With backyard chicken keeping and urban farming at an all-time high, the proudest of purebred poultry take center stage once again in this fully revised and expanded edition of the classic The Fairest Fowl, now retitled The Magnificent Chicken. Updated in hardcover with even more chickens and an enlarged resource section, this celebration of the wonder, peculiarity, and magnificence of championship chickens showcases more than 40 astonishing breeds in glamorous photos--many brand new--and informative text, while an introduction by Ira Glass explores the finer points of poultry shows and chicken portraiture.
When the hail starts to fall, Atina Diffley doesn't compare it to golf balls. She's a farmer. It's "as big as a B-size potato." As her bombarded land turns white, she and her husband Martin huddle under a blanket and reminisce: the one-hundred-mile-per-hour winds; the eleven-inch rainfall ("that broccoli turned out gorgeous"); the hail disaster of 1977. The romance of farming washed away a long time ago, but the love? Never. In telling her story of working the land, coaxing good food from the fertile soil, Atina Diffley reminds us of an ultimate truth: we live in relationships--with the earth, plants and animals, families and communities.
A memoir of making these essential relationships work in the face of challenges as natural as weather and as unnatural as corporate politics, her book is a firsthand history of getting in at the "ground level" of organic farming. One of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest, the Diffleys' Gardens of Eagan helped to usher in a new kind of green revolution in the heart of America's farmland, supplying their roadside stand and a growing number of local food co-ops. This is a story of a world transformed--and reclaimed--one square acre at a time.
And yet, after surviving punishing storms and the devastating loss of fifth-generation Diffley family land to suburban development, the Diffleys faced the ultimate challenge: the threat of eminent domain for a crude oil pipeline proposed by one of the largest privately owned companies in the world, notorious polluters Koch Industries. As Atina Diffley tells her David-versus-Goliath tale, she gives readers everything from expert instruction in organic farming to an entrepreneur's manual on how to grow a business to a legal thriller about battling corporate arrogance to a love story about a single mother falling for a good, big-hearted man.
Transform leaves, grass, and kitchen scraps into gardener's gold This easy-to-use guide shows you how to turn household garbage and backyard refuse into nutrient-filled compost that can nourish your soil and promote a thriving garden. You'll soon be saving money, minimizing waste, and enjoying bountiful harvests.
No matter how small your lot is, you can keep chickens and enjoy fresh eggs every morning. Barbara Kilarski shares her passion for poultry as she fills this guide with tips and techniques for successfully raising chickens in small spaces. Spotlighting the self-sufficient pleasures of tending your own flock, Kilarski offers detailed information on everything from choosing breeds that thrive in tight quarters and building coops to providing medical care for sick animals. You'll have fun as you keep happy and productive chickens.
As author Gene Logsdon puts it, "We are all tree huggers." But not just for sentimental or even environmental reasons. Humans have always depended on trees for our food, shelter, livelihood, and safety. In many ways, despite the Grimm's fairy-tale version of the dark, menacing forest, most people still hold a deep cultural love of woodland settings, and feel right at home in the woods.
In this latest book, A Sanctuary of Trees, Logsdon offers a loving tribute to the woods, tracing the roots of his own home groves in Ohio back to the Native Americans and revealing his own history and experiences living in many locations, each of which was different, yet inextricably linked with trees and the natural world. Whether as an adolescent studying at a seminary or as a journalist living just outside Philadelphia's city limits, Gene has always lived and worked close to the woods, and his curiosity and keen sense of observation have taught him valuable lessons about a wide variety of trees: their distinct characteristics and the multiple benefits and uses they have.
In addition to imparting many fascinating practical details of woods wisdom, A Sanctuary of Trees is infused with a philosophy and descriptive lyricism that is born from the author's passionate and lifelong relationship with nature: There is a point at which the tree shudders before it begins its descent. Then slowly it tips, picks up speed, often with a kind of wailing death cry from rending wood fibers, and hits the ground with a whump that literally shakes the earth underfoot. The air, in the aftermath, seems to shimmy and shiver, as if saturated with static electricity. Then follows an eerie silence, the absolute end to a very long life.
Fitting squarely into the long and proud tradition of American nature writing, A Sanctuary of Trees also reflects Gene Logsdon's unique personality and perspective, which have marked him over the course of his two dozen previous books as the authentic voice of rural life and traditions.
How to save money, time, and the environment-on the urban frontier.
With "The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Urban Homesteading" anyone can learn how to live sustainably and responsibly-and save money and time-in any urban environment. Expert urban homesteader Sundari Elizabeth Kraft shares her hands-on knowledge of: growing organic foods and preserving them; composting; raising small livestock and chickens; generating electricity and biofuels; and other ways to cut costs and live green. This book has all the information required to become a successful urban homesteader in any city.
Practical advice on everything from composting to clean energy.
Sundari Elizabeth Kraft is an expert in urban homesteading."
In September 2009, The New Yorker magazine ran a feature proclaiming the chicken as the new "It Bird." The article celebrated the return of the backyard chicken and found in it the perfect convergence of economic, gastronomic, and emotional matters of the moment. It is certainly true that in the last few years, chickens have undergone an image makeover so astonishing that it should be studied by marketing consultants. The Chicken is a timely, encyclopedic, science-based study that offers a true understanding of the species, reclaiming it from its commercial status as a mere egg and meat provider. High-quality photography, illustration, and info-graphics combine with engaging and authoritative text to create an accessible reference title for the general market. Topics include anatomy, development biology, ancestry, breeding and origins, and a comprehensive look at chicken behaviors. Boxed asides are included throughout, relating the scientific detail to the practicalities of chicken husbandry. The books final chapter is devoted to a beautiful visual study of the characteristics of particular breeds, providing quick-reference information on their origins, particulars and appearance.
Call it "Zen and the Art of Farming" or a "Little Green Book," Masanobu Fukuoka's manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. At the same time, it is a spiritual memoir of a man whose innovative system of cultivating the earth reflects a deep faith in the wholeness and balance of the natural world. As Wendell Berry writes in his preface, the book "is valuable to us because it is at once practical and philosophical. It is an inspiring, necessary book about agriculture because it is not just about agriculture."Trained as a scientist, Fukuoka rejected both modern agribusiness and centuries of agricultural practice, deciding instead that the best forms of cultivation mirror nature's own laws. Over the next three decades he perfected his so-called "do-nothing" technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort. Whether you're a guerrilla gardener or a kitchen gardener, dedicated to slow food or simply looking to live a healthier life, you will find something here--you may even be moved to start a revolution of your own.
Without knowing it, Americans eat genetically modified (GM) food everyday. While the food and chemical industries claim that GMO food is safe, a considerable amount of evidence shows otherwise. In Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey Smith, a former executive with the leading independent laboratory testing for GM presence in foods, documents these serious health dangers and explains how corporate influence and government collusion have been used to cover them up.
The stories Smith presents read like a mystery novel. Scientists are offered bribes or threatened; evidence is stolen; data withheld or distorted. Government scientists who complain are stripped of responsibilities or fired. The FDA even withheld information from congress after a GM food supplement killed nearly a hundred people and permanently disabled thousands. While Smith was employed by the laboratory he was not allowed to speak on the health dangers or the cover-up. No longer bound by this agreement, Smith now reveals what he knows in this groundbreaking expos .
Today, food companies sell GM foods that have not undergone safety studies. FDA scientists opposed this, but White House and industry pressure prevailed and the agency's final policy--co-authored by a former Monsanto attorney--denied the risks. The scientists' concerns were made public only after a lawsuit forced the agency to turn over internal documents.
Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture, describes the government's pro-biotech mindset: "You felt like you were almost an alien, disloyal, by trying to present an open-minded view. . . . So I pretty much spouted the rhetoric. . . . It was written into my speeches."
In Seeds of Deception Smith offers easy-to-understand descriptions of genetic engineering and explains why it can result in serious health problems. This well-documented, pivotal work will show you how to protect yourself and your family.