The Wisdom of Nature

The One-Straw Revolution

An Introduction to Natural Farming

Masanobu Fukuoka


Preface by Wendell Berry

Introduction by Frances Moore Lappé


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I think that in many ways The One-Straw Revolution is one of the most meaningful and inspiring books ever written about agriculture and also about human life.  It has certainly been one of the most meaningful and inspiring books in both our lives.  About a decade before we met, both Bob and I were reading Fukuoka's beautiful thoughts and doing what we could to bring them to bear on our own lives.  Our lives, of course, continued to move on and both of us managed to lose our precious copies, also before we met.  Fukuoka's thoughts and experiences continued to live within us, but so did thousands of other things.  We discovered the importance of this book in each other's lives only a couple of years ago, after it had been out of print for about a dozen years.  We tracked down an affordable used copy and revisited our old friend and his wisdom once again.  It was like being reinvigorated, refreshed and renewed ~ we brought to life again ways of gardening, of living that had remained dormant for many, many years.  Both we and our garden have thrived in new ways as a result.

What you will find between the covers of this book is in no way a conventional "how-to" about natural farming or gardening or eating.  Instead, you'll be given that rare opportunity to see the world through the eyes of someone who was so convinced by a single idea, namely, that nature always knows more than human beings, that he devoted his life to learning to comprehend nature's way of doing things and how he could shape his farming practices to let nature tend the crops and animals in the best way possible.

You'll be introduced to the cycle of the year from the perspective of sequential growing and harvesting; you'll find ways of supporting relationships between plants and animals such that each nourishes the other's life; you'll even find how human life and human needs can be best met in terms of food through the seasons and a work load that is steady but not overbearing.

In short, you'll find a way of looking at and understanding the world around you that has the possibility both figuratively and literally, to feed you body and soul throughout your life.

It is so very wonderful to find this book back in print!

Soul Calendar and the Lemniscate

Essays and a New Translation

Barbara Betteridge



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Barbara Betteridge devoted much of her life to an exploration of Steiner's Calendar of the Soul in relationship to a lemniscatory understanding of the cycle of the year. It was our privilege to know Barbara during much of this time, and to work with her in small ways as she translated the Soul Calendar into English.

I can't begin to tell how important her resetting of the verses of the Soul Calender as four points on the yearly lemniscate has become to me over the years. From my perspective, it was one of the most eye- and heart-opening revelations of life's journey. Rather than working with polar counterpoint, as in the setting of the Pusch translation, Barbara's perspective reveals each verse (each week of the experienced year) as one of four posts supporting a living aspect of the cycle of the year.

It is with a wonderful thing to see her work in print and to be able to share it with you. May you find what I found here.


Words in Place

Reconnecting with nature through creative writing

Paul Matthews



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Words in Place is a nine-week writing course that follows a path through the realms of nature, from mineral to plants, animal, and people. By exploring the qualities of each, Words in Place encourages the writer to find a unique, authentic voice and to forge a new relationship the inner and outer worlds.

Paul Matthews offers a rich variety of creative techniques and exercises, including "haiku hikes," word and story games, written conversation, collaborative writing, and "tiny tales."

The reader will enjoy this powerful and unusual book both for its help in connecting with nature and for its insights into imagination and the poets and writers who created the literary geography of East Sussex, the author’s home.


  • WEEK ONE: Opening Our Senses to Each Other and the World
  • WEEK TWO: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire
  • WEEK THREE: Turning a New Leaf
  • WEEK FOUR: The Flowering Garden and Our Responses to It
  • WEEK FIVE: The Animal in Nature
  • WEEK SIX: Giving Voice to the Animals
  • WEEK SEVEN: Being Human
  • WEEK EIGHT: The Story We Belong to
  • WEEK NINE: Walking Back the Way We Came

Keeping a Nature Journal

Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You

Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E Roth

Foreword by Edward O Wilson

Softbound, beautifully illustrated in pen and ink drawings and watercolor


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Clare Walker Leslie's work is so invaluable in the field of nature study, for all ages everywhere. We use it in our Roots & Shoots program to help young people sharpen their observation skills and deepen their connection with nature.

