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Any plans for a Permies.com cookbook?

 
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Just curious if Permies.com has any plans to publish a cookbook in the future.  I can imagine permaculture inspired chefs staying over and working out great recipes over the course of a year with perennials while feeding visitors the flavor combo experiments.  Put me on the purchaser (or possibly backer) waitlist if such a thing ever happens!
 
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What a great idea! Put me down for a copy!
 
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I'd buy that!
 
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The world needs this.

A Permies cookbook would probably be the first manual on cooking from a whole-systems type of perspective. A cookbook with recipes selected by topic--a la the topics in Building a Better World--might be the quickest and easiest way to connect the dots of daily life and Permaculture/sustainability for those new to it.

For example, the recipes could be categorized according to ingredients, such as "Eggs". Included with the recipes in that section would be information on how to keep hens excellently, storing eggs, what to do with the eggshells, etc. The "Vegetables" section could have recipes for annual and especially perennial vegetables, as well as instructions on how to regrow them from scraps, composting info, and cultivation tips.

Cookbooks seem to sell very well. I suggest that this might be an essential vector for spreading Permaculture ideas in the modern world.
 
Rachel Lindsay
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Me again: and I feel like I am the least-qualified person possible to be trying to hash something like this out, but I think it is a very important idea, so I will attempt movement in the direction of my ideals!

I am brainstorming the content and set-up of a possible Permaculture cookbook. For simplicity's sake, I display only a few open nodes on the below IdeaMap, but I will continue adding ideas as they come, and as I get suggestions.

The Structure of the Book: Perhaps every section has three components: Recipes, of course, essential Considerations (the Permaculture context to the food sources for the ingredients in the recipes), and Tips for generating ingredients, increasing yields, reusing "wastes", etc.

The Purpose of the Book: fostering changes in obtaining, using, and thinking about food, by guiding readers step-by-step in how to use and source food better than they have before.  
Permaculture-Cookbook-Copy.PNG
Brainstorming Potentially Useful Contents
Brainstorming Potentially Useful Contents
 
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We have previously discussed this at length.  

There is also a collaboration of recipes in the cooking forum.

Possibly to get this rolling there needs to be someone who is dedicated enough to take on the project.

I feel most people who are that dedicated have used that time to create their own cookbooks.

I am looking forward to hearing how others feel about a permies cookbook.  And are willing to put time and energy into creating one.

 
Greg Martin
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Personally, I'd love to see a permaculture cookbook that is set widely apart from all the homesteading cookbooks that are already out there.  Something that gives people a pile of mouthwatering recipes that they can only make with perennial edibles that the book showcases....and not just stuff that's good, but recipes that make people see them and long to get out there and plant edible perennial ecosystems all around their home.  Plantings that will outlive the folks who plant them.  For me that is something that is sorely missing in the vast pile of permaculture books out there in the world.  I think whoever prints that will sell a massive pile of books and will push permaculture forward significantly.  I know that I'll buy a pile of that book and give them away to friends and family!

I think that the closest books to this that I've seen have come from the foraging community.  But I wouldn't think it would be super hard to extend this to the many other perennial edibles that people have been eating for centuries....there have to be piles of recipes for those foods out there that can be looked at with fresh permie eyes to make completely permie perfect as needed.

I'd probably go with a seasonal format (what can be harvested as the year unfolds) or with chapters that focus on a specific perennial edible.
 
Anne Miller
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Kate has made some suggestion, here that she might do one in the future.

Here is another suggestion for a permies cookbook:

https://permies.com/t/83427

For anyone wanting a permaculture cookbook, here is a suggestions:

https://permies.com/wiki/39872/Permaculture-Kitchen-Carl-Legge
 
Rachel Lindsay
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Greg Martin wrote:Personally, I'd love to see a permaculture cookbook that is set widely apart from all the homesteading cookbooks that are already out there.  Something that gives people a pile of mouthwatering recipes that they can only make with perennial edibles that the book showcases....and not just stuff that's good, but recipes that make people see them and long to get out there and plant edible perennial ecosystems all around their home.  
I'd probably go with a seasonal format (what can be harvested as the year unfolds) or with chapters that focus on a specific perennial edible.



That is a very good idea. So, then, I think there need to be at least two cookbooks, one as you suggest just for recipes with perennials (which category thankfully includes herbs and fruits!) and also, one fusing basic, fresh from-scratch cooking recipes and Permaculture thinking.  

I bought "The Edible Ornamental Garden" by John E. Bryan and Coralie Castle (1977) a couple years ago and it has many recipes for perennial plants. It will certainly be an excellent reference for either potential cookbook!

 
Greg Martin
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Just got off Alan Bergo's website (love it!).  Was reading his recipe for fermented ramp leaf soy sauce.


A lot of what I think of as the best permaculture recipes seem to come out of the foraging community.  Maybe foraging books sell better at this point than permaculture books?  I sent Alan a note asking if he'd ever consider writing a permaculture cookbook, but it got me thinking....wouldn't it be great if someone got many authors who cook with perennial edibles to submit recipes with credit to them in a permaculture cookbook?  I think some of the foraging chefs are great, I also think that traditional cultural recipes can be found that showcase our super amazing perennial edible foods.  

I just really want to get folks dying to get more diverse roots in the ground!  
I bet this could be a REALLY great kickstarter.
 
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Rachel Lindsay wrote:fusing basic, fresh from-scratch cooking recipes and Permaculture thinking.  



