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For more than four decades, the self-described “contrary farmer” and writer Gene Logsdon has commented on the state of American agriculture. In Letter to a Young Farmer, his final book of essays, Logsdon addresses the next generation: young people who are moving back to the land to enjoy a better way of life as small-scale “garden farmers.” It’s a lifestyle that isn’t defined by accumulating wealth or by the “get big or get out” agribusiness mindset. Instead, it’s one that recognizes the beauty of nature, cherishes the land, respects our fellow creatures, and values rural traditions. It’s one that also looks forward and embraces “right technologies,” including new and innovative ways of working smarter, not harder, and avoiding premature burnout.
Completed only a few weeks before the author’s death, Letter to a Young Farmer is a remarkable testament to the life and wisdom of one of the greatest rural philosophers and writers of our time. Logsdon’s earthy wit and sometimes irreverent humor combines with his valuable perspectives on many wide-ranging subjects: everything from how to show a ram who’s boss to enjoying the almost churchlike calmness of a well-built livestock barn.
Reading this book is like sitting down on the porch with a neighbor who has learned the ways of farming through years of long observation and practice. Someone, in short, who has “seen it all” and has much to say, and much to teach us, if we only take the time to listen and learn. And Logsdon was the best kind of teacher: equal parts storyteller, idealist, and rabble-rouser. His vision of a nation filled with garden farmers, based in cities, towns, and countrysides, will resonate with many people, both young and old, who long to create a more sustainable, meaningful life for themselves and a better world for all of us.
Author: Gene Logsdon
Like so many other city-dwellers, Cam and Michelle Mather longed for a simpler, quieter life in the country. When they found a century-old farmhouse on 150 acres of land that was in their price range, they jumped at the chance to make their move. The fact that the home was "off-grid" with no power or telephone lines connecting it to the outside world seemed like a bonus!
Twelve years later their life in the country is not quite as simple as they had envisioned, but it is peaceful. There were more challenges than they could have anticipated, as well as more rewards.
Along the way they installed more solar panels, erected a wind turbine, and upgraded and replaced all of the major components of their off-grid electrical system. They installed a solar-thermal hot water system; figured out how to have a phone, Internet and satellite TV; and kept their home heated with wood cut from their own property. They also carved out a garden and began growing much of their own food.
They acquired new skills and knowledge, but most importantly they learned to appreciate the value of good neighbors, good books and good manure.
Author: Cam Mather, Michelle Mather
In a hectic world of mass-produced food, clothing, and entertainment, it’s easy to miss out on the simple pleasures of doing things for yourself. Meet Jenna Woginrich, a 26-year-old web designer who decided to take control of her life — what she ate, what she wore, and how she spent her free time. Learn a few basic country skills, she reasoned, and she would be able to produce at least some of the food and other resources she used every day. Made from Scratch tells the story of Woginrich's hilarious, heartbreaking, soul-satisfying journey, inspiring and entertaining readers who dream about a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Discover the joys of homesteading with Woginrich as she experiences the satisfaction of making bread, keeping chickens, keeping bees, sew clothing, grow vegetables and more!
Author: JENNA WOGINRICH
Ann Larkin Hansen covers everything you need to know to successfully make your own hay, from cutting, drying, and raking to baling and storing. She also tells you everything you need to know about equipment options, including traditional horse power, tractor power, and implements ranging from scythes to disc mowers. You'll learn how to choose the right species for your soil, how to predict haymaking weather, how to judge hay quality, how to determine how much hay your animals need, and how to buy and sell hay.
Author: Ann Larkin Hansen
Author: BOB AND ROB ARTLEY
Here is a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family's food on just one-quarter acre — and earn $10,000 in cash annually. This is not back-to-the-land utopianism, but a tested and pragmatic method that can be applied in small lots in rural, suburban and even urban areas. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, Brett Markham's advice will teach you what you need to know:
More than just a how-to guide for self-sufficiency, Mini Farming teaches you the underlying principles of mini-farming so you will have the knowledge to make your own unique applications. Materials, tools and techniques are detailed with over a hundred photographs, tables, diagrams and illustrations.
Author: Brett L. Markham
In 2010, Cody and his Wranglerstar family decided to turn their backs on a comfortable city life and become modern-day homesteaders. Their adventure starts in the rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest. They are now popular pioneers in a growing movement of people seeking independence from debt, freedom to raise their family with values and faith, and the peace of a simpler, more meaningful approach to life.
Ross Conrad brings together the best "do no harm" strategies for keeping honeybees healthy and productive with nontoxic methods of controlling mites; eliminating American foulbrood disease without the use of antibiotics; selective breeding for naturally resistant bees; and many other detailed management techniques, which are covered in a thoughtful, matter-of-fact way. Now revised and updated with new resources and including full-color photos throughout, Natural Beekeeping offers all the latest information in a book that has already proven invaluable for organic beekeepers. The new edition offers the same holistic, sensible alternative to conventional chemical practices with a program of natural hive management, but offers new sections on a wide range of subjects.
Author: Ross Conrad
See the world in a new way! Acclaimed illustrator Julia Rothman celebrates the diverse curiosities and beauty of the natural world in this exciting new volume. With whimsically hip illustrations, every page is an extraordinary look at all kinds of subjects, from mineral formation and the inside of a volcano to what makes sunsets, monarch butterfly migration, the ecosystem of a rotting log, the parts of a bird, the anatomy of a jellyfish, and much, much more.
Author: Julia Rothman
Based on his personal experience, Greg Judy shows how to make a living from the land without owning it. He describes his successes as well as his mistakes to help others on the road to profit. By leasing land and cattle he went from 40 stockers to more than 1,100 head and was able to pay off his farm and home loan within three years. Today, he has 12 farms totaling more than 1,560 acres.
