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131.

FARMS WITH A FUTURE

Rebecca Thistlethwaite
Paperback

Price: $29.95

As communities seek greater resiliency in the wake of economic upheaval, job loss, climate change and global food shortages, local farmers are seen as a key resource to help reinvigorate (or create) a…

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As communities seek greater resiliency in the wake of economic upheaval, job loss, climate change and global food shortages, local farmers are seen as a key resource to help reinvigorate (or create) a diversified, regionalized, ecologically based food system. Farms with a Future explores the passion, creativity and entrepreneurship that's needed to help family farms find their niche and remain sustainable and successful in an age of agribusiness and consolidation.

What is a farm with a future? What will make it sustainable and resilient? And what key qualities and skills does a farmer need in today's climate to be successful?

Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this must-read book for anyone aspiring to get into small to mid-scale market farming, or who wants to make their existing farm more dynamic, profitable and, above all, sustainable.

A growing interest in locally grown food is evident: In 2008, local food sales (direct to consumers or direct to restaurants/retailers) totaled $4.8 billion dollars, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Those sales were predicted to top $7 billion by the end of 2011.

An experienced farmer herself, Thistlethwaite does not idealize or romanticize her subject in Farms with a Future. "If you are not prepared for some serious hard work, inclement weather, dirt lodged in every crevice of your body, and being so dog-tired that you fall into your easy chair at night and don't wake up until the next morning, then you might look into another vocation," the author warns.

Thistlethwaite and her husband took a one-year sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation's most innovative farmers to learn some of their best practices … and a whole lot about what doesn't work too.

Farms with a Future introduces readers to some of the country's most innovative farmers, who are embracing their "inner entrepreneur": unabashedly marketing and sharing the pride they have for what they produce; building systems and finding efficiencies and cost savings so they don't have to keep raising prices every year; shying away from huge debt loads by developing ways to build their businesses patiently over time, using earned income or creative arrangements with their community of customers; harnessing natural processes to ensure they are not degrading the natural resources the farms depend upon; and treating their employees and volunteers like family.

While many other books address agricultural production, very few talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future will help guide farmers to manage for long-term sustainability and build a triple-bottom-line farming business focused on economic viability, social justice and ecological soundness.


132.

PRESERVING WILD FOODS

Palzel, Weingarten
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Salted sardines with coriander and thyme. Crab apple mostarda. Instant samphire pickles. Speckled tea eggs with star anise and ginger. Dandelion jelly. Pickled chanterelle mushrooms. Blueberry-maple s…

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Salted sardines with coriander and thyme. Crab apple mostarda. Instant samphire pickles. Speckled tea eggs with star anise and ginger. Dandelion jelly. Pickled chanterelle mushrooms. Blueberry-maple spoon fruit. These and dozens of other inspired recipes from chef Matthew Weingarten show you how to preserve—by curing, canning, smoking and pickling—a wide range of wild ingredients foraged from the sea, fields, forests and fresh water. Clear instructions make small-batch preserving techniques easy to learn, from smoking fish to putting up jam, pickling vegetables and curing meat. Whether you forage in the wild or at the farmers market, you’ll delight in making and enjoying these unique preserves.


133.

THE WEEKEND HOMESTEADER

Anna Hess
Paperback

Price: $17.95

The Weekend Homesteader guides readers to self-sufficiency, month by month. Whether it's January or June you'll find exciting, short projects that help you dip your toes into the vast ocean of homeste…

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The Weekend Homesteader guides readers to self-sufficiency, month by month. Whether it's January or June you'll find exciting, short projects that help you dip your toes into the vast ocean of homesteading without getting overwhelmed. If you need to fit homesteading into a few hours each weekend and would like to have fun doing it, these projects will be right up your alley, no matter if you live on a 40-acre farm, own a postage-stamp lawn in suburbia, or call a high-rise home.

You'll learn about backyard chicken care, how to choose the best mushroom and berry species, and why and how to plant a no-till garden that heals the soil while providing nutritious food. Permaculture techniques will turn your homestead into a vibrant ecosystem and attract native pollinators while converting our society's waste into high-quality compost and mulch. Meanwhile, enjoy the fruits of your labor right away as you learn the basics of cooking and eating seasonally, then preserve homegrown produce for later by drying, canning, freezing or simply filling your kitchen cabinets with storage vegetables. As you become more self-sufficient, you'll save seeds, prepare for power outages and tear yourself away from a full-time job, while building a supportive and like-minded community. You won't be completely eliminating your reliance on the grocery store, but you will be plucking low-hanging (and delicious!) fruits out of your own garden by the time all 40-eight projects are complete.


134.

RUBY STAR WRAPPING

Melody Miller, Allison Tannery
Paperback

Price: $19.95

This is the ultimate resource for those who are as creative as they are willing to conserve. Ruby Star Wrapping inspires you to think resourceful, think reusable, think unusual when it comes to gift p…

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This is the ultimate resource for those who are as creative as they are willing to conserve. Ruby Star Wrapping inspires you to think resourceful, think reusable, think unusual when it comes to gift packaging. Raid the pantry for boxes, use old linens for pouches, and make beautiful accessories out of fabric and paper scraps-the projects here illustrate how to create beautiful, reusable packaging from the common materials in your home. With its 30 easy-to-make giftwrap patterns, this book reminds us of the wonderful creative potential inherent in the act of giving a gift. When wrapped with thought, beauty and a little ingenuity, the packaging can be a gift in itself.


