Growing Good Food
A Citizen’s Guide to Backyard Carbon Farming
This is a handbook for growing a Victory Garden when the enemy is global warming. Acadia Tucker, who farms in New Hampshire, grounds her call-to-action in the principles of regenerative agriculture. It’s an approach that has the potential to revolutionize the way food is farmed by promoting water conservation, drastically cutting the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizer, and putting carbon back in the soil.
Tucker takes these sustainable agricultural practices and translates them into methods gardeners can use. She wants to inspire people to take up regenerative gardening, not just as a hobby, but as a powerful way to care for the planet.
Tucker tells aspiring gardeners how to build the soil by disturbing it as little as possible, covering it with organic material, and using only natural fertilizers. And she tells you why it matters. Feeding the soil reduces carbon in the atmosphere. If enough of us did it we could reverse global warming.
Her strategy for turning more of us into gardening activists relies on using a pared-down approach to growing food. In a series of steps simple enough for anyone new to trowels and pitchforks to understand, Tucker explains how to mulch, compost, weed, water, and harvest. She offers specific advice for growing 20 crops, 10 of which are resilient perennials, like broccoli, artichokes, and sweet potatoes. For the tomatoes, beans, and other annuals included here, she offers advice on how to grow them regenerative methods.
This handbook is illustrated with beautiful pen & ink drawings and includes a list of resources. It’s call-to-gardening activism between two covers. Practical guidance on how to change the world, and grow some really good food while you’re at it.
Growing Good Food: A Citizen’s Guide to Backyard Carbon Farming is part of our Growing Food series. It’s a companion guide to Growing Perennial Foods: A Field Guide to Raising Resilient Herbs, Fruits, and Vegetables, also written by Acadia Tucker and set to publish in Fall 2018.
Growing Perennial Foods
A Field Guide to Raising Resilient Herbs, Fruits, and Vegetables
Acadia Tucker’s long love affair with perennial foods has produced this easy-to-understand guide to growing and harvesting them. A regenerative farmer who is deeply concerned about global warming, Tucker believes there may be no better time to plant these hardy crops.
Perennials can weather climate extremes, promote healthy soil, mitigate drought conditions, and thrive without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Many can be harvested year round. They taste good, pack lots of nutrients, and require little tending. In short, the world is a better place with more perennials in it and this book intends to get us there.
Tucker inspires action by first laying the groundwork for tending an organic, regenerative garden. She highlights the 10 steps she recommends gardeners take to help perennial foods thrive. But most of the book is dedicated to profiles of popular perennial herbs, fruit, and vegetables, with explicit instructions on how to plant, grow, and harvest them. Tucker also offers suggestions on how to store and preserve perennials.
Growing Perennial Foods is illustrated with dozens of pen & ink drawings and ends with a short chapter on frequently asked questions. And since this is a field guide, each profile gives readers enough space to write in any additional notes.
While designed for gardening novices, this book is also for experienced gardeners who want to grow more resilient crops, and could use a little guidance.
Growing Perennial Foods is part of our Growing Food book series and a companion guide to Growing Good Food: A Citizen’s Guide to Backyard Carbon Farming, which is also written by Acadia Tucker and set to publish in early 2019.
Redesigning Human Ecologies to Reverse Climate Change
In order to rescue ourselves from climate catastrophe, we need to radically alter how humans live on Earth. We have to go from spending carbon to banking it. We have to put back the trees, wetlands, and corals. We have to regrow the soil and turn back the desert. We have to save whales, wombats, and wolves. We have to reverse the flow of greenhouse gases and send them in exactly the opposite direction: down, not up. We have to flip the carbon cycle and run it backwards. For such a revolutionary transformation we’ll need civilization 2.0.
