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

  • DR. PREPPER

    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.

    Item: 8175

    Author: Jeff Garrett

    Format: Paperback

  • DUDE MAKING A DIFFERENCE

    You want to do something for the planet, but what? Change a light bulb, install a low-flow faucet, eat organic? How about ride 4,700 miles across America on a bamboo bicycle, using only water from natural sources, avoiding fossil fuels almost completely, supplying your few electrical needs with solar power, and creating nearly zero waste?

    Item: 8763

    Author: ROB GREENFIELD

    Format: Paperback

  • EARTH REPAIR

    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.

    Item: 6587

    Author: Leila Darwish

    Format: Paperback

  • EDIBLE WILD PLANTS OF THE PRAIRIE

    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.

    Item: 6873

    Author: Kelly Kindscher

    Format: Paperback

  • ELECTRIC FENCING

    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.

    Item: 6613

    Author: Ann Larkin Hansen

    Format: Paperback

  • EXTREME SIMPLICITY

    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.

    Item: 7262

    Author: C. Nyerges, D. Lynn Nyerges

    Format: Paperback

  • FARM ANATOMY

    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.

    Item: 5993

    Author: Julia Rothman

    Format: Paperback

  • FARM FENCES & GATES

    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.

    Item: 7239

    Author: Rick Kubik

    Format: Paperback

  • FARM TO TABLE

    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.

    Item: 8295

    Author: D. Benjamin & L. Virkler

    Format: Hardcover

  • FARM...FOOD...FUN

    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.

    Item: 7909

    Author: Susan Tipton-Fox

    Format: Paperback

  • FARMING THE WOODS

    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:

    • historical perspectives of forest farming
    • mimicking the forest in a changing climate
    • cultivation of medicinal crops
    • cultivation of food crops
    • creating a forest nursery
    • harvesting and utilizing wood products
    • the role of animals in the forest farm
    • how to design your forest farm and manage it once it’s established

    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.

    Item: 7477

    Author: K. Mudge and S. Gabriel

    Format: Paperback

  • FARMING WITH NATIVE BENEFICIAL INSECTS

    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.

    Item: 7406

    Format: Paperback

  • 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

    Author: Rebecca Thistlethwaite

    Format: Paperback

  • 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

    Author: Joel Salatin

    Format: Paperback

  • 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

    Author: Ann Larkin Hansen

    Format: Paperback

  • 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

    Author: Joel Salatin

    Format: Paperback

  • 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

    Author: Angela Paskett

    Format: Paperback

  • 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

    Author: MIKE MADISON

    Format: Paperback

  • 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

    Author: Kristy Athens

    Format: Paperback

  • 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

    Author: Gary Collins, MS

    Format: Paperback

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