135.

GRIT GUIDE TO BACKYARD BEES AND HONEY, 3RD EDITION

GRIT Editors
Paperback

Price: $6.99

Build a honey extractor. Use top-bar hives. Bake with honey. Find your favorite honeybee. Read about all this and more with GRIT's Guide to Backyard Bees and Honey, 3rd Edition. This treasure-trove of…

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Build a honey extractor. Use top-bar hives. Bake with honey. Find your favorite honeybee. Read about all this and more with GRIT's Guide to Backyard Bees and Honey, 3rd Edition. This treasure-trove of bee knowledge has more than 75 ways to get more from your bees. Cover-to-cover, this 100-page guide includes great advice, tips, techniques, instructions, recipes and more to help you get started with beekeeping … or, if you are a seasoned beekeeper, to help you learn new tricks of the trade.

Save money while building your own beehive or honey extractor with simple materials available at your local hardware store. Read how to use a top-bar hive, a less expensive method to raising bees that will pollinate your crops and provide tasty honey fresh from the comb. Honey adds something natural, healthy and sweet to any recipe, whether it's appetizers or main dishes.

More articles include:

  • Top Tips for Happy Bees: Expert advice for novice urban beekeepers.
  • Bee Byproducts: Honey is but one of the items created by ever-industrious honeybees.
  • Go Native with Wild Bees: The humble little orchard mason bee is the best-kept (pollinator) secret.
  • The Case of the Disappearing Honeybees: What is colony collapse disorder, and what can be done?
  • Winterizing Your Bees … Naturally: There may be snow on the ground and ice on the trees, but your bees are a balmy 96 degrees Fahrenheit inside their hive.
  • And more!


136.

THE KNITTING ANSWER BOOK

Margaret Radcliffe
Paperback

Price: $14.95

If you wish your yarn store had a 24-hour hotline, help is here! From needle sizes and yarn weights to dropped stitches, tight ribbing, chart reading and curling edges, veteran knitter Margaret Radcli…

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If you wish your yarn store had a 24-hour hotline, help is here! From needle sizes and yarn weights to dropped stitches, tight ribbing, chart reading and curling edges, veteran knitter Margaret Radcliffe is here to help you solve any knitting mystery you may encounter. Hundreds of detailed illustrations make this the one reference you'll want to keep tucked inside your knitting bag. Twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week, this book is at your service.


137.

CIRCULAR KNITTING WORKSHOP

Margaret Radcliffe
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Discover the pleasures of knitting in the round! Margaret Radcliffe teaches you everything you need to know to master the art of circular knitting, presenting Fair Isle, twined, helix, tubular, double…

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Discover the pleasures of knitting in the round! Margaret Radcliffe teaches you everything you need to know to master the art of circular knitting, presenting Fair Isle, twined, helix, tubular, double knitting and other classic techniques in detailed step-by-step photographic sequences. She includes 35 demonstration projects so you can practice each technique on a mini-version of a sock, hat, bag, mitten, sweater or vest before applying it to a larger project. She also shows you how to convert any straight-needle pattern for use with circular needles. This is a complete course in one book, suitable even for beginners.


138.

KNITTING LOVES CROCHET

Candi Jensen
Paperback

Price: $18.95

Soft, shapely knitting meets pretty, crocheted edgings and flowers in a collection of designs guaranteed to convert the knitting-only crowd to the pleasures of crochet. A little crochet can add a lot …

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Soft, shapely knitting meets pretty, crocheted edgings and flowers in a collection of designs guaranteed to convert the knitting-only crowd to the pleasures of crochet. A little crochet can add a lot of fun to knitted sweaters, scarves, hats, placemats - the possibilities are endless. Simple crocheting instructions get every knitter quickly up to speed with projects that will inspire them to enter the world of crocheted embellishments and trims.


139.

AROUND THE CORNER CROCHET BORDERS

Edie Eckman
Paperback

Price: $16.95

A crochet border is the perfect finishing touch on the edges of any fiber project, but creating one often means turning a corner and shaping the edging around a 90-degree angle. This isn't simple, and…

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A crochet border is the perfect finishing touch on the edges of any fiber project, but creating one often means turning a corner and shaping the edging around a 90-degree angle. This isn't simple, and most edging patterns don't include specific instructions for turning the corner. Edie Eckman comes to the rescue with this collection of 150 colorful crochet frames that do supply these instructions. Color photographs by John Polak let you see the details up close. Easy, marvelous crochet borders are just around the corner!


140.

THE SPINNER'S BOOK OF YARN DESIGNS

Sarah Anderson
Hardcover

Price: $27.50

Discover the fun and satisfaction of spinning your own yarn! This step-by-step guide shows you how to create 80 distinctive yarns, from classics such as mohair boucle to novelty features like supercoi…

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Discover the fun and satisfaction of spinning your own yarn! This step-by-step guide shows you how to create 80 distinctive yarns, from classics such as mohair boucle to novelty features like supercoils. Lush photographs illustrate the process of turning fleece into yarn, reveal the unique architecture of each yarn, and show exactly how to manipulate and combine fibers to get the results you want. With this must-have reference, you can create any yarn you desire.

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