A secret unlocked by the ancients of the Amazon for its ability to transform impoverished tropical soils into terra preta—fertile black earths—points the way. The indigenous custom of converting organic materials into long lasting carbon has enjoyed a reawakening in recent decades as the quest for more sustainable farming methods has grown. Yet the benefits of this carbonized material, now called biochar, extend far beyond the soil. Pyrolyzing carbon has the power to restore a natural balance by unmining the coal and undrilling the oil and gas. Employed to its full potential, it can run the carbon cycle in reverse and make Earth a garden planet.
Carbon Cascades looks beyond carbon farming or biomass energy to offer a bigger and bolder vision for the next phase of human progress. Authors Albert Bates and Kathleen Draper propose four frameworks: soils restoring balance to carbon, nitrogen, and related cycles, enhancing nutrient density in food, rebuilding topsoil, and conditioning urban and agricultural lands to withstand flooding and drought; water being cleansed by carbon filtration and trophic cascades within the world’s rivers, oceans, and wetlands; a shift in urban infrastructures—buildings, roads, bridges, and ports—to incorporate drawdown materials and components, replacing steel, concrete, polymers, and composites with biological carbon; and economic reorganization to incentivize carbon drawdown.
Fully developed, this approach costs nothing—to the contrary, it can save companies money or provide new revenue streams. It contains the seeds of a new, circular economy in which energy, natural resources, and human ingenuity enter a virtuous cycle of improvement. Carbon Cascades offers bold new solutions to climate change that can begin right now.
Making Massive Small Change
Ideas, Tools, Tactics: Building the Urban Society We Want
The key to fixing our broken patterns of urban development does not lie in grand plans or giant projects; rather, it lies in the collective wisdom and energy of people harnessing the power of many small ideas and actions to make a big difference. We call this making “Massive Small” change.
In an increasingly complex and changing world where global problems are felt locally, the systems we use to plan, design, and build our urban neighborhoods are failing. For three generations, governments the world over have tried to order and control the evolution of cities through rigid, top-down action. Yet, master plans lie unfulfilled, housing is in crisis, the environment is under threat, and the urban poor have become poorer.
The system is not broken: it was built this way. And governments alone cannot solve these problems. But there is another way—the Massive Small way—a concept developed by Kelvin Campbell, the innovative founder of Urban Initiatives, an internationally recognized urban design practice based in London, and curator of Smart Urbanism [Massive Small], one of the largest LinkedIn communities in the field of online urbanism.
Making Massive Small Change, the first truly comprehensive sourcebook to come out of this work, showcases cities as they really are—deeply complex, adaptive systems. As such, it offers an alternative to our current highly mechanistic model of urban development. With roots in the work of great urban theorists such as Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander, and E. F. Schumacher, Making Massive Small Change integrates this thinking with Complexity Theory and a scientific understanding of sustainability and resilience in cities. It sets out the enabling protocols, conditions, and behaviors that deliver Massive Small change in our neighborhoods. It describes and illustrates the ideas, tools, and tactics being used to help engaged citizens, civic leaders, and urban professionals to work together to build viable urban society, and it will show how effective system change can be implemented.
Highly illustrated with stunning graphics and photographs of cityscapes and urban life, this essential toolkit for the future can be called the next Whole Earth Catalog for twenty-first century urban planning and development.
The Creative Kitchen
Seasonal Plant Based Recipes for Meals, Drinks, Crafts, Body & Home Care
Award-winning author of The No Dig Organic Home and Garden Stephanie Hafferty offers a pathway to low cost, zero waste and as plastic free living as possible. She shows you the advantages and pleasures of cooking seasonally and making organic products for you and your family’s health and happiness. Learn how to be resourceful, creative and inspired by what is seasonal and close to hand for a 100% organic home.
Make your own:
* Main meals, sides and deserts
* Store cupboard ingredients like flavoured salts, vinegars, herb mixes, essences
* Drinks (including cordials, teas and liqueurs)
* Soaps, balms, cleansers, flower papers, and much more!
The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume IV
In the fourth volume of this loved publication, the Greenhorns’ diverse collaborators have created yet another delightful miscellany of writings and artwork–centered, this time round, on diversification, in all its forms. The New Farmer’s Almanac, Vol IV features essays and poems from dozens of farmers, ranchers, ecologists, educators, food bank managers, grocers, gardeners, and other actors and advocates bound by their care for the land, the food system, and the preservation of the natural world.
