This book explains: How to choose and purchase a quality animal and how to help preserve rare breeds; Equipment, housing and fencing; Moving and handling; Feeding, nutrition and pasture; Pig health care and common diseases; Selecting a boar or sow for breeding, hogging, farrowing, taking care of piglets and pedigree breeding; Preparing for slaughter, butchering and subsequent storage; and Showing pigs in competitions.
Comeback Farms takes up where Judy's previous book, No Risk Ranching ended. Here, he shows how to add sheep, goats, and pigs to existing cattle operations. He details fencing and water systems that build on existing infrastructure set up for Management-Intensive Grazing. Sharing his firsthand experience (the mistakes as well as successes), Judy takes graziers to the next level. He shows how high density grazing (HDG) on his own farm and those he leases can revitalize hayed-out, scruffy, weedy pastures, and turn them into highly productive grazing landscapes that grow both green grass and greenbacks.
From leading ecology advocates comes a revealing look at our dependence on cows and a passionate appeal for sustainable living.
In Cowed, globally recognized environmentalists Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes offer a revealing analysis of how our beneficial, centuries-old relationship with bovines has evolved into one that now endangers us.
Long ago, cows provided food and labor to settlers taming the wild frontier and helped the loggers, ranchers and farmers who shaped the country’s landscape. Our society is built on the backs of bovines that indelibly stamped our culture, politics and economics. But our national herd has doubled in size over the past 100 years to 93 million, with devastating consequences for the country’s soil and water. Our love affair with dairy and hamburgers doesn’t help either: Eating a pound of beef produces a greater carbon footprint than burning a gallon of gasoline.
The book begins by tracing the coevolution of cows and humans, starting with majestic horned aurochs, before taking us through the birth of today’s feedlot farms and the threat of mad cow disease. The authors show how cattle farming today has depleted America’s largest aquifer, created festering lagoons of animal waste and drastically increased methane production.
In their quest to find fresh solutions to our bovine problem, the authors take us to farms stretching from Vermont to Washington. They visit worm ranchers who compost cow waste, learn that feeding cows oregano yields surprising benefits, talk to sustainable farmers who care for their cows while contributing to their communities, and point toward a future in which we eat less, but better, beef. In a deeply researched, engagingly personal narrative, the Hayes provide a glimpse into what we can do now to provide a better future for cows, humans and the world we inhabit. They show how our relationship with cows is part of the story of America itself.
This is the book that tells you just about everything you need to know to raise poultry on pasture, from the egg up through processing. Based on years of hands-on experiences -- both success and failures -- the authors hold back nothing about the realities, advantages, disadvantages and rewards of small-scale poultry production systems for income and community food self-sufficiency. Offering hard to find information on raising turkeys, small-scale breeder flocks and incubation production, the book also includes a foreword by everybody's favorite contrary farmer, Gene Logsdon.
The more we know about the animals in our world and the better we care for them, the better our lives will be. Former veterinary technician and animal advocate Tracey Stewart understands this better than most, and she’s on a mission to change how we interact with animals. Part practical guide, part memoir of her life with animals, and part testament to the power of giving back, Do Unto Animals is a gift for animal lovers of all stripes.
A flock of frolicking waterfowl can be a lively addition to any hobby farm, and Ducks offers essential information on tending a small-scale flock. It’s a must-read for those drawn to ducks for their striking colors, spirited personalities, and the valuable products they provide.
With full-color photos, a handy glossary, and advice from experienced duck farmers, the book will quickly become a treasured resource. Its contents include information on:
• Selecting the ideal breed for your farm
• Constructing a shelter and fencing
• Keeping ducks healthy with a nutritious diet
• Spotting symptoms of common duck diseases
• Breeding ducks and raising healthy ducklings
• Harvesting farm-fresh eggs and meat
This isn't a typical egg cookbook or guide to raising chickens, Epic Eggs takes a deep dive on the eggs themselves and tells you how to raise birds that will produce the best eggs you've ever seen. It may be true that most poultry found on small homesteads or in backyards especially are viewed as pets, but they are inarguably pets with benefits--namely eggs. In Epic Eggs, homesteader and writer Jennifer Sartell looks at the eggs of the most common types of poultry you’d find in your backyard: chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, and quail. Don’t jump to conclusions! This isn’t an egg cookbook or a guide to raising poultry. Sartell delves into the eggs themselves and explains reproductive systems, egg anatomy, and how and why different colors are distