural life, as one man searches for community, equality, and tradition in Appalachia
Charles D. Thompson, Jr. was born in southwestern Virginia into an extended family of small farmers. Yet as he came of age he witnessed the demise of every farm in his family. Over the course of his own life of farming, rural education, organizing, and activism, the stories of his home place have been his constant inspiration, helping him identify with the losses of others and to fight against injustices. In Going Over Home, Thompson shares revelations and reflections, from cattle auctions with his grandfather to community gardens in the coal camps of eastern Kentucky, racial disparities of white and Black landownership in the South to recent work with migrant farm workers from Latin America. In this heartfelt first-person narrative, Thompson unpacks our country’s agricultural myths and addresses the history of racism and wealth inequality and how they have come to bear on our nation’s rural places and their people.
How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators is Trying to Transform our Health Care System
Smart metrics, slow thinking, off-label drugs, and a “Moneyball” prescription for fixing modern medicine–by the author of Tripping Over the Truth
The United States is fast becoming the sickest nation in the Western world. Cancer rates continue to rise. There is an epidemic of chronic disease in children. Even with all the money and modern innovations in science, the country’s health care system is beyond broken. Clearly there is a glitch in the system. But what if the solution has been here all along, and we’ve just been too blind to see it?
In Curable journalist and health care advocate Travis Christofferson looks at medicine through a magnifying glass and asks an important question: What if the roots of the current US health care crisis are psychological and systemic, perpetuated not just by corporate influence and the powers that be, but by you and me? It is now known that human perception is based on deeply entrenched patterns of irrational thought, which we attach ourselves to religiously. So how does this implicate the very scientific research and data that doctors rely on to successfully treat their patients?
A page-turning inquiry into a “moneyball approach to medicine,” Curable explores the links between revolutionary baseball analytics; Nobel Prize–winning psychological research on confirmation bias; wildly successful maverick economic philosophy; the history of the radical mastectomy and the rise of the clinical trial; cutting edge treatments routinely overlooked by regulatory bodies; and outdated medical models that prioritize profit over prevention. As stark as things are, Christofferson asks us to see health care not as a toppling house of cards, but as a badly organized system that is inherently fixable. How do we fix it? First we must reframe the conflict between doctors’ intuition and statistical data. Then we must design better systems that can support doctors who are increasingly overwhelmed with the complexity of modern medicine.
Curable outlines the future of medicine, detailing brilliant examples of new health care systems that prove we can do better. It turns out we have more control over our health (and happiness) than we think.
Tripping over the Truth
How the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Is Overturning One of Medicine’s Most Entrenched Paradigms
A masterful synchronization of history and cutting-edge science shines new light on humanity’s darkest diagnosis.
In the wake of the Cancer Genome Atlas project’s failure to provide a legible roadmap to a cure for cancer, science writer Travis Christofferson illuminates a promising blend of old and new perspectives on the disease. Tripping over the Truth follows the story of cancer’s proposed metabolic origin from the vaunted halls of the German scientific golden age to modern laboratories around the world. The reader is taken on a journey through time and science that results in an unlikely connecting of the dots with profound therapeutic implications.
Transporting us on a rich narrative of humanity’s struggle to understand the cellular events that conspire to form malignancy, Tripping over the Truth reads like a detective novel, full of twists and cover-ups, blind-alleys and striking moments of discovery by men and women with uncommon vision, grit, and fortitude. Ultimately, Christofferson arrives at a conclusion that challenges everything we thought we knew about the disease, suggesting the reason for the failed war against cancer stems from a flawed paradigm that categorizes cancer as an exclusively genetic disease.