Personally, as someone who buys a lot of cookbooks, and cooks a lot, I am looking for something in the middle of the spectrum between:
"open a can of XX" >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>"distill your own salt"

there is a surprising lack of stuff in the middle. Just a cookbook that uses whole foods, like the kind that attract insects on the counter when you dont use them in 3 days, seems rare. There's a lot on the other end of the spectrum too (make your own soap, grow your own meat, etc): more power to the folks that are there, but it gets very niche very quickly.
 
Rachel Lindsay
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Tereza Okava wrote:
Personally, as someone who buys a lot of cookbooks, and cooks a lot, I am looking for something in the middle of the spectrum between:
"open a can of XX" >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>"distill your own salt"

there is a surprising lack of stuff in the middle. Just a cookbook that uses whole foods, like the kind that attract insects on the counter when you dont use them in 3 days, seems rare. There's a lot on the other end of the spectrum too (make your own soap, grow your own meat, etc): more power to the folks that are there, but it gets very niche very quickly.



Yes, that's just what I think. My vision for a fantastic Permaculture cookbook is something like a fusion--if you can imagine such a thing!--of "Food Not Lawns" with "Little House in the Suburbs" and "The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook". I think a cookbook like that would be in the middle enough to be relatable to most people's lives, and yet get them excited to immediately get started with Permaculture cooking and other things!
 
Anne Miller
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As someone who also buys a lot of cookbooks, of all those cookbooks there are only three that I use.  I am not counting my two favorite canning cookbooks.

Fannie Farmer's Cooking School Cook Book, Joy of Cooking, and Janet Chadwick's "How to Live on Almost Nothing and Have Plenty"



Source
 
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Oh my goodness--I just found The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution, A Cookbook By Alice Waters at my local library. (And there is a sequel, too, for later!)
                                                                       
                                                                   

It's a how-to guide about cooking with fresh, seasonal, whole foods sourced from the garden or farmers' market. Wow! This is exactly the kind of book I need to learn from so as to better contribute to a Permies cookbook. Has anyone else used this book before?
 
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I would definitely be up to creating a permaculture cookbook at some point. I'm kind of a cookbook fiend. But I do periodically go through them, copy out the recipes I use and donate them on. For my personal recipe collection, I store them in binders. I have 11 binders, broken down by type.

Rachel - I have not read that cookbook but I did a stage at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters restaurant. It was lovely and we, the cooks, got to eat the same food as the customers. This is not typical in restaurants.
 
Stacy Witscher
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Thinking more about this, I feel like a different breakdown than harvests would be good. I typically work off recipe types that I can substitute seasonal ingredients on, i.e. a standard quiche recipe with seasonal add-in ideas. And understanding what ingredients offer to a recipe, like bitter greens are contributing this, so these are the possibly options. But in a gravy, coffee, beer or something similar contributes that bitter flavor, most people don't want greens in their gravy. I will continue to think about the best way to organize these ideas, but I welcome others input. Sometimes I make too many connections and could use some editing.
 
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I was looking at the PEP badges for foraging and food prep, and the "800 plates comprised of 75% of homestead food" caught my attention. What foods could I grow and pair together for a complete meal? I realized I could use help brainstorming that and would love a cookbook focused on full meals that can be grown and processed at home. One problem for a cookbook focused on that or perennial veggies is how much the possibilities vary by region. You'd maybe have to pick a few zones to stick with.
 
Tereza Okava
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Stacy Witscher wrote:... could use some editing.


As it so happens, I'm an editor. :-D
I think this would be a fabulous permie project. Maybe it could be hooked into a BB somehow (as people cook and develop recipes they could document it for the BB mentioned above).
We've got a big range of regions, weather, crops, etc. But I think across all these zones it's not infrequent to hear "what to do with all these eggs/zucchini/pumpkins/sweet potatoes/etc" and there's lots of overlap. I think there's also a lot of interest in the penny pincher type of recipes (some of those old blogs like cooking with pennies still get LOTS of traffic).

I think there also could be great potential for the recipes that people often share in threads here: maybe that is another cookbook idea, like those old church cookbooks where people contribute their favorite recipes, "Cooking with Permies".
 
Stacy Witscher
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It seems like it  would be good to get an idea of what people are looking for in a permies cookbook? Personally, I would be inclined to provide recipes that are primarily derived from the homestead but could include industrial food as a minor component. For example, flour is an acceptable ingredient but not store bought crackers. I'm just throwing out ideas here.
 
Anne Miller
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I really like the idea of a PEP Cookbook, something like Nikki and Tereza mentioned.

The BB's are full of recipes that could be included in the cookbook.
 
Stacy Witscher
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I think that organizing a cookbook based on cooking techniques, e.g. haybox, sunoven, pit, cob oven, etc. would be great. And adding in preservation techniques works.

To be honest, I haven't looked into PEP stuff too much. I'm kinda OCD and I can see it ending badly for me. Harkens back to compulsive Girl Scout stuff for me. But I look into it more.
 
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Stacy said, "To be honest, I haven't looked into PEP stuff too much. I'm kinda OCD and I can see it ending badly for me. Harkens back to compulsive Girl Scout stuff for me. But I look into it more.



I find it not much different from reading any post on the forum.

What I like best is seeing what people are making and all the pictures and recipes that they are making.

I have not earned any badges because, by choice, I don't use my phone to take pictures.  I would not even know how to get the pictures out of my phone and onto the forum.
 
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