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DVD's, & CD's
Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation:
Simple to Advanced and Experimental Techniques
for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation
by Tradd Cotter
2014, 384pp., $40
cultivation should be playing a much bigger role in
our gardens and farms. Tradd Cotter's Organic Mushroom
Farming and Mycoremediation provides low-cost, easily
accessible techniques for growing mushrooms indoors
and outdoors, from home to commercial scale."
Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables
innovative new methods for urban and off-grid growing,
making mushroom-infused beers, morel cultivation, and
would it take to grow mushrooms in space? How can mushroom
cultivation help us manage, or at least make use of,
invasive species and thereby reduce dependence on herbicides?
Is it possible to develop a low-cost and easy-to-implement
mushroom-growing kit that would provide high-quality
edible protein and bioremediation in the wake of a natural
How can we advance our understanding of morel cultivation
so that growers stand a better chance of success?
more than twenty years, mycologist Tradd Cotter has
been pondering these questions and researching for answers.
In Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, Cotter
offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic
mushroom cultivation practices, for both indoor and
outdoor growing of a wide variety of species. He also
shares insight into his groundbreaking research on challenges
such as cultivating morels, “training” mycelium
to respond to specific contaminants, and perpetuating
spawn on cardboard without the use of electricity.
those who aspire to the self-sufficiency gained by generating
and expanding spawn rather than purchasing it, Cotter
covers lab techniques, including low-cost alternatives
that make use of existing infrastructure and materials.
Readers will also discover information on making tinctures,
powders, and mushroom-infused honey; making an antibacterial
mushroom cutting board; and growing mushrooms on old
than a cultivation guide, Organic Mushroom Farming and
Mycoremediation is about healing the people and the
planet, one mushroom and one cultivator at a time, reversing
destructive cycles into creative forces. Cotter urges
readers to think with an opportunistic yet minimalistic
approach, much like a mushroom, taking what it needs
to survive and then returning resources to its ecosystem.
toward readers who want to grow mushrooms without the
use of pesticides, Cotter takes “organic”
one step further by introducing an entirely new way
of thinking—one that looks at the potential to
grow mushrooms on just about anything, just about anywhere,
and by anyone.
Browsing Nature's Aisles:
A Year of Foraging for Wild Food in the Suburbs
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann
and Eric Brown, in their quest for a more self-sufficient
lifestyle, decided to spend a year incorporating foraged
food into their diet. Browsing Nature’s Aisles
tells the story of why and how they lived off the land,
and how the experience helped them become more in touch
with nature and all it has to offer.
Before this concerted foraging effort, the authors,
a suburban couple living on a quarter acre of land in
Maine, had only dabbled in foraging, enjoying maple
syrup and blueberry picking. “Wild edibles remained
a curiosity, but not a dietary staple,” they say,
partly because the selection of guidance books was sparse.
As the couple became increasingly aware and wary of
genetically engineered foods, food contamination, BPA-lined
cans to store food, increasing food costs, and food
scarcity, they concluded that “the logical choice
seemed to be learning to live off what Nature provided
couple’s adventures in foraging show that much of
the their knowledge about the subject came by “simple
observation followed by a flurry of research,” which
uncovered the bounty, but also the numerous complexities,
in nature’s offerings.
For example, while nettle leaves could be used as a
salad-type dish, once they are dried or dehydrated,
they can also be used to make tea or added as vitamin
boosts to soups or stews. The diversity of wild edibles
includes foods derived from hunting and gathering, such
as bow-hunting the flock of turkeys that landed on their
property, or clamming on the tidal flats.
narrative clearly conveys the authors’ growing
respect for nature as their observations become keen
and intuitive, as revealed in the chapter on trees:
“In the beginning, we never imagined that trees
had more to give than just the materials we took from
them. We have discovered that trees provide a wealth
of information about the weather, the coming growing
seasons and the population density of the animals that
rely on them for food.”
Integrated Forest Gardening: The Complete Guide to Polycultures
and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems by
Wayne Weiseman, Daniel Halsey, and Bryce Ruddock
is a movement that is coming into its own, and the concept
of creating plant guilds in permaculture is at the forefront
of every farmer’s and gardener’s practice.
