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If your sweet corn is tall, your brood of chickens is beautiful, and your half-dozen goats give delicious milk, then you know firsthand the rewards of running a small farm. But what if you could turn that do-it-yourself hobby into a long-term source of regular income? Nurturing a healthy harvest is only half the battle. What you really need to know is how to create a successful and sustainable business.
In The Farm to Market Handbook, veteran dairy-goat farmer Janet Hurst combines her deep knowledge of farming life and farmers markets with her hard-won experience turning farm products into a living wage. From community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs) and weekly markets to school programs and local chefs, Hurst guides you through every type of market available to small farmers. She explains how you can develop a realistic marketing plan, provides a breakdown of the food laws and regulations you'll need to be aware of, and offers insider tips on how to be a successful businessperson.
Through enlightening interviews with producers around the country who speak of their successes (and their failures), this book looks at the nation's top markets and analyzes why they have thrived where others have not. So if you've ever wondered how to start selling your produce, entertained the idea of raising meat goats, or wanted to spread the word about your homegrown honey, you should read The Farm to Market Handbook and figure out how to put money in your pockets.
Author: Janet Hurst
You decided to become a farmer because you love being outside, working the land and making a difference in the way we eat and farm.
And when you decided to become a farmer, you also became an entrepreneur and business person. In order to be ecologically and financially sustainable, you must understand the basics of accounting and bookkeeping, and learn how to manage a growing business.
Author Julia Shanks distills years of teaching and business consulting with farmers into this comprehensive, accessible guide. She covers all aspects of launching, running, and growing a successful farm business through effective bookkeeping and business management. She provides tools to make managerial decisions, apply for a loan or other financing, and offers general business and strategy advice for growing a business.
Whether you've been farming for many years or are just getting started, The Farmer's Office gives you the tools needed to think like an entrepreneur and thoughtfully manage your business for success.
Author: Julia Shanks
Author: Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius
Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture management. witty and welcoming style, The Independent Farmstead covers everything from choosing a species of ruminant and incorporating it into a grass-based system to innovative electric fencing and watering systems.Best of all, it’s the kind of rare how-to book that the authors themselves view not as a compendium of one-size-fits-all instructions but as “the beginning of a conversation,” one that is utterly informative, sincere, and inspiring.
Author: Shawn & Beth Dougherty
To many people today, using the words “factory” and “farm” in the same sentence is nothing short of sacrilege. In many cases, though, the same sound business practices apply whether you are producing cars or carrots. Author Ben Hartman and other young farmers are increasingly finding that incorporating the best new ideas from business into their farming can drastically cut their wastes and increase their profits, making their farms more environmentally and economically sustainable. By explaining the lean system for identifying and eliminating waste and introducing efficiency in every aspect of the farm operation, The Lean Farm makes the case that small-scale farming can be an attractive career option for young people who are interested in growing food for their community. Working smarter, not harder, also prevents the kind of burnout that startup farmers often encounter in the face of long, hard, backbreaking labor.
Lean principles grew out of the Japanese automotive industry, but they are now being followed on progressive farms around the world. Using examples from his own family’s 1-acre community-supported farm in Indiana, Hartman clearly instructs other small farmers in how to incorporate lean practices in each step of their production chain, from starting a farm and harvesting crops to training employees and selling goods. While the intended audience for this book is small-scale farmers who are part of the growing local food movement, Hartman’s prescriptions for high-value, low-cost production apply to farms and businesses of almost any size or scale that hope to harness the power of lean in their production processes.
Author: Ben Hartman
Best-selling author Brett Markham's new handbook gives us the mini farming basics along with in-depth tips on vegetable gardening, fermenting, composting and self-sufficiency in a handy new format and design. It includes:
With the full-color photographs that made the original Mini Farming so popular, as well as step-by-step drawings, projects, graphs and tables, you'll have everything you need for your new or established mini farm at your fingertips. So dive in and learn how to begin and cultivate your own mini farm on less than a quarter acre.
Author: Brett Markham
In an era when fuel is a primary concern, draft horses are seen by many as the solution to small-scale, resilient farming with a closed-loop system. Horses bring farmers back to the roots of what it means to work the land and presents a viable model for a small farm that lasts, while offering enjoyment for the whole family. This is the first book of its kind, offering wisdom and techniques for using horse power on the small farm or homestead, from longtime horse farmer Stephen Leslie.
