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Everything you need to know to live off the land! This 476-page book is a compendium of treasured knowledge from hundreds of small booklets published as "Country Wisdom Bulletins" in the 1970s. Whether you want to build a stone fence, make strawberry-rhubarb jam or plant an herb garden, this book will show you how.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books and products to readers. For 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Author: ed. Storey Books
5-Gallon Bucket Book contains more than 60 ideas that put these humble and hardworking mainstays to work past their prime and keep them out of landfills. Simple step-by-step instructions, as well as parts lists and images of the completed projects, make sure you will have fun and love the results of your work.
Author: Chris Peterson
Here is the best of backyard building: Popular building authors Jeanie and David Stiles (whose tree house once garnered a spread in Architectural Digest) have gathered dozens of original plans for tree houses, playhouses and sheds, as well as a summer house, tea house, garden arbor and functional workroom.
Backyard Building covers backyard accessories, the fundamentals of tools and materials, and useful tips based on real-life questions from the couple’s popular website. The book’s unique style, with hand-drawn illustrations to guide the reader through the building process in an easy-to-follow fashion, stands out from the crowd. The clear, detailed drawings are not only useful but a pleasure to look at; they are supplemented by irresistible color photographs.
Author: Jeanie & David Stiles
A lighthearted A-to-Z encyclopedia of farm lore, Barnyard Confidential covers everything you need to know about living in the country, from courting to dealing with manure, root picking to rat catching, winter chores to tractor restoration, hay mows to outhouses … anything and everything related to farm life. Entries from well-known country authors like E. B. White, Gwen Petersen, Roger Welsch and Patricia Penton Leimbach range from funny definitions to full stories and are illustrated throughout with a charming mix of fun, nostalgic, black-and-white photos and illustrations. These stories are both humorous and practical and will remind you why you often have a love-hate relationship with rural living. Before you move to the country (or even if you already live there), learn all the secrets to success from Barnyard Confidential.
Featured authors include: Eric Sloane, Roger Welsch, Gwen Petersen, Ben Logan, Jim Heynen, Bob Artley, Marjorie Myers Douglas, Hamlin Garland, E. B. White, Jerry Stelmok, Louis Bromfield, Bob Becker, William Hazlett Upson, Patricia Penton Leimbach, Jerry L. Twedt, Michael Perry, Willa Cather, Jerry Apps, Josh Billings, Michael Dregni, Jared Van Wagenen Jr., Hugh Orchard, Dorothy Canfield, Virginia Bell Dabney, Tom Anderson, Ronald Jager, Margret Aldrich, Bill Vossler, and Gordon Green.
Author: Melinda Keefe
This is a practical and engaging guide to transforming an ordinary backyard into a productive farm.
Homesteading is experiencing a revival among both rural and urban residents who want to get back to basics and live closer to the land. With this book, homeowners will obtain both inspiration and instruction for transforming their grassy yard into a lush farm that can produce all the food they need.
The author is an experienced woodworker and homesteader who shows how to plan and design a backyard farm. He offers expert advice for making all of the essential hard-working structures that are needed to sustain small-scale agriculture.
Step-by-step instructions are provided for 10 projects including green houses, beehives, rabbit hutches, raised beds, potting sheds, trellises, fences, and more. Readers learn how to create an irrigation system, harvest rainwater, and keep their farms environmentally sound. Each detailed plan is accompanied by the author's clear, instructive drawings.
More than just a manual, the book also offers entertaining and enlightening interviews with both experts and “average Joe” farmers. We learn what motivates them to become backyard farmers, the lessons that they have to share, and maybe even a couple of funny stories along the way.
Author: Chris Gleason
In an organic garden, plants in optimum health thrive abundantly, produce harvests with amazing taste, and possess the ability to fight off plant predators. When they don't, there's often something lacking in their proper nutrition. Maybe they are missing beneficial microorganism companions, or perhaps they are short of the energy needed to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The solution is to "start with the soil," but healthy soil doesn't happen just by composting, fertilizing or companion planting alone. The solution can be found in Building Soils Naturally, which gives gardeners a hands-on plan for creating productive, living soil by using a practical, holistic approach - crafted right in your garden.
Author: Phil Nauta
Chicken coops come in all sizes and styles to meet the needs of every chicken family. Start a great DIY project, and build a chicken coop with these how-to drawings and conceptual plans for 45 different designs — from strictly practical to flights of fancy — guaranteed to meet the needs of every chicken owner. A 16-page color section shows detailed photos of many of the featured coops.
Author: Judy Pangman
Expert flower grower Lisa Mason Zeigler introduces us to the long-blooming stars of the spring garden, the hardy annuals – those flowers that thrive when they are planted during cool conditions (instead of waiting until the warmth of spring). Forget “Some Like It Hot,” she advises, and give them a cool start. Plant them in the right spot at the right time, nestle their roots deep into rich organic soil, and stand back. In no time at all, you’ll have a low-maintenance, vibrant spring flower garden that keeps on blooming when other annuals are dead and gone.
Author: Lisa Ziegler
Reminiscent in both spirit and design of the beloved Whole Earth Catalog, Country Wisdom & Know-How is an unprecedented collection of information on nearly 200 individual topics of country and self-sustainable living.
Compiled from the information in Storey Publishing's landmark series of "Country Wisdom Bulletins," this book is the most thorough and reliable volume of its kind.
