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|The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks
Lowest new price: $8.26
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List price: $19.95
Author: Amy Stewart
Brand: WORKMAN PUBLISHING
A New York Times Bestseller
Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries.
Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs--but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.
This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology--with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners--will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.
(from the catalog)
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2013: Peppered with fascinating facts and well-chosen anecdotes, Amy Stewart’s brisk tour of the origin of spirits acquaints the curious cocktail fan with every conceivable ingredient. Starting with the classics (from agave to wheat), she touches on obscure sources--including a tree that dates to the dinosaur age--before delving into the herbs, spices, flowers, trees, fruits, and nuts that give the world’s greatest drinks distinctive flavors. Along the way, you’ll enjoy sidebars on bugs in booze and inspired drink recipes with backstories that make lively cocktail party conversation. Like Wicked Plants, this delightfully informative, handsome volume isn’t intended as a complete reference or DIY guide, but it will demystify and heighten your appreciation of every intoxicating plant you imbibe. --Mari Malcolm
|A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
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Author: Lee Allen Peterson
More than 370 edible wild plants, plus 37 poisonous look-alikes, are described here, with 400 drawings and 78 color photographs showing precisely how to recognize each species. Also included are habitat descriptions, lists of plants by season, and preparation instructions for 22 different food uses.
- EDIBLE WILD PLANTS: EAST & CEN
|Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening
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List price: $29.95
Author: Sepp Holzer
Brand: Chelsea Green Publishing
Sepp Holzer farms steep mountainsides in Austria 1,500 meters above sea level. His farm is an intricate network of terraces, raised beds, ponds, waterways and tracks, well covered with productive fruit trees and other vegetation, with the farmhouse neatly nestling amongst them. This is in dramatic contrast to his neighbors' spruce monocultures.In this book, Holzer shares the skill and knowledge acquired over his lifetime. He covers every aspect of his farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it. Holzer writes about everything from the overall concepts, down to the practical details.In Sepp Holzer's Permaculturereaders will learn:
- How he sets up a permaculture system
- The fruit varieties he has found best for permaculture growing
- How to construct terraces, ponds, and waterways
- How to build shelters for animals and how to work with them on the land
- How to cultivate edible mushrooms in the garden and on the farm
- and much more!
Holzer offers a wealth of information for the gardener, smallholder or alternative farmer yet the book's greatest value is the attitudes it teaches. He reveals the thinking processes based on principles found in nature that create his productive systems. These can be applied anywhere.
|The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
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List price: $16.00
Author: Michael Pollan
The book that helped make Michael Pollan, the New York Times bestselling author of Cooked and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, one of the most trusted food experts in America
Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?
Working in his garden one day, Michael Pollan hit pay dirt in the form of an idea: do plants, he wondered, use humans as much as we use them? While the question is not entirely original, the way Pollan examines this complex coevolution by looking at the natural world from the perspective of plants is unique. The result is a fascinating and engaging look at the true nature of domestication.
In making his point, Pollan focuses on the relationship between humans and four specific plants: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. He uses the history of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) to illustrate how both the apple's sweetness and its role in the production of alcoholic cider made it appealing to settlers moving west, thus greatly expanding the plant's range. He also explains how human manipulation of the plant has weakened it, so that "modern apples require more pesticide than any other food crop." The tulipomania of 17th-century Holland is a backdrop for his examination of the role the tulip's beauty played in wildly influencing human behavior to both the benefit and detriment of the plant (the markings that made the tulip so attractive to the Dutch were actually caused by a virus). His excellent discussion of the potato combines a history of the plant with a prime example of how biotechnology is changing our relationship to nature. As part of his research, Pollan visited the Monsanto company headquarters and planted some of their NewLeaf brand potatoes in his garden--seeds that had been genetically engineered to produce their own insecticide. Though they worked as advertised, he made some startling discoveries, primarily that the NewLeaf plants themselves are registered as a pesticide by the EPA and that federal law prohibits anyone from reaping more than one crop per seed packet. And in a interesting aside, he explains how a global desire for consistently perfect French fries contributes to both damaging monoculture and the genetic engineering necessary to support it.
Pollan has read widely on the subject and elegantly combines literary, historical, philosophical, and scientific references with engaging anecdotes, giving readers much to ponder while weeding their gardens. --Shawn Carkonen
|Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine
Lowest new price: $34.79
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List price: $60.00
Author: David Hoffmann
A foundational textbook on the scientific principles of therapeutic herbalism and their application in medicine
• A complete handbook for the medical practitioner
• Includes the most up-to-date information on preparations, dosage, and contraindications
• By the author of The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal
Medical Herbalism contains comprehensive information concerning the identification and use of medicinal plants by chemical structure and physiological effect, the art and science of making herbal medicine, the limitations and potential of viewing herbs chemically, and the challenge to current research paradigms posed by complex plant medicines. It also includes information on toxicology and contraindications, the issues involved in determining dosage and formulation types for an individual, guides to the different measurement systems and conversion tables, and the pros and cons of both industrial and traditional techniques.
