Prepare to live sustainably with our homesteading books. From raising animals to survival skills, learn how to live more conscientiously.

  • FARMS WITH A FUTURE

    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.

    Item: 6417
  • FIELDS OF FARMERS

    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.

    Item: 6831
  • FINDING GOOD FARMLAND

    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.

    Item: 6685
  • FOLKS, THIS 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.

    Item: 5743
  • FOOD STORAGE FOR SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND SURVIVAL

    With all the uncertainty in the world today, there is peace in preparing. In an emergency, you don't want to depend on a grocery store or government agency to feed your family. Storing food assures your family's self-sufficiency year-round and benefits your budget when you plan correctly.

    Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival is an in-depth, nuts-and-bolts guide to storing food that teaches you a variety of food storage methods you can customize to meet your family's unique circumstances, including family size, tastes, ages, health concerns, income and living conditions. This is not a generic manual on stocking dehydrated meals that have 10-year shelf lives. It's the guide to storing foods your family loves so you can eat well no matter what challenges life throws at you.

    Inside you'll find:

    • Food storage options for 72-hour emergency kits, short-term emergencies and long-term survival
    • Food storage planning methods that incorporate the foods and meals your family loves
    • Tips for how to maintain balance and variety in your food storage
    • Budget-friendly ways to purchase food for storage
    • Easy and practical ideas for cooking with food in storage so nothing expires or goes to waste
    • Organizational and storage methods for easy food store maintenance.
    • Water storage and purification methods
    • Canning, freezing and dehydrating methods to preserve food you produce at home

    Storing food gives you the freedom to stretch your income in tight-budget months, pack quick meals for short-notice trips, and create healthy meals without constantly going to the grocery store. Plus your stored food is available if you do experience an emergency power outage, natural disaster, long-term illness or job loss. Let this guide help you start building your self-sufficiency and food storage today.

    Item: 7256
  • FRUITFUL LABOR

    p>As the average age of America’s farmers continues to rise, we face serious questions about what farming will look like in the near future, and who will be growing our food. Many younger people are interested in going into agriculture, especially organic farming, but cannot find affordable land, or lack the conceptual framework and practical information they need to succeed in a job that can be both difficult and deeply fulfilling.

    In Fruitful Labor, Mike Madison meticulously describes the ecology of his own small family farm in the Sacramento Valley of California. He covers issues of crop ecology such as soil fertility, irrigation needs, and species interactions, as well as the broader agroecological issues of the social, economic, regulatory, and technological environments in which the farm operates. The final section includes an extensive analysis of sustainability on every level.

    Item: 8950
  • GET YOUR PITCHFORK ON! THE REAL DIRT ON COUNTRY LIVING

    For hard-working urban professionals Kristy Athens and her husband, Michael, living in the country was a romantic dream. After purchasing 7 acres in Washington's beautiful Columbia River Gorge, Athens and her husband were surprised to learn just how challenging rural life could be.

    Get Your Pitchfork On! provides the hard-learned nuts-and-bolts of rural living, from city folk who were in over their heads. Practical and often hilarious.

    Get Your Pitchfork On! gives urbanites the practical tools they need to realize their own dreams of getting away from it all, with the basics of home, farm and hearth. The book enters territory that others avoid-straightforward advice about the social aspects of country living, from health care to schools to small-town politics. Athens doesn't shy away from controversial subjects, such as owning firearms and hiring migrant workers.

    Kristy Athens' nonfiction and short fiction have been published in a number of magazines, newspapers and literary journals, most recently Jackson Hole Review, High Desert Journal, Barely South Review and the anthology Mamas and Papas. Athens currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works for Oregon Humanities and is also an artist and novice fiddle player. She and her husband are plotting their next attempt at rural living.

    Item: 6621
  • GOING OFF THE GRID

    Discover how to get off the consumer treadmill and enjoy a simpler lifestyle. Gary Collins documents his firsthand experience in this comprehensive guide on how to find property and build a self-sustaining home to achieve happiness through simplicity. Included are tips for how to deal with general contractors and a review of common types of off-the-grid home construction (standard, straw bale, logs, and green cinder block) that highlights energy efficiency and insulation. All the basics are thoroughly covered, such as well water, septic and sewage disposal, and off-the-grid energy options (solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal). Factored in are contemporary concerns, including access to internet and cell phone service and the importance of an effective security system. Chapter summaries drive home key points for success, and a list of resources directs readers to key information.

    Item: 8646
  • GOOD BERRY BAD BERRY

    Good Berry Bad Berry is the authoritative one-stop guide to the beautiful world of wild berries, with clear descriptions and full color photographs of 40 of the most noteworthy and widely available berries in North America (as well as a separate listing of berries found only in certain regions).

    Item: 7908
  • GRASS, SOIL, HOPE: A JOURNEY THROUGH CARBON COUNTRY

    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.

