- Products for Wiser Living
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Filled with advice for the home gardener and the more seasoned horticulturist alike, The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving provides straightforward instruction on collecting seed that is true-to-type and ready for sowing in next year’s garden. In this comprehensive book, Seed Savers Exchange, one of the foremost American authorities on the subject, and the Organic Seed Alliance bring together decades of knowledge to demystify the time-honored tradition of saving the seed of more than seventy-five coveted vegetable and herb crops—from heirloom tomatoes and long-favored varieties of beans, lettuces, and cabbages to centuries-old varieties of peppers and grains.
With clear instructions, lush photographs, and easy-to-comprehend profiles on individual vegetable crops, this book not only teaches us how to go about conserving these important varieties for future generations and for planting out in next year’s garden, it also provides a deeper understanding of the importance of saving these genetically valuable varieties of vegetables that have evolved over the centuries through careful selection by farmers and home gardeners.
Through simple lessons and master classes on crop selection, pollination, roguing, and the processes of harvesting and storing seeds, this book ensures that these time-honored traditions can continue. Many of these vegetable varieties are treasured for traits that are singular to their strain, whether that is a resistance to disease, an ability to grow well in a region for which that crop is not typically well suited, resistance to early bolting, or simply because it is a great-tasting variety. In an age of genetically modified crops and hybrid seed, a growing appreciation for saving seeds of these time-tested, open-pollinated cultivars has found a new audience from home vegetable gardeners and cooks to restaurant chefs and local farmers.
Whether interested in simply saving seeds for home use or working to conserve rare varieties of beloved squashes and tomatoes, this book provides a deeper understanding of the art, the science, and the joy of saving seeds.
Author: Seed Savers Exchange
Les Jardins de la Grelinette is a micro-farm located in Eastern Quebec, just north of the American border. Growing on just 1.5 acres, owners Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches feed more than 200 families through their thriving community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and seasonal market stands, and they supply their signature mesclun salad mix to dozens of local establishments. The secret of their success is the low-tech, high-yield production methods they've developed by focusing on growing better rather than growing bigger, making their operation more lucrative and viable in the process.
The Market Gardener is a compendium of the farm's proven horticultural techniques and innovative growing methods. This complete guide is packed with practical information on:
Inspired by the French intensive tradition of maraîchage and by iconic American vegetable grower Eliot Coleman, author and farmer Jean-Martin Fortier shows by example how to start a market garden and make it both very productive and profitable. Making a living wage farming without big capital outlay or acreages may be closer than you think.
Author: Jean-Martin Fortier
Today only a few dozen large-scale producers dominate the greenhouse produce market. Why? Because they know and employ best practices for the most profitable crops: tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, and microgreens. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook levels the playing field by revealing these practices so that all growers, large and small, can maximize the potential of their protected growing space. Whether you’re growing in a heated greenhouse or unheated hoophouse, this book offers a decision-making framework for how to best manage crops that goes beyond a list of simple dos and don’ts. As senior trial technician for greenhouse crops at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, author Andrew Mefferd spent seven years consulting for growers using protected agriculture in a wide variety of climates, soils, and conditions. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook brings his experience and expertise to bear in an in-depth guide that will help readers make their investment in greenhouse space worthwhile. Every year, more growers are turning to protected culture to deal with unpredictable weather and to meet out-of-season demand for local food, but many end up spinning their wheels, wasting time and money on unprofitable crops grown in ways that don’t make the most of their precious greenhouse space. With comprehensive chapters on temperature control and crop steering, pruning and trellising, grafting, and more, Mefferd’s book is full of techniques and strategies that can help farms stay profitable, satisfy customers, and become an integral part of re-localizing our food system. From seed to sale, The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook is the indispensable resource for protected growing.
Author: Andrew Mefferd
The Grit Guide to Backyard Bees and Honey, 7th edition has more than 39 ways to be the best beekeeper! Plus, its articles include recent studies on the honey bee’s decline; businesses that provide classes for beekeepers; lessons on capturing a swarm wherever and whenever; recipes for cooking and baking with honey; and guidance for extracting and processing of honey the easy way.
Read how to get to know your bees and the sweet truth about the life and times of one of humankind’s most important social insects. Discover the 10 items to take to the bee yard. Learn the difference between hives and the lists of pros and cons of the three top beehive designs: Top-Bar, Warre, and Langstroth. Read how to build a honey extractor from simple materials available in your local hardware store. Put down the sugar bowl and switch to honey with the wholesome recipes inside this colorful guide.
