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Learn how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non-timber products.
The practices of forestry and farming are often seen as mutually exclusive, because in the modern world, agriculture involves open fields, straight rows, and machinery to grow crops, while forests are reserved primarily for timber and firewood harvesting.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be an either-or scenario, but a complementary one; forest farms can be most productive in places where the plow is not: on steep slopes and in shallow soils. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
Many of the daily indulgences we take for granted (such as coffee, chocolate, and many tropical fruits) all originate in forest ecosystems. But few know that such abundance is also available in the cool temperate forests of North America.
Farming the Woods covers in detail how to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value non-timber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, ornamentals, and more. Along with profiles of forest farmers from around the country, readers are also provided comprehensive information on:
Farming the Woods is an essential book for farmers and gardeners who have access to an established woodland, are looking for productive ways to manage it, and are interested in incorporating aspects of agroforestry, permaculture, forest gardening, and sustainable woodlot management into the concept of a whole-farm organism.
Author: K. Mudge and S. Gabriel
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
America's average farmer is 60 years old. When young people can't get in, old people can't get out. Approaching a watershed moment, our culture desperately needs a generational transfer of millions of farm acres facing abandonment, development or amalgamation into ever-larger holdings. Based on his decades of experience with interns and multigenerational partnerships at Polyface Farm, farmer and author Joel Salatin digs deep into the problems and solutions surrounding this land- and knowledge-transfer crisis. Fields of Farmers empowers aspiring young farmers, midlife farmers and nonfarming landlords to build regenerative, profitable agricultural enterprises.
Author: Joel Salatin
This practical guide contains all of the information you need to have before purchasing farmland, covering everything from the characteristics of the land and the surrounding area to government regulations, land use considerations, and financing. Checklists and questionnaires are included to help you decide exactly what you need and how to find it.
Author: Ann Larkin Hansen
From farmer Joel Salatin's point of view, life in the 21st century just ain't normal. In Folks, This Ain't Normal, he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impact.
Salatin, hailed by the New York Times as "Virginia's most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture" and profiled in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Food, Inc. and the best-selling book The Omnivore's Dilemma, understands what food should be: wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life. And his message doesn't stop there. From child-rearing, to creating quality family time, to respecting the environment, Salatin writes with a wicked sense of humor and true storyteller's knack for the revealing anecdote.
Salatin's crucial message and distinctive voice – practical, provocative, scientific, and down-home philosophical in equal measure – make Folks, This Ain't Normal a must-read book.
Author: Joel Salatin
This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress and economic instability?
The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals. Soil scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet's soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible?
Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long-term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy.
Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low-tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food.
In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil, we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.
Author: Courtney White
Interest in local, sustainable food is at an all-time high. Devotees of farmers market and community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, backyard homesteaders, and community gardeners all want to know more (much more) about how our food is raised. Now, seventh-generation farmer and author Forrest Pritchard introduces us to 18 heroes of the sustainable food movement.
Author: Forrest Pritchard
Hempstone Heritage I explores the fascinating story of the thriving hemp industry of early Pennsylvania. The book's subtitle offers a succinct summation: "All the Heckled Hemp She Can Spin - A Study of the Early American Homespun Hemp Industry as Revealed by the Wills of Old Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: 1729-1845."
The first book in the Hempstone Heritage Series, this work reveals the untold tale of the hempfields of Pennsylvania. Hemp was a vital necessity for our ancestors. They used it for everything from course cloth to fine linen and everything in between. The Conestoga wagons were covered in hemp canvas, and hemp was used for grain bags, rugs, curtains, tablecloths, napkins, handkerchiefs, towels, pillowcases, sheets, and tough, durable work clothes. Between 1729 and1845, Pennsylvania's Lancaster County alone contained more than 100 water-powered hemp mills, and dozens more were located in York County. The author reveals this and much more in this detailed account. It's a story that is changing the way historians have viewed our history and opening the eyes of many.
In a race to save Lancaster County's prime farmland and unique culture before this beautiful but endangered land is paved over forever, Hempstone Heritage donates one dollar for every book sold to the Lancaster Farmland Trust.
Author: Les Stark
Our food system is dominated by industrial agriculture, and has become economically and environmentally unsustainable. The incidence of diet-related diseases including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart disease has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. Whether you have 40 acres and a mule or a condo with a balcony, you can do more than you think to safeguard your health, your money and the planet.
Homegrown and Handmade shows how making things from scratch and growing at least some of your own food can help you eliminate artificial ingredients from your diet, reduce your carbon footprint and create a more authentic life. Whether your goal is increasing your self-reliance or becoming a full-fledged homesteader, it’s packed with answers and solutions to help you:
This comprehensive guide to food and fiber from scratch proves that attitude and knowledge is more important than acreage. Written from the perspective of a successful, self-taught modern homesteader, this well-illustrated, practical and accessible manual will appeal to anyone who dreams of a simpler life.
Author: Deborah Niemann
Grain harvesting can be done in small spaces. With Homegrown Whole Grains, you'll learn how to grow, harvest and cook nine nutritious whole grains. From wheat and rice to heirloom grains, this book covers everything you need for a successful grain harvest.
All you need to start grain harvesting is to convert part of your yard into a field of grain. After the harvest you can enjoy nutritious whole grains, using them whole in delicious recipes or milling them into flour for artisan breads and other baked goods. Barley, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and oats are among the grains you’ll learn to take from yard to plate.
Author Sara Pitzer started this book 30 years ago, when she wrote Wholegrains for the original folks of the back-to-the-land movement. Today, she writes about grain harvesting with a different attitude, one that helps modern homesteaders grow their own food at a smaller, more manageable scale.
For the gardener who is eager to grow more than a variety of vegetables, this grain harvesting book will become a dear resource. Each of the nine grains featured in Homegrown Whole Grains has a different flavor and use. By harvesting them at home, you'll be able to make such varied foods as whole grain pasta, as well as add variety to homegrown food.
About the Author: Sara Pitzer has learned and written about grains in Pennsylvania's Amish country, California, the American Southeast, Thailand and Peru. She is the author of more than a dozen cookbooks and travel guides.
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 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: Sara Pitzer
How to Build Chicken Coops provides complete, thorough and easy-to-follow instructions on building a coop. It provides answers, so chicken owners don't have to waste time searching online for advice.
If you are involved in the FFA, interested in starting an urban or suburban hobby farm at home, or just curious about country living or the urban farming lifestyle, raising chickens is a great way to get started without a substantial investment of time or money. Building your own coop allows you to customize it to meet your needs … and it will save you money too!
How to Build Chicken Coops is not just a collection of plans, but a compendium of background and insider information for chicken owners. How much space will you need? What is dust bathing? How many nest boxes and windows will your coop need? How much will it cost? What steps do you need to take to keep your chickens safe from predators? Find the answer to these and many more questions in How to Build Chicken Coops.
Author: Samantha Johnson
Discover how humanely handling your livestock can improve the day-to-day operation and profitability of your farm. Stressing the importance of understanding livestock behavior, Temple Grandin shows you how to develop a respectful working relationship with your animals to promote their health and productivity. With detailed construction plans for animal-friendly facilities of all sizes and dozens of low-stress methods for moving your livestock on pastures, padlocks, and feedlot pens, this guide has everything you need to know to create a comfortable atmosphere for thriving, happy livestock.
Author: TEMPLE GRANDIN
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