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
If you've ever thought about pursuing a self-sufficient lifestyle on your own rural homestead or survival retreat but feared you didn't have the money or skills to do it, you simply must read this book. It’s a gold mine of practical steps and instructions to take you from dreaming about an off-grid, independent lifestyle to living one!
There are hundreds of things to think about before planning and starting your new life, and this book will save you valuable time and money by steering you down productive paths and making you carefully consider others. Just some of the areas it covers include:
Author: Steven D. Gregerson
The sprawl of suburbia, destruction of wildlife areas, overregulation of game animals, and reduced popularity of hunting and fishing have resulted in more people coming into direct contact with wild animals on a regular basis. In this invaluable do-it-yourself guide, veteran outdoorsman Larry Grupp gives readers a comprehensive toolbox of specific devices and strategies to deal safely, legally and effectively with more than 30 common North American pests, including deer, bears, raccoons, rabbits, beavers, porcupines, skunks, foxes, coyotes, rats, squirrels, bats, birds, fish and reptiles. Understanding these critters and how to best control them is the basis of this information-packed manual. You will learn when to be cautious, when to be accommodating and when and how to take direct action if the animals must be eradicated. The primary tools for dealing with unwanted creatures are fences, repellants, fumigators and traps. Grupp examines each solution and tells the reader how to most effectively and economically use them. He also provides a helpful table for using specific baits and lures to trap various varmints. City and country dwellers alike will find the answers they need to rid their homes and properties of destructive wildlife once and for all.
Author: Larry Grupp
"What's for dinner?" It's the one question always on your dog's mind, and with Dinner for Dogs, you'll feel good about what you feed your canine friend. Cooking for dogs not only keeps them fit and cheery, but also allows you to cover their nutritional needs and save on vet bills in the long run.
A dog food expert and a passionate believer that we should feed our dogs the same quality food as we feed ourselves, Henrietta Morrison serves up 50 tasty, nutritious and easy-to-make recipes, all developed with the help of a vet and nutritionist. With tips throughout on cooking recipes in batches to save time, maximizing pantry ingredients, and more, Dinner for Dogs will prepare you to whip up weeknight dinners and special feasts for dogs of all ages, from puppy to old hound. Here you'll find:
Author: Henrietta Morrison
Featuring 30 designs by leading designer-makers from around the world, DIY Furniture shows you how to use simple techniques to make stunning designer furniture from scratch. Using the step-by-step guides, you can easily assemble all the projects from common materials that can be found at the local hardware store. Along with designs for seating and storage, the book also features projects for making your own bed, wardrobe, lighting and garden furniture. Each project features hand-drawn diagrams with short, easy-to-follow instructions on how to build the piece. Whether building from scratch or customizing existing designs, you can create unique designer pieces at a fraction of the normal cost with DIY Furniture. Brief biographies of all the featured designers are included at the end of the book.
Author: Christopher Stuart
Preparedness must begin from the inside out. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can often determine whether or not you can physically endure catastrophic circumstances. Poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to health issues, and the simplest toothache can transform into an abscess that poisons the blood. You never know what small step you could have taken that would have helped you bounce back from an injury or could have reduced your risk of falling ill, so it is important to start preparing for the worst by treating your body the best you can. When you never know what’s going to happen, this book will give you the resources to plan ahead, assess your situation, find a solution, and help you keep going.
Author: Jeff Garrett
Packed with valuable, firsthand information from visionaries in the field, Earth Repair empowers communities and individuals to take action and heal contaminated and damaged land. Encompassing everything from remediating and regenerating abandoned city lots for urban farmers and gardeners, to recovering from environmental disasters and industrial catastrophes such as oil spills and nuclear fallout, this fertile toolbox is essential reading for anyone who wishes to transform environmental despair into constructive action.
Author: Leila Darwish
Long before sunflower seeds became a popular snack food, they were a foodstuff valued by Native Americans. For some 10,000 years, from the end of the Pleistocene to the 1800s, the indigenous peoples of the plains regarded edible native plants, like the sunflower, as an important source of food. Not only did plants provide sustenance during times of scarcity, they also added variety to what otherwise would have been a monotonous diet of game. Nevertheless, the use of native plants as food sharply declined when white men settled the Great Plains and imposed their own culture, with its differing notions of what was fit to eat. Those notions tended to exclude from the accepted diet such plants as soapweed, lambsquarter, ground cherry, prairie turnip and prickly pear. Today it is strange to think of eating chokecherries, which were a key ingredient in that staple of the Indian diet, pemmican.
Based on plant lore documented by historical and archaeological evidence, Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie relates how 122 plant species were once used as food by the native and immigrant residents on the prairie. Written for a broad audience of amateur naturalists, botanists, ethnologists, anthropologists and agronomists, this guide is intended to educate the reader about wild plants as food sources, to synthesize information on the potential use of native flora as new food crops, and to encourage the conservation and cultivation of prairie plants.
By writing about the edible flora of the American prairie, Kelly Kindscher has provided us with the first edible plant book devoted to the region that Walt Whitman called "North America's characteristic landscape" and that Willa Cather called "the floor of the sky." In describing how plants were used for food, he has drawn upon information concerning tribes that inhabited the prairie bioregion. As a consequence, his book serves as a handy compendium for readers seeking to learn more about historical uses of plants by Native Americans.
The book is organized into 51 chapters arranged alphabetically by scientific name. For those who are interested in finding and identifying the plants, the book provides line drawings, distribution maps, and botanical and habitat descriptions. The ethnobotanical accounts of food use form the major portion of the text, but the reader will also find information on the parts of the plants used, harvesting, propagation (for home gardeners), and the preparation and taste of wild food plants.
