The Salatin family farm, known as Polyface and located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, is one of the nation's premier ecological farms and has been featured in countless print, radio and video media. Exemplifying local food systems and imbedded community-based agriculture, the farm caught the attention of Michael Pollan in his runaway New York Times best-seller The Omnivore's Dilemma (when Salatin refused to ship T-bone steaks to New York).
Behind the glitz, however, the farm struggles with a labyrinth of government regulations and cultural perceptions that terrorize the antidote to mad cows, avian influenza, and food fears. The solution is simple: allow freedom for traditional food growing and purchasing choices.
This book brings to life, with humor and verve, the everyday conflict between the entrenched industrial food system and the local artisanal neighbor-friendly farmer-entrepreneur.
Joel Salatin is also the author of: Pastured Poultry Profit$, Salad Bar Beef, You Can Farm, Family Friendly Farming, Holy Cows and Hog Heaven.
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.
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.
From familiar breeds such as the Border Collie, Corgi, and Dachshund to the lesser-known Akbash, Puli, and Hovawart, Janet Vorwald Dohner describes 93 breeds of livestock guardian dogs, herding dogs, terriers, and traditional multipurpose farm dogs, highlighting the tasks each dog is best suited for and describing its physical characteristics and temperament. She also offers an accessible history of how humans bred dogs to become our partners in work and beyond, providing a thorough introduction to these highly intelligent, independent, and energetic breeds.
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.
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.
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.
With practical tips and techniques, Farming on the Wild Side is both an expert guide and an inspiring story of how and why the Haydens turned a former conventional dairy farm into a biodiversity-based regenerative farm. It’s a story about their farming practices and how they built a relationship with the land and all its inhabitants by working to heal and restore as co-creators with nature.
In Farming on the Wild Side, you’ll find information on:
• The benefits of pesticide-free perennial polyculture fruit plantings
• Regenerative no-till soil practices
• Rootstocks, scion wood, and grafting basics
• Working with and propagating uncommon berries like clove currants, beach plums, and honey berries
• And much more!
Farming While Black is the first comprehensive how-to guide for aspiring African-heritage growers to reclaim their dignity as agriculturists and for all farmers to understand the distinct, technical contributions of African-heritage people to sustainable agriculture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's not often that someone stumbles into entrepreneurship and ends up reviving a community and starting a national economic-reform movement. But that’s what happened when, in 1983, Judy Wicks founded the White Dog Café on the first floor of her house on a row of Victorian brownstones in West Philadelphia. After helping to save her block from demolition, Judy grew what began as a tiny muffin shop into a 200-seat restaurant—one of the first to feature local, organic, and humane food. The restaurant blossomed into a regional hub for community, and a national powerhouse for modeling socially responsible business.
Good Morning, Beautiful Business is a memoir about the evolution of an entrepreneur who would not only change her neighborhood, but would also change her world—helping communities far and wide create local living economies that value people and place as much as commerce and that make communities not just interesting and diverse and prosperous, but also resilient.
Wicks recounts a girlhood coming of age in the sixties, a stint working in an Alaska Eskimo village in the seventies, her experience cofounding the first Free People's store (now well known as Urban Outfitters), her accidental entry into the world of restauranteering, the emergence of the celebrated White Dog Café, and her eventual role as an international leader and speaker in the local-living-economies movement.
Her memoir traces the roots of her career—exploring what it takes to marry social change and commerce, and do business differently. Passionate, fun, and inspirational, Good Morning, Beautiful Business explores the way women, and men, can follow both mind and heart, do what’s right, and do well by doing good.
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.
The How-to Guide to Building a Monolithic Concrete Slab Foundation DVD contains the latest information you need to know to build your own foundation.
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.
Get your kids or grandkids excited about life on the farm with Hey Roo, What’s a Wheelbarrow? In this quirky and vibrant tale, author and illustrator Michael Haun recounts the adventure of Roo the Rooster as he takes his friends on a field trip around the farm. Through fun, beautifully drawn illustrations, this book answers several questions that kids ask about everyday experiences on the farmstead.
Curious about starting a homestead? Our Homesteader’s Starter Set is the perfect place to begin!
52 Homestead Skills follows homesteader Kimberlee Bastien, as she learns one homesteading skill per week over the course of an entire year. The book details all of Bastien’s adventures, from building a beehive and becoming a beekeeper to creating her own laundry and dish soap. Whether you already live on a homestead, are transitioning onto one, or are only thinking about it, 52 Homestead Skills will help turn your dreams into a life worth living.
Packed with skills such as making deodorant, building a chicken chunnel, and freezing jam, the 52 projects in this book will prove helpful to any homesteader!
Learn everything you need to know about keeping chickens on your homestead in Raise Backyard Chickens!
Whether you live on 1,000 acres or 1,000 square feet, there’s plenty of room in your backyard for a flock of chickens. Join the chicken revolution today and be prepared to reap a lifetime of benefits that goes far beyond the enjoyment and the eggs.
This book will help get you started with everything from incubating fertile eggs to receiving and raising day-old chicks to building a chicken coop to keeping your birds safe and healthy. You’ll find top-notch advice on how to protect your flock from predators, produce the healthiest eggs, and so much more.
Have you heard the buzz about keeping bees on your homestead?
In Raise Backyard Bees, you will find beekeeping information on building beehives, installing bees in the hive, gathering up a swarm, breeding queen bees, caring for your bees, harvesting honey, and processing honey for sale.
You’ll meet people who dreamed of becoming beekeepers for years before taking the plunge, people who have been working with bees for decades, and people who inherited their love of bees from family members. We’ve even included a few recipes in which you can use your freshly harvested honey for delicious results.
The Homesteader’s Starter Set is the perfect opportunity to make your homesteading dreams a reality!
Homesteading from Scratch is for people who want to do things differently: the type of people who want to eat real food, grow herbs, make cheese, raise baby animals, hunt mushrooms, pick blackberries, can jelly, ferment kraut, farm organically, connect to nature, live intentionally, and more.
Guiding readers from desire to full-blown off-the-grid living (and everything in between), this book covers farming, animal husbandry, food preparation, homeschooling, fiber arts, and even marketing. It provides inspiration from homesteaders who have made a go of it with operations large and small, and outlining their successes and failures. The book helps to democratize the homesteading movement, by providing “ins” for nearly every level of dedication, from the container gardener to full-time farmer. It provides the knowledge necessary to discover homesteading as a movement and as a lifestyle.
Inspired by From Scratch Magazine, an online publication devoted to homesteading and intentional living, this book provides readers with continued support and community for information and resources online. Homesteading from Scratch serves as a reference, as well as a cheerleader, for those who want a bit more control and responsibility over where their food comes from, what they consume, and how they live their lives.