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1.

THE SOLAR HOUSE: PASSIVE HEATING AND COOLING

Dan Chiras
Paperback

Price: $29.95

Before you build your home, read this definitive guide to designing with the sun in mind by Mother Earth News contributing editor Dan Chiras. Learn how you can cut your energy bills in half by choosin…

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Before you build your home, read this definitive guide to designing with the sun in mind by Mother Earth News contributing editor Dan Chiras. Learn how you can cut your energy bills in half by choosing the best passive solar heating and cooling techniques.

Passive solar heating and passive cooling — approaches known as natural conditioning — provide comfort throughout the year by reducing, or eliminating, the need for fossil fuel. Yet while heat from sunlight and ventilation from breezes is free for the taking, few modern architects or builders really understand the principles involved.

Now Chiras, author of the popular book The Natural House, brings those principles up to date for a new generation of solar enthusiasts.

The techniques required to heat and cool a building passively have been used for thousands of years. Early societies such as the Native American Anasazis and the ancient Greeks perfected designs that effectively exploited these natural processes. The Greeks considered anyone who didn't use passive solar to heat a home to be a barbarian!

In the United States, passive solar architecture experienced a major resurgence of interest in the 1970s in response to crippling oil embargoes. With grand enthusiasm but with scant knowledge (and sometimes little common sense), architects and builders created a wide variety of solar homes. Some worked pretty well, but looked more like laboratories than houses. Others performed poorly, overheating in the summer because of excessive or misplaced windows and skylights, and growing chilly in the colder months because of insufficient thermal mass and insulation and poor siting.

In The Solar House, Chiras sets the record straight on the vast potential for passive heating and cooling. Acknowledging the good intentions of misguided solar designers in the past, he highlights certain egregious — and entirely avoidable — errors. More importantly, Chiras explains in methodical detail how today's home builders can succeed with solar designs.

Now that energy efficiency measures including higher levels of insulation and multilayered glazing have become standard, it is easier than ever before to create a comfortable and affordable passive solar house that will provide year-round comfort in any climate.

Moreover, because modern building materials and airtight construction methods sometimes result in air-quality and even toxicity problems, Chiras explains state-of-the-art ventilation and filtering techniques that complement the ancient solar strategies of thermal mass and daylighting. Chiras also explains the new diagnostic aids available in printed worksheet or software formats, allowing readers to generate their own design schemes.

About the author
Daniel D. Chiras is the author of The Natural House. He holds a doctorate in physiology and teaches courses on sustainability and environmental health at the Universities of Colorado and the University of Denver. He is the author of five college and high school textbooks as well as other books on global environmental issues. Chiras is also an avid musician, organic gardener, river runner and bicyclist. He lives with his family in a passive solar/solar electric, straw bale and rammed tire house in Evergreen, Colo.

2.

CONVERT IT

Michael Brown & Shari Prange
Paperback

Price: $24.95

This hands-on guide for converting a gas-powered car to electric has all the information you need to choose a donor car and successfully make the conversion. It also includes how to drive, charge and …

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This hands-on guide for converting a gas-powered car to electric has all the information you need to choose a donor car and successfully make the conversion. It also includes how to drive, charge and maintain your electric car.

3.

STOREY'S GUIDE TO RAISING CHICKENS

Gail Damerow
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Everything you need to know to raise one chicken or 100. Here is all the information you need to successfully raise chickens — from choosing breeds and hatching chicks to building coops, keeping the b…

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Everything you need to know to raise one chicken or 100. Here is all the information you need to successfully raise chickens — from choosing breeds and hatching chicks to building coops, keeping the birds healthy, and protecting them from predators. This revised third edition contains a new chapter on training chickens and understanding their intelligence, expanded coverage of hobby farming, and up-to-date information on chicken health issues, including avian influenza and fowl first aid.

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.

4.

A GUIDE TO CANNING FREEZING CURING/SMOKING MEAT FISH GAME

Wilbur F. Eastman, Jr.
Paperback

Price: $16.95

In this 231 page book, you'll find complete pickling method descriptions for meat and fish, a discussion of the pros and cons of home preserving, as well as many tips and shortcuts.


Today, more t…

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In this 231 page book, you'll find complete pickling method descriptions for meat and fish, a discussion of the pros and cons of home preserving, as well as many tips and shortcuts.


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 its readers. For more than 30 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.

5.

