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Miracle Brew – Hops, Barley, Water, Yeast and the Nature of Beer

Pete Brown is one of the U.K.’s most respected beer writers.

By Pete Brown
Chelsea Green Publishing
October 12, 2017

Most people know that wine is created by fermenting pressed grape juice and cider by pressing apples. But although it’s the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, few people know what beer is made of. In lively and witty fashion, Miracle Brew dives into traditional beer’s four natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast, and water, each of which has an incredible story to tell.

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December 6, 2017   No Comments

The Minimalist Gardener

Low Impact, No Dig Growing

By Patrick Whitefield
Chelsea Green
November 20, 2017

Low input, year-round “no-dig” gardening that provides your kitchen with fresh healthy food, without breaking your back

Written by an acknowledged expert, this friendly guide will help you grow food in whatever space you have – large or small, rural or urban – with minimal purchased inputs, and maximum satisfaction.

This is the first in a collection of Patrick Whitefield’s pioneering writings, celebrating his life. It explores a cutting edge of permaculture gardening that is eminently practical and visionary all at the same time.

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December 5, 2017   No Comments

The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables

More In-Depth Lean Techniques for Efficient Organic Production

By Ben Hartman
Chelsea Green
November 03, 2017

At Clay Bottom Farm, author Ben Hartman and staff practice kaizen, or continuous improvement, cutting out more waste—of time, labor, space, money, and more—every year and aligning their organic production more tightly with customer demand. Applied alongside other lean principles originally developed by the Japanese auto industry, the end result has been increased profits and less work.

In this field-guide companion to his award-winning first book, The Lean Farm, Hartman shows market vegetable growers in even more detail how Clay Bottom Farm implements lean thinking in every area of their work, including using kanbans, or replacement signals, to maximize land use; germination chambers to reduce defect waste; and right-sized machinery to save money and labor and increase efficiency.

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December 4, 2017   No Comments

Worms Eat My Garbage, 35th Anniversary Edition

How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System: Compost Food Waste, Produce Fertilizer for Houseplants and Garden, and Educate Your Kids and Family

By Mary Appelhof, Joanne Olszewski, Amy Stewart
Worm Woman Inc.
December 2017

For more than three decades, this best-selling guide to the practice of vermicomposting has taught people how to use worms to recycle food waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for houseplants or gardens. Small-scale, self-contained worm bins can be kept indoors, in a basement or even under the kitchen sink in an apartment — making vermicomposting a great option for city dwellers and anyone who doesn’t want or can’t have an outdoor compost pile.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on Worms Eat My Garbage, 35th Anniversary Edition

Chicken DIY: 20 Fun-to-Make Projects for Happy and Healthy Chickens

Forthcoming January 16, 2018

By Samantha Johnson (Author)
Daniel Johnson (Photographer)
Lumina Media – CompanionHouse Books

Farmer and author Samantha Johnson takes a practical approach when it comes to building environments for her chickens. “Chickens are generally easy to care for and inexpensive to keep,” she says. “The required infrastructure for a flock of chickens—housing, fencing, and feeding/watering equipment—is minimal and well within the reach of a DIYer who would like the satisfaction of building these items for him- or herself.”

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November 19, 2017   Comments Off on Chicken DIY: 20 Fun-to-Make Projects for Happy and Healthy Chickens

UA Magazine: “Urban Agroecology”

November 2017 – UA Magazine issue now online

RUAF Foundation
The Netherlands
Nov 2017

This issue has been a collaborative effort of the RUAF Foundation and the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University, UK. It aims to articulate and document the emerging field of urban agroecology. As you will see from the contributions in this Magazine, definitions differ and tend to reflect the various ways the term agroecology is understood in different countries, by different organisations, or according to different political economic preferences. As usual, the Magazine shares a diversity of perspectives from a wide number of geographical contexts. The Magazine is organised in 4 blocks: 1) Conceptualising urban agroecology; 2) Practices and city initiatives; 3) Urban policies supporting agroecology; 4) Citizen and social movement-led initiatives.

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November 14, 2017   Comments Off on UA Magazine: “Urban Agroecology”

The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools

In The Power of a Plant, globally acclaimed teacher and self-proclaimed CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) Stephen Ritz shows you how, in one of the nation’s poorest communities, his students thrive in school and in life by growing, cooking, eating, and sharing the bounty of their green classroom.

By Stephen Ritz (Author)
Rodale Books (May 2, 2017)
304 pages
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

What if we taught students that they have as much potential as a seed? That in the right conditions, they can grow into something great?

These are the questions that Stephen Ritz?who became a teacher more than 30 years ago?sought to answer in 2004 in a South Bronx high school plagued by rampant crime and a dismal graduation rate. After what can only be defined as a cosmic experience when a flower broke up a fight in his classroom, he saw a way to start tackling his school’s problems: plants. He flipped his curriculum to integrate gardening as an entry point for all learning and inadvertently created an international phenomenon. As Ritz likes to say, “Fifty thousand pounds of vegetables later, my favorite crop is organically grown citizens who are growing and eating themselves into good health and amazing opportunities.”

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November 14, 2017   Comments Off on The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools

A New Book by Permaculture Co-originator David Holmgren

The book will be launched by Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne on February 10 2018.

Excerpt:

David Holmgren’s new book, RetroSuburbia shows how Australians can downshift and retrofit their homes, gardens, communities and, above all, themselves to be more self-organised, sustainable and resilient into an uncertain future. It promises a challenging but exciting mix of satisfying work, a more meaningful way of living and hope for the next generation.

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November 7, 2017   Comments Off on A New Book by Permaculture Co-originator David Holmgren

United Arab Emirates (UEA): ‘My Arabian Almanakh’ is the first book to focus on regenerative living and gardening in the Arabian Peninsula


Think about experimenting with fruiting trees, such as citrus, figs and pomegranates, for longer-term food productivity.

My Arabian Almanakh
By: Laura Allais-Maré, founder of Slow Food Dubai and the now-defunct Balcony and Urban Gardening Group on Facebook; Cherida Fernandez, a fine artist; graphic designer Leilani Coughlan; and Prachiti Talathi Gandhi, who took on the responsibility of editing and coordinating the production of the book.

Review by: Melanie Hunt
The National
October 28, 2017

Excerpt:

The leading voice of the work is Allais-Maré, who when she began working on her own garden in the UAE, realised that there was very little information documenting the “how to” of gardening in this climate – and absolutely nothing at all, at that time, on growing using chemical-free and regenerative principles.

The seeds of an idea for a book were planted, and came to fruition four years later in the shape of a beautiful, uniquely informative illustrated journal. The book’s writers are clear that none of them are “professors of botany or qualified horticulturalists”, but that the book is written from the perspective of “leaving the earth better than how we found it”.

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November 4, 2017   Comments Off on United Arab Emirates (UEA): ‘My Arabian Almanakh’ is the first book to focus on regenerative living and gardening in the Arabian Peninsula

Springer Urban Agriculture Book Series

Onda Akio. Picking Plums. Late 20th century.

Sharing Experiences and Research Results in Urban Food Production and Related Food System Issues

Published and Forthcoming Books:

Informal Urban Agriculture: The Secret Lives of Guerrilla Gardeners, M. Hardman and P. Larkham

Family Urban Agriculture in Russia: Lessons and Prospects, 2015, L. Boukharaeva and M. Marloie

Farming on the Fringe: Peri-Urban Agriculture, Cultural Diversity and Sustainability in Sydney, S James

Rooftop Urban Agriculture, 2017. F.Orsini, M. Dubbeling, H. de Zeeuw and G. Gianquinto (eds.) – available for ordering

Towards Sustainable Relations between Agriculture and the City, 2017, C. Soulard, C. Perrin and E. Valette (eds.) – available for ordering

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October 27, 2017   Comments Off on Springer Urban Agriculture Book Series

The Ghost Orchard: The Hidden History of the Apple in North America

How the apple first came across the Atlantic Ocean with a relatively unknown Quaker woman long before the more famed “Johnny Appleseed”

By Helen Humphreys
The Ghost Orchard
Publisher: HarperCollins
09/05/2017

Reviewer: Dana Hansen
Quill and Quire

Her research and travels reveal that, at one time, so-called Indian orchards (defined in 19th-century dictionaries as orchards of ungrafted apple trees) existed all across the U.S. and in southern Ontario. The apple, she discovers, became an essential food to the Iroquois, the Seneca, the Oneida, the Algonquian, the Cherokee, and many other Indigenous peoples, and they were very successful in growing extensive, thriving orchards. Dreadfully and with dire results, many if not most of these orchards were either destroyed or violently appropriated by white settlers. “It is no accident that many of the white settlements sprang up where there was an Indigenous orchard. But first, of course, the original owners had to be vanquished. The apple thus became, in its infancy in North America, a tool for colonialism.”

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October 18, 2017   Comments Off on The Ghost Orchard: The Hidden History of the Apple in North America

Boosting bees could sweeten chance of a greener Mexico City

Beekeeper Alfonso Cestelos Sanz blows smoke on a beehive at the Ectagono community project in Mexico City September 12, 2017. — Thomson Reuters Foundation picture.

Figures from the agriculture ministry (SAGARPA) show the number of hives in Mexico City, as well as honey production, dropped by about 17 percent between 2006 and 2015.

By Sophie Hares
Reuters
Oct 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Urban beekeeping is on the rise in cities such as London and New York where homeowners, companies and restaurants are setting up rooftop hives that each house thousands of bees. But strict rules in densely packed Mexico City about the location of hives restrict them mainly to the city fringes.

As the city continues to expand, reducing green areas, beekeepers have less space to work, said Adriana Pena Veliz, a vet who advises Efecto Colmena (Beehive Effect), which rescues and relocates bee swarms.

“The bees are starting to lose their habitat,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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October 16, 2017   Comments Off on Boosting bees could sweeten chance of a greener Mexico City

Raíces en el asfalto – Pasado, presente y futuro de la agricultura urbana

History of Urban Agriculture in Europe, in Spanish. The book is a Free PDF.

By José Luis Fernández Casadevante Kois y Nerea Morán
Libros en Acción
La editorial de Ecologistas en Acción,
Segunda edición, mayo 2016

Excerpt:

La primera parte será una historia de la forma en que se ha concebido la relación campo-ciudad en el urbanismo, aproximándonos a distintos modelos urbanísticos y territoriales que sirvan para contextualizar de forma nítida el marco en el que se integrarán las propuestas y actuaciones de agricultura urbana. Este recorrido nos llevará de los cercamientos de los bienes comunes a los orígenes de la ciu- dad industrial y sus problemas de habitabilidad, pasando por las utopías y teorías urbanas alternativas, como la ciudad jardín, que quisieron volver a reconciliar la ciudad con la agricultura. Un relato que continúa con el distanciamiento progresivo de las metrópolis de la actividad agraria, que siguió a la segunda guerra mundial de la mano del movimiento moderno y de la revolución verde. Terminando con la in uencia ecológista y las incipientes propuestas de reencuentro que se vienen proponiendo durante las últimas décadas.

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September 30, 2017   Comments Off on Raíces en el asfalto – Pasado, presente y futuro de la agricultura urbana

Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles

Urban Agriculture – Spaces of Cultivation for a Sustainable City

By Graciela Arosemena
Editorial Gustavo Gili, S.L.; 1 edition
2012. 128 pages.

Excerpt from review by François Mancebo, PhD:

In her short book Urban Agriculture, Graciela Arosemena, gives an overview of urban agriculture’s history until the great rupture and asks a question: Now that agriculture has moved outside the city, is it time to bring it back again? Her answer is “yes”, for many reasons which she associates with the idea of making cities more sustainable. In her vision, urban agriculture can stop the vicious circle of real estate speculation, provide a healthy leisure, foster social cohesion, support a new management of organic waste to reduce city’s ecological footprint and provide food security—if not complete self-sufficiency—by allowing citizens to consume locally grown vegetables and ripe fruits.

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September 13, 2017   Comments Off on Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles

The Book of Bees!

Who survived being stung by 2,443 bees? This book answers all these questions and many more.

By Piotr Socha (Author), Wojciech Grajkowski (Author)
Thames & Hudson Ltd
(Sept. 22 2016)

From the Book bag:

The Book of Bees may look like a typical picture book, but it has a lot buzzing underneath the surface. It is adapted from the original Polish book Pszczoly. Packed to the brim with bee facts and figures and accompanied by the wonderful comic-style artwork of Piotr Socha, the book is an odd amalgam: part coffee table book/ nature encyclopaedia/factfile/picture book. Don’t be fooled by its simple cover; The Bee Book is a treasure trove of information just waiting to ‘bee’ harvested!

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September 1, 2017   Comments Off on The Book of Bees!