Author: Kelly Kindscher
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
Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges are prepared for everything from power failures and terrorist attacks to droughts and earthquakes. They'll show you the path to self-reliance, with strategies for coping with disasters as well as making the most of everyday life.
Author: C. Nyerges, D. Lynn Nyerges
What's the difference between a weanling and a yearling, or a farrow and a barrow? Country and city mice alike will delight in Julia Rothman's charming illustrated guide to the curious parts and pieces of rural living. Dissecting everything from tractors and pigs to fences, hay bales, crop rotation patterns, and farm tools, Rothman gives a richly entertaining tour of the quirky details of country life. From the shapes of squash varieties to the parts of a goat; from how a barn is constructed to what makes up a beehive, every corner of the barnyard is uncovered and celebrated. A perfect gift for gardeners, locavores, homesteaders, and country-living enthusiasts alike.
Author: Julia Rothman
In Farm Fences and Gates, you'll learn how to build and repair the fences you need … and make the difference between a world of trouble and peace of mind. Wood posts or steel, wire mesh, barbed wire, chain link, or rail: This book will help you figure out what kind of fence is appropriate and how to plan its construction. Useful diagrams and charts help you estimate how much material you'll need and how to go about installing and maintaining a solid, dependable fence. Writer and farm consultant Rick Kubik offers clear and expert advice on what works best in certain areas and for particular purposes. His instructions for planning and constructing each variety of fencing take the guesswork out of a job of critical importance to most landowners (and their neighbors).
Farm Fences and Gates is the first and most essential tool for anyone thinking of building a fence. This complete guidebook will save time and money for beginners and seasoned builders alike by explaining how to do the job right the first time around.
Author: Rick Kubik
Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, because virtually all food was local. Food for daily consumption (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy products) was grown at home or sourced from local farms. Today, most of the food consumed in the United States and, increasingly, around the globe, is sourced from industrial farms and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which power a food system rife with environmental, economic, and health-related problems.
The tide, however, is slowly but steadily turning back in what has been broadly termed the “farm-to-table” movement. In Farm to Table, Darryl Benjamin and Chef Lyndon Virkler explore how the farm-to-table philosophy is pushing back modern, industrialized food production and moving beyond isolated “locavore” movements into a broad and far-reaching coalition of farmers, chefs, consumers, policy advocates, teachers, institutional buyers, and many more all working to restore healthful, sustainable, and affordable food for everyone.
Divided into two distinct but complementary halves, “Farm” and “Table,” Farm to Table first examines the roots of our contemporary industrial food system, from the technological advances that presaged the “Green Revolution” to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz’s infamous dictum to farmers to “Get big or get out” in the 1970s. Readers will explore the many threats to ecology and human health that our corporatized food system poses, but also the many alternatives (from permaculture to rotation-intensive grazing) that small farmers are now adopting to meet growing consumer demand. The second half of the book is dedicated to illuminating best practices and strategies for schools, restaurants, health care facilities, and other businesses and institutions to partner with local farmers and food producers, from purchasing to marketing.
No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from all economic strata and in a number of settings, from hospital and office cafeterias, from elementary schools to fast-casual restaurants. Farm to Table is a one-of-a-kind resource on how to integrate sustainable principles into each of these settings and facilitate intelligent, healthful food choices at every juncture as our food system evolves. While borrowing from the best ideas of the past, the lessons herein are designed to help contribute to a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable tomorrow.
Author: D. Benjamin & L. Virkler
The Mushroom Hut @ Fox Farms is a small-scale diversified working and teaching farm. They are a registered nursery, licensed seed dealer, grain dealer, and dairy goat farm. This book includes recipes and information regarding their workshops, from simple-cheese making, tapping maple trees using sumac spiles, making flower essence jellies, growing hops and bloody butcher corn, and much more.
Author: Susan Tipton-Fox
Bursting with strategies, techniques and more than 300 original recipes, Farm-Fresh and Fast is a new cookbook for both seasoned and beginning community-supported agriculture (CSA) program members and farmers market shoppers. Produced by FairShare CSA Coalition in Madison, Wisconsin, Farm-Fresh blends culinary know-how with practical recipes and resourceful techniques to teach local food lovers of all skill levels how to make the most of fresh, seasonal produce. Farm-Fresh follows the coalition’s first cookbook, From Asparagus to Zucchini, now in its third edition and a national best-seller.
Each chapter of Farm-Fresh is organized by plant anatomy (such as leafy greens, root vegetables, etc.) to highlight similarities in cooking and preparation among ingredients. Master recipes help home cooks adapt recipes to fit the ingredients they have on hand, and come with four seasonal variations so the recipes can be changed up as the season progresses and the harvest unfolds. Recipes are flexible and encourage innovation. Don’t have spinach? Try chard. No basil for your pesto? Try garlic scapes or cilantro for a tasty variation that makes a great sandwich spread.
In addition, home cooks will find themed, seasonal menu suggestions, from Mother’s Day Brunch and Starry Spring Night Dinner Party to Winter Solstice Celebration, and photographs and descriptions of 78 fruits and vegetables that can be found at farmers markets and in CSA boxes from Wisconsin to Florida. Farm-Fresh is graphic-rich, with unique illustrations throughout.
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
This comprehensive guide shows you how to create a farm or garden habitat that will attract beneficial insects and thereby reduce crop damage from pests without the use of pesticides. Four experts from the Xerces Society, a world leader in conservation and environmental issues, discuss the ecology of native beneficial insects and show how you can conserve their presence on your land through conservation biocontrol: recognizing these insects and their habitat, reducing pesticide use, protecting existing habitat, and providing new habitat. Specific solutions and strategies include creating native plant field borders, mass insectary plantings, hedgerows, cover crops, buffer strips, beetle banks, and brush piles. Step-by-step illustrated instructions for these projects and more are accompanied by stunning full-color photography.
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