    Item: 7054
  • GRIT BACKYARD ANIMALS PACKAGE

    Get all the animal know-how, big or small, with our Backyard Animals Package from Grit! Whether you're thinking about keeping chickens in your backyard, breeding rabbits in a colony, or raising barnyard animals, this package has you covered. Our limited-time package includes three specially curated issues from Grit, including Guide to Barnyard Animals, Guide to Chickens, and Guide to Backyard Rabbits, 6th Edition.

    Item: 9230
  • GRIT GUIDE TO GUNS, KNIVES AND MORE, 1ST EDITION

    Get all your hunting know-how with the Grit Guide to Guns, Knives, and More! This 96-page special edition guide contains the best knowledge and tips for hunting, fishing, and protecting your home. Learn about home gunsmithing, bow hunting, proper shot placement, arming your homestead, field dressing and skinning big game, and more. Make your own knives, hunt safely and humanely, and create amazing recipes from your bounty, all with the Grit Guide to Guns, Knives, and More.

    Item: 8418
  • GROWING TOMORROW

    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.

    Item: 7689
  • HANDY FARM DEVICES AND HOW TO MAKE THEM

    A wealth of labor- and money-saving projects fills this century-old guide to low-tech property maintenance along with easy-to-follow instructions and practical illustrations.

    Item: 9134
  • HOMEGROWN & HANDMADE - 2ND EDITION

    Food recalls, dubious health claims, scary and shocking ingredients in health and beauty products. Our increasingly industrialized supply system is becoming more difficult to navigate, more frightening, and more frustrating, leaving us feeling stuck choosing in many cases between the lesser of several evils. Author Deborah Niemann offers healthier, more empowering choices, by showing us how to reclaim links in our food and purchasing chains, to make choices that are healthier for our families, ourselves, and our planet. In this fully updated and revised edition of Homegrown and Handmade, Deborah shows how making things from scratch and growing 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 rediscover traditional skills, take control of your food from seed to plate, and much more. 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 more empowered life. Deborah Niemann presents and teaches extensively on topics ranging from soapmaking to livestock care. She and her family raise livestock for meat, eggs and dairy products, while an organic garden and orchard provide fruit and vegetables. Deborah is also the author of Raising Goats Naturally.

    Item: 8443
  • HONEY BEE HOBBYIST

    Beekeeping isn't just for the professional farmer-bees can be kept in any situation, from the simple backyard patio and garden to large expanses of farmland. A comprehensive and attractive beekeeping guide from Hobby Farm Press (the same folks who bring you Hobby Farms and Hobby Farm Home magazines), Honey Bee Hobbyist takes readers from finding their bees, housing them, collecting honey and using their produce for pleasure and possible profit. This colorful book includes entertaining chapters on the history of bees and beekeeping, and serves as an extensive introduction to help novice beekeepers fully understand this exciting hobby!

    Item: 6983
  • HOW TO BUILD DRY-STACKED STONE WALLS

    How to Build Dry-Stacked Stone Walls shows how to build a wall using the traditional method of dry stone masonry. Shaw-Rimmington then guides the reader through the building process. With dedication to the task and the author's experienced guidance, the only limit is imagination.

    Item: 8069
  • HUMANE CRITTER CONTROL

    It takes a lot of work and a fair amount of money to grow a garden, and a top fear of every gardener is having their investment wiped out by deer, rabbits, and insect invaders. The Guide to Humane Critter Control is filled with clever ways to be proactive and stop pests from feasting on the bounty you've been working on all season.

    Item: 9380
  • HUMANE LIVESTOCK HANDLING

    Learn how to improve the day-to-day operation as well as the profitability of your farm by raising healthier, more contented animals. Temple Grandin, North America's most influential advocate of humane livestock treatment, shares dozens of methods and detailed plans she has developed for low-stress ways to move livestock on pastures, paddlocks and feedlot pens.

    Item: 4633
  • INDUSTRIAL EVOLUTION

    For many people, the word “industry” brings to mind images of sprawling factories belching toxic emissions in a blighted natural landscape. “Industrial” has become synonymous with pollution, human rights abuse, and corporate greed. In Industrial Evolution, Lyle Estill seeks to reclaim the term, with its original connotations of hard work, diligence and productivity, and to show how community-scale enterprise can create a vibrant, sustainable local economy. Industrial Evolution is a story of survival. It is about how the small group of committed entrepreneurs introduced in Small is Possible managed to keep their dream alive and thriving through the economic recession, emerging with a model of what a sustainable local economy might look like in a post carbon future. Compulsively readable and seasoned with light humor, this grassroots account demonstrates that ecological stewardship and enterprise at an appropriate scale can lay the foundation for abundance.

    Industrial Evolution skips the doom and gloom and is all about solutions. By showing that it is possible to take the big out of industry, this book motivates people to work together in a meaningful way. Filled with inspirational tales of success, failure, perseverance, and real world experiences that anyone can relate to, Industrial Evolution is a must-read for activists, organizers, politicians, and anyone who cares about resilient communities.

    Item: 5296

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