Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.
As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.
The organic grower's guide to planting, propagation, culture, and ecology
Trees are our allies in healing the world. Partnering with trees allows us to build soil, enhance biodiversity, increase wildlife populations, grow food and medicine, and pull carbon out of the atmosphere, sequestering it in the soil.
Trees of Power explains how we can work with these arboreal allies, specifically focusing on propagation, planting, and individual species. Author Akiva Silver is an enthusiastic tree grower with years of experience running his own commercial nursery. In this book he clearly explains the most important concepts necessary for success with perennial woody plants. It's broken down into two parts: the first covering concepts and horticultural skills and the second with in-depth information on individual species. You'll learn different ways to propagate trees: by seed, grafting, layering, or with cuttings. These time-honored techniques make it easy for anyone to increase their stock of trees, simply and inexpensively.
Ten chapters focus on the specific ecology, culture, and uses of different trees, ones that are common to North America and in other temperate parts of the world:
Chestnut: The Bread Tree
Apples: The Magnetic Center
Poplar: The Homemaker
Ash: Maker of Wood
Mulberry: The Giving Tree
Elderberry: The Caretaker
Hickory: Pillars of Life
Hazelnut: The Provider
Black Locust: The Restoration Tree
Beech: The Root Runner
Trees of Power fills an urgent need for up-to-date information on some of our most important tree species, those that have multiple benefits for humans, animals, and nature. It also provides inspiration for new generations of tree stewards and caretakers who will not only benefit themselves, but leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
Trees of Power is for everyone who wants to connect with trees. It is for the survivalist, the gardener, the homesteader, the forager, the permaculturist, the environmentalist, the parent, the schoolteacher, the farmer, and anyone who feels a deep kinship with these magnificent beings.
Good Weed Bad Weed: Who's Who, What to Do, and Why Some Deserve a Second Chance (All You Need to Know About the Weeds in Your Yard)
Good Weed Bad Weed is a friendly, authoritative, easy-to-use guide to the uninvited plants in our yard: who they are, how to control them safely - and why it's a good idea to love some of them just the way they are (including a chart for how best to let our labor-intensive lawns "go native"). Weed expert Nancy Gift considers 50 of the most interesting and noteworthy weeds in our lives, with generous helpings of full-color photos, humor and some tasty weed recipes. Presented in the same format as our popular field guide to garden insects, Good Bug Bad Bug, with heavy matte-laminated pages and concealed-wire binding for handy use outside. An attractive gift book for adults and curious kids alike.
"Seaweed is ancient and basic, a testament to the tenacious beginnings of life on earth," writes Susan Hand Shetterly in this elegant, fascinating book. "Why wouldn't seaweeds be a protean life source for the lives that have evolved since?" On a planet facing environmental change and diminishing natural resources, seaweed is increasingly important as a source of food and as a fundamental part of our global ecosystem.
In Seaweed Chronicles, Shetterly takes readers deep into the world of this essential organism by providing an immersive, often poetic look at life on the rugged shores of her beloved Gulf of Maine, where the growth and harvesting of seaweed is becoming a major industry. While examining the life cycle of seaweed and its place in the environment, she tells the stories of the men and women who farm and harvest it--and who are fighting to protect this critical species against forces both natural and man-made. Ideal for readers of such books as The Hidden Life of Trees and How to Read Water, Seaweed Chronicles is a deeply informative look at a little understood and too often unappreciated part of our habitat.
- leaves (including multiple leaf shapes and fall leaf color)
- silhouettes More than 500 maps show the complete range, both natural and cultivated, for nearly all species. Trees are arranged taxonomically, with all related species grouped together. By focusing on the fundamental characteristics of, for example, oaks or chestnuts or hickories, the Guide helps the user recognize these basic species groups the same way birders recognize thrushes, warblers, or sparrows. In addition, there are essays on taxonomy, on the cultivation of trees, and on conservation issues, reflecting Sibley's deep concern with habitat preservation and environmental health. An important new contribution to our understanding of the natural world, The Sibley Guide to Trees will be a necessity for every tree lover, traveler, and naturalist. It is sure to become the new benchmark in field guides to trees.
"The Book for Cider Lovers"--New York Times
Today, food is being reconsidered. It's a front-and-center topic in everything from politics to art, from science to economics. We know now that leaving food to government and industry specialists was one of the twentieth century's greatest mistakes. The question is where do we go from here.
Author Andy Brennan describes uncultivation as a process: It involves exploring the wild; recognizing that much of nature is omitted from our conventional ways of seeing and doing things (our cultivations); and realizing the advantages to embracing what we've somehow forgotten or ignored. For most of us this process can be difficult, like swimming against the strong current of our modern culture.
The hero of this book is the wild apple. Uncultivated follows Brennan's twenty-four-year history with naturalized trees and shows how they have guided him toward successes in agriculture, in the art of cider making, and in creating a small-farm business. The book contains useful information relevant to those particular fields, but is designed to connect the wild to a far greater audience, skillfully blending cultural criticism with a food activist's agenda.
Apples rank among the most manipulated crops in the world, because not only do farmers want perfect fruit, they also assume the health of the tree depends on human intervention. Yet wild trees live all around us, and left to their own devices, they achieve different forms of success that modernity fails to apprehend. Andy Brennan learned of the health and taste advantages of such trees, and by emulating nature in his orchard (and in his cider) he has also enjoyed environmental and financial benefits. None of this would be possible by following today's prevailing winds of apple cultivation.
In all fields, our cultural perspective is limited by a parallel proclivity. It's not just agriculture: we all must fight tendencies toward specialization, efficiency, linear thought, and predetermined growth. We have cultivated those tendencies at the exclusion of nature's full range. If Uncultivated is about faith in nature, and the power it has to deliver us from our own mistakes, then wild apple trees have already shown us the way.