Longtime Maine farmer and homesteader Will Bonsall possesses a unique clarity of vision that extends all the way from the finer points of soil fertility and seed saving to exploring how we can transform civilization and make our world a better, more resilient place.
In Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening, Bonsall maintains that to achieve real wealth we first need to understand the economy of the land, to realize that things that might make sense economically don't always make sense ecologically, and vice versa. The marketplace distorts our values, and our modern dependence on petroleum in particular presents a serious barrier to creating a truly sustainable agriculture.
For him the solution is, first and foremost, greater self-reliance, especially in the areas of food and energy. By avoiding any off-farm inputs (fertilizers, minerals and animal manures), Bonsall has learned how to practice a purely veganic, or plant-based, agriculture—not from a strictly moralistic or philosophical perspective, but because it makes good business sense: spend less instead of making more.
What this means in practical terms is that Bonsall draws upon the fertility of on-farm plant materials: compost, green manures, perennial grasses, and forest products like leaves and ramial wood chips. And he grows and harvests a diversity of crops from both cultivated and perennial plants: vegetables, grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and nuts—even uncommon but useful permaculture plants like groundnut (Apios).
In a friendly, almost conversational way, Bonsall imparts a wealth of knowledge drawn from his more than 40 years of farming experience.
"My goal," he writes, "is not to feed the world, but to feed myself and let others feed themselves. If we all did that, it might be a good beginning."
Personalize your indoor and outdoor spaces with beautiful, rustic reclaimed wood pieces.
Want to make a statement in your home? Look no further than the humble yet versatile wood plank! Reclaim, recycle, and repurpose wood planks to create unique, stylish home décor pieces that are guaranteed to bring warmth and beauty into your living spaces … all on a budget!
Featuring 30 DIY tutorials for both indoors and outdoors, Wood Plank Projects includes simple beginner projects that will be ready in an hour, as well as larger and more impressive pieces. Complete with step-by-step instructions and beautiful photographs, the projects cover every room in the house. The results range from rustic photo frames and farmhouse clocks to outdoor benches and reclaimed tabletops.
Twenty years ago Joel Salatin wrote You Can Farm, which has launched thousands of farm entrepreneurs around the world. In those 20 years, Salatin’s Polyface Farm progressed from a small family operation to a 20-person, 6,000-customer, 50-restaurant business, all without sales targets, government grants, or an off-farm nest egg. With these two decades’ worth of experience as a full-time farmer under his belt, Saladin has decided to build on that foundation with a sequel to his original book, thereby providing readers a graduate-level curriculum. Everyone who reads and enjoys You Can Farm will benefit from this additional information. Located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Polyface Farm serves as a germination tray for new farmers ready to take over the 50 percent of America's agricultural equity that will become available over the next two decades. The farm stands as a beacon of hope in a food and farming system that’s floundering in dysfunction: toxicity, pathogenicity, nutrient deficiency, bankruptcy, geezers, and erosion. Speaking to that fear and confusion, Salatin offers a pathway to success, with production, profit, and pleasure thrown in for good measure.
An inspiring book for novice and experienced entertainers alike, You're So Invited features 10 beautifully photographed parties, from a chic surprise birthday to an irreverent going-away roast to an indulgent tween spa party.
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Whether we live in Manhattan or Peoria, we depend on a healthy countryside: It supplies the food we eat. So it’s welcome news that across the nation, a hearty crop is taking root. Smart, young people are returning to the roots of American Agriculture — roots steeped in a tradition and culture of diversity, quality and respect for the Earth. Full of brilliant color photographs, Youth Renewing the Countryside shares remarkable stories of young people in each state changing the world through rural renewal.
Produced by Renewing the Countryside in partnership with young writers and photographers across the country and with support from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and the Center for Rural Strategies.