More articles include:
The secret – how enjoyable and rewarding owning and maintaining a backyard hive is – is out! Not only are the benefits of owning your own hive (or hives!) numerous, this hobby that will benefit your family, your land and the environment. More backyard beehives are popping up all over the country. Whether you are a seasoned beekeeper or on still on the fence about taking the leap and starting your own hive, the 5th edition of GRIT’s Guide to Backyard Bees and Honey is an excellent source to help you get started!
This 100-page guide is filled with some of the best articles published in GRIT magazine, covering almost everything you need to know about starting, maintaining and benefiting from owning your own beehive … everything from buying and installing your first package of bees into the new hive to cooking with the delicious honey they produce. Several articles cover step-by-step instructions on how to build your own beehive. Other articles cover how important bees and other pollinators are to the land. Plus, are you brave enough to take the “Name that Bee” quiz and identify more than 10 different species of bees?
Written by a celebrated floral designer and lavishly illustrated with full-color photography, this book provides step-by-step instructions for 50 stunning floral projects from simple to spectacular and equips readers with the skills to customize arrangements at home. Whether hosting a party, helping out with a friend’s wedding, or wishing to incorporate the beauty of flowers into everyday life, The Flower Workshop allows you to create dazzling arrangements that go beyond merely pretty and into realms of the dramatic, the unexpected, and sometimes even the magical. Written by a celebrated floral designer and lavishly illustrated with full-color photography, this book not only provides step-by-step instructions for more than forty-five stunning floral projects from simple to spectacular, but also equips you with the skills to customize arrangements at home. Known for her hands-on flower workshops at FlowerSchool New York, Ariella Chezar walks you through the nuts and bolts of creating a variety of small flourishes, tonal arrangements, branch arrangements, handheld bouquets, wreathes, garlands, grand gestures, and more—all accompanied by detailed photography. Chezar offers advice and philosophy on everything from texture and color to foliage and containers, providing an overall approach to living and working with flowers, with an eye toward fresh, local, wild, seasonally influenced floral design. For every occasion, from relaxed and simple to lavish and monumental, The Flower Workshop celebrates the special moments in your life with glorious, fragrant floral arrangements and enhances your surroundings with abundant beauty.
Author: ARIELLA CHEZAR/JULIE MICHAELS
Why does food taste better when you know where it comes from? Because history-ecological, cultural, even personal-flavors every bite we eat. Whether it's the volatile chemical compounds that a plant absorbs from the soil or the stories and memories of places that are evoked by taste, layers of flavor await those willing to delve into the roots of real food. In this landmark book, Gary Paul Nabhan takes us on a personal trip into the southwestern borderlands to discover the terroir-the taste of the place-that makes this desert so delicious.
To savor the terroir of the borderlands, Nabhan presents a cornucopia of local foods-Mexican oregano, mesquite-flour tortillas, grass-fed beef, the popular Mexican dessert capirotada, and corvina (croaker or drum fish) among them-as well as food experiences that range from the foraging of Cabeza de Vaca and his shipwrecked companions to a modern-day camping expedition on the Rio Grande. Nabhan explores everything from the biochemical agents that create taste in these foods to their history and dispersion around the world. Through his field adventures and humorous stories, we learn why Mexican oregano is most potent when gathered at the most arid margins of its range-and why foods found in the remote regions of the borderlands have surprising connections to foods found by his ancestors in the deserts of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. By the end of his movable feast, Nabhan convinces us that the roots of this fascinating terroir must be anchored in our imaginations as well as in our shifting soils.
Author: Gary Nabhan
This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress and economic instability?
The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals. Soil scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet's soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible?
Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long-term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy.
Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low-tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food.
In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil, we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.
Author: Courtney White
Housing is a fundamental human right. For most of human history, our homes were built by hand from whatever local materials were available. However, since the Industrial Revolution, most housing has become little more than quickly constructed, mass-produced, uniform boxes. At the same time, the invention and standardization of the 30-year mortgage and our ever-increasing reliance on credit has come to mean that most of us never own our homes outright.
Housing Reclaimed is a call to arms for nonconventional home builders. It examines how technological advances, design evolution and resourceful, out-of-the-box thinking about materials and efficiency can help us meet the challenge of building affordable, environmentally friendly, beautiful and unique homes. Focusing on the use of salvaged and reclaimed materials, this inspirational volume is packed with case studies of innovative projects including:
These projects and others like them demonstrate that building one's own home does not have to be an unattainable dream. This beautifully illustrated guide is a must read for anyone interested in creating quality zero- or low-debt housing, reducing landfill waste and creating stronger communities.
