Living Organic Online Store
Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies
The recent decline of the European honey bee and other pollinators in North America poses a serious challenge to maintaining our food supply and ecological health. According to the National Academy of Sciences, close to 75 percent of all flowering plants rely to some degree on pollinators in order to set seed or fruit. From these plants comes one-third of the planet's food, including fruit and vegetable crops, as well as forage seed crops such as alfalfa, which are critical to dairy and meat production. "Attracting Native Pollinators" is a comprehensive guidebook for gardeners, small farmers, orchardists, beekeepers, naturalists, environmentalists, and public land managers on how to protect and encourage the activity of the native pollinators of North America. Written by staff of the Xerces Society, an international nonprofit organization that is leading the way in pollinator conservation, this book presents a thorough overview of the problem along with positive solutions for how to provide bountiful harvests on farms and gardens, maintain healthy plant communinities in wildlands, provide food for wildlife, and beautify the landscape with flowers. Full-color photographs introduce readers to more than 80 species of native pollinators -- including bees, flies, butterflies, wasps, and moths -- noting each one's range and habits. The heart of the book provides detailed garden plans and techniques showing how to create flowering habitat to attract a variety of these pollinators, help expand the pollinator population, and provide pollinators with inviting nesting sites. Readers will also find useful instructions for creating nesting structures, educational activities for involving children, and an extensive list of resources. "Attracting Native Pollinators" is an essential reference book and action guide for anyone who is involved in growing food or is concerned about the future of our food supply. The Xerces Society, a nonprofit conservation organization, is a leader in the effort to conserve North America's native pollinators. Founded in 1971, the society has its headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and sponsors advocacy, education, and applied research projects across the continent aimed at protecting and managing critical habitat for pollinators.
Meat and dairy production and consumption are in crisis. Globally 60 billion farm animals are used for food production every year. It is well accepted that methane emissions from cattle and other livestock are major contributors to greenhouse gas levels and to climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) predicts a rough doubling of meat and milk consumption by 2050, with particularly rapid growth occurring in the developing economies of Asia. This could raise the number of farm animals used annually to nearer 120 billion. What will this mean for the health and wellbeing of those animals, of the people who consume ever larger quantities of animal products, and for the health of the planet itself?This powerful and challenging book explores these issues surrounding the global growth in the production and consumption of meat and dairy animals and products, including cultural and health factors, and the implications of the likely intensification of farming for both small-scale producers and for the animals. Several chapters explore the related environmental issues, from resource use of water, cereals and soya, to the impact of livestock production on global warming and issues concerning biodiversity, land use and the impacts of different farming systems on the environment. A final group of chapters addresses ethical and policy implications for the future of food and livestock production and consumption. The overall message is clearly that we must eat less meat to help secure a more sustainable and equitable world.
Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive "how-to" guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens—all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics. Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops and storage lockers into commercial-quality sprout and mushroom farms, and their outside nooks and crannies into whatever they can imagine, including sustainable nurseries for honeybees and chickens. Free space for the city gardener might be no more than a cramped patio, balcony, rooftop, windowsill, hanging rafter, dark cabinet, garage, or storage area, but no space is too small or too dark to raise food. With this book as a guide, people living in apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes will be able to grow up to 20 percent of their own fresh food using a combination of traditional gardening methods and space-saving techniques such as reflected lighting and container "terracing." Those with access to yards can produce even more. Author R. J. Ruppenthal worked on an organic vegetable farm in his youth, but his expertise in urban and indoor gardening has been hard-won through years of trial-and-error experience. In the small city homes where he has lived, often with no more than a balcony, windowsill, and countertop for gardening, Ruppenthal and his family have been able to eat at least some homegrown food 365 days per year. In an era of declining resources and environmental disruption, Ruppenthal shows that even urban dwellers can contribute to a rebirth of local, fresh foods.
"Organic Vegetable Production" provides an invaluable, practical guide to the production of organic vegetables across a range of organic farming systems in temperate areas. The book covers all aspects of production, including crop choice, fertility building, and weed, pest, and disease management within a framework of rotation design and business planning. The specific needs of a range of commonly grown vegetable crops are discussed in detail.