Call of the Reed Warbler
A New Agriculture, A New Earth
“Charles Massy has written a definitive masterpiece that takes its place along with the writings of Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry, Masanobu Fukuoka, Humberto Maturana, and Michael Pollan. No work has more brilliantly defined regenerative agriculture and the breadth of its restorative impact upon human health, biodiversity, climate, and ecological intelligence.” –Paul Hawken
In Call of the Reed Warbler, Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health.
It is the story of how a grassroots revolution—a true underground insurgency—can save the planet, help reduce and reverse climate change, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food.
Using his personal experience as a touchstone—from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health—Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. With evocative stories, he shows how other innovative and courageous farmers are finding a new way.
At stake is not only a revolution in human health and in our communities, but the very survival of the planet. For farmers, backyard gardeners, food buyers, health workers, policy makers, and public leaders alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward and a powerful and moving paean of hope.
It’s not too late to regenerate the earth. Call of the Reed Warbler shows the way forward for the future of our food supply, our planet, and our health.
Fasting and Feasting
The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray
A New York Times Notable Book for 2017–Now in Paperback
For more than thirty years, Patience Gray—author of the celebrated cookbook Honey from a Weed—lived in a remote area of Puglia in southernmost Italy. She lived without electricity, modern plumbing, or a telephone, grew much of her own food, and gathered and ate wild plants alongside her neighbors in this economically impoverished region. She was fond of saying that she wrote only for herself and her friends, yet her growing reputation brought a steady stream of international visitors to her door. This simple and isolated life she chose for herself may help explain her relative obscurity when compared to the other great food writers of her time: M. F. K. Fisher, Elizabeth David, and Julia Child.
So it is not surprising that when Gray died in 2005, the BBC described her as an “almost forgotten culinary star.” Yet her influence, particularly among chefs and other food writers, has had a lasting and profound effect on the way we view and celebrate good food and regional cuisines. Gray’s prescience was unrivaled: She wrote about what today we would call the Slow Food movement—from foraging to eating locally—long before it became part of the cultural mainstream. Imagine if Michael Pollan or Barbara Kingsolver had spent several decades living among Italian, Greek, and Catalan peasants, recording their recipes and the significance of food and food gathering to their way of life.
In Fasting and Feasting, biographer Adam Federman tells the remarkable—and until now untold—life story of Patience Gray: from her privileged and intellectual upbringing in England, to her trials as a single mother during World War II, to her career working as a designer, editor, translator, and author, and describing her travels and culinary adventures in later years. A fascinating and spirited woman, Patience Gray was very much a part of her times but very clearly ahead of them.
Creating a Family Business
From Contemplation to Maturity
This book is a “must have” for those who want to build their own business and stop working for someone else.
The author, Allan Nation, was the founder and editor of The Stockman Grass Farmer from 1977 until his untimely death in 2016. Among his legacy of journals and notebooks, he left chapters for a book on business. With the help of his partners, Sonny and Glinda Davenport, Allan’s spouse, Carolyn, brought the manuscript to completion.
Although there are references to the business of grass farming and ranching, his intention was that these principles apply to anyone who has their own business. Nation gives an insider’s story of The Stockman Grass Farmer–the lessons he learned from the euphoric acquisition of a farm magazine, its near bankruptcy, and ultimate success–so that others might avoid his mistakes and follow a clearer path to profits. “This is the kind of book I wish I’d had when I started out,” he explains.
Chapters cover the following: How to turn your dream into reality; Figuring out where you are and where you’re going; Making a business plan; The three-legged stool of production, finance and marketing; Selecting a product and setting a price; The importance of due diligence; Working with your spouse and children; Bringing in employees and partners; What to do when disaster strikes; Enjoying the fruits of your labor.
GMO Myths & Truths
A Citizen’s Guide to the Evidence on the Safety and Efficacy of Genetically Modified Crops and Foods, 4th Edition
Some would have us believe that the case against genetically modified (GM) crops and foods is based on emotion, not science, and that to oppose GM crop and food technology is to be anti-science. The same people claim that GM crops offer higher yields and better nutrition, that they are safe for health and the environment, that they reduce agrochemical use, and that they are needed to feed the world’s growing population. This book, co-authored by two genetic engineers and a writer/researcher, exposes these claims as false, using scientific and other documented evidence. GMO Myths and Truths summarizes the facts on the safety and efficacy of GM crops and foods in terms that are accessible to the non-scientist but still relevant to scientists, policymakers and educators. The evidence presented points to many hazards, risks, and limitations of genetic engineering technology. These include harm found in animal feeding and ecological studies, which in turn indicate risks to health and the environment posed by GM crops and foods.
