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In the How-To Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Load Bearing) DVD, you'll discover how this form of construction uses the bales themselves as the structural element of the home. The roof sits directly on the bale walls and the straw itself is load-bearing. Nearly two hours of instruction takes you through the entire process of building a load-bearing straw bale home in a day-by-day teaching format.
The DVD shows in detail everything from creating a pad and pier raised floor foundation to installing toe-ups, baling the walls square and plumb, using the best strapping to pre-compress your walls, installing the rafters, attaching the roof sheathing, installing windows and doors, dealing with cabinetry installations, and much more.
The How-to Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Post and Beam Infill) DVD covers post and beam construction using a structural support system in the home (typically wood), with straw bales as infill insulation (nonstructural bales). In nearly three hours of instruction, this best-selling DVD walks you through the entire baling process of a post and beam home, step-by-step. You'll learn how to:
This double DVD set with nearly 3 hours of step-by-step footage will walk you through the entire framing process from start to finish. Whether you have never framed before or if you know how to frame but aren't clear on what the differences are between standard construction and straw bale wall framing, this video will provide you valuable information.
To grow produce of the highest nutritional quality the essential minerals lacking in our soil must be replaced, but this re-mineralization calls for far more attention to detail than the simple addition of composted manure or NPK fertilizers. The Intelligent Gardener demystifies the process while simultaneously debunking much of the false and misleading information perpetuated by both the conventional and organic agricultural movements. In doing so, it conclusively establishes the link between healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people.
This practical step-by-step guide and the accompanying customizable web-based spreadsheets go beyond organic and are essential tools for any serious gardener who cares about the quality of the produce they grow.
A full-color, accessible primer on starting a backyard barnyard. When the going gets rough, the rough . . . start raising their own food. In the first full-color guide of its kind, author and small farm owner Laura Childs reveals exactly what it takes to start raising your own animals, including chickens, geese, goats, sheep, pigs and cows. Childs discusses what you can expect to harvest from your animals — from eggs to milk to meat to wool — based on her own real-life experiences. Whether you want to raise a few chickens for eggs alone, try your hand at a few goats with the aim of making your own cheese, or are looking to sustain your family and make some extra money from raising and selling beef, this is the book for you.
Childs offers general information for each breed and animal, from how to get started to what to feed and where to house the animals. This invaluable guide is the perfect first book for anyone interested in starting a backyard barnyard or a small farm — or simply dreaming about the idea. 100 color illustrations.
About the author
Laura Childs spent 30 years as a self-professed “downtown city girl” before breaking free from urban life when her daughter was born. Her website goodbyecitylife.com chronicles their adventures on her small, self-sustained farm in Ontario, Canada, where she raises goats, chickens, horses and other animals.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Paradigm-shifting, The Kitchen Ecosystem will change how we think about food and cooking. Designed to create and use ingredients that maximize flavor, these 400 recipes are derived from 40 common ingredients–from asparagus to fish to zucchini–used at each stage of its “life cycle”: fresh, preserved and in a main dish.
Seasoned cooks know that the secret to great meals is this: The more you cook, the less you actually have to do to produce a delicious meal. The trick is to approach cooking as a continuum, where each meal draws on elements from a previous one and provides the building blocks for another. That synchronicity is a kitchen ecosystem.
For the farmers market regular as well as the bulk shopper, for everyday home cooks and aspirational ones, a kitchen ecosystem starts with cooking the freshest in-season ingredients available, preserving some to use in future recipes, and harnessing leftover components for other dishes. In The Kitchen Ecosystem, Eugenia Bone spins multiple dishes from single ingredients: homemade ricotta stars in a pasta dish while the leftover whey is used to braise pork loin; marinated peppers are tossed with shrimp one night and another evening chicken thighs and breast simmer in that leftover marinade. The bones left from a roast chicken bear just enough stock to make stracciatella for two. The small steps in creating “supporting ingredients” actually save time when it comes to putting together dinner.