There are folk stories, reports on the racial distribution of farmland, recipes for hickory nut milk and healing and foraged tea. Toolboxes for seed-saving, indigenous land repatriation, and creating liberated space. Advice from old-timers and insights from the new. Meditations on failure, loved crops, and the wisdom of farm dogs. Here are stories about leaving, and of returning home to work the land; essays on the geography of self-discovery; reflections on trauma, both climatic and personal; and some practical guidance for farmers. Add to this hundreds of unique images, from lost-and-found postcards to inked watersheds to sketches of refugee gardens.
Created by the Greenhorns, The New Farmer’s Almanac is a place for public thinking and proactive literary inquiry into the future we share on the land and at the table. Shifting practices is a team sport, and with its original artwork, historic photographs, moon charts, essays, reading lists, proposals, and old-time manifestos, this is just the compendium to inspire your own part in the mix.
What Animals Can Teach Us about Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom
Reflections on feeding body and spirit in a world of change
Animal scientists have long considered domestic livestock to be too dumb to know how to eat right, but the lifetime research of animal behaviorist Fred Provenza and his colleagues has debunked this myth. Their work shows that when given a choice of natural foods, livestock have an astoundingly refined palate, nibbling through the day on as many as fifty kinds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs to meet their nutritional needs with remarkable precision.
In Nourishment Provenza presents his thesis of the wisdom body, a wisdom that links flavor-feedback relationships at a cellular level with biochemically rich foods to meet the body’s nutritional and medicinal needs. Provenza explores the fascinating complexity of these relationships as he raises and answers thought-provoking questions about what we can learn from animals about nutritional wisdom.
What kinds of memories form the basis for how herbivores, and humans, recognize foods? Can a body develop nutritional and medicinal memories in utero and early in life? Do humans still possess the wisdom to select nourishing diets? Or, has that ability been hijacked by nutritional “authorities”? Consumers eager for a “quick fix” have empowered the multibillion-dollar-a-year supplement industry, but is taking supplements and enriching and fortifying foods helping us, or is it hurting us?
On a broader scale Provenza explores the relationships among facets of complex, poorly understood, ever-changing ecological, social, and economic systems in light of an unpredictable future. To what degree do we lose contact with life-sustaining energies when the foods we eat come from anywhere but where we live? To what degree do we lose the mythological relationship that links us physically and spiritually with Mother Earth who nurtures our lives?
Provenza’s paradigm-changing exploration of these questions has implications that could vastly improve our health through a simple change in the way we view our relationships with the plants and animals we eat. Our health could be improved by eating biochemically rich foods and by creating cultures that know how to combine foods into meals that nourish and satiate. Provenza contends the voices of “authority” disconnect most people from a personal search to discover the inner wisdom that can nourish body and spirit. That journey means embracing wonder and uncertainty and avoiding illusions of stability and control as we dine on a planet in a universe bent on consuming itself.
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2 is a how-to guide enabling you to “plant the rain” by creating water-harvesting “earthworks” or “rain gardens.” Earthworks are simple, inexpensive strategies and landforms that passively harvest multiple sources of free on-site water including rainfall, stormwater runoff, air conditioning condensate, and greywater within “living tanks” of soil and vegetation. The plants then pump the water back out in the form of beauty, food, shelter, wildlife habitat, timber and forage, while controlling erosion, reducing down-stream flooding, dropping utility costs, increasing soil fertility, and improving water and air quality.
This revised and expanded full-color second edition builds on the information in Volume 1 by showing you how to turn your yard, school, business, park, and neighborhood into lively, regenerative producers of resources. Conditions at home will improve as you simultaneously enrich the ecosystem and inspire the surrounding community.
