Chelsea Green Publishing

Farm & Garden

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  1. Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties

    Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties

    By Carol Deppe

    All gardeners and farmers should be plant breeders, says author Carol Deppe. Developing new vegetable varieties doesn't require a specialized education, a lot of land, or even a lot of time. It can be done on any scale. It's enjoyable. It's deeply rewarding. You can get useful new varieties much faster than you might suppose. And you can eat your mistakes.

    Authoritative and easy-to-understand, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving is the only guide to plant breeding and seed saving for the serious home gardener and the small-scale farmer or commercial grower. Discover:

    • how to breed for a wide range of different traits (flavor, size, shape, or color; cold or heat tolerance; pest and disease resistance; and regional adaptation)
    • how to save seed and maintain varieties
    • how to conduct your own variety trials and other farm- or garden-based research
    • how to breed for performance under organic or sustainable growing methods

    In this one-size-fits-all world of multinational seed companies, plant patents, and biotech monopolies, more and more gardeners and farmers are recognizing that they need to "take back their seeds." They need to save more of their own seed, grow and maintain the best traditional and regional varieties, and develop more of their own unique new varieties. Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving shows the way, and offers an exciting introduction to a whole new gardening adventure.

    Paperback $29.95

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  2. Good Spirits

    Good Spirits

    By Gene Logsdon

    Here we go. Gene "The Contrary Farmer" Logsdon has taken on some controversial subjects in his time, but this time he has bitten off ("sipped on" doesn't sound right) a topic bound to raise strong feelings on both sides of society's moral boundary lines. His subject is alcohol and its traditional role on the family homestead. Not surprisingly, Gene speaks the bare-naked truth, and finds a lot more good than bad to say about booze.

    Alcohol has historically played a significant role in agricultural life. In colonial times it was the most "liquid" alternative to hard currency as a means of exchange. Alcohol was the most reliable, safest, and most convenient way to store the grain harvest, and was an integral commodity on nearly every farmstead. Because it was so valued--does this surprise us?--the government muscled in, looking for its own piece of the action. George Washington was the first of many politicians to regulate alcohol as a means to generate revenues and gain political control.

    Good Spirits is a rare and brave revisionist view of history. Logsdon is a master at exposing the absurdity of the commonplace. Does it really make sense that the government can make it illegal for us to combine common substances (grain, water, and yeast) on our own property? Can it be true that every war effort in the nation's history has been fueled literally and figuratively by alcohol and the tax revenues it produces? Why must the farmer fund the government that oppresses him?

    In between good-natured tirades, Logsdon makes sure the reader learns some valuable lessons. He tells us how to make beer; he teaches the rudiments of distilling; he interviews Booker Noe (patron of America's First Family of bourbon) to tell us how to sip and tell; and he adds lively tales from alcohol's quasi-legitimate past. This is vintage Contrary Farmer: 100-proof, single-barrel select. Good Spirits is outrageous, entertaining, enlightening, and an eye-poppingly interesting, natural and holistic look at the role of alcohol. You will savor this book like a snifter of Calvados, the double-distilled apple brandy of Normandy that evaporates on the tongue like a heavenly ambrosia. Heady stuff, but delicious when consumed in moderation.

    Paperback $24.95

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  3. The Maple Sugar Book

    The Maple Sugar Book

    By Helen Nearing and Scott Nearing

    A half-century ago, the world was trying to heal the wounds of global war. People were rushing to make up for lost time, grasping for material wealth. This was the era of "total electric living," a phrase beamed into living rooms by General Electric spokesman Ronald Reagan. Environmental awareness was barely a gleam in the eye of even Rachel Carson.

    And yet, Helen and Scott Nearing were on a totally different path, having left the city for the country, eschewing materialistic society in a quest for the self-sufficiency they deemed "the Good Life." Chelsea Green is pleased to honor their example by publishing a new edition of The Maple Sugar Book, complete with a new section of never-before-published photos of the Nearings working on the sugaring operation, and an essay by Greg Joly relating the story behind the book and placing the Nearings' work in the context of their neighborhood and today's maple industry.

    Maple sugaring was an important source of cash for the Nearings, as it continues to be for many New England farmers today. This book is filled with a history of sugaring from Native American to modern times, with practical tips on how to sap trees, process sap, and market syrup. In an age of microchips and software that are obsolete before you can install them, maple sugaring is a process that's stood the test of time. Fifty years after its original publication in 1950, The Maple Sugar Book is as relevant as ever to the homestead or small-scale commercial practitioner.