Organized by general topic (including animals, cooking, crafts, gardening, home, and health and well-being), it is further broken down to cover dozens of specifics (from "Building Chicken Coops" to "Making Cheese, Butter, and Yogurt" to "Improving Your Soil" to "Restoring Hardwood Floors"). Nearly 1,000 black-and-white illustrations and photographs run throughout, and fascinating projects and trusted advice crowd every page.
Author: Editors of Storey Books
Buildings from internationally recognized small living expert Jay Shafer have attracted the attention of CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding and This Old House. Ranging in size from 100 to 120 square feet, these tiny backyard buildings can be used as guest cottages, art or writing studios, home offices, craft workshops, vacation retreats, or full-time residences. This revised edition of Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds and Tiny Houses is filled with photos (including many that weren’t in the original publication) and elevation drawings, as well as door and window schedules for constructing six of the handsome little buildings. You’ll also find an extensive how-to set of instructions that can be applied to any backyard building project.
Author: Jay Shafer
This practical guide covers everything you need to know about the types of electric fencing available, how to choose the type that is right for your needs, how electric fencing works, how to put an electric fencing system together, and even how to use portable electric fencing for rotational grazing. Whether you need to keep livestock in or predators out, you’ll find the information you need in this comprehensive handbook.
Author: Ann Larkin Hansen
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.
Author: Rebecca Thistlethwaite
Fences, Gates, and Bridges, Second Edition, is your practical instruction guide to the best methods of building an incredible variety of fences, gates, and bridges for all regions and weather conditions.
Originally published in 1900, Fences, Gates, and Bridges, Second Edition features a section on fences that boasts an impressive medley of materials and designs, including the zigzag fence, the cheap and portable barbed-wire fence, and a sampling of sod and stone fences.
And what is a fence without a gate? The second segment of this fully illustrated book guides you through the making and setting of posts, as well as the construction and installation of swinging gates, sliding gates, pulley gates, and more.
The final section consists of information on a number of bridges, depicting a wide selection, designed for crossing gullies and culverts, as well as ornamental bridges for gardens and walkways.
Fences, Gates, and Bridges, Second Edition is a functional pocket manual and a testament to American ingenuity for all of your fencing, gating and bridging needs.
Author: George A. Martin
From Erin Benzakein, owner of internationally renowned Floret Flower Farm and a leader in the locaflor farm-to-centerpiece movement, Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden is equal parts instruction and inspiration: a book overflowing with lush photography of magnificent flowers and breathtaking arrangements organized by season. This beautiful guide to growing, harvesting, and arranging gorgeous blooms year-round gives readers vital tools to nurture a stunning flower garden and use their blossoms to create showstopping arrangements. With irresistible photos of Benzakein's flower farm that showcase exquisite blooms, tips for growing in a variety of spaces and climates as well as step-by-step instructions for lavish garlands, airy centerpieces, and romantic floral décor for every season, Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden informs and entices gardeners of all skill levels.
Author: E. Benzakein & J. Chai
The first edition of Gaia's Garden sparked the imagination of America's home gardeners, introducing permaculture's central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant and sustainable gardens. As Toby Hemenway demonstrates, it's satisfying and easy to create a permaculture garden, a complete backyard ecosystem, by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban sustainable permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture details the steps to designing and assembling an ecological garden. Whatever size yard or garden you have to work with, you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive and more beautiful.
About the Author: Toby Hemenway is an adjunct assistant professor at Portland State University. He teaches permaculture and consults and lectures on ecological design throughout the country. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Whole Earth Review, Natural Home and Kitchen Gardener.
Author: Toby Hemenway
Garden Projects gives you a range of plans for useful and ornamental additions to your garden. Each project is fully explained, with detailed step-by-step descriptions and illustrations to guide you through.
Garden Projects suit your needs and abilities, from practical and simple raised garden beds to more ambitious things, like a toolshed. There are more whimsical structures too: a flagpole, a garden swing, and an ornamental wheelbarrow for flower arrangements. Author Roger Marshall has carefully designed projects that don’t require a vast array of tools or advanced woodworking skills. Every gardener will find ideas and plans to enhance his or her garden in this helpful book. Marshall applies his know-how and skillful delivery to a wide range of building projects that might take a weekend afternoon or provide a way to pass the time constructively on those dark winter days when you can’t wait to get back out into the garden.
Author: Roger Marshall
Author: Janit Calvo
Merlin, Gandalf, Voldemort: These well-known sorcerers from popular culture are famed for their amazing spells and spectacular magical powers. In ancient times, however, a wizard was actually a freelance intellectual whose main stock in trade was good advice, supported by a thorough education in agriculture, navigation, political and military science, languages, commerce, mathematics, medicine, and the natural sciences - in essence, the true Renaissance man.
In Green Wizardry, author John Michael Greer proposes a modern mage for uncertain times; one who possesses a startling array of practical skills gleaned from the appropriate tech and organic gardening movements forged in the energy crisis of the 1970s. Covering everything from the basic concepts of ecology to a plethora of practical techniques such as composting, green manure, low-tech food preservation and storage, small-scale chicken and rabbit raising, solar water heating, alternative energy sources, and more, this book acts as a comprehensive manual for today's wizard-in-training.
Providing a solid practical introduction to the entire appropriate tech toolkit, Green Wizardry is a must-read for anyone concerned about decreasing our dependence on an overloaded industrial system and, in a world of serious energy shortages and economic troubles, making life a great deal less traumatic and more livable.
Author: John Michael Greer