book list

The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture

Wendall Berry’s assessment of modern agriculture and its relationship to American culture–our health, economy, personal relationships, morals, and spiritual values

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Demian   By Herman Hesse

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Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web

by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis

Lowenfels and Lewis describe the activities of the organisms that make up the soil food web and explain how to cultivate the life of the soil.

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Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners

by James B Nardi

Lavishly illustrated with nearly 300 color illustrations and masterfully rendered black and white drawings throughout, “Life in the Soil” invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us.
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The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society 

by Norbert Weiner

Only a few books stand as landmarks in social and scientific upheaval. Norbert Wiener’s classic is one in that small company. Founder of the science of cybernetics

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Critical Path

by R. Buckminster Fuller, Kiyoshi Kuromiya

R. Buckminster Fuller is regarded as one of the most important figures of the 20th century, renowned for his achievements as an inventor, designer, architect, philosopher, mathematician, and dogged individualist. Perhaps best remembered for the Geodesic Dome and the term “Spaceship Earth,” his work and his writings have had a profound impact on modern life and thought. “Critical Path” is Fuller’s master work–the summing up of a lifetime’s thought and concern–as urgent and relevant as it was upon its first publication in 1981. “Critical Path” details how humanity found itself in its current situation–at the limits of the planet’s natural resources and facing political, economic, environmental, and ethical crises.

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Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

  R Buckminster Fuller

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The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country

by Peter Bane     Permanent agriculture – abundance by design

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Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

by Toby Hemenway

Permaculture is a verbal marriage of  permanent and agriculture.   Australian Bill Mollison pioneered its development. Key features include: use of compatible perennials; non-invasive planting techniques; emphasis on biodiversity; specifically adaptable to local climate, landscape, and soil conditions; highly productive output of edibles. . The flowers nurture endangered pollinators. Bright-featured songbirds feed on abundant berries and gather twigs for their nests. The plants themselves are grouped in natural communities, where each species plays a role in building soil, deterring pests, storing nutrients, and luring beneficial insects. And finally, you–good old homo sapiens–are an integral part of the scene.  This is no dream, but rather an ecological garden, which takes the principles of permaculture and applies them on a home-scale. There is nothing technical, intrusive, secretive, or expensive about this form of gardening. All that is required is some botanical knowledge (which is in this book) and a mindset that defines a backyard paradise as something other than a carpet of grass fed by MiracleGro.

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 Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual     ….by Bill Mollison  

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Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual  Restoration Agriculture     …. by Mark Shepard

Around the globe most people get their calories from “annual” agriculture — plants that grow fast for one season, produce lots of seeds, then die. Every single human society that has relied on annual crops for staple foods has collapsed. Restoration Agriculture explains how we can have all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in form and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel and many other needs — in your own backyard, farm or ranch. This book, based on real-world practices, in SW Wisconsin, presents an alternative to the agriculture system of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future.
   
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions    

Thomas S. Kuhn (1922-1996) transformed the philosophy of science. His seminal 1962 work, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” sold over one million copies and was translated into more than a dozen languages. It introduced the term “paradigm shift” into the vernacular and remains a fundamental text in the study of the history and philosophy of science. This introduction to Kuhn’s ideas situates “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” within the development of his thought over time. Alexander Bird explains Kuhn’s central distinction between normal and revolutionary science and then examines in detail the role played by the key notion of a paradigm in his account of radical scientific change. The book considers Kuhn’s claim that the scientist’s world changes when paradigms change and relates this thought to his views on perception, incommensurability, and meaning.

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