This updated 4th edition includes a new chapter on genome-editing techniques, which are being promoted as crucial to the future of food and agriculture. It explains why these techniques are genetic modification procedures, why genome-edited foods and crops pose similar risks to health and the environment as old-style transgenic GM methods, and why consumers should insist that these products are strictly regulated and labelled.
The new edition is also updated with new research pointing to the health dangers of the pesticides associated with GM crops.
The layout of the book enables those readers with limited time to read the chapter summaries, while providing more detail and full references for those who require them.
The book shows that conventional breeding continues to outstrip GM in developing crops that deliver high yields, better nutrition, and tolerance to extreme weather conditions and poor soils. In agreement with over 400 international experts who co-authored a UN and World Bank-sponsored report on the future of farming, the authors conclude that modern agroecology, rather than GM, is the best path for feeding the world’s current and future populations in a safe and sustainable way.
Forage, Harvest, Feast
A Wild-Inspired Cuisine
One intrepid cook’s exploration of her urban terrain
In this groundbreaking collection of nearly 500 wild food recipes, celebrated New York City forager, cook, kitchen gardener, and writer Marie Viljoen incorporates wild ingredients into everyday and special occasion fare. Motivated by a hunger for new flavors and working with thirty-six versatile wild plants—some increasingly found in farmers markets—she offers deliciously compelling recipes for everything from cocktails and snacks to appetizers, entrées, and desserts, as well as bakes, breads, preserves, sauces, syrups, ferments, spices, and salts.
From underexplored native flavors like bayberry and spicebush to accessible ecological threats like Japanese knotweed and mugwort, Viljoen presents hundreds of recipes unprecedented in scope. They range from simple quickweed griddle cakes with American burnweed butter to sophisticated dishes like a souffléed tomato roulade stuffed with garlic mustard, or scallops seared with sweet white clover, cattail pollen, and sweetfern butter. Viljoen makes unfamiliar ingredients familiar by treating each to a thorough culinary examination, allowing readers to grasp every plant’s character and inflection.
Forage, Harvest, Feast—featuring hundreds of color photographs as well as cultivation tips for plants easily grown at home—is destined to become a standard reference for any cook wanting to transform wildcrafted ingredients into exceptional dishes, spices, and drinks.
Eating wild food, Viljoen reminds us, is a radical act of remembering and honoring our shared heritage. Led by a quest for exceptional flavor and ecologically sound harvesting, she tames the feral kitchen, making it recognizable and welcoming to regular cooks.
Vaccines, Autoimmunity, and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illness
One Doctor’s Surprising Answer to the Epidemic of Autoimmunity and Chronic Disease
Over the past fifty years, rates of autoimmunity and chronic disease have exploded: currently 1 in 2.5 American children has an allergy, 1 in 11 has asthma, 1 in 13 has severe food allergies, and 1 in 36 has autism. While some attribute this rise to increased awareness and diagnosis, Thomas Cowan, MD, argues for a direct causal relationship to a corresponding increase in the number of vaccines American children typically receive—approximately 70 vaccine doses by age eighteen. The goal of these vaccines is precisely what we’re now seeing in such abundance among our chronically ill children: the provocation of immune response.
Dr. Cowan looks at emerging evidence that certain childhood illnesses are actually protective of disease later in life; examines the role of fever, the gut, and cellular fluid in immune health; argues that vaccination is an ineffective (and harmful) attempt to shortcut a complex immune response; and asserts that the medical establishment has engaged in an authoritarian argument that robs parents of informed consent. His ultimate question, from the point of view of a doctor who has decades of experience treating countless children is: What are we really doing to children when we vaccinate them?
The Community Food Forest Handbook
How to Plan, Organize, and Nurture Edible Gathering Places
Collaboration and leadership strategies for long-term success
Fueled by the popularity of permaculture and agroecology, community food forests are capturing the imaginations of people in neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the United States. Along with community gardens and farmers markets, community food forests are an avenue toward creating access to nutritious food and promoting environmental sustainability where we live. Interest in installing them in public spaces is on the rise. People are the most vital component of community food forests, but while we know more than ever about how to design food forests, the ways in which to best organize and lead groups of people involved with these projects has received relatively little attention.