    Paperback $25.00

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    eBook $25.00

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  4. Living at Nature's Pace

    Living at Nature's Pace

    By Gene Logsdon

    For decades, Logsdon and his family have run a viable family farm. Along the way, he has become a widely influential journalist and social critic, documenting in hundreds of essays for national and regional magazines the crisis in conventional agri-business and the boundless potential for new forms of farming that reconcile tradition with ecology.

    Logsdon reminds us that healthy and economical agriculture must work "at nature's pace," instead of trying to impose an industrial order on the natural world. Foreseeing a future with "more farmers, not fewer," he looks for workable models among the Amish, among his lifelong neighbors in Ohio, and among resourceful urban gardeners and a new generation of defiantly unorthodox organic growers creating an innovative farmers-market economy in every region of the country.

    Nature knows how to grow plants and raise animals; it is human beings who are in danger of losing this age-old expertise, substituting chemical additives and artificial technologies for the traditional virtues of fertility, artistry, and knowledge of natural processes. This new edition of Logsdon's important collection of essays and articles (first published by Pantheon in 1993) contains six new chapters taking stock of American farm life at this turn of the century.

    Paperback $25.00

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    eBook $25.00

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  5. Permaculture in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition

    Permaculture in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition

    By Patrick Whitefield

    Permaculture is a creative approach to abundant and fulfilling lifestyles. It is for everyone wishing to live sustainable and tread more lightly on the Earth. Permaculture is an ecologically sound approach to providing for our needs, including our food, shelter and financial and social structures. It is based on co-operating with nature and caring for the Earth and its people. Permaculture in a Nutshell is a concise and accessible introduction to the principles and practice of permaculture in temperate climates. It covers how permaculture works in the city, the country and on the farm and explores ways in which people can work together to recreate real communities. This inspiring book clearly describes how we can live fruitfully and sustainably and is essential reading for anyone wishing to reduce their environmental impact.

    Paperback $12.95

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  6. Four-Season Harvest

    Four-Season Harvest

    By Eliot Coleman

    If you love the joys of eating home-garden vegetables but always thought those joys had to stop at the end of summer, this book is for you. Eliot Coleman introduces the surprising fact that most of the United States has more winter sunshine than the south of France. He shows how North American gardeners can successfully use that sun to raise a wide variety of traditional winter vegetables in backyard cold frames and plastic covered tunnel greenhouses without supplementary heat. Coleman expands upon his own experiences with new ideas learned on a winter-vegetable pilgrimage across the ocean to the acknowledged kingdom of vegetable cuisine, the southern part of France, which lies on the 44th parallel, the same latitude as his farm in Maine.

    This story of sunshine, weather patterns, old limitations and expectations, and new realities is delightfully innovative in the best gardening tradition. Four-Season Harvest will have you feasting on fresh produce from your garden all through the winter.

    To learn more about the possibility of a four-season farm, please visit Coleman's website www.fourseasonfarm.com.

    Paperback $24.95

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    eBook $24.95

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  7. The Soul of Soil

    The Soul of Soil

    By Joseph Smillie and Grace Gershuny

    Soil is the basis not only for all gardening, but for all terrestrial life. No aspect of agriculture is more fundamental and important, yet we have been losing vast quantities of our finite soil resources to erosion, pollution, and development.

    Now back in print, this eminently sensible and wonderfully well-focused book provides essential information about one of the most significant challenges for those attempting to grow delicious organic vegetables: the creation and maintenance of healthy soil.

    Chapter 2, "Understanding the Soil System," is alone worth the price of admission. Gershuny and Smillie give lay readers and experts a clear explanation of subjects--soil life and nutrient cycles--that have confounded most authors. Nowhere will the reader find simpler and more coherent descriptions of key concepts including cation exchange capacity and chelation.

    There are other books about soil available, including Grace Gershuny's comprehensive Start with the Soil, and there are books that feature chapters on soil building. What distinguishes The Soil of Soilis the authors' concise presentation; they give readers important information, including technical essentials, without getting bogged down in scientific or quasiscientific mumbo-jumbo. In addition, useful tables list specific compost materials, green manures, and other resources that allow growers to translate into action the more general information provided by the book.

    The soil-building techniques featured include:

    • Organic matter management
    • Building and maintaining humus
    • On-site composting
    • Green manures and rotations
    • Cultivation and weed control
    • Nutrient balances and soil testing
    • Using mineral fertilizers
    • Planning for organic certification

    Updates to the 1999 edition include analysis of Proposed Rules for the National Organic Standards, and expanded recommendations for private testing services and soil-testing equipment for home gardeners and organic farmers.

    All of us involved in the cultivation of plants--from the backyard gardener to the largest farmer--need to help regenerate a "living soil," for only in the diversity of the soil and its creatures can we ensure the long-term health of ourselves and our environment. The Soul of Soil offers everyone a basic understanding of what soil is and what we can do to improve our own patch of it. Seen in this light, this practical handbook will be an inspiration as well.

     

    Paperback $25.00

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    eBook $25.00

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  8. You Can Farm

    You Can Farm

    By Joel Salatin

    Have you ever desired, deep within your soul, to make a comfortable full-time living from a farming enterprise? Too often people dare not even vocalize this desire because it seems absurd. It's like thinking the unthinkable.

    After all, the farm population is dwindling. It takes too much capital to start. The pay is too low. The working conditions are dusty, smelly and noisy: not the place to raise a family. This is all true, and more, for most farmers.

    But for farm entrepreneurs, the opportunities for a farm family business have never been greater. The aging farm population is creating cavernous niches begging to be filled by creative visionaries who will go in dynamic new directions. As the industrial agriculture complex crumbles and our culture clambers for clean food, the countryside beckons anew with profitable farming opportunities.

    While this book can be helpful to all farmers, it targets the wannabes, the folks who actually entertain notions of living, loving and learning on a piece of land. Anyone willing to dance with such a dream should be able to assess its assets and liabilities; its fantasies and realities. "Is it really possible for me?" is the burning question this book addresses.






    Paperback $35.00

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  9. The Contrary Farmer's Invitation to Gardening

    The Contrary Farmer's Invitation to Gardening

    By Gene Logsdon

    Once upon a time people thought gardens were flat, rectangular, and planted in rows. People grew vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. Then Gene Logsdon, the self-proclaimed dean of American curmudgeons, came along to smash the concept of garden to smithereens.

    Gene Logsdon is an American original, a farmer who thinks, and a writer who gardens. He has written numerous books on aspects of independent living ranging from Organic Orcharding to Small-Scale Grain Raising.

    Paperback $16.95

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  10. Salad Bar Beef

    Salad Bar Beef

    By Joel Salatin

    In a day when beef is assailed by many environmental organizations and lauded by fast-food chains, a new paradigm to bring reason to this confusion is in order. With farmers leaving the land in droves and plows poised to "reclaim" set-aside acres, it is time to offer an alternative that is both land and farmer friendly.

    Beyond that, the salad bar beef production model offers hope to rural communities, to struggling row-crop farmers, and to frustrated beef eaters who do not want to encourage desertification, air and water pollution, environmental degradation and inhumane animal treatment. Because this is a program weighted toward creativity, management, entrepreneurism and observation, it breathes fresh air into farm economics.

    Paperback $35.00

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  11. Pastured Poultry Profit$

    Pastured Poultry Profit$

    By Joel Salatin

    A couple working six months per year for 50 hours per week on 20 acres can net $25,000-$30,000 per year with an investment equivalent to the price of one new medium-sized tractor. Seldom has agriculture held out such a plum. In a day when main-line farm experts predict the continued demise of the family farm, the pastured poultry opportunity shines like a beacon in the night, guiding the way to a brighter future.

    Paperback $35.00

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  12. The New Organic Grower

    The New Organic Grower

    By Eliot Coleman

    With more than 45,000 sold since 1988, The New Organic Grower has become a modern classic. In this newly revised and expanded edition, master grower Eliot Coleman continues to present the simplest and most sustainable ways of growing top-quality organic vegetables. Coleman updates practical information on marketing the harvest, on small-scale equipment, and on farming and gardening for the long-term health of the soil. The new book is thoroughly updated, and includes all-new chapters such as:

    • Farm-Generated Fertility—how to meet your soil-fertility needs from the resources of your own land, even if manure is not available.
    • The Moveable Feast—how to construct home-garden and commercial-scale greenhouses that can be easily moved to benefit plants and avoid insect and disease build-up.
    • The Winter Garden—how to plant, harvest, and sell hardy salad crops all winter long from unheated or minimally heated greenhouses.
    • Pests—how to find "plant-positive" rather than "pest-negative" solutions by growing healthy, naturally resistant plants.
    • The Information Resource—how and where to learn what you need to know to grow delicious organic vegetables, no matter where you live.

    Written for the serious gardener or small market farmer, The New Organic Grower proves that, in terms of both efficiency and profitability, smaller can be better.

    Paperback $24.95

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    eBook $24.95

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  13. The Contrary Farmer

    The Contrary Farmer

    By Gene Logsdon

    Gene Logsdon has become something of a rabble-rouser in progressive farm circles, stirring up debates and controversies with his popular New Farm Magazine column, The Contrary Farmer. One of Logsdon's principle contrarieties is the opinion that--popular images of the vanishing American farmer, notwithstanding--greater numbers of people in the U.S. will soon be growing and raising a greater share of their own food than at any time since the last century. Instead of vanishing, more and more farmers will be cottage farming, part-time.

    This detailed and personal account of how Logsdon's family uses the art and science of agriculture to achieve a reasonably happy and ecologically sane way of life in an example for all who seek a sustainable lifestyle. In The Contrary Farmer, Logsdon offers the tried-and-true, practical advice of a manual for the cottage farmer, as well as the subtler delights of a meditation in praise of work and pleasure. The Contrary Farmer will give its readers tools and tenets, but also hilarious commentaries and beautiful evocations of the Ohio countryside that Logsdon knows as his place in the universe.

    Paperback $19.95

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  14. The Backyard Berry Book

    The Backyard Berry Book

    By Stella Otto

    Here's hands-on advice from a professional horticulturist and experienced fruit grower to help gardeners create an edible landscape. The Backyard Berry Book provided all the information that backyard gardeners need to grow strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, lingonberries, currants, gooseberries, grapes, and kiwi fruit. Includes details on soil nutrition and testing; disease, pest, weed, and bird control; and trellis design. A trouble-shooting section and seasonal activity calendar will help ensure success.

    Paperback $17.95

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  15. The Backyard Orchardist

    The Backyard Orchardist

    By Stella Otto

    For every gardener desiring to add apples, pears, cherries, and other tree fruit to their landscape here are hints and solid information from a professional horticulturist and experienced fruit grower. The Backyard Orchardist includes help on selecting the best fruit trees and information about each stage of growth and development, along with tips on harvest and storage of the fruit. Those with limited space will learn about growing dwarf fruit trees in containers.

    Appendices include a fruit-growers monthly calendar, a trouble-shooting guide for reviving ailing trees, and a resource list of nurseries selling fruit trees.

    Paperback $17.95

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  16. Loving and Leaving the Good Life

    Loving and Leaving the Good Life

    By Helen Nearing

    Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of Living the Good Life and many other bestselling books, lived together for 53 years until Scott's death at age 100. Loving and Leaving the Good Life is Helen's testimonial to their life together and to what they stood for: self-sufficiency, generosity, social justice, and peace.

    In 1932, after deciding it would be better to be poor in the country than in the city, Helen and Scott moved from New York Ciy to Vermont. Here they created their legendary homestead which they described in Living the Good Life: How to Live Simply and Sanely in a Troubled World, a book that has sold 250,000 copies and inspired thousands of young people to move back to the land.

    The Nearings moved to Maine in 1953, where they continued their hard physical work as homesteaders and their intense intellectual work promoting social justice. Thirty years later, as Scott approached his 100th birthday, he decided it was time to prepare for his death. He stopped eating, and six weeks later Helen held him and said goodbye.

    Loving and Leaving the Good Life is a vivid self-portrait of an independent, committed and gifted woman. It is also an eloquent statement of what it means to grow old and to face death quietly, peacefully, and in control. At 88, Helen seems content to be nearing the end of her good life. As she puts it, "To have partaken of and to have given love is the greatest of life's rewards. There seems never an end to the loving that goes on forever and ever. Loving and leaving are part of living."

    Helen's death in 1995 at the age of 92 marks the end of an era. Yet as Helen writes in her remarkable memoir, "When one door closes, another opens." As we search for a new understanding of the relationships between death and life, this book provides profound insights into the question of how we age and die.

    Paperback $25.00

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    eBook $25.00

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  17. Growing Great Garlic

    Growing Great Garlic

    By Ron L. Engeland

    The first garlic book written specifically for organic gardeners and small-scale farmers

    Growing Great Garlic is the definitive grower's guide written by a small scale farmer who makes his living growing over 200 strains of garlic. Commercial growers will want to consult this book regularly.

    The author tells us:

    • which strains to plant
    • when to fertilize
    • when to plant
    • when to prune flower stalks
    • how to plant
    • when to harvest
      Plus, how to store, market, and process the crop

    Growing Great Garlic makes a genuine contribution in the field of garlic classification that will help the public recognize several distinct varietal types of garlic.

    Paperback $16.95

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  18. In a Pig's Eye

    In a Pig's Eye

    By Karl Schwenke

    Karl Schwenke, a transplanted urbanite, tells stories, sometimes uproariously funny, sometimes sad, about his encounters with pigs, neighbors and newcomers in a small country town. The author has a sharp ear for dialogue, for the human qualities of pigs and the piglike qualities of humans. Schwenke's finely honed writing makes the pleasures and heartaches of rural life particularly vivid.

    Paperback $14.95

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