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Dirt, soil, call it what you want--it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations "explores the compelling idea that we are--and have long been--using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, "Dirt "traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil--as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.
If you love the joys of eating home-garden vegetables but always thought those joys had to stop at the end of summer, this book is for you. Eliot Coleman introduces the surprising fact that most of the United States has more winter sunshine than the south of France. He shows how North American gardeners can successfully use that sun to raise a wide variety of traditional winter vegetables in backyard cold frames and plastic covered tunnel greenhouses without supplementary heat. Coleman expands upon his own experiences with new ideas learned on a winter-vegetable pilgrimage across the ocean to the acknowledged kingdom of vegetable cuisine, the southern part of France, which lies on the 44th parallel, the same latitude as his farm in Maine. This story of sunshine, weather patterns, old limitations and expectations, and new realities is delightfully innovative in the best gardening tradition. "Four-Season Harvest" will have you feasting on fresh produce from your garden all through the winter.
The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
The Winter Harvest Handbook takes the local-food revolution to a new level. Eliot Coleman explains how to successfully—and profitably—harvest fresh vegetables all year-round in even the coldest climates using unheated or, in some cases, minimally heated, movable plastic greenhouses. Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods, in this meticulous, illustrated guide. His painstaking research and experimentation with more than 30 different crops will prove invaluable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production and harvest seasons.
This comprehensive guide to farmstead cheese explains the diversity of cheeses in terms of historical animal husbandry, pastures, climate, preservation, and transport-all of which still contribute to the uniqueness of farm cheeses today. Discover the composition of milk (and its seasonal variations), starter cultures, and the chemistry of cheese. The book includes: A fully illustrated guide to basic cheesemakingDiscussions on the effects of calcium, pH, salt, and moisture on the processWays to ensure safety and quality through sampling and risk reductionMethods for analyzing the resulting composition... The Vermont Cheese Council is a nonprofit organization whose support of more than dozen Vermont cheesemakers contributes to a vision for continued agricultural practices and the preservation of Vermont's rural landscape. For those who want to quit their boring jobs and do something that will make their lives meaningful, here's the book. Paul Kindstedt must be considered an American treasure. Of all the books in my possession, this one is now the most important.