Learn to select, place, size, construct, and plant your chosen earthworks. All is made easier and more effective by the illustrations of natural patterns of water and sediment flow with which you can collaborate or mimic. Detailed step-by-step instructions with over 460 images show you how to do it, and plentiful stories of success motivate you so you will do it!
Naturally Healthy Skin in just 5 minutes a day
Including over 100 Blend-It-Yourself skincare recipes using hedgerow herbs
With interest in natural skincare rocketing and Blend-It-Yourself Skincare listed among the Top 5 Trends for 2018, there is a thirst for straight-forward information and simple guidance that helps those seeking a natural lifestyle to take control of their own skincare and ingredients. Vital Skincare helps you understand why it is vital to look after your skin, to know the vital products and practices for healthy skin and learn how to add vitality to your skin and routines using the natural ingredients that grow around you.
This is not a beauty book! Vital Skincare will help you to:
- Take control of your own skincare and be confident in your choices
- Feel and look your best every day, naturally
- Work with the body you have, in the time you have available
- Limit the pollutants and alien chemicals in your body and the environment
- Be more in tune with the natural world in the way you live and with the products you use
- Learn a natural approach that doesn’t cost the earth.
By appreciating the many roles skin performs and understanding its natural system you can love and look after your skin simply. Using fresh, local ingredients brings nature into your daily routines to help make you happier, healthier and smarter. It’s never too early or too late to start knowing your skin.
An Innovative Holistic Approach to Self Healing
Over half of the world’s population is afflicted with some form of chronic or degenerative illness. Heart disease, autoimmune disease, diabetes, neurological conditions, cancer, Lyme disease—the list goes on. The conventional, allopathic, treat-the-symptom-with-pharmaceutical-drugs model is rapidly falling out of favor as patients are searching for nontoxic, advanced prevention and healing modalities that actually work. Bioregulatory Medicine introduces a model that has proven effective for decades in other more forward-thinking developed countries, including Switzerland and Germany.
Our bodies have many bioregulating systems, including the cardiovascular, digestive, neurological, respiratory, endocrine, and so on. Bioregulatory medicine is a comprehensive and holistic approach to health that advocates the use of natural healing methods to support and restore the body’s intrinsic self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms, as opposed to simply treating symptoms with integrative therapies. Bioregulatory medicine is about discovering the root cause of disease and takes into account the entire person from a genetic, epigenetic, metabolic, energetic, and emotional point of view. So while patients may have the same disease or prognosis, the manifestation of illness is entirely bioindividual and must be treated and prevented on an individual level.
Bioregulatory Medicine addresses the four pillars of health—drainage and detox, diet, mind-body medicine, and oral health—using a sophisticated synthesis of the very best natural medicine with modern advances in technology. In addition to identifying the cause of disease, bioregulatory medicine promotes disease prevention and early intervention of illness through noninvasive diagnostics and treatments, and incorporates the use of over 100 different non-toxic diagnostics and treatments from around the world.
Forward-thinking patients and integrative practitioners will find Bioregulatory Medicine invaluable as they seek to deepen their understanding of the body’s many regulating systems and innate ability to heal itself.
The Worm Farmer’s Handbook
Mid- to Large-Scale Vermicomposting for Farms, Businesses, Municipalities, Schools, and Institutions
Techniques and systems for processing food scraps, manure, yard debris, paper, and more
Turning waste into wealth sounds too good to be true, but many worm farmers are finding that vermicomposting is a reliable way to do just that. Vermicast—a biologically active, nutrient-rich mix of earthworm castings and decomposed organic matter—sells for $400 or more per cubic yard. Compare that to regular compost, sold at about $30 a cubic yard, and you’ll see why vermicomposting has taken root in most countries and on every continent but Antarctica.
Vermicomposting is also one of the best sustainable solutions for organic waste management. Vermicomposting manure and crop wastes on farms improves crop yields while reducing demand for off-farm inputs. Vermicast has higher nutrient levels and lower soluble salt content than regular compost, and it improves soil aeration, porosity, and water retention. Plus, vermicast suppresses plant diseases and insect attacks. Municipalities, businesses, community gardens, schools, and universities can set up vermicomposting operations to process food residuals and other waste materials.
