Tag Archives: trees

Stop Two: St. Joe’s Oak

Happy first day of fall everyone! Considering this is one of the most beautiful times of the year due to the progression of tree leaves through many vibrant colors, we decided to make a pit stop on our Journey Through the Bluegrass road trip at one of Kentucky’s most historic trees: St. Joe’s Oak.

St. Joe’s Oak has an undocumented and impressive history in the bluegrass. Today, the tree can be found inside the parking structure at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lexington, KY, but it has presumably been here since before Lexington was even founded. When St. Joe’s was originally built, there was much talk of tearing down the amiable arbor, however, the contractors could just not bring themselves to obstruct such a beautiful and historic site. Now a monument in the center of the St. Joseph’s parking structure, this giant oak still stands proud for all to look upon. If you want to make a pit stop to gaze upon this beauty, you may find it at One Saint Joseph Drive, Lexington, KY 40504.

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A photograph of St. Joe’s Oak in front of the newly build St. Joseph’s Hospital.

If you want to learn more about St. Joe’s Oak and other venerable trees of the bluegrass, check out our recently published book, Venerable Trees: History, Biology, and Conversation in the Bluegrass by Tom Kimmerer. Featuring more than one hundred color photographs, this beautifully illustrated book offers guidelines for conserving ancient trees worldwide while educating readers about their life cycle. Venerable Trees is an informative call to understand the challenges faced by the companions so deeply rooted in the region’s heritage and a passionate plea for their preservation.

And, bonus! We are actually giving away a copy of this book in honor of it being the first day of autumn, so happy fall, y’all! If you want to sign up for our book giveaway, click here! The sign ups will be active until the end of the day on Sunday, September 27, so don’t miss out!

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Come Take a Journey through the Bluegrass with us!

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This week, the crew here at the press is kicking off a series titled “Journey Through the Bluegrass”!! We gave you a taste of bourbon country last week, but there’s so much more to Kentucky than just bourbon, basketball, and barbecues. We’re going to be taking you on a tour through some of the Bluegrass State’s finest locations and moments in history. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the books we’ll be talking about this week:

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KENTUCKY’S LAST GREAT PLACES
Thomas G. Barnes

“This isn’t a memorial to lost places; it’s a call to action, a reminder to readers of what exactly there is to lose if economic development continues to take precedence over the environment in both social and political arenas.”

Back Home in Kentucky

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KENTUCKY’S NATURAL HERITAGE: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO BIODIVERSITY
Greg Abernathy, Deborah White, Ellis L. Laudermilk, and Mark Evans

Richly detailed and lavishly illustrated with more than 250 color photos, maps, and charts, Kentucky’s Natural Heritage is the definitive compendium of the commonwealth’s amazing diversity. It celebrates the natural beauty of some of the most important ecosystems in the nation and presents a compelling case for the necessity of conservation.

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VENERABLE TREES: HISTORY, BIOLOGY, AND COVERVATION IN THE BLUEGRASS
Tom Kimmerer

Featuring more than one hundred color photographs, this beautifully illustrated book offers guidelines for conserving ancient trees worldwide while educating readers about their life cycle. Venerable Trees is an informative call to understand the challenges faced by the companions so deeply rooted in the region’s heritage and a passionate plea for their preservation.

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One last thing! We’ve compiled the perfect playlist to accompany you on your trip this week! The playlist has been left open to the public, so if you feel like there is something missing, please add it! We would love to see what you guys are listening to on this awesome adventure!

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If you want to add something to the playlist, click here!

Celebrate Earth Day and the Culture of the Land

Springtime is here, and that brings Earth Day- one of our favorite holidays around the office! Whether you celebrate by planting a tree or garden, taking a walk, turning out the lights for an hour or two, or just recommitting yourself to doing all the little things you can to help preserve our planet’s ecosystems, The University Press of Kentucky has some great books that can inspire your Earth-love.

The following books come from our Culture of the Land series, edited by Norman Wirzba, and is devoted to the exploration and articulation of a new agrarianism that considers the health of habitats and human communities together. Far from being a naive call to return to the land, the books show how agrarian insights and responsibilities can be worked out in diverse fields of learning and living: history, politics, economics, literature, philosophy, urban planning, education, and public policy. Agrarianism is a comprehensive worldview that, unlike other forms of environmentalism that often presuppose an antagonistic relationship between wilderness and civilization, appreciates the intimate and practical connections that exist between humans and the earth.

A full listing of the titles in the Culture of the Land series can be found here.

Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher documents Kirschenmann’s evolution and his lifelong contributions to the new agrarianism in a collection of his greatest writings on farming, philosophy, and sustainability.

“Fred Kirschenmann may not be as well known as Wendell Berry or Wes Jackson, America’s other indispensable farmer-philosophers, but the publication of this superb collection of essays should fix that. These essays make clear to all what some of us have long known: that Fred is one of the wisest, sanest, most practical, and most trusted voices in the movement to reform the American food system.”–Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

In From the Farm to the Table, over forty farm families from America’s heartland detail the practices and values that relate to their land, work, and communities. Their stories reveal that those who make their living in agriculture–despite stereotypes of provincialism perpetuated by the media–are savvy to the influence of world politics on local issues.

“Rural America is not somehow ‘behind us,’ a part of a past that is no longer central to our lives. For all of us, Holthaus shows, the thinking of rural people is relevant to the well-being of the nation and far more complex than we have realized. This book provides fresh insight into what is going on in the rural countryside and what farmers themselves have thought about those changes.” –Donald Worster, author of Nature’s Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas

Coming in Fall 2011:

The costs of industrial agriculture are astonishing in terms of damage to the environment, human health, animal suffering, and social equity, and the situation demands that we expand our ecological imagination to meet this crisis. In response to growing dissatisfaction with the existing food system, farmers and consumers are creating alternate models of production and consumption that are both sustainable and equitable. Growing Stories from India demonstrates that conventional agribusiness is only one of many options and engages the work of modern agrarian luminaries to explore how alternative agricultural methods can be implemented.

“This book is highly significant for its stunning cross-cultural leaps that work. Sanford’s call to environmentalists to turn their minds from wilderness to agriculture is of enduring significance.”—Ann Grodzins Gold, author of In the Time of Trees and Sorrows: Nature, Power, and Memory in Rajasthan