HOME CHEESE MAKING (3rd ed)

Ricki Carroll
Paperback

Price: $16.95

The consummate home cheese making book, Home Cheese Making has been updated and revised to reflect the recently revived interest in artisan-quality cheeses and the availability of home cheese making…

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The consummate home cheese making book, Home Cheese Making has been updated and revised to reflect the recently revived interest in artisan-quality cheeses and the availability of home cheese making supplies and equipment.

Discover 75 recipes for making your own cheese and other dairy products that require basic cheese making techniques and the freshest of ingredients, offering the satisfaction of turning out a coveted delicacy. Among the tested, step-by-step recipes in this cheese making book are farmhouse cheddar, gouda, fromage blanc, queso blanco, mascarpone, ricotta and 30-minute mozzarella. Recipes for dairy products include crème fraîche, sour cream, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and clotted cream.

As the most comprehensive cheese making book on the market, Home Cheese Making also features recipes for cooking with cheese, including such treats as Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Pecan Syrup, Cream Cheese Muffins, Broiled Pears and Vermont Shepherd Cheese, Prosciutto and Cheese Calzones, and Grilled Vegetable Stacks with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

Profiles of home cheese makers and artisan cheese makers scattered throughout this cheese making book share the stories of people who love to make and eat great cheese. Also included in Home Cheese Making is information on how to enjoy homemade cheeses, how to serve a cheese course at home, cheese tips, lore, quotes, a home cheese making glossary and more.

About the author:

Ricki Carroll is the founder of the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, in Ashfield, Mass., which has been offering cheese support and expertise since 1978.

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 and products 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.

6.

THE GOOD LIFE

Helen & Scott Nearing
Paperback

Price: $16.00

This new edition of Living the Good Life and Continuing the Good Life brings together the Nearings' classic guides to the theory and practice of rural homesteading. This couple abandoned the city for …

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This new edition of Living the Good Life and Continuing the Good Life brings together the Nearings' classic guides to the theory and practice of rural homesteading. This couple abandoned the city for a rural life with minimal cash and the knowledge of self reliance and good health.

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 its readers. For more than 30 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.

7.

MICROHYDRO CLEAN POWER FROM WATER

Scott Davis
Paperback

Price: $22.95

If you live near a river or stream, Microhydro, a Mother Earth NewsBook for Wiser Living, explains everything you need to know to produce electricity for your home. This book outlines the basic requi…

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If you live near a river or stream, Microhydro, a Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living, explains everything you need to know to produce electricity for your home. This book outlines the basic requirements and approximate costs of home-scale hydroelectric systems that let you create clean, off-grid independent power.

Hydroelectricity is the world's largest — and cleanest — source of renewable energy. But despite lively interest in renewables generally, there is an information vacuum about the smallest version of the technology dubbed "the simplest, most reliable and least expensive way to generate power off grid."

Highly illustrated and practical, Microhydro is the first complete book on the topic in a decade. Covering both AC and DC systems, it covers principles, design and site considerations, equipment options, and legal, environmental and economic factors.

About the author

Scott Davis has decades of experience operating, installing, designing, selling and teaching about microhydro technology. An award-winner in the field, he currently works as a system designer and retailer with an alternative energy company for whom he has authored an online microhydro course.

8.

STOREY'S GUIDE TO RAISING BEEF CATTLE 3rd Edition

Heather Smith Thomas
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Whether you want to raise one or two animals or run a full-scale beef production operation, this definitive handbook has the information you need. Helpful to both beginners and experienced livestock o…

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Whether you want to raise one or two animals or run a full-scale beef production operation, this definitive handbook has the information you need. Helpful to both beginners and experienced livestock owners.

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.

9.

TIMBER FRAMING FOR THE REST OF US

ROB ROY
Paperback

Price: $24.95

This is the first book to describe in depth the timber framing methods used by most contractors, framers and owner-builders — methods that use modern metal fasteners, special screws, and common-sense …

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This is the first book to describe in depth the timber framing methods used by most contractors, framers and owner-builders — methods that use modern metal fasteners, special screws, and common-sense building principles to create post and beam structures in much less time. The book includes everything an owner-builder needs to know about building strong and beautiful structural frames from heavy timbers.

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.

10.

THE GARDENER'S BUG BOOK

Barbara Pleasant
Paperback

Price: $14.95

This guide to garden bugs shows you how to work with nature to reduce pests while producing bountiful, environmentally safe and chemical-free harvests. Includes a list of pests commonly found on 72 ve…

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This guide to garden bugs shows you how to work with nature to reduce pests while producing bountiful, environmentally safe and chemical-free harvests. Includes a list of pests commonly found on 72 vegetables and fruits. Written by contributing editor Barbara Pleasant.

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