The Worm Farmer’s Handbook details the ins and outs of vermicomposting for mid- to large-scale operations, including how to recycle organic materials ranging from food wastes and yard trimmings to manure and shredded office paper. Vermicomposting expert Rhonda Sherman shares what she has learned over twenty-five years working with commercial worm growers and researchers around the world. Her profiles of successful worm growers across the United States and from New Zealand to the Middle East and Europe describe their proven methods and systems.
This book digs into all the details, including:
- Choosing the right production system
- Regulatory issues and developing a business and marketing plan
- Finding and managing feedstocks
- Pre-composting: why and how to do it
- Monitoring an active worm bed
- Harvesting, screening, testing, packaging, and storing vermicast
- Markets for earthworms and vermicast
- Food security: how vermicast benefits soils and plants
- Keys to success: avoiding common pitfalls
From livestock farms and restaurants to colleges, military bases, and prisons, Sherman details why and how commercial-scale vermicomposting is a fast-growing, sustainable solution for organic waste management. The Worm Farmer’s Handbook is the first and only authoritative how-to guide that goes beyond small-scale operations and demystifies the science and logistics of the fascinating process that is vermicomposting.
Oil, Power, and War
A Dark History
In this sweeping, unabashed history of oil, Matthieu Auzanneau takes a fresh, thought-provoking look at the way oil interests have commandeered politics and economies, changed cultures, disrupted power balances across the globe, and spawned wars. He upends commonly held assumptions about key political and financial events of the past 150 years, and he sheds light on what our oil-constrained and eventually post-oil future might look like.
Oil, Power, and War follows the oil industry from its heyday when the first oil wells were drilled to the quest for new sources as old ones dried up. It traces the rise of the Seven Sisters and other oil cartels and exposes oil’s key role in the crises that have shaped our times: two world wars, the Cold War, the Great Depression, Bretton Woods, the 2008 financial crash, oil shocks, wars in the Middle East, the race for Africa’s oil riches, and more. And it defines the oil-born trends shaping our current moment, such as the jockeying for access to Russia’s vast oil resources, the search for extreme substitutes for declining conventional oil, the rise of terrorism, and the changing nature of economic growth.
We meet a long line of characters from John D. Rockefeller to Dick Cheney and Rex Tillerson, and hear lesser-known stories like how New York City taxes were once funneled directly to banks run by oil barons. We see how oil and power, once they became inextricably linked, drove actions of major figures like Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Hitler, Kissinger, and the Bushes. We also learn the fascinating backstory sparked by lesser-known but key personalities such as Calouste Gulbenkian, Abdullah al-Tariki, and Marion King Hubbert, the once-silenced oil industry expert who warned his colleagues that oil production was facing its peak.
Oil, Power, and War is a story of the dreams and hubris that spawned an era of economic chaos, climate change, war, and terrorism—as well as an eloquent framing from which to consider our options as our primary source of power, in many ways irreplacable, grows ever more constrained.
The book has been translated from the highly acclaimed French title, Or Noir.
Farming While Black
Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land
In 1920, 14 percent of all land-owning US farmers were black. Today less than 2 percent of farms are controlled by black people—a loss of over 14 million acres and the result of discrimination and dispossession. While farm management is among the whitest of professions, farm labor is predominantly brown and exploited, and people of color disproportionately live in “food apartheid” neighborhoods and suffer from diet-related illness. The system is built on stolen land and stolen labor and needs a redesign.