With additional sections devoted to the principles of green medicine, the history of Western Herbalism, the variety of other medical modalities using medicinal plants, an extensive resource directory, and a discussion of treatments organized by body system, Medical Herbalism is the comprehensive textbook all students and practitioners of clinical herbalism need to develop their healing practices.
|Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener's Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition
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List price: $24.95
Author: Jeff Lowenfels
Just as he demystified the soil food web in his ground-breaking book Teaming with Microbes, in this new work Jeff Lowenfels explains the basics of plant nutrition from an organic gardener's perspective. Where Teaming with Microbes used adeptly used microbiology; Teaming with Nutrients employs cellular biology.
Most gardeners realize that plants need to be fed but know little or nothing about the nature of the nutrients involved or how they get into plants. Teaming with Nutrients explains how nutrients move into plants and what both macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients do once inside. It shows organic gardeners how to provide these essentials. To fully understand how plants eat, Lowenfels uses his ability to make science accessible with lessons in the biology, chemistry, and botany all gardeners need to understand how nutrients get to the plant and what they do once they're inside the plant.
Teaming with Nutrients will open your eyes to the importance of understanding the role of nutrients in healthy, productive organic gardens and it will show you how these nutrients do their jobs. In short, it will make you a better informed, more successful and more environmentally responsible gardener.
|National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (National Audubon Society Field Guides)
Lowest new price: $12.78
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List price: $21.95
Author: NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY
Brand: Random House
With more than 700 mushrooms detailed with color photographs and descriptive text, this is the most comprehensive photographic field guide to the mushrooms of North America. The 762 full-color identification photographs show the mushrooms as they appear in natural habitats. Organized visually, the book groups all mushrooms by color and shape to make identification simple and accurate in the field, while the text account for each species includes a detailed physical description, information on edibility, season, habitat, range, look-alikes, alternative names, and facts on edible and poisonous species, uses, and folklore. A supplementary section on cooking and eating wild mushrooms, and illustrations identifying the parts of a mushroom, round out this essential guide.
|Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary
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Author: James G. Harris
Plant identification employs an extensive and complex terminology. Professional botanists often need several years in the field to master this terminology, and it presents a daunting obstacle to the student of botany.
The meaning of most botanical terms, however, is immediately apparent when an illustration is available. That is the purpose of this volume. Plant Identification Terminology provides over nineteen hundred clear illustrations of terms used in plant identification keys and descriptions. It also includes definitions for more than twenty-seven hundred taxonomic terms.
|Botany for Gardeners: Third Edition
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Author: Brian Capon
Brand: Timber Press
A bestseller since its debut in 1990, this indispensable and handy reference has now been expanded and updated to include an appendix on plant taxonomy and a comprehensive index. Two dozen new photos and illustrations make this new edition even richer with information. Its convenient paperback format makes it easy to carry and access, whether you are in or out of the garden. An essential overview of the science behind plants for beginning and advanced gardeners alike.
|The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications
Lowest new price: $67.83
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List price: $125.00
Author: Christian Ratsch
The most comprehensive guide to the botany, history, distribution, and cultivation of all known psychoactive plants
• Examines 414 psychoactive plants and related substances
• Explores how using psychoactive plants in a culturally sanctioned context can produce important insights into the nature of reality
• Contains 797 color photographs and 645 black-and-white illustrations
In the traditions of every culture, plants have been highly valued for their nourishing, healing, and transformative properties. The most powerful plants--those known to transport the human mind into other dimensions of consciousness--have traditionally been regarded as sacred. In The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants Christian R䴳ch details the botany, history, distribution, cultivation, and preparation and dosage of more than 400 psychoactive plants. He discusses their ritual and medicinal usage, cultural artifacts made from these plants, and works of art that either represent or have been inspired by them. The author begins with 168 of the most well-known psychoactives--such as cannabis, datura, and papaver--then presents 133 lesser known substances as well as additional plants known as “legal highs,” plants known only from mythological contexts and literature, and plant products that include substances such as ayahuasca, incense, and soma. The text is lavishly illustrated with 797 color photographs--many of which are from the author’s extensive fieldwork around the world--showing the people, ceremonies, and art related to the ritual use of the world’s sacred psychoactives.
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