In The Community Food Forest Handbook, Catherine Bukowski and John Munsell dive into the civic aspects of community food forests, drawing on observations, group meetings, and interviews at over 20 projects across the country and their own experience creating and managing a food forest. They combine the stories and strategies gathered during their research with concepts of community development and project management to outline steps for creating lasting public food forests that positively impact communities.
Rather than rehash food forest design, which classic books such as Forest Gardening and Edible Forest Gardens address in great detail, The Community Food Forest Handbook uses systems thinking and draws on social change theory to focus on how to work with diverse groups of people when conceiving of, designing, and implementing a community food forest. To find practical ground, the authors use management phases to highlight the ebb and flow of community capitals from a project’s inception to its completion. They also explore examples of positive feedbacks that are often unexpected but offer avenues for enhancing the success of a community food forest.
The Community Food Forest Handbook provides readers with helpful ideas for building and sustaining momentum, working with diverse public and private stakeholders, integrating assorted civic interests and visions within one project, creating safe and attractive sites, navigating community policies, positively affecting public perception, and managing site evolution and adaptation. Its concepts and examples showcase the complexities of community food forests, highlighting the human resilience of those who learn and experience what is possible when they collaborate on a shared vision for their community.
Oy Vey Vegan
Vegan Cuisine with a Mediterranean Flair
Oy Vey Vegan is a journey into the wide world of plant-based foods. Estee Raviv has created recipes for vegan meals with a curiosity for new flavors combined with old ones—further perfected with a Mediterranean flair and enhanced by her Jewish Eastern European heritage. Estee has a fresh take on all the usual standards. Oy Vey Vegan contains a multitude of options for breakfasts, entrees, snacks, salads, veggie burgers, soups, side dishes, and delicious, but guilt-free, desserts—all taste-tested by her kids. Not only is Jewish vegan cooking possible, but it’s simple. Estee provides recipes for essential Jewish comfort foods such as Tshulent, Challah, and Matzo ball soup. This cookbook is perfect for both beginner vegans and expert chefs looking to expand their vegan menu.
Oy Vey can be translated to “Oh no!” Too many people shy away from vegan foods because they think of them as bland or difficult to make. Estee’s passion for plant-based nutrition changes minds. The book was written to address the need for people who want to make a positive change in their life and diet and do not know how. Preventative medicine through whole foods is the future and Estee Raviv will show you the way. Little snippets of Estee’s childhood and travel adventures accompany tips and tricks in this invaluable guide for a flourishing vegan lifestyle. Most recipes are gluten free (GF) or can be easily transformed into GF. Oy Vey Vegan illustrates the art of health and wellness with beautiful, mouth-watering photographs, taken by Estee herself. Each recipe is written in a clear and easy to follow manner so anyone can cook.
The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter
PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award (Longlisted)
Washington Post “50 Notable Works of Nonfiction”
Science News “Favorite Science Books of 2018”
Booklist “Top Ten Science/Technology Book of 2018”
“A marvelously humor-laced page-turner about the science of semi-aquatic rodents…. A masterpiece of a treatise on the natural world.”—The Washington Post
In Eager, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America’s lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of “Beaver Believers”—including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens—recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish highlands, Believers are now hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts. Eager is a powerful story about one of the world’s most influential species, how North America was colonized, how our landscapes have changed over the centuries, and how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, extinction, and the ravages of climate change. Ultimately, it’s about how we can learn to coexist, harmoniously and even beneficially, with our fellow travelers on this planet.
Runaway Inequality, Updated 3rd Edition
An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice
Revised and Updated Third Edition
Runaway inequality is now America’s most critical economic fact of life. In 1970, the ratio of pay between the top 100 CEOs and the average worker was 45 to 1. In the current decade it is a shocking 800 to 1! During the time in between a new economic philosophy set in that cut taxes, deregulated finance, and trimmed social spending. Those policies set in motion a process that greatly expanded the power of financial interests to accelerate inequality. But how exactly does that happen?
Using over 120 easy-to-understand charts and graphs, Runaway Inequality explains the process by which corporation after corporation falls victim to systematic wealth extraction by banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds. It reveals how financial strip-mining puts enormous downward pressure on jobs, wages, benefits, and working conditions, while boosting the incomes of financial elites.
