Agriculture and Farming
Featured Items
The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin
The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0299234347

This book--beautifully photographed and engagingly written--introduces hardworking, resourceful men and women who represent an artisanal craft that has roots in Europe but has been a Wisconsin tradition since the 1850s. Wisconsin produces more than 600 varieties of cheese, from massive wheels of cheddar and swiss to bricks of brick and limburger, to such specialties as crescenza-stracchino and juustoleipa. These masters combine tradition, technology, artistry, and years of dedicated learning--in a profession that depends on fickle, living ingredients--to create the rich tastes and beautiful presentation of their skillfully crafted products.
Certification as a Master Cheesemaker typically takes almost fifteen years. An applicant must hold a cheesemaking license for at least ten years, create one or two chosen varieties of cheese for at least five years, take more than two years of university courses, consent to constant testing of their cheese and evaluation of their plant, and pass grueling oral and written exams to be awarded the prestigious title.
James Norton and Becca Dilley interviewed these dairy artisans, listened to their stories, tasted their cheeses, and explored the plants where they work. They offer here profiles of forty-three active Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin, as well as a glossary of cheesemaking terms, suggestions of operations that welcome visitors for tours, tasting notes and suggested food pairings, and tasty nuggets (shall we say curds?) of information on everything to do with cheese. Winner, Best Midwest Regional Interest Book, Midwest Book Awards

The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood
The Good Good Pig
The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood
Paperback      ISBN: 0345496094
In loving yet unsentimental prose, Sy Montgomery captures the richness that animals bring to the human experience. Sometimes it takes a too-smart-for-his-own-good pig to open our eyes to what most matters in life."
--John Grogan, author of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog

A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings. Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish--and she soon found herself engaged with her small-town community in ways she had never dreamed possible. Unexpectedly, Christopher provided this peripatetic traveler with something she had sought all her life: an anchor (eventually weighing 750 pounds) to family and home.

The Good Good Pig celebrates Christopher Hogwood in all his glory, from his inauspicious infancy to hog heaven in rural New Hampshire, where his boundless zest for life and his large, loving heart made him absolute monarch over a (mostly) peaceable kingdom. At first, his domain included only Sy's cosseted hens and her beautiful border collie, Tess. Then the neighbors began fetching Christopher home from his unauthorized jaunts, the little girls next door started giving him warm, soapy baths, and the villagers brought him delicious leftovers. His intelligence and fame increased along with his girth. He was featured in USA Today and on several National Public Radio environmental programs. On election day, some voters even wrote in Christopher's name on their ballots.

But as this enchanting book describes, Christopher Hogwood's influence extended far beyond celebrity; for he was, as a friend said, a great big Buddha master. Sy reveals what she and others learned from this generous soul who just so happened to be a pig--lessons about self-acceptance, the meaning of family, the value of community, and the pleasures of the sweet green Earth. The Good Good Pig provides proof that with love, almost anything is possible.
The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover's Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World
The Perfect Protein
The Fish Lover's Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World
Hardcover      ISBN: 1609614992

The planet will be home to more than 9 billion people by 2050, and we're already seeing critical levels of famine around the world mirrored by growing obesity in developed nations. In The Perfect Protein, Andy Sharpless maintains that protecting wild seafood can help combat both issues, because seafood is the healthiest, cheapest, most environmentally friendly source of protein on earth. While the conservation community has taken a simplistic, save-the-whales approach when it comes to oceans, Sharpless contends that we must save the world's seafood not just to protect marine life and biodiversity but to stave off the coming humanitarian crisis.

With high demand for predator species like tuna and salmon, wealthy nations like the U.S. convert "reduction" species such as anchovies, mackerel, and sardines into feed for salmon and other farmed animals--even though these overlooked fish are packed with health-boosting Omega-3 fatty acids and could feed millions. By establishing science-based quotas, protecting wild habitats, and reducing bycatch (and treating anchovies and their like as food, not feed), Sharpless believes that effective ocean stewardship can put healthy, sustainable seafood on the table forever. To that end, Oceana has tapped 20-plus chefs, including Mario Batali, Eric Ripert, and Jose Andres for recipes that give us all a role to play in this revolutionary mission: to save the fish so that we can eat more fish.

Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating
Seeds of Deception
Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating
Paperback      ISBN: 0972966587

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.

The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese
The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese
Paperback      ISBN: 1933392347

The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese is the first reference book of its kind and a must-have for every foodie's library. Jeffrey P. Roberts lavishes loving attention on the growing local food and farmstead movement in what is fast becoming a national trend. This fully illustrated atlas of contemporary artisan cheeses and cheese makers will not only be a mainstay in any cookery and cuisine library--guiding consumers, retailers, restaurateurs, and food professionals to the full breadth and unparalleled quality of American artisan foods--it will be the source of many a fabulous food adventure.

Organized by region and state, The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese highlights more than 350 of the best small-scale cheese makers in the United States today. It provides the most complete overview of what's to be had nationwide--shippable, attainable, delectable. Each entry describes a cheesemaker; its cheese; whether from cow, sheep, or goat milk; availability; location; and even details on cheese-making processes.

The Atlas captures America's local genius for artisan cheese: a capacity for adaptation, experimentation, and innovation, while following old-world artisanship. It is destined to become a classic resource and reference.

Build It!: DIY Projects for Farmers, Smallholders and Gardeners
Build It!
DIY Projects for Farmers, Smallholders and Gardeners
Paperback      ISBN: 1904871321

Using recycled materials where ever possible Build It provides step-by-step instructions for over 50 DIY projects for both inside and outside the home farm. Former engineer Joe Jacobs guides you through the equipment, the tools, the materials and the plans to provide you with inspiration and plenty of ideas. The projects include a polytunnel, beehives, chicken arks and runs, gates, hurdles and fencing, cloches, dog kennel, feed bins, a heat pump installation, a heated orphan lamb feeder, incubator, nesting boxes and renewable energy projects including solar panels and plenty more, making this an essential book for any keen DIY enthusiast with a basic knowledge of construction.

Harvest of Grief: Grasshopper Plagues and Public Assistance in Minnesota, 1873-78
Harvest of Grief
Grasshopper Plagues and Public Assistance in Minnesota, 1873-78
Hardcover      ISBN: 0873511719

Atkins eloquently portrays the extreme hardships of Minnesota farmers during the grasshopper plagues of the 1870s. She examines local, state, and national relief efforts, which she reviews in the context of 19th-century social welfare philosophy.

The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning
The Ogallala Road
A Memoir of Love and Reckoning
Hardcover      ISBN: 0670786047

A love affair unfolds as crisis hits a family farm on the high plains
Julene Bair has inherited part of a farming empire and fallen in love with a rancher from Kansas s beautiful Smoky Valley. She means to create a family, provide her son with the father he longs for, and preserve the Bair farm for the next generation, honoring her own father s wish andcommandment, Hang on to your land But part of her legacy is a share of the ecological harm the Bair Farm has done: each growing season her family like other irrigators pumps over two hundred million gallons out of the Ogallala aquifer. The rapidly disappearing aquifer is the sole source of water on the vast western plains, and her family s role in its depletion haunts her. As traditional ways of life collide with industrial realities, Bair must dramatically change course.
Updating the territory mapped by Jane Smiley, Pam Houston, and Terry Tempest Williams, and with elements of Cheryl Strayed s "Wild," "The Ogallala Road "tells a tale of the West today and points us toward a new way to love both the land and one another."

Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm
Clearing Land
Legacies of the American Farm
Paperback      ISBN: 0865477280

A moving, graceful elegy for the American farm. --Larry Zuckerman, author of The Potato

Nonfiction literature of a high and lasting order . . . Clearing Land, Brox's] third book, parlays the resonantly detailed specifics of life on her immigrant family's farm in Massachusetts into a larger consideration of the meaning of cleared land and its relationship to other iconic locations in the American landscape: wilderness, prairie, mountain, city. Her precise, eloquent prose, wedded to a sensibility that manages to be at once elegiac and hard-minded, strikes unerringly through sentiment and convention to the heart of the matter . . . The result is a deeply affecting conclusion to her trilogy of books about living the consequences of natural process, human desire and the shifting balance between them.
-Carlo Rotella, Chicago Tribune

Sings with the joy of life . . . Brox knows farming, but she knows writing even better . . . Clearing Land is a treasure.
-Jules Wagman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Clearing land is the book's guiding metaphor, one that encompasses both time and space, and serves brilliantly to compare the material world and its flux with our attempts to understand it. . . This Brox] does with eloquent melancholy.
-Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Globe
Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist
Oil and Honey
The Education of an Unlikely Activist
Paperback      ISBN: 1250048710

Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planet

Bill McKibben is not a person you'd expect to find handcuffed and behind bars, but that's where he found himself in the summer of 2011 after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House.

With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Irene scouring the Atlantic, McKibben recognized that action was needed if solutions were to be found. Some of those would come at the local level, where McKibben joins forces with a Vermont beekeeper raising his hives as part of the growing trend toward local food. Other solutions would come from a much larger fight against the fossil-fuel industry as a whole.

Oil and Honey is McKibben's account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight--from the center of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers to climate change. With empathy and passion he makes the case for a renewed commitment on both levels of the fight to stop global warming, telling the story of raising one year's honey crop and building a social movement that's still cresting.