Delicious food is not only a matter exceptional recipes—although there are an abundance of those here. Rather, it is a matter of approaching the kitchen as a system of connected foods. The Kitchen Ecosystem changes the paradigm of how we cook, and in doing so, it may change everything about the way we eat today.
Looking over the vast open plains of eastern Colorado, western Kansas and southwestern Nebraska, where one can travel miles without seeing a town or even a house, it is hard to imagine the crowded landscape of the last decades of the 19th century. In those days farmers, speculators, and town builders flooded the region, believing that rain would follow the plow and that the "Rainbelt" would become their agricultural Eden. It took a mere decade for drought and economic turmoil to drive these dreaming thousands from the land, turning farmland back to rangeland and reducing settlements to ghost towns.
David J. Wishart's The Last Days of the Rainbelt is the sobering tale of the rapid rise and decline of the settlement of the western Great Plains. History finds its voice in interviews with elderly residents of the region by Civil Works Administration employees in 1933 and 1934. Evidence similarly emerges from land records, climate reports, census records and diaries, as Wishart deftly tracks the expansion of westward settlement across the central plains and into the Rainbelt. Through an examination of migration patterns, land laws, town-building, and agricultural practices, Wishart re-creates the often-difficult life of settlers in a semiarid region who undertook the daunting task of adapting to a new environment. His book brings this era of American settlement and failure on the western Great Plains fully into the scope of historical memory.
Lawns now blanket thirty million acres of the United States, but until the late nineteenth century few Americans had any desire for a front lawn, much less access to seeds for growing one. In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front lawn aesthetic, the development of the lawn-care industry, its environmental impact, and modern as well as historic alternatives to lawn mania.
Kim O’Donnel knows meat eaters. In fact, she is one. As a voice for the Meatless Monday campaign, she’s been cooking up delicious you-won’t-miss-the-meat fare for the vegetarian-curious-but-vegan’s-too-crazy crowd. With a focus on holidays (or any celebration), O’Donnel’s versatile recipes ensure that eaters of all dietary stripes will leave the table satisfied. Cast aside those fears of cardboard tofurkey and gray starches. Instead, revel in dishes that inspire, surprise and are so tasty, “meatless” is an afterthought (with allergy- and animal- free options, to boot).
The Meaty Truth is an eye-opening look at the massive problems caused by the American population’s food supply. Water, meat, and milk and other dairy products are filled with toxins, antibiotics, untested growth hormones, ammonia, and animal pus and manure. The current conditions of the food production industry must drastically improve, and until they do, it is absolutely vital to monitor what you eat. Authors Shushana Castle and Amy-Lee Goodman take a hard-hitting look at what America is putting into its food, the negative effects this has on the world, and the best ways to make healthy, informed decisions about eating.
As the antibiotic age ends, the rise of pandemic diseases is approaching. Approximately half of the illnesses that claim American lives today are related to what we eat, and our health care system is focused on treating the sick, not preventing illnesses from occurring. To fix our health problems, to continue feeding the world’s ever-growing population, and to save our planet from ecological destruction, we can no longer avoid making changes to how American meat and dairy are produced. This guide is easy to read, applicable to anyone’s lifestyle, and impossible to put down.
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The Montana Gardener's Companion explains how to identify and address common shortcomings of Montana soils, including alkaline soils (the most common soil in Montana), acidic soils (found in some soils in the mountains and near Great Falls), and salty soils (found especially in eastern Montana and in areas west and northwest of Great Falls east of the Divide and in the far northeastern portions of Sheridan County). This book explains the different climates of eastern and western Montana, the effect of elevation on growing seasons, and how Montana gardeners can lengthen their growing seasons through careful plant selection, choosing the correct exposure, planting properly on slopes and using season-extending products.
André Leu challenges conventional farming methods by refuting the myths that surround the use and understanding of pesticides. He exposes the dangers of these chemicals and advocates organic practices as the most viable for farming in the 21st century.