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Community-Scale Permaculture Farm:
The D Acres Model for Creating and Managing an Ecologically
Designed Educational Center
by Josh Trought
practical examples of alternative building, renewable
energy, holistic forestry, no-till gardening, hospitality
management, community outreach, and more.
almost twenty years, D Acres of New Hampshire has challenged
and expanded the common definition of a farm. As an
educational center that researches, applies, and teaches
skills of sustainable living and small-scale organic
farming, D Acres serves more than just a single function
to its community. By turns it is a hostel for travelers
to northern New England, a training center for everything
from metal- and woodworking to cob building and seasonal
cooking, a gathering place for music, poetry, joke-telling,
and potluck meals, and much more.
working with oxen to working with a board of directors,
no other book contains such a wealth of innovative ideas
and ways to make your farm or homestead not only more
sustainable, but more inclusive of, and beneficial to,
the larger community. Readers will find information
on such subjects as:
with pigs to transform forested landscapes into arable
Designing and building unique, multifunctional farm
and community spaces using various techniques and materials;
Creating and perpetuating diverse revenue streams to
keep your farm organization solvent and resilient;
Receiving maximum benefits and yields for the farm without
denigrating resources or the regional ecology;
Implementing a fair and effective governance structure;
Constructing everything from solar dehydrators and cookers
to treehouses and ponds; and,
Connecting and partnering with the larger community
beyond the farm.
collaboration, cooperation, and mutualism, this book
promises to inspire a new generation of growers, builders,
educators, artists, and dreamers who are seeking new
and practical ways to address today’s problems
on a community scale
Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors' Toolkit
by Dmitry Orlov
2013, 288pp, $20
the face of political impotence, looming resource depletion,
and catastrophic climate change, many of us have become
reconciled to an uncertain future. However, popular
perception of how this future might actually unfold
varies wildly from "a severe and prolonged recession,"
to James Howard Kunstler's "long emergency,"
to the complete breakdown of civilization. In The Five
Stages of Collapse, Dmitry Orlov posits a taxonomy of
collapse, offering a surprisingly optimistic perspective
on surviving the sweeping changes of the day with health
and sanity intact.
Arguing that it is during periods of disruption and
extreme uncertainty that broad cultural change becomes
possible, Orlov steers the reader through the challenges
of financial, commercial, and political collapse. He
suggests that if the first three stages are met with
the appropriate responses, further breakdown may be
arrested before the extremes of social and cultural
collapse are reached.
Drawing on a detailed examination of post-collapse societies,
including the Somali people of Africa, the Pashtuns of
Afghanistan, the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe, and
even the Russian mafia, The Five Stages of Collapse describes
successful adaptations in areas such as finance, self-governance,
and social and cultural organization. These fascinating
case studies provide a unique perspective on the characteristics
that determine highly resilient communities. Shot through
with Orlov's trademark dark humor, this is an invaluable
toolkit for creating workable post-collapse solutions.
Nation of Farmers:
Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil
By Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton
368pp, 2009, $20
Review - PDF)
we could fill our grocery carts with cheap and plentiful
food, but not anymore. Cheap food has gone the way of
cheap oil. Climate change is already reducing crop yields
worldwide. The cost of flying in food from far away
and shipping it across the country in refrigerated trucks
is rapidly becoming unviable. Cars and cows increasingly
devour grain harvests, sending prices skyrocketing.
More Americans than ever before require food stamps
and food pantries just to get by, and a worldwide food
crisis is unfolding, overseas and in our kitchens.
can keep hunger from stalking our families, but doing
so will require a fundamental shift in our approach
to field and table. A Nation of Farmers examines the
limits and dangers of the globalized food system and
how returning to basics is our best hope.
The book argues that we need to make self-provisioning,
once the most ordinary of human activities, central
to our lives. The results will be better food, better
health, better security and freedom from corporations
that don't have our interests at heart.
Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and
by David Holmgren
144pp, 2009, $12.00
Review - PDF)
Future Scenarios, permaculture co-originator and leading
sustainability innovator David Holmgren outlines four
scenarios that bring to life the likely cultural, political,
agricultural, and economic implications of peak oil
and climate change, and the generations-long era of
“energy descent” that faces us.
planning,” Holmgren explains, “allows us
to use stories about the future as a reference point
for imagining how particular strategies and structures
might thrive, fail, or be transformed.”
Scenarios depicts four very different futures. Each
is a permutation of mild or destructive climate change,
combined with either slow or severe energy declines.
Probable futures, explains Holmgren, range from the
relatively benign Green Tech scenario to the near catastrophic
Adam Grubb, founder of the influential Energy Bulletin
Web site, says, “These aren’t two-dimensional
nightmarish scenarios designed to scare people into
They are compellingly fleshed-out visions of quite
plausible alternative futures, which delve into energy,
politics, agriculture, social, and even spiritual trends.
What they do help make clear are the best strategies
for preparing for and adapting to these possible futures.”
Future Scenarios provides brilliant and balanced consideration
of the world’s options and will prove to be one
of the most important books of the year.
Toolbox for Sustainable City Living:
A do-it-Ourselves Guide
by Scott Kellogg & Stacy Pettigrew, illustrated
by Juan Martinez
242pp, 2008, $16.00
tools you need to create self-sufficient, ecologically
“A surprisingly effective model for connecting
people with dreams to the resources they need.”
more than half the world’s population now residing—and
struggling to survive—in cities, we can no longer
afford to think of sustainability as something that applies
only to forests and fields. We need sustainable living
right where so many of us are: in urban neighborhoods.
But how do we do it?
where Toolbox for Sustainable City Living comes in.