- Jane Goodall
Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute

For many years now, both Bob and I have felt strongly that there was a need to offer 6th, 7th and 8th grade students (and high school students, for that matter) more direct contact with living nature than the conventional Waldorf curriculum calls for. In our view, our modern world has become so very separated from the Life of the world, that it has become a pedagogical need to balance that reality with something more.

Keeping a Nature Journal offers a beautiful, lively way to do just this - and to do it in the contexts of Steiner's phenomenological approach to science, drawing & painting, and upper grades composition writing. Whether in a classroom or homeschool setting, this book opens doorways to really seeing our world and in the process, also really seeing ourselves and each other. It is simply a gifted work of art, something anyone who teaches will want to discover for themselves. There is even an entire section devoted to ways of teaching this to both children and adults.

Our hope is that the offering of this book will lead many more adults to travel the seasons with their students, and to share the love for nature that grows from such a journey.

The Secret Language of Form

Visual Meaning in Art and Nature

Van James



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As background information for anyone teaching art, The Secret Language of Form just can't be beat.  The pleasures of discovery that lie within this book are so exhilarating that you may want a cup of soothing herb tea alongside so that you won't interrupt yourself too often by jumping up and singing for happiness.

Van James has explored form as it emerges from nature and finds its way into art and from there into the human soul. His journey into the heart of meaning as we humans find it among the many forms Creation has given us constitutes a tour through an Earthly-Cosmic landscape that is at once always grounded yet never removed from spiritual reality. Hundreds of photos, drawings, and paintings greet you to illustrate each illuminate each of the author's observations; and, to evoke wonder and awe in your own heart. This is a feast of beautiful awakening.

Visit this book again and again, to study closely, to keep at hand for those times when inspiration seems far away, for surely you will find it anew within its pages.


Part One: The Formative Nature of Art

  • Primal Images
  • Archetypal Images
    • Curve and Straight Line: The Alphabet of Form
    • Point and Dot: Origin
    • Circle and Spiral: Wholeness and Eternity
    • Chevron, Zigzag and Lattice: Patterns of Humanity
    • Ladder, Spine and Tree: The Ascent
    • Symmetry: The Lawfulness of Balance
    • Cross and Swastika: Death and Transformation
  • Archetypal Themes in Art<
    • Mandala: Picture of the Universal Self
    • Labyrinth and Maze: Journey to the Center of the Universe
    • Thread and Knot: The World Weaves

Part Two: The Formative Art of Nature

  • The Essential Gesture
  • The Open Secret

Perceiving Plants - Experiencing Elemental Beings

The Influence of Gnomes, Nymphs, Sylphs and Fire Spirits upon the Life of Plants

Dick van Romunde

Translated by James Lee and Jannebeth Röell



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Perceiving Plants was originally written as an introduction to Rudolf Steiner's Man as Symphony of the Creative Word (newly titled in English as Harmony of the Creative Word). From there, van Romunde expanded it and the result is this amazing little book in which the author teaches us how to become sensitive to the nature beings that sustain and effect plant life.

Whether you begin next to a favorite potted plant or out in a beautiful meadow, you'll find van Romunde teaching you things that will forever change the way you look at the natural world -- and will probably forever change your life. For, once we become truly awake to the helpful nature spirits, it is very difficult to go on as though they didn't exist, as if what we did really didn't matter.

Perceiving Plants offers us a uniquely joyous awakening to both the nature spirits and our own responsibility. A lovesong to both plants and the beings who create within them.