One of the essential practices of permaculture is to
develop perennial agricultural systems that thrive over
several decades without expensive and harmful inputs:
perennial plant guilds, food forests, agroforestry,
and mixed animal and woody species polycultures.
massive degradation of conventional agriculture and
the environmental havoc it creates has never been as
all pervasive in terms of scale, so it has become a
global necessity to further the understanding of a comprehensive
design and planning system such as permaculture that
works with nature, not against it.
guild concept often used is one of a “functional
relationship” between plants–beneficial
groupings of plants that share functions in order to
bring health and stability to a plant regime and create
an abundant yield for our utilization.
In other words, it is the integration of species that
creates a balanced, healthy, and thriving ecosystem.
But it goes beyond integration. A guild is a metaphor
for all walks of life, most importantly a group of
people working together to craft works of balance,
beauty, and utility.
book is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about
plant guilds ever written, and covers in detail both
what guilds are and how to design and construct them,
complete with extensive color photography and design
a Forest Garden
by Martin Crawford
savings if shipped with other books) (Read
a Forest Garden gives readers all the information they
need to create their own multilayered garden of edible,
and other useful plants, along with plenty of background
on the many benefits of agroforestry.
a Forest Garden is suitable for readers growing in small
gardens or on much larger plots, including commercial
growers. The book covers:
How forest gardens work
* Designing the forest garden
* A comprehensive directory of over 500 trees, shrubs
and ground level plants suitable for the forest garden.
* Detailed advice on paths, windbreaks, harvesting,
maintenance, wildlife and pests.
a Forest Garden covers an exciting range of useful crops
including bamboo shoots, goji berries and yams alongside
more familiar fruits such as apples and raspberries.
Woodland Way 2nd Edition
by Ben Law
2013, 191pp, $30, all color
review - PDF)
book for everyone who loves trees and woodlands. This
completely revised and updated edition of the 2001 classic
is written from the heart by an innovative woodsman
who is deeply committed to sustainability. This radical
book presents an immensely practical alternative to
conventional woodland management.
his personal experience, Ben Law clearly demonstrates
how you can create biodiverse, healthy environments,
yield a great variety of value added products, provide
secure livelihoods for woodland workers and farmers,
and benefit the local community. He argues the case
for a new approach to planning, encouraging the creation
of permaculture woodlands for the benefit of people,
the local environment and the global climate.
Woodland Way contains: Woodlands from wildwood in the
21st century; The 21st century & the return of the
forest dweller; Woodland assessment & management
planning; Establishing new woodlands; Management of
woodlands; From tree to finished product; Food from
the woods; Woodland management and the law; and The
future of woodlands.
is a true pioneer and is, by example, quite simply creating
a woodland renaissance in Britain." Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
by Ben Law
$49 $39, 2008, 176pp.
with stunning colour photographs, The Woodland Year
is an intimate month-by-month journey through Ben Law's
yearly cycle of work, his naturally attuned lifestyle
and his deep understanding of his woods. Each month
also includes guest contributions from woodlanders in
other parts of England and Wales. The Woodland Year
provides a fascinating insight into every aspect of
sustainable woodland management; the cycles of nature,
seasonal tasks, wild food gathering, wine making, mouthwatering
and useful recipes, coppice crafts, round pole timber
frame eco-building (pioneered by Ben in the UK), nature
conservation, species diversity, tree profiles and the
use of horses for woodland work. This is a profound
book that is both practical and poetic. It describes
a way of life that is economically and ecologically
viable and sets a new standard for managing our woods
in a low impact, sustainable way. As such, it holds
some of the fundamental keys to how we can achieve a
lower carbon society.
of Ben Law's remarkable gifts, besides being arguably
Britain's greatest living woodsman, is a knack for inspiring
others. The Woodland Year is a month-by-month journey
through Ben's woodland in the Sussex Weald, and a celebration
of every aspect of sustainable woodland management.
In words that are often lyrical but always ungilded,
he describes a way of life that is both economically
and ecologically viable. As such, it holds some of the
fundamental keys to how we can achieve a more sustainable,
lower carbon society. Ben is a true pioneer and is quite
simply creating a woodland renaissance in Britain. Read
this, and you will surely want to be part of it. --From
the Foreword by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Volume 1 & 2
by Dave Jacke with Eric Toensmeier,
8 x 10, 450 pages, 520pp. $75ea., $135 for both
(same shipping rate for both volumes as for Vol 2 alone)
Volume I: Ecological Vision and Theory for Temperate-Climate
Permaculture, Volume II Ecological Design and Practice
for Temperate-Climate Permaculture
edible forest gardening is the art and science of putting
plants together in woodland-like patterns that forge
mutually beneficial relationships, creating a garden
ecosystem that is more than the sum of its parts. You
can grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms,
other useful plants, and animals in a way that mimics
natural ecosystems. You can create a beautiful, diverse,
high-yield garden that is largely self-maintained.
Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that
spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology
and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in
temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of
the forest garden and explains the basic ecological
principles that make it work. In Volume II, Dave Jacke
and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical considerations:
concrete ways to design, establish, and maintain your
own forest garden. Along the way they present case studies
and examples, as well as tables, illustrations, and
a uniquely valuable “plant matrix” that
lists hundreds of the best edible and useful species.
together, the two volumes of Edible ForestGardens offer
an advanced course in ecological gardening—one
that will forever change the way you look at plants
and your environment.
the Authors: Dave Jacke is the owner of Dynamics Ecological
Design Associates and a longtime permaculture teacher
and designer. He lives in Keene, New Hampshire. Eric
Toensmeier is a plant researcher, agricultural educator,
author of Perennial
Vegetables and Paradise
Lot, and permaculturist who lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Around The World in 80 Plants: An Edible
Perennial Vegetable Adventure for Temperate Climates
by Stephen Barstow
2015, 284 pp., $30
book takes us on an original and inspiring adventure
around the temperate world, introducing us to the author’s
top eighty perennial leafy-green vegetables. We are
taken underground gardening in Tokyo, beach gardening
in the UK, and traditional roof gardening in the Norwegian
mountains. . . . There are stories of the wild foraging
traditions of indigenous people in all continents: from
the Sámi people of northern Norway to the Maori
of New Zealand, the rich food traditions of the Mediterranean
peoples, the high-altitude food plants of the Sherpas
in the Himalayas, wild mountain vegetables in Japan
and Korea, and the wild aquatic plant that sustained
Native American tribes with myriad foodstuffs and other
the World in 80 Plants will be of interest to both traditional
vegetable and ornamental gardeners, as well as anyone
interested in permaculture, forest gardening, foraging,
slow food, gourmet cooking, and ethnobotany. A thorough
description is given of each vegetable, its traditions,
stories, cultivation, where to source seed and plants,
and how to propagate it. Sprinkled with recipes inspired
by local traditional gastronomy, this is a fascinating
book, an entertaining adventure, and a real milestone
in climate-friendly vegetable growing from a pioneering
expert on the subject.
The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human
by Katrina Blair
Wisdom of Weeds is the only book on foraging and edible
weeds to focus on the thirteen weeds found all over
the world, each of which represents a complete food
source and extensive medical pharmacy and first-aid
kit. More than just a field guide to wild edibles, it
is a global plan for human survival.
Blair was eleven she had a life-changing experience
where wild plants spoke to her, beckoning her to become
a champion of their cause. Since then she has spent
months on end taking walkabouts in the wild, eating
nothing but what she forages, and has become a wild-foods
advocate, community activist, gardener, and chef, teaching
and presenting internationally about foraging and the
healthful lifestyle it promotes.
philosophy in The Wild Wisdom of Weeds is sobering,
realistic, and ultimately optimistic. If we can open
our eyes to see the wisdom found in these weeds right
under our noses, instead of trying to eradicate an “invasive,”
we will achieve true food security. The Wild Wisdom
of Weeds is about healing ourselves both in body and
in spirit, in an age where technology, commodity agriculture,
and processed foods dictate the terms of our intelligence.
But if we can become familiar with these thirteen edible
survival weeds found all over the world, we will never
go hungry, and we will become closer to our own wild
human instincts—all the while enjoying the freshest,
wildest, and most nutritious food there is. For free!
A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing
Edible Wild Plants
by Samuel Thayer
2005, $23, 368pp
Review - PDF)
A fine, rich guide to wild foods of North America warmly
written by a master forager: uses, botany, habitat.
Provides detailed instructions and personal experiences
of harvesting 332 delicious plants, including butternut,
wild rice, ostrich fern, hog peanut, cattail, and more.
the Forager's Harvest video here.
Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible
by Samuel Thayer
2010, 512pp., $25
practical guide to all aspects of edible wild plants:
finding and identifying them, their seasons of harvest,
and their methods of collection and preparation. Each
plant is discussed in great detail and accompanied by
excellent color photographs. Includes an index, illustrated
glossary, bibliography, and harvest calendar. The perfect
guide for all experience levels.
the Forager's Harvest video here.
has become the go-to book for students at the Jack Mountain
Bushcraft School. Nature’s Garden, builds upon
the high standard set by The Foragers Harvest and establishes
him as the leading authority and author on edible wild
plants that has ever published. It isn’t slightly
better than other books on the topic; it’s in
a whole different league". Tim Smith, M.Ed. Founder
and Director of The
Jack Mountain Bushcraft School
Botany in a Day - The Patterns
Method of Plant Identification
Thomas J. Elpel's Herbal Field Guide
to Plant Families 5th
Edition, 2004, 221pp., $30 (Now
in full color!)
in a Day is changing the way people learn about plants!
Tom's book has gained a nationwide audience almost exclusively
by word-of-mouth. It is now used as a text and recommended
by herbal and wilderness schools across North America.
Instead of presenting individual plants, Botany in a
Day unveils the patterns of identification and uses
among related plants, giving readers simple tools to
rapidly unlock the mysteries of the new species they
encounter throughout the continent.
often people try to learn plants one-at-a-time, without
rhyme or reason. Now you can cut years off the process
of learning about plants and their uses. Tom's book
helps you beyond the piece-meal approach to botany and
herbalism towards a more "whole" approach.
Within 1 1/2 hours you can understand the big-picture
of botany and herbalism. Learn how related plants have
similar features for identification. Discover how they
often have similar properties and similar uses.
Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to
Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden
by Kim Flottum 2005, 168pp, $25
book isn't just a guide to beekeeping or a honey cookbook;
it's both. No other book on the market provides an in-depth
review of beekeeping and what honey is good for and
how to use it. Beautifully illustrated, the Backyard
Beekeeper is perfect for the health-conscious person
who wants to sweeten up their life by saying no to processed
sugars and yes to eating organic, healthy food.
book is the complete "honey bee" resource
with general information on bees; a how-to guide to
the art of bee keeping and how to set up, care for,
and harvest your own hives; as well as tons of fun facts
and projects that are bee related. The second half of
the book is the complete guide to honey. It reviews
the different types of honey and their health effects
as well as provides hundreds of ideas and recipes for
using honey in recipes, cosmetically in facemasks and
shampoos, and for medicinal uses.
After receiving a degree in horticulture from UW Madison,
Kim Flottum worked four years in the USDA Honey Bee
Research Lab, studying pollination ecology. After that,
he spent two years raising acres of fruits and vegetables.
He brings this experience, plus nearly 20 years of writing
and editing articles for beekeepers in the monthly magazine
Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture
by Ross Conrad (Author), Gary Paul Nabhan (Foreword)
$35, 246pp., 2007
various chemicals used in beekeeping have, for the past
decades, held Varroa Destructor, a mite, and other major
pests at bay, but chemical-resistance is building and
evolution threatens to overtake the best that laboratory
chemists have to offer. In fact, there is evidence that
chemical treatments are making the problem worse. Natural
Beekeeping flips the script on traditional approaches
by proposing a program of selective breeding and natural
brings together the best organic and natural approaches
to keeping honeybees healthy and productive here in
one book. Readers will learn about nontoxic methods
of controlling mites, eliminating American foulbrood
disease (without the use of antibiotics), breeding strategies,
and many other tips and techniques for maintaining healthy
hives. Conrad's reservoir of knowledge comes from years
of experience and a far-flung community of fellow beekeepers
who are all interested in ecologically sustainable apiculture.
Specific concepts and detailed management techniques
are covered in a matter-of-fact, easy to implement way.
Beekeeping describes opportunities for the seasoned
professional to modify existing operations to improve
the quality of hive products, increase profits, and
eliminate the use of chemical treatments. Beginners
will need no other book to guide them. Whether you are
an experienced apiculturist looking for ideas to develop
an Integrated Pest Management approach or someone who
wants to sell honey at a premium price, this is the
book you've been waiting for.
Simplified: Step-by-step instructions to
make your own round hive for healthier bees.
40 pp, $7