Author: Greg Judy
The practical, intriguing American devices contained in this handbook come from an era long before milking machines, pesticide sprayers, and industrial hay balers. Designed to speed and simply everything from making your own butter to protecting drain outlets to organizing and storing tools, the easy-to-make mechanisms you’ll find here can be just as useful for today’s farmer as they were for frontier homesteaders.
You'll learn to go back to the simple life of the countryside with this mammoth guide of traditional country skills for simple living. Old-Time Country Wisdom &. Lore is a homespun encyclopedia of classic country know-how. This handy reference guide is filled with now-forgotten rural skills, foods, and crafts harkens back to a simpler time. Packed with more than 1,000 projects, pastimes, recipes and down-home truths along with more than 400 vintage illustrations.
A grand encyclopedia of country lore by famed Texas folklorist Jerry Mack Johnson, covering water witching, maple syruping, weather wisdom, country remedies and herbal cures, cleaning solutions, pest purges, bird migrations and animal lore, firewood essentials, adobe making and bricklaying, leather working, plant dyes, farm foods, natural teas and tonics, granola, bread making, beer brewing and winemaking, jams and jellies, canning and preserving, sausage making and meat smoking, drying foods, down-home toys, papermaking, candle crafting, homemade soaps and shampoos, Christmas wreaths and decorations, butter and cheese making, fishing and hunting secrets, and much more.
Author: Jerry Mack Johnson
Jenna Woginrich's inspiring journey from city cubicle to rural homestead has captivated readers of her blog and previous books. Now, in One-Woman Farm, Woginrich shares the joys, sorrows, trials, epiphanies and blessings she discovers during a year on her own land, finding deep fulfillment in the practical tasks and timeless rituals of the agricultural life.
Author: Jenna Woginrich
One-Straw Revolutionary is the first book to offer an intimate look at the philosophy and work of one of natural farming’s most influential practitioners: Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka.
Fukuoka (1913–2008) wrote the international best-seller The One-Straw Revolution (1978), a manifesto on his approach to no-till agriculture that requires no machinery, no chemicals, no prepared compost, and very little weeding or pruning.
When it was first published, the book presented a radical challenge to the global systems that supply the world’s food. Larry Korn, who was apprenticing with Fukuoka in Japan at the time, helped translate the manuscript into English and brought it to the United States, knowing it would forever change the conversation about how we grow our food. Edited by Korn and Wendell Berry, The One-Straw Revolution was an immediate success and established Fukuoka as a leading voice in the struggle against conventional industrial agriculture. This landmark book continues to inspire readers today.
In One-Straw Revolutionary, Korn distills his experience of more than 35 years of study with Fukuoka, and explains how natural farming can be used practically in areas other than agriculture, including personal growth and development, and for leading a richer and more fulfilling life.
Korn also discusses natural farming’s kinship with the ways of indigenous cultures and traditional Japanese farming. At the same time, he clearly distinguishes natural farming from other forms of agriculture, including scientific and organic agriculture, and permaculture.
One-Straw Revolutionary offers readers a rare insight into natural farming and what Fukuoka was like as a person. It explains how simple it actually is to farm naturally, and why it offers our only real hope for re-establishing a wholesome relationship with the Earth.
Author: Larry Korn
Organic Farming is the seed you need to get your organic farm growing. This essential guidebook explains everything you need to know to begin and maintain a healthy, productive and profitable organic farm, from organic certification to planting crops to marketing your produce. If you're thinking of starting an organic farm or making the transition to organics, you're in good company. The market for organic food increases every year, as does the number of organic producers: In the past two decades, the number of organic farms and businesses has more than tripled. And whether you're growing crops or raising animals, you'll need some helpful advice as you get started. Organic Farming can help … its pages are full of inspiring and educational wisdom from author Peter V. Fossel, who has farmed organically for more than 25 years. Find out how to farm without pesticides, how to find your way through the rules and regulations surrounding organic certification, and how to develop a marketing strategy. A list of resources also points the way to other books, websites and organizations that focus on organic farming, including state standards. Organic Farming is the ideal practical handbook to fulfilling your dreams.
Author: Peter Fossel
Permaculture for the Rest of Us presents the fundamental principles of this sometimes confusing concept in a humorous, reader-friendly way. Each chapter focuses on a specific method or technique, interspersing straightforward explanations with the author's own experiences.
Author: Jenni Blackmore
Popular Poultry Breeds examines 40 popular breeds of chickens and bantams. Most breeds exist in several plumage color varieties, and in large and bantam (miniature) size versions, all of which are also included in this comprehensive book.
Author: David Scrivener
In the 1970s, Dolly Freed lived off the land dirt cheap and plum easy. Living in her own house on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia for almost five years, Dolly and her father produced their own food and drink and spent roughly $700 each per year. Thirty years later, Dolly Freed's Possum Living is as fascinating and pertinent as it was in 1978. This reissue of the survivalist classic has a foreword by David Gates and an afterword by the author.
After discussing reasons why you should or shouldn't give up your job, Possum Living gives you details about the cheapest ways with the best results to buy and maintain your home, dress well, cope with the law, stay healthy and keep up a middle-class facade — whether you live in the city, in the suburbs or in a small town. In a delightful, straightforward style, Dolly Freed explains how to be lazy, proud, miserly and honest, live well and enjoy leisure. She shares her knowledge for what you do need — your own home, for example — and what you don't need — such as doctors, lawyers and insurance. Through her own example, Dolly hopes to inspire you to do some independent thinking about how economics affects the course of your life now and may do so in the coming "age of shortages." If you ever wondered what it would be like to be in greater control of your own life, Possum Living will show you — and help you do it for yourself.
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: Dolly Freed