Are you wanting to live more sustainably? Get off the grid with these self sufficient living books.
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Sink into the story from an Amish community, virtually insulated from the fast pace of modern life. Meet Ruth Hostettler and discover how even a cocoon of tradition cannot protect the Hostettler family from unjust evil in the world. Watch as generations of faith struggle to stand firm and one woman's dreams are put to the test.
Square foot gardening, the revolutionary method developed by Mel Bartholomew, has helped millions of home gardeners grow more fresh produce in less space with less work.
With over 150 new photos and illustrations, this updated edition makes it easier than ever for you to achieve nearly foolproof results in virtually any situation!
Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth offers bold new solutions to climate change that can begin right now! In order to rescue ourselves from climate catastrophe, we need to radically alter how humans live on Earth.
A critical analysis of public and private leadership, business and economic ethics, and civic life, this book concludes with a stirring blueprint for other communities facing similarly overwhelming opposition.
You want to do something for the planet, but what? Change a light bulb, install a low-flow faucet, eat organic? How about ride 4,700 miles across America on a bamboo bicycle, using only water from natural sources, avoiding fossil fuels almost completely, supplying your few electrical needs with solar power, and creating nearly zero waste?
The Salatin family farm, known as Polyface and located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, is one of the nation's premier ecological farms and has been featured in countless print, radio and video media. Exemplifying local food systems and imbedded community-based agriculture, the farm caught the attention of Michael Pollan in his runaway New York Times best-seller The Omnivore's Dilemma (when Salatin refused to ship T-bone steaks to New York).
Behind the glitz, however, the farm struggles with a labyrinth of government regulations and cultural perceptions that terrorize the antidote to mad cows, avian influenza, and food fears. The solution is simple: allow freedom for traditional food growing and purchasing choices.
This book brings to life, with humor and verve, the everyday conflict between the entrenched industrial food system and the local artisanal neighbor-friendly farmer-entrepreneur.
Joel Salatin is also the author of: Pastured Poultry Profit$, Salad Bar Beef, You Can Farm, Family Friendly Farming, Holy Cows and Hog Heaven.
Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, because virtually all food was local. Food for daily consumption (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy products) was grown at home or sourced from local farms. Today, most of the food consumed in the United States and, increasingly, around the globe, is sourced from industrial farms and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which power a food system rife with environmental, economic, and health-related problems.
The tide, however, is slowly but steadily turning back in what has been broadly termed the “farm-to-table” movement. In Farm to Table, Darryl Benjamin and Chef Lyndon Virkler explore how the farm-to-table philosophy is pushing back modern, industrialized food production and moving beyond isolated “locavore” movements into a broad and far-reaching coalition of farmers, chefs, consumers, policy advocates, teachers, institutional buyers, and many more all working to restore healthful, sustainable, and affordable food for everyone.
Divided into two distinct but complementary halves, “Farm” and “Table,” Farm to Table first examines the roots of our contemporary industrial food system, from the technological advances that presaged the “Green Revolution” to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz’s infamous dictum to farmers to “Get big or get out” in the 1970s. Readers will explore the many threats to ecology and human health that our corporatized food system poses, but also the many alternatives (from permaculture to rotation-intensive grazing) that small farmers are now adopting to meet growing consumer demand. The second half of the book is dedicated to illuminating best practices and strategies for schools, restaurants, health care facilities, and other businesses and institutions to partner with local farmers and food producers, from purchasing to marketing.
No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from all economic strata and in a number of settings, from hospital and office cafeterias, from elementary schools to fast-casual restaurants. Farm to Table is a one-of-a-kind resource on how to integrate sustainable principles into each of these settings and facilitate intelligent, healthful food choices at every juncture as our food system evolves. While borrowing from the best ideas of the past, the lessons herein are designed to help contribute to a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable tomorrow.
In Gaining Ground, author Forrest Pritchard recounts his ambitious and often hilarious endeavors to save his family's seventh-generation Virginia farm in the Shenandoah Valley. Through much trial and error, he not only saves Smith Meadows from insolvency but turns it into a leading light in the sustainable, grass-fed, organic farm-to-market community.
For many people, the word “industry” brings to mind images of sprawling factories belching toxic emissions in a blighted natural landscape. “Industrial” has become synonymous with pollution, human rights abuse, and corporate greed. In Industrial Evolution, Lyle Estill seeks to reclaim the term, with its original connotations of hard work, diligence and productivity, and to show how community-scale enterprise can create a vibrant, sustainable local economy. Industrial Evolution is a story of survival. It is about how the small group of committed entrepreneurs introduced in Small is Possible managed to keep their dream alive and thriving through the economic recession, emerging with a model of what a sustainable local economy might look like in a post carbon future. Compulsively readable and seasoned with light humor, this grassroots account demonstrates that ecological stewardship and enterprise at an appropriate scale can lay the foundation for abundance.
Industrial Evolution skips the doom and gloom and is all about solutions. By showing that it is possible to take the big out of industry, this book motivates people to work together in a meaningful way. Filled with inspirational tales of success, failure, perseverance, and real world experiences that anyone can relate to, Industrial Evolution is a must-read for activists, organizers, politicians, and anyone who cares about resilient communities.