In 2000 the dynamic Rhizome Collective transformed an
abandoned warehouse in Austin, Texas, into a sustainability
training center. Here, with their first book, Scott
and Stacy, two of Rhizome’s founders, provide
city dwellers—those who have never foraged or
gardened along with those who dumpster-dive and belong
to CSAs—with step-by- step instructions for producing
our own food, collecting water, managing waste, reclaiming
land, and generating energy.
vibrant illustrations created by Juan Martinez of the
Beehive Collective and descriptive text based on years
of experimentation, Stacy and Scott explain how to build
and grow with cheap, salvaged, and recycled materials.
More than a how-to manual, Toolbox is packed with accessible
and relevant tools to help move our communities from
envisioning a sustainable future toward living it.
Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty:
A Guidebook on Peak Oil and Global Warming for Local
by Daniel Lerch2007, 113pp, $19
Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty
is a guidebook on peak oil and global warming for people
who work with and for local governments in the United
States and Canada. It provides a sober look at how these
phenomena are quickly creating new uncertainties and
vulnerabilities for cities of all sizes, and explains
what local decision-makers can do to address these challenges.
Carbon Cities fills an important gap in the resources
currently available to local government decision-makers
on planning for the changing global energy and climate
context of the 21st century.
will we cope with a future of energy scarcity? As a
policy maker I look to other communities for inspiration
and ideas, but there's been a lack of information on
what local governments are doing to adapt to Peak Oil.
Post Carbon Cities fills this gap: herein lies the roadmap
plotted by the cities that are leading the way. Enthusiastically
recommended!" Dave Rollo, City Council President,
Carbon Cities is an exceptionally clear and comprehensive
call-to-action to those who actually work in the trenches
of city governance. We don't have any more time to waste
getting ready for an energy-scarcer future, and for
those who remain dazed and confused, this book is an
excellent place to start." --James Howard Kunstler,
author of The Long Emergency and The Geography of Nowhere
A Practical Guide to Sustainable Communities
by Jan Martin
Bang 2005, 288 pages,
the background & the history of the Ecovillage movement,
& provides a comprehensive manual for planning,
establishing, & maintaining a sustainable community
in both urban & rural environments. Includes discussions
on design, conflict management, food production, energy,
economics, & more.
a Life Together:
Practical Tools to
Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities
by Diana Leafe Christian
previously editor of Communities Magazine
by Patch Adams.2003
New Society Publishers, 272 pp. $28.
a Life Together is an overview of the process of
forming new ecovillages and intentional communities,
gleaned from founders of dozens of successful communities
in North America formed since the early '90s. This is
what they did, and what you can do, to create your community
attempts to distill their hard experience into solid
advice on getting started as a group, creating vision
documents, decision-making and governance, agreements
and policies, buying and financing land, communication
and process, and selecting people to join you. It's
what works, what doesn't work, and how not to reinvent
the wheel. This information is not only for people forming
new communities - whether or not you already own your
land. It can also be valuable for those of you thinking
about joining community one day - since you, too, will
need to know what works. And it's also for those of
you already living in community, since you can only
benefit from knowing what others have done in similar
The newest, most comprehensive bible for builders of
intentional communities. Covers every aspect with vital
information and hundreds of examples of how successful
communities faced the challenges and created their shared
lives out of their visions. The cautionary tales of
sadder experiences and how communities fail, will help
in avoiding the pitfalls. Not since I wrote the Foreword
to Ingrid Komar's Living the Dream (1983), which
documented the Twin Oaks community, have I seen a more
useful and inspiring book." --Hazel
Henderson, author, Creating Alternative Futures,
and Politics of the Solar Age.
"A great deal of research and trial-and-error has been
assembled here, and every potential ecovillager should
read it. This book will be an essential guide and msanual
for the many Permaculture graduates who live in communities
or design for them." --Bill Mollison,
co-originator of the Permaculture concept, author of
The Permaculture Designers Manual, Ferment and Human
really valuable resource for anyone thinking about intentional
community. I wish I had it years ago." -- Starhawk,
author of Webs of Power, The Spiral Dance,
and The Fifth Sacred Thing -- and committed communitarian.
Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal
by Thomas H. Greco, Jr.,
2001, 295pp., $25
is an eye-popping , fundamental look at money,
both the "legal tender" and the innovative
forms that have been developed to promote local
economies in communities around the nation and
the world. Money explains the mysteries
mad realities of currency, interest, barter, and
much more in clear and accessible prose, revealing
the alarming fragility of our existing financial
system. More than simply a radical critique, it
is also a practical and inspirational how-to manual
for creating a vibrant and effective community
Heat: How to Stop the Planet from
by George Monbiot, 2003, 278pp., $22
How to Stop the Planet From Burning marks an important
moment in our civilization's thinking about global warming.
The question is no longer Is climate change actually
happening? but What do we do about it? George Monbiot
offers an ambitious and far-reaching program to cut
our carbon dioxide emissions to the point where the
environmental scales start tipping back-away from catastrophe.
writing with a "spirit of optimism," Monbiot
does not pretend it will be easy. The only way to avoid
further devastation, he argues, is a 90% cut in CO2
emissions in the rich nations of the world by 2030.
In other words, our response will have to be immediate,
and it will have to be decisive.
every case he supports his proposals with a rigorous
investigation into what works, what doesn't, how much
it costs, and what the problems might be. He wages war
on bad ideas as energetically as he promotes good ones.
And he is not afraid to attack anyone-friend or foe-whose
claims are false or whose figures have been fudged.
After all, there is no time to waste. As Monbiot has
said himself, "we are the last generation that
can make this happen, and this is the last possible
moment at which we can make it happen."
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