But Runaway Inequality does more than make sense of our economic plight. It also shows why virtually all the key issues that we face―from climate change to the exploding prison population―are intimately connected to rising economic inequality.
Most importantly, Runaway Inequality calls upon us to build a common movement to tackle the sources of increasing income and wealth inequality. As the author makes clear, the problem will not cure itself. It will take enormous energy and dedication to bring economic justice and fairness back to American society.
The book is divided into four parts:
- Part I: What is the fundamental cause of runaway economic inequality? What has made our economy less fair and left most of us less secure?
- Part II: How does the United States really compare with other major developed countries? How do we stack up on quality of life, health, and well-being?
- Part III: What does economic inequality have to do with so many of the critical issues we face, including taxes, debt, education, criminal justice, racism, climate change, foreign trade, and war?
- Part IV: What concrete steps can we take to begin building a fair and just society?
This revised and updated third edition includes a new preface by the author, additional information on how climate change affects and is affected by inequality, a new section on the Trump tax bill and how it will impact inequality, and over 75 charts and graphs that have been revised and updated.
A Guide to Managing Grazing Animals, Forage Crops, and Trees in a Temperate Farm Ecosystem
A system for regenerating land, storing carbon, and creating climate resilience
The concept of silvopasture challenges our notions of both modern agriculture and land use. For centuries, European settlers of North America have engaged in practices that separate the field from the forest, and even the food from the animal. Silvopasture systems integrate trees, animals, and forages in a whole-system approach that offers a number of benefits to the farmer and the environment. Such a system not only offers the promise of ecological regeneration of the land, but also an economical livelihood and even the ability to farm extensively while buffering the effects of a changing climate: increased rainfall, longer droughts, and more intense storm events.
Silvopasture, however, involves more than just allowing animals into the woodlot. It is intentional, steeped in careful observation skills and flexible to the dynamics of such a complex ecology. It requires a farmer who understands grassland ecology, forestry, and animal husbandry. The farmer needn’t be an expert in all of these disciplines, but familiar enough with them to make decisions on a wide variety of time scales. A silvopasture system will inevitably look different from year to year, and careful design coupled with creativity and visioning for the future are all part of the equation.
In this book, farmer Steve Gabriel offers examples of diverse current systems that include:
- A black locust plantation for fence posts coupled with summer grazing pastures for cattle in central New York;
- Oxen and pigs used to clear forested land in New Hampshire to create space for new market gardens and orchards;
- Turkeys used for controlling pests and fertilization on a cider orchard and asparagus farm in New York; and
- Sheep that graze the understory of hybrid chestnut and hickory trees at a nut nursery in Minnesota.
All of these examples share common goals, components, and philosophies. The systems may take several years to establish, but the long-term benefits include healthier animals and soils, greater yields, and the capacity to sequester atmospheric carbon better than forests or grasslands alone.
For all these reasons and more, Silvopasture offers farmers an innovative and ecological alternative to conventional grazing practice.
The Fruit Forager’s Companion
Ferments, Desserts, Main Dishes, and More from Your Neighborhood and Beyond
From apples and oranges to pawpaws and persimmons
Half of the fruit that grows in yards and public spaces is never picked or eaten. Citrus trees are burdened with misshapen lemons, berries grow in tangled thickets on the roadside, and the crooked rows of abandoned orchards fill with fallen apples. At the same time, people yearn for an emotional connection that’s lacking in bland grocery store bananas and tasteless melons.
The Fruit Forager’s Companion is a how-to guide with nearly 100 recipes devoted to the secret, sweet bounty just outside our front doors and ripe for the taking, from familiar apples and oranges to lesser-known pawpaws and mayhaws. Sara Bir—a seasoned chef, gardener, and forager—primes readers on foraging basics, demonstrates gathering and preservation techniques, and presents a suite of recipes including habanero crabapple jelly, lime pickle, pawpaw lemon curd, and fermented cranberry relish.
Bir encourages readers to reconnect with nature and believes once the foraging mindset takes control, a new culinary world hiding in plain sight will reveal itself. Written in a witty and welcoming style, The Fruit Forager’s Companion is a must-have for seekers of both flavor and fun.
