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August 2006: Publications

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Flour Power: A guide to modern home grain milling by Marleeta F. Basey (Jermar Press, 1790 N.W. Grandview Drive, Albany OR 97321-9695; 2004; $14.95) is much more than its title indicates. The author states she is trying to fill “an information gap” caused by the industrialization of the milling and baking formerly done in homes, which resulted in the loss of “thousands of years of household knowledge about whole-grain flours.” The book includes a broad spectrum of material, including discussions of fiber, nutrients, carbohydrates, health benefits of whole grains, types of home mills, and the background and qualities of different grains. The elements of bread-making are discussed, but as a process, not a “how-to.” An extensive appendix lists a large variety of mills with prices and ordering information.

The purpose of Chia by Ricardo Ayerza Jr. and Wayne Coates (University of Arizona Press, Tucson AZ 85721; 2005; $14.95) is to re-introduce this ancient Aztec crop to a modern audience. This is more of a textbook than an easy read, with detailed historical, anthropological, agricultural and nutritional information and many charts on the subject. The authors are enthusiastic about the healthful properties of chia, particularly its content of Omega-3 oil.

The Fruit Garden Displayed, 8th Edition, by Harry Baker (The Royal Horticultural Society, Cassell Educational Limited, Villiers House, 41/47 Strand, London WC2N 5JE; 1991; 10.95 pounds) “is written especially for the grower who produces fruit for use in the home.” There are detailed instructions on growing many different types of fruit, both tree fruits and soft fruits, including methods of espaliering in limited spaces. Unfortunately, the author recommends a heavy spectrum of chemical use for pests and diseases. However, there is much useful information in this book, and it is well illustrated with both color and black and white photos.

Environmental Services of Agroforestry Systems edited by Florencia Montagnini (Food Products Press, Haworth Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghampton NY 13904-1580; 2005) is comprised of six articles that were presented at the First World Congress in Agroforestry in 2004. The theme is carbon sequestration and biodiversity as found in tropical forest systems, including natural and managed; pasture and silvopasture; native tree plantations; and shade coffee agro-ecosystems in Latin America. The treatment is scientific, with tables presenting statistics on the subject.

Manage Insects on Your Farm: A Guide to Ecological Strategies by Miguel Altieri and Clara I. Nicholls, with Marlene A. Fritz (Sustainable Agriculture Network, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Building 046 BARC-WEST, Beltsville MD 20705-2350; 2005; $15.95), is an interesting, user-friendly, information-filled book that should prove indispensable to all farmers. The concepts are not new, but they are presented with a great number of practical details for their use. The authors also relate the experience of commercial farmers who are successfully using these methods, on farms ranging from 80 to 4,000 acres. The book also has tables that sum up the information, and resources for further education. This is a fine book that we recommend.

Listed below are books which have come to us which we have not had a chance to review:

Rebuilding Community in America: Housing for Ecological Living, Personal Empowerment, and the New Extended Family by Ken Norwood and Kathleen Smith (Shared Living Resource Center, Berkeley, California; 1995)

The Ice Is Melting by Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation, an E.F. Schumacher lecture (E.F. Schumacher Society, 140 Jug End road, Great Barrington MA 01230; 2005)

The Anatomy of Life and Energy in Agriculture by Arden B. Andersen (Acres USA, P.O. Box 9547, Kansas City MO 64133; 1989)

The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home by Paul Stamets and J.S. Chilton (Agarikon Press, Box 2233, Olympia WA 98507; 1983)

The Threat of Pesticides in Our Air: A Community Response Guide (in both English and Spanish) a calendar-sized guide (Californians for Pesticide Reform; 49 Powell Street, Suite 530, San Francisco CA 94102)

Liquid Gold: the Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants by Carol Steinfeld (Green Frigate Books, P.O. Box 461, Sheffield VT 05866-0461; 2004; $14.95)

What’s Cooking in Your Food System?: A Guide to Community Food Assessment by Kami Pothukuchi, Hugh Joseph, Hannah Burton, and Andy Fisher (Community Food Security Coalition, P.O. Box 209, Venice CA 90294; 2002)

The Artful Vegan: Fresh Flavors from the Millennium Restaurant by Eric Tucker with Bruce Enloe and Amy Pearce (Ten Speed Press; 2003; $24.95)

Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020: Proceedings of an All-Africa Conference (International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033 K Street NW, Washington DC 20006-1002; 2004)

These are Spanish-language publications we brought back from the Costa Rican 6-Day Workshop:

Sistemas Agroforestales, a small but good book put out by a Bolivian NGO. It presents sustainable ways of using the forest to produce food and other goods

Agricultura organica: Fundamentos para la region andina by Albrecht Benzing is highly recommended.

Manual Keba Sula is a workbook of organic techniques, a joint project between Panama’s National Authority for the Environment and a German NGO. This is a simply presented, good book on appropriate agriculture and forestry that would be useful for teachers, other adults, and kids.

Control Biologico de Plagas Agricolas comes from Costa Rica.`

Panorama of the Americas is the official magazine of Copa Airlines, which has both Spanish and English text, has an article with color satellite photos showing environmental changes to different land areas over a period of years.



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