Farming While Black is the first comprehensive “how to” guide for aspiring African-heritage growers to reclaim their dignity as agriculturists and for all farmers to understand the distinct, technical contributions of African-heritage people to sustainable agriculture. At Soul Fire Farm, author Leah Penniman co-created the Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion (BLFI) program as a container for new farmers to share growing skills in a culturally relevant and supportive environment led by people of color. Farming While Black organizes and expands upon the curriculum of the BLFI to provide readers with a concise guide to all aspects of small-scale farming, from business planning to preserving the harvest. Throughout the chapters Penniman uplifts the wisdom of the African diasporic farmers and activists whose work informs the techniques described—from whole farm planning, soil fertility, seed selection, and agroecology, to using whole foods in culturally appropriate recipes, sharing stories of ancestors, and tools for healing from the trauma associated with slavery and economic exploitation on the land. Woven throughout the book is the story of Soul Fire Farm, a national leader in the food justice movement.
The technical information is designed for farmers and gardeners with beginning to intermediate experience. For those with more experience, the book provides a fresh lens on practices that may have been taken for granted as ahistorical or strictly European. Black ancestors and contemporaries have always been leaders—and continue to lead—in the sustainable agriculture and food justice movements. It is time for all of us to listen.
The Biotime Log
Discover the joys of keeping The Biotime Log! Biotime, or biological time, runs at a very different pace and rhythm to human time. It can be observed by recording events in the natural world. These can be as varied as the day the first spring bulb opens, the last frost before summer, or the first sighting of a species of bird or insect in a new habitat. These events can be part of a larger natural rhythm, like the turning of the seasons, or an indicator of slow changes in an ecosystem, like unusual weather patterns or an increase of average temperatures. This helps gardeners, nature watchers. On a larger scale, we can also reflect on our own biological rhythms relating to the waxing and waning of the moon and the seasons and beyond!
The Biotime Log provides a sound introduction to biotime and how to keep your own log. This is useful for:
- Gardeners to plan new plantings and crops protection
- Nature lovers to record natural rhythms like the annual migration of birds
- Ecologists to log new volunteer species in the local ecosystem
- For health and wellbeing, to record our own biological rhythms relating to the waxing and waning of the moon and the seasons.
Beautifully illustrated, this ready-made book in which you can note your day-to-day observations will last for years. There are no days or years, just the dates of each month with two days allocated to each page. This allows you to record events by first adding the year at the beginning of each of your entries. Over time you build a picture that you can refer to year on year to compare your observations. Create your own fascinating record of your local environment and its rhythms and mysteries! Your observation will deepen your connection with the natural world around you, your understanding of its cycles, and your appreciation of your local ecosystems.
Dirt to Soil
One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture
Gabe Brown didn’t set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. Brown—in an effort to simply survive—began experimenting with new practices he’d learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture.
Brown dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In so doing Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life—starting with the soil and working his way up, one plant and one animal at a time.
In Dirt to Soil Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge—restoring the soil. The Brown’s Ranch model, developed over twenty years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown’s Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only twenty years! The 5,000-acre ranch profitably produces a wide variety of cash crops and cover crops as well as grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured laying hens, broilers, and pastured pork, all marketed directly to consumers.
The key is how we think, Brown says. In the industrial agricultural model, all thoughts are focused on killing things. But that mindset was also killing diversity, soil, and profit, Brown realized. Now he channels his creative thinking toward how he can get more life on the land—more plants, animals, and beneficial insects. “The greatest roadblock to solving a problem,” Brown says, “is the human mind.”
Gwen the Rescue Hen
Gwen has spent her whole life in a big egg-laying hen house, so she knows very little about what chickens can do (besides lay eggs, of course). A fateful tornado turns her world upside-down and sideways, landing her in a strange new place that’s nothing like the hen house.
Using her wits and chicken superpowers, Gwen dodges danger at every turn until she finds safety and friendship with a boy named Mateo. Together they discover how extraordinary an ordinary chicken really is.
The book includes a bonus section called “More About Chickens,” where curious readers can learn that chickens have extraordinary eyesight, a complex language of 24 sounds, and are descended from dinosaurs, among other fun facts.
Gwen the Rescue Hen is the second children’s book in Stone Pier Press’s Farm Animal Rescue Series, perfect for ages 4 to 7. The first book, Sprig the Rescue Pig, was released in the Spring of 2018.