The New Horse-Powered Farm sets the stage for incorporating draft power on the farm by presenting tips on getting started with horses, care of the work horse, different horse-training systems, and the merits of different draft breeds. The novice teamster is introduced to the basic tools of horse-drawn tillage and cultivation used for profitable horse-powered farming, with a spotlight on whole-farm management, as well as information on haying with horses, raising small grains, managing the woodlot, farm education, agritourism, and more.
Incorporated throughout are profiles of more than a half-dozen farms that epitomize some exciting new trends in agriculture and highlight the new and old horse-drawn equipment used for profitable market gardening, including contributions directly from the farmers about what works and what doesn't. The novice teamster is introduced to the specifics of horse-drawn tillage and cultivation of the market garden, and using horses in the woodland. Recent studies on the economics of horse-powered market gardening and a comparison between horse-, human- and tractor-powered systems have been included to help round out the picture. The resources section lists contact info for teamster schools, books, draft-animal publications, annual events, equipment manufacturers, parts and repairs, and more. A must-have for any farmer, homesteader, or teamster seeking to work with draft power in a closed-loop farming system.
Author: Stephen Leslie
How can anyone, from a backyard hobbyist to a large-scale rancher, go about raising and selling ethically produced meats directly to consumers, restaurants and butcher shops? With the rising consumer interest in grass-fed, pasture-raised and antibiotic-free meats, how can farmers most effectively tap into those markets and become more profitable? The regulations and logistics can be daunting enough to turn away most would-be livestock farmers, and finding and keeping their customers challenges the rest.
Farmer, consultant and author Rebecca Thistlethwaite (Farms with a Future) and her husband and co-author, Jim Dunlop, both have extensive experience raising a variety of pastured livestock in California and now on their homestead farm in Oregon. The New Livestock Farmer provides pasture-based production essentials for a wide range of animals, from common farm animals (cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep and goats) to more exotic species (bison, rabbits, elk and deer).
Each species chapter discusses the unique requirements of that animal, then delves into the steps it takes to prepare and get them to market. Profiles of more than 15 meat producers highlight some of the creative ways these innovative farmers are raising animals and direct-marketing superior-quality meats.
In addition, the book contains information on a variety of vital topics:
Author: R. Thistlethwaite, J. Dunlop
Coleman updates practical information on marketing the harvest, on small-scale equipment, and on farming and gardening for the long-term health of the soil. Written for a serious gardener or small market farmer, The New Organic Grower proves that, in terms of both efficiency and profitability, smaller can be better. As seen in High Mowing Organic Seeds catalog.
Author: Eliot Coleman
Whether you're just starting out or transitioning from traditional farming techniques, Ann Larkin Hansen's The Organic Farming Manual has everything you need to know about growing and marketing organic produce, grains, meat and dairy. Includes detailed information on how to obtain organic certification.
Author: Ann Larkin Hansen
Both a business guide and a farming manual, The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer will teach readers how to successfully grow and market organic medicinal herbs.
Whether you’re trying to farm medicinal plants, culinary herbs, or at-risk native herbs exclusively or simply add herbal crops to what you’re already growing, successful small-scale herb farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter will guide you through the entire process—from cultivation to creating value-added products.
Using their Zack Woods Herb Farm in Vermont as a backdrop, the Carpenters cover all the basic practical information farmers need to know to get an organic herb farm up and running, including:
Author: Jeff & Melanie Carpenter
The urban landscape has swallowed vast swaths of prime farmland across North America. Imagine how much more self-reliant our communities would be if 30 million acres of lawns were made productive again. Permaculture is a practical way to apply ecological design principles to food, housing, and energy systems; making growing fruits, vegetables and livestock easier and more sustainable.
The Permaculture Handbook is a step-by-step, beautifully illustrated guide to creating resilient and prosperous households and neighborhoods, complemented by extensive case studies of three successful farmsteads and market gardens. This comprehensive manual casts garden farming as both an economic opportunity and a strategy for living well with less money. It shows how, by mimicking the intelligence of nature and applying appropriate technologies such as solar and environmental design, permaculture can:
Author: Peter Bane
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