For anyone affected by this terrifying disease and the physicians who struggle to treat it, this book provides a fresh and hopeful perspective. It explores the new and exciting non-toxic therapies born from the emerging metabolic theory of cancer. These therapies may one day prove to be a turning point in the struggle against our ancient enemy. We are shown how the metabolic theory redraws the battle map, directing researchers to approach cancer treatment from a different angle, framing it more like a gentle rehabilitation rather than all-out combat. In a sharp departure from the current “targeted” revolution occurring in cancer pharmaceuticals, the metabolic therapies highlighted have one striking feature that sets them apart—the potential to treat all types of cancer because they exploit the one weakness that is common to every cancer cell: dysfunctional metabolism.
With a foreword by Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, PhD and contributions from Thomas Seyfried, PhD, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease; Miriam Kalamian, EdM, MS, CNS, author of Keto for Cancer; and Beth Zupec Kania, consultant nutritionist of The Charlie Foundation.
Cancer and the New Biology of Water
A groundbreaking look at the role of water in living organisms that ultimately brings us closer to answering the riddle of the etiology of, and therapy and treatment for, cancer
When President Nixon launched the War on Cancer with the signing of the National Cancer Act of 1971 and the allocation of billions of research dollars, it was amidst a flurry of promises that a cure was within reach. The research establishment was trumpeting the discovery of oncogenes, the genes that supposedly cause cancer. As soon as we identified them and treated cancer patients accordingly, cancer would become a thing of the past.
Fifty years later it’s clear that the War on Cancer has failed—despite what the cancer industry wants us to believe. New diagnoses have continued to climb; one in three people in the United States can now expect to battle cancer during their lifetime. For the majority of common cancers, the search for oncogenes has not changed the treatment: We’re still treating with the same old triad of removing (surgery), burning out (radiation), or poisoning (chemotherapy).
In Cancer and the New Biology of Water, Thomas Cowan, MD, argues that this failure was inevitable because the oncogene theory is incorrect—or at least incomplete—and based on a flawed concept of biology in which DNA controls our cellular function and therefore our health. Instead, Dr. Cowan tells us, the somatic mutations seen in cancer cells are the result of a cellular deterioration that has little to do with oncogenes, DNA, or even the nucleus. The root cause is metabolic dysfunction that deteriorates the structured water that forms the basis of cytoplasmic—and therefore, cellular—health.
Despite mainstream medicine’s failure to bring an end to suffering or deliver on its promises, it remains illegal for physicians to prescribe anything other than the “standard of care” for their cancer patients—no matter how dangerous and ineffective that standard may be—and despite the fact that gentler, more effective, and more promising treatments exist. While Dr. Cowan acknowledges that all of these treatments need more research, Cancer and the New Biology of Water is an impassioned plea from a long-time physician that these promising treatments merit our attention and research dollars and that patients have the right to information, options, and medical freedom in matters of their own life and death.
Farming on the Wild Side
The Evolution of a Regenerative Organic Farm and Nursery
One farm’s decades-long journey into regenerative agriculture—and how these methods enhance biodiversity, pollinators, and soil health
Northern Vermont’s Nancy and John Hayden have spent the last 25 years transforming their draft horse–powered, organic vegetable and livestock operation into an agroecological, regenerative, biodiverse, organic fruit farm, fruit nursery, and pollinator sanctuary. In Farming on the Wild Side they explain the philosophical and scientific principles that influenced them as they phased out sheep and potatoes and embraced apples, pears, stone fruits, and a wide variety of uncommon berry crops; turned much of their property into a semi-wild state; and adapted their marketing and sales strategies to the new century. As the Haydens pursued their goals of enhancing biodiversity and regenerating their land, they incorporated agroforestry and permaculture principles into perennial fruit polycultures, a pollinator sanctuary, repurposed greenhouses for growing fruit, hügelkultur, and ecological “pest” management. Beyond the practical techniques and tips, this book also inspires readers to develop greater ecological literacy and respect for the mysteries of the global ecosystem. Farming on the Wild Side tells a story about new ways to manage small farms and homesteads, about nurturing land, about ecology, about economics, and about things that we can all do to heal both the land and ourselves.