About the author
Jessica Kellner is editor-in-chief of Mother Earth Living magazine (www.motherearthliving.com) and a passionate advocate of using architectural salvage to create aesthetically beautiful, low-cost housing.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Author: Jessica Kellner
After a getaway in gorgeous rural Vermont-its mountains ablaze in autumnal glory, its Main Streets quaint and welcoming-Ellen Stimson and her family make up their minds even before they get back to St. Louis: "We're moving to Vermont!" The reality, they quickly learn, is not quite as glorious, often far too quaint, but, happily, worth all the trouble.
In self-deprecating and hilarious fashion, Mud Season chronicles Stimson's transition from city life to small Vermont farmhouse. When she decides she wants to own and operate the old-fashioned village store in idyllic Dorset, population 2,036, one of the oldest continually operating country stores in the nation, she learns the hard way that "improvements" are not always welcomed warmly by folks who like things just fine the way they've always been.
She dreams of patrons streaming in for fresh-made sandwiches and an old-timey candy counter, but she learns they're boycotting the store. Why? "The bread," they tell her, "you moved the bread from where it used to be." Can the citified newcomer turn the tide of mistrust before she ruins the business altogether?
Follow the author to her wits' end and back, through her full immersion into rural life-swapping high heels for muck boots; raising chickens and sheep; fighting off skunks, foxes and bears; and making a few friends and allies in a tiny town steeped in history, local tradition and that dyed-in-the-wool Vermont "character."
Author: Ellen Stimson
Thai takeout meets authentic, regional flavors in this collection of 100 recipes for easy, economical, and accessible Thai classics, from the rising star behind the blog She Simmers.
Who can say no to a delicious plate of Pad Thai with Shrimp; a fresh, tangy Green Papaya Salad; golden Fried Spring Rolls; or a rich, savory Pork Toast with Cucumber Relish? Thai food is not only one of the most vibrant, wonderfully varied cuisines in the world, it also happens to be one of the tastiest, and a favorite among American eaters.
The good news is, with the right ingredients and a few basic tools and techniques, authentic Thai food is easily within reach of home cooks. Take it from Leela Punyaratabandhu, a Bangkok native and author of the popular Thai cooking blog She Simmers. In her much-anticipated debut cookbook, she shares her favorite recipes for classic Thai fare, including beloved family recipes, popular street food specialties, and iconic dishes from Thai restaurant menus around the world.
All of Punyaratabandhu’s recipes have been tested and tweaked to ensure that even the busiest cook can prepare them at home. With chapters on key ingredients and tools, base recipes, one-plate meals, classic rice accompaniments, and even Thai sweets, Simple Thai Food is a complete primer for anyone who wants to give Thai cooking a try. By the end of the book, you’ll be whipping up tom yam soup and duck red curry that will put your local takeout joint to shame. But perhaps more importantly, you’ll discover an exciting new world of Thai flavors and dishes (including Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam, Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites, and Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce) that will open your eyes to all the wonderful possibilities that real Thai cooking has to offer.
Author: Leela Punyaratabandhu
A leading light in the field of medicinal herb cultivation, The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm is the first cultivation guide of its kind, and presents invaluable information for growers interested in producing high-quality efficacious herbs in all climates of the US, with the historical connectedness of ancient practitioners. It has become increasingly important-especially as the market for herbal medicine continues to grow-that we transition to local and domestic medicinal cultivation. Increasingly there are concerns in regards to not only the quality but the purity of imported herbs, and wild herbs picked for medicinal purposes are ever more endangered than in past years both at home and abroad. Peg Schafer, longtime grower and teacher, guides readers with information on propagating, cultivating, and harvesting Chinese herbs, and presents fascinating new scientific data that reveal the age-old wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine. Through 79 detailed herb profiles--all tested and trialed on Schafer's certified organic farm-Schafer offers easy-to-follow information, suitable for both growers and practitioners, for growing efficacious wild-simulated herbs. Also included is important information on species conservation, crop integration, and how to avoid the introduction of invasive species. Sidebars on traditional medicinal uses for each herb and delicious recipes are also featured throughout. Vegetable and CSA farmers will find this book of great interest for adding value-added crops to their repertoire, and beginner growers looking to incorporate medicinals into their gardens will find this an invaluable guide to understanding where herbal medicine comes from, and will make eating-your-medicine more accessible than ever.
Author: PEG SCHAFER