Labor and related costs account for more than half of the price of the average home solar installation. But homeowners can save thousands of dollars with this user-friendly manual, which follows the same process professional contractors use. Through detailed directions and step-by-step photos, veteran solar installer Joseph Burdick and seasoned builder Philip Schmidt teach you how to determine the size, placement, and type of installation you’ll need. This comprehensive DIY guide covers everything from assembling rooftop racking or building a ground-mount structure to setting up the electrical connections and making a battery bank for off-grid systems.
Miraculous Abundance is the eloquent tale of the couple’s evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future … when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must.
This second volume in Sierra Club Books' Bioneers Series, Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel has gathered reports from scientific innovators on such diverse topics as biomimicry, "living technologies" and ecologically sound design for industries and buildings.
In an era when incomprehensibly complex issues like Peak Oil and Climate Change dominate headlines, practical solutions at a local level can seem somehow inadequate.
In response, Lyle Estill's Small Is Possible introduces us to "hometown security," with this chronicle of a community-powered response to resource depletion in a fickle global economy. True stories, springing from the soils of Chatham County, N.C., offer a positive counter balance to the bleakness of our age.
This is the story of how one small southern U.S. town found actual solutions to actual problems. Unwilling to rely on government and wary of large corporations, these residents discovered it is possible for a community to feed itself, fuel itself, heal itself and govern itself.
This book is filled with newspaper columns, blog entries, letters and essays that have appeared on the margins of small town economies. Tough subjects are handled with humor and finesse. Compelling stories of successful small businesses from the grocery co-op to the biodiesel co-op describe a town and its people on a genuine quest for sustainability.
Everyone interested in sustainability, local economy, small business and whole foods will be inspired by the success stories in this book.
For a growing number of people, simplicity has been a path to experience the joy in life, to cherish its richness and vitality. It strips away the burdens of our daily lives so that we are left with exhilaration, spirit and fullness. These people are finding that less -- less work, less rushing, less debt -- is more -- more time with family and friends, more time with community, more time with nature, and more time to develop a meaningful and compelling spirituality.
In The Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life, author Cecile Andrews helps you discover and create the good life for yourself. She is renowned for her workshops on voluntary simplicity and her seminars on creating simplicity circles, where people explore their own life stories and share information and knowledge, helping one another develop lives of simplicity and satisfaction. The circles do not only give people the tools to change, but they also fill unmet needs for community and intimacy and the desire to search for truth in the company of kindred spirits.
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On May 4, 2007, an EF5 tornado destroyed the town of Greensburg in south central Kansas. In the desperate days immediately after the catastrophe, town leaders-including the ex-cop mayor, the city manager, and an environmentalist from Colorado - launched a program to rebuild Greensburg green. Just like the name of the town. Before the tornado, Greensburg was slowly dying, a village about to be buried in the Great Plains. Now it is a mecca for eco-tourists. Author Robert Fraga taught math for 20 years in Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. Later he taught at Ripon College in Wisconsin and Baker University in Kansas. His two books on mathematics are entitled Calculus Problems for a New Century and War Stories from Applied Math. He and his wife Jean Grant, parents of two grown children, live in Lawrence, Kan., and the Dordogne region of France.
No source is left untapped in this all-encompassing guide to supplying lifesaving water after a disaster. Of all the resources needed after a catastrophe strikes (food, heat, electricity, communication, and transportation) none are as important as water! While a substantial supply should be stored, the size and weight of water make storage impractical for long-term survival. Therefore it’s critical to know how to acquire and purify additional water supplies over time. This guide addresses all of these factors and more with straightforward instruction.
Suitable for novice and expert preppers alike, this book’s laser-sharp focus on water allows for a depth of information not found in any other guide.
Reduce your lawn and your grocery budget. Take gardening to the next level! Would you like to grow healthy food for your table? Do you want to learn the secrets of farming even though you live in a neighborhood? Author Amy Stross talks straight about why the suburbs might be the ideal place for a small farm.
In these pages you'll learn:
• How to make your landscape as productive as it is beautiful
• Why the suburbs are primed with food-growing potential
• How to choose the best crops for success
• Why you don’t need the perfect yard to have a micro-farm
• How to use easy permaculture techniques for abundant harvests
There are 40 million acres of lawns in North America. In their current form, these unproductive expanses of grass represent a significant financial and environmental cost. However, viewed through a different lens, they can also be seen as a tremendous source of opportunity. Access to land is a major barrier for many people who want to enter the agricultural sector, and urban and suburban yards have huge potential for would-be farmers wanting to become part of this growing movement.
The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard (or someone else's). Major benefits include:
• Low capital investment and overhead costs.
• Reduced need for expensive infrastructure.
• Easy access to markets.
Growing food in the city means that fresh crops may travel only a few blocks from field to table, making this innovative approach the next logical step in the local food movement. Based on a scalable, easily reproduced business model, The Urban Farmer is your complete guide to minimizing risk and maximizing profit by using intensive production in small leased or borrowed spaces.