The Balance Point
A Missing Link in Human Consciousness, 2nd Edition
The Balance Point is the story of a search for something so mysterious that the main character doesn’t even know what it is, or how to recognize it if he finds it. It touches on science, mathematics, economics, and other big-ticket issues such as religion and spirituality, in a manner that is both illuminating and disturbing.
Until her sudden and inexplicable death, Dr. Lucille Boggs, a maverick scientist at a large western university, had been uncovering surprising answers as to why people are so indifferent to environmental degradation. The Balance Point tells the story of her research through the eyes of her nephew, who receives her Last Will and Testament and, with it, becomes her final hope. Lured by the promise of a rich inheritance, Joseph Jenkins reluctantly assumes responsibility for finishing Dr. Boggs’ work, inadvertently plunging himself and his family into the midst of a puzzle of global proportions.
The Balance Point takes the reader on a page-turning adventure from the author’s comfortable Pennsylvania home to the farthest reaches of civilization in a search to solve Lucy’s puzzle. On their quest to locate the missing links to her mystery, though, they discover that some answers lie closer to home, and that sometimes, the only way to find them is to look inside oneself.
A timely book with cutting-edge relevance, The Balance Point conveys a message that will be stay with the reader long after the last page has been turned. Although highly recommended for anyone concerned about the state of the planet, it also makes a great gift for the environmentally complacent.
The Visionary Spirit
Awakening to the Imaginal Realm in the Transformocene Age
Drawing inspiration from diverse fields such as the sacred feminine, indigenous wisdom, daimons and near-death experiences, this book is enlivened by fascinating, real-life stories of people who have engaged in deep processes of psycho-spiritual change. The Visionary Spirit is a radical manifesto for soulful and creative living. At the end of each chapter there is an exercise, providing opportunities for experiential reflection, aiding the reader on their personal journey. This offers new ways of living creatively, spiritually, harmoniously and responsibly on planet Earth, offering a vision of a new era of emancipatory living, which Collins calls the Transformocene Age. The scale of planetary destruction now recorded in the geological layer of the Earth – known as the Anthropocene – is a clarion call for deep change. To help facilitate such a transformative process, The Visionary Spirit draws on the wisdom of the imaginal realm, where dreams, myth, and synchronicity help us realign soulfully to the natural world and to our innate wholeness.
The Vegan Cook & Gardener
Growing, Storing and Cooking Delicious Healthy Food All Year Round
Do you want to eat more healthily? Lower your carbon footprint? Banish animal exploitation and suffering? Then this book is for you! It shows what fruit and vegetables you can grow at home, how to store any excess to keep you going all year round, and how to prepare your produce with a selection of satisfying and delicious recipes. Join the fight against food miles, agrochemicals, and climate change, and discover the fun and huge sense of satisfaction that comes from cooking something you have produced yourself. Learn about vegan gardening, self-sufficiency, year round growing techniques and seasonal recipes, fruits and vegetables, herbs, salads and sprouts, challenging crops, plus lots of vegan resources.
Eat Mesquite and More
A Cookbook for Sonoran Desert Foods and Living
Eat Mesquite and More celebrates native food forests of the Sonoran Desert and beyond with over 170 recipes featuring wild, indigenous foods, including mesquite, acorn, barrel cactus, chiltepin, cholla, desert chia, desert herbs and flowers, desert ironwood, hackberry, palo verde, prickly pear, saguaro, wolfberry, and wild greens. The recipes—contributed by desert dwellers, harvesters, chefs, and innovators—capture a spirit of adventure and reverence inviting both newcomers and seasoned experts to try new foods and experiment with new flavors.
More than a cookbook, this guide also encourages a renaissance of “wild agriculture,” one that foregrounds the ethical harvesting and selection of wild foods and the re-planting of native food sources in urban and residential areas without imported water or fertilizers. It contains stories of significant individuals, organizations, and businesses that have contributed knowledge, products, and innovation in the planting, harvesting, and use of wild, native desert foods. Additional essays reveal the poetry of the foraging life, how to plant the rain, and medicinal uses and ethnobotanical histories of desert plants.
Many of the food plants included in this cookbook—or close relatives of them—can be found or grown in the other deserts and drylands of North America and South America. As such, this book becomes a template for harvesting and cooking throughout the Americas. Universally, its concepts and approach can help communities everywhere collaborate with their ecosystem, while enhancing the health of all.