The Secrets and Mysteries of the Cherokee Little People

Yuñwt Tsunsdt'

Lynn King Lossiah

Softbound, large format

Beautifully illustrated throughout with soft pencil drawings


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Secrets and Mysteries of the Cherokee Little People is a treasure of traditional Native American stories of elemental beings and angels and their workings with human beings.  The Cherokee have spoken of the Little People as long as time remembered. These nature beings are known as the Yuñwt Tsunsdt'.  This book reveals some of the secrets told among countless stories by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.  These are a few of their stories.

The stories range from delightful tales filled with humor to poignant stories of help and healing.  I believe that anyone familiar with the European experience of Little People will find a joyous universality here, as well as confirmation of the goodness of the human heart.  Some of the beauty of these stories rings so true that it brings tears to my eyes.

In addition to the many beautiful stories recorded here, there is the bonus that this edition features a bilingual interweaving of essential Cherokee words, spelled phonetically for English speaking readers.  As you and your children or students read these stories, you will be introduced to and learn a bit of Cherokee and develop a feeling for the language.

Gracefully told, wonderfully illustrated, ideal for ages 9 and up.  Note that not all the stories are for children, but most are very appropriate.


Sensitive Chaos

The Creation of Flowing Forms in Water and Air

Theodor Schwenk

Preface by Jacques Cousteau


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Sensitive Chaos presents one of the most enthralling, marvelous, even sensuous journeys into life on Earth. The destination? Nothing less than eye-to-eye contact with the conjunction of living creation with the matter of our Earth and beyond. Theodor Schwenk's groundbreaking work stands as vivid testimony to the interconnectedness of all life and to the living heartbeat of the Earth itself. This is a wonderful book - one I have turned to many times over the 20 years since I first found it. Please do give yourself the same opportunity. Beyond outstanding!

Sky Phenomena

A Guide to Naked-eye Observation of the Stars

Norman Davidson


Profusely illustrated


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This is the astronomy course I always wanted to take, but could find! Davidson takes us outside, has us look up at the starry wonder overhead, and then tells us what we are seeing. In the process, he also treats us to myths, legends and history, and even includes a whole chapter of poetry about the stars! Wonderful!


  • The Stars - I
  • The Stars - II
  • The Sun
  • The Moon
  • Eclipses
  • The Planets
  • The Copernican Revolution
  • Comets and Meteors
  • The Southern Hemisphere Sky
  • The Stars in Poetry


  • Astronomical Events
  • Technical Data
  • Astronimcal Symbols
  • Star Maps for Observers at the Equator
  • Useful Materials and Publications
  • Some Famous Individuals in the History of Astronomy
  • Glossary of Astronomical Terms

Secrets of the Talking Jaguar

Memoirs from the Living Heart of a Mayan Village

Martín Prechtel

Foreword by Robert Bly

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I love this book; so much so that after making three attempts at writing my own review of it, I've decided to let Robert Bly speak from his Foreword instead:

"[Prechtel's] father is Swiss, his mother a Native American from Canada, Martín is a half-European, half-Huron baby cooked in some darkness he couldn't have imagined. He settled into the famous Mayan village of Santiago Atitlán from the time he was twenty until he was thirty-three. There he received two initiations, one into the village religious tradition and the other into shamanism.

...Before meeting Martín, I'd never known a representation of such a culture. But I can testify to the integrity, the massive learning, the faithfulness, the lighthearted joy, and the hard-working nature of this representative.

From these metaphors of honey, of Gods crazy about smoke and dancing, we get a scent of the "original flowering earth," that is, the fantastic fragrance that can come into human life when, despite madness and greediness, old women and old men help the young ones to embody beauty and eloquence, and when eight-hundred-year-old rituals of gratitude get a chance to play themselves out. . . . It's a precious thing, this book. I've never known another like it. It's a great encyclopedia of beauty that could so easily have been lost if a tree had fallen differently, if a foot had slipped on a rock, if a canoe had sunk in the storm, if the gunman had aimed a little to the left.

. . . it is a treasure house of language, in service to life."

- Robert Bly

And it is even more than that. I hope you have the good fortune of being able to read Secrets of the Talking Jaguar - every minute of it will love you.