In the How-To Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Load Bearing) DVD, you'll discover how this form of construction uses the bales themselves as the structural element of the home.
Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture management. witty and welcoming style, The Independent Farmstead covers everything from choosing a species of ruminant and incorporating it into a grass-based system to innovative electric fencing and watering systems. Best of all, it’s the kind of rare how-to book that the authors themselves view not as a compendium of one-size-fits-all instructions but as “the beginning of a conversation,” one that is utterly informative, sincere, and inspiring.
Root cellaring isn’t just for off-the-grid types or farmers with large gardens. Storing food makes good sense, both financially and environmentally. And root cellars can easily fit anywhere. In this intelligent, convincing book, authors Jennifer Megyesi and Geoff Hansen show how to make them part of every reader’s life.
In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front lawn aesthetic, the development of the lawn-care industry, its environmental impact, and modern as well as historic alternatives to lawn mania.
The Lean Farm makes the case that small-scale farming can be an attractive career option for young people who are interested in growing food for their community. Working smarter, not harder, also prevents the kind of burnout that startup farmers often encounter in the face of long, hard, backbreaking labor.
Home is a haven, a place of refuge. But did you know it might be making you sick? If your home is cluttered, overwhelming, and full of chemicals, it’s time to detox. The Modern Organic Home helps you de-clutter and clean with natural, homemade products that are healthy for you and your family.
For those interested in developing their own agritourism project, this book offers an overview of the origins of agritourism and provides useful information on developing an original plan. With profiles of farmers and their microfarms from around the world, this book shows innovative ways to develop and structure a plan that is safe, legal, promotes the enterprise, and is sure to progress and prosper in coming years.
The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3 contains 360 pages of original agrarian content, essays, cartoons, imagery, and historical snippets, ?harnessed from more than 120 contributors to the Greenhorns (a nontraditional grassroots organization made up of young farmers and ranchers). Farmers hold space in many interwoven commons, and possibilities for our shared future rests on how these intersecting commons are governed?particularly at the juncture of humanity and ecology, where farmers make their workplace. In re-visiting the almanac format, this volume asserts a version of Americana and addresses how to equip ourselves for the challenges of rebuilding the food system and restoring a more democratic, more diverse, and more resilient foundation for society. In the face of a dystopian future where the weather is unpredictable, the fossil fuel economy is on the point of collapse, monopolies are endlessly consolidating, and the country is, for the first time in our history, majority urban, this publication provides a utopian voice. It reminds today’s farmers about the foundational concepts of an agrarian democracy?concepts that are themselves utopian. This almanac also rejects the self-propelling logic of techno-utopia?dependent upon extraction economies and enclosure of common resources. Instead, the book orients itself toward the words of Ursula Le Guin, who reminds us that the intent in utopian thinking should not be “reactionary, nor even conservative, but simply subversive. It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth.” This tidy volume holds a civil, lived testimony from people whose work, lifeworld, and behavior patterns beamingly subvert the normative values of the macro economy called America.
The New Livestock Farmer provides pasture-based production essentials for a wide range of animals, from common farm animals (cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep and goats) to more exotic species (bison, rabbits, elk and deer).
The New Rules of the Roost addresses the problems that crop up when keeping backyard chickens long term. It covers a wide range of topics including guidance on organic health remedies and disease prevention, pest management, organic nutrition, the best breeds for specific needs, and the simplest and most effective options for daily maintenance and feeding. Readers will also learn how to introduce new chickens to a flock, how to manage aggressive birds, how to deal with mature chickens, and much more.
The Nourishing Homestead tells the story of how we can create truly satisfying and permanent relationships with the land, nature and one another.
Ben and Penny Hewitt offer practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food on a small plot of land, and think about a farm, homestead or home as an ecosystem. Much of what the Hewitts have come to understand and embrace about their lives of deep nourishment is informed by their particular piece of land and local community in northern Vermont, but what they have gleaned is readily transferable to any place—whether you live on 4 acres, 40 acres or in a 400-square-foot studio apartment.
The Hewitts (including their two sons) maintain copious gardens, dozens of fruit and nut trees, and other perennial plantings, as well as a pick-your-own blueberry patch. In addition to these cultivated food crops, they also forage for wild edibles, process their own meat, make their own butter, and ferment, dry and can their own vegetables. Their focus is to produce nutrient-dense foods from vibrant, mineralized soils for themselves and their immediate community. They are also committed to sharing the traditional skills that support their family, helping them be self-sufficient and thrive in these uncertain times.
Much of what the Hewitts are attempting on their homestead is to close the gaps that economic separation has created in our health, spirit and skills. They use the term “practiculture” to describe the family’s work with the land—a term that encompasses the many practical life skills and philosophies they embody to create a thriving homestead, including raw-milk production, soil remediation, wildcrafting, Weston A. Price principles, bionutrient-dense farming, permaculture, agroforestry, traditional Vermont hill farming, and more. The Nourishing Homestead also includes information on deep nutrition, the importance of good fats and integrating children into the work of a homestead.
The Hewitts’ story is reminiscent of The Good Life, by Helen and Scott Nearing, and is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders, or anyone seeking a simpler way of life and a deeper connection to the world.
Farming without tilling has long been a goal of agriculture, yet tilling remains one of the most dominant paradigms; almost everyone does it. But tilling kills beneficial soil life, burns up organic matter, and releases carbon dioxide. If the ground could instead be prepared for planting without tilling, time and energy could be saved, soil organic matter increased, carbon sequestered, and dependence on machinery reduced.
Andrew Mefferd, editor of Growing for Market magazine, offers a comprehensive, farmer-developed roadmap showing how no-till farming lowers barriers to starting a small farm, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases efficiency and profitability, and promotes soil health.
This hands-on manual offers:
This is the only manual of its kind, specifically written for natural and small-scale farmers who wish to expand or explore chemical-free, regenerative farming methods.
The urban landscape has swallowed vast swaths of prime farmland across North America. Imagine how much more self-reliant our communities would be if 30 million acres of lawns were made productive again. Permaculture is a practical way to apply ecological design principles to food, housing, and energy systems; making growing fruits, vegetables and livestock easier and more sustainable.
The Permaculture Handbook is a step-by-step, beautifully illustrated guide to creating resilient and prosperous households and neighborhoods, complemented by extensive case studies of three successful farmsteads and market gardens. This comprehensive manual casts garden farming as both an economic opportunity and a strategy for living well with less money. It shows how, by mimicking the intelligence of nature and applying appropriate technologies such as solar and environmental design, permaculture can:
Permaculture is about working with the earth and with each other to repair the damage of industrial overreach and to enrich the living world that sustains us. The Permaculture Handbook is the definitive, practical North American guide to this revolutionary practice, and is a must-read for anyone concerned about creating food security, resilience and a legacy of abundance rather than depletion.
The book covers nearly every strategy Falk and his team have been testing at the Whole Systems Research Farm over the past decade, as well as experiments from other sites Falk has designed through his off-farm consulting business. The book includes detailed information on earthworks; gravity-fed water systems; species composition; the site-design process; site management; fuelwood hedge production and processing; human health and nutrient-dense production strategies; rapid topsoil formation and remineralization; agroforestry/silvopasture/grazing; ecosystem services, especially regarding flood mitigation; fertility management; human labor and social-systems aspects; tools/equipment/appropriate technology; and much more.
Dreading the weekly lawn mow? Need to whack the weeds in your orchard? Cringing at the drudgery and incessant blare of the mower? Imagine instead long sweeps of an elegant scythe cutting your grass and pesky weeds in blissful, meditative silence.
That is the power of the "scythe revolution" sweeping North America.
Written by a master of the scythe, professionally trained in Austria, and drawing deeply on research into original German texts, The Scything Handbook brings centuries-old scything techniques into the 21st century.
Detailed illustrations cover scythe assembly, perfecting the stroke, blade selection, honing, peening, and aftercare, as well as background on how scythes are forged. Also covered are the basics of making hay and mulch by hand, and how to grow and harvest grains at the home and homestead scale for self-sufficiency.
Scything promotes health, flexibility, mind-body connection, and a meditative contemplation of the natural world while producing beautiful lawns and luscious mulch for the modern gardener and homesteader. This is truly an heirloom tool to master.
Join the scythe revolution!
Shunned by industrial farmers, vilified by corporate agri-business, and stalked by food police as being a lunatic, farmer-entrepreneur Joel Salatin enjoys the sheer ecstasy of being surrounded by happy, frolicking animals, dancing earthworms, and appreciative customers.
His family's farm nestled in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley has achieved iconic status worldwide by featuring prominently in the Oscar-nominated documentary, Food. Inc., and the documentary, Fresh," as well as the runaway New York Times best-seller The Omnivore's Dilemma. From his own pen, Salatin explains both the rationale for the satisfaction from a solar-driven, pastured-based, locally-marketed, symbiotic, synergistic, relationally-oriented farm.
This book describes, with stories and evangelistic fervor, the breadth and depth of the paradigm differences between healing and exploitive food systems. A landscape and food policy epiphany awaits every reader.
About the author
Joel Salatin and his family own and operate Polyface Farm, arguably the nation's most famous farm since it was profiled in Michael Pollan's New York Times best-seller, The Omnivore's Dilemma and two subsequent documentaries, "Food, Inc.", and "Fresh." An accomplished author and public speaker, Salatin has authored seven books. Recognition for his ecological and local-based farming advocacy includes an honorary doctorate, the Heinz Award, and many leadership awards.
There has never been a better time to be making and selling great cheese. People worldwide are consuming more high-quality, handmade cheese than ever before. The number of artisan cheesemakers has doubled in recent years, and many of the industry's newcomers are "farmstead" producers-those who work only with the milk of their own animals. Today, more than ever before, the people who choose to become farmer- cheesemakers need access to the knowledge of established cheese artisans who can help them build their dream.
Few career choices lead to such extremes of labor, emotion and monetary challenge. In The Small-Scale Cheese Business (originally published as The Farmstead Creamery Advisor in 2010), respected cheesemaker, instructor and speaker Gianaclis Caldwell walks would-be producers through the many, and often confusing, steps and decisions they will face when considering a career in this burgeoning cottage industry. This book fills the gap that exists between the pasture and cheese plate. It goes far beyond issues of caring for livestock and basic cheesemaking, explaining business issues such as:
Drawing from her own and other cheesemakers' experiences, Caldwell brings to life the story of creating a successful cheesemaking business in a practical, organized manner. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in becoming a licensed artisan cheesemaker, The Small-Scale Cheese Business will also appeal to the many small- and hobby-farm owners who already have milking animals and who wish to improve their home dairy practices and facilities.
The Small-Scale Dairy offers a holistic approach that explores the relationships between careful, conscientious management and the production of safe, healthy and delicious milk. A historical overview offers readers a balanced perspective on the current regulatory environment in which raw milk lovers find themselves.
Reduce your lawn and your grocery budget. Take gardening to the next level! Would you like to grow healthy food for your table? Do you want to learn the secrets of farming even though you live in a neighborhood? Author Amy Stross talks straight about why the suburbs might be the ideal place for a small farm.
In these pages you'll learn:
• How to make your landscape as productive as it is beautiful
• Why the suburbs are primed with food-growing potential
• How to choose the best crops for success
• Why you don’t need the perfect yard to have a micro-farm
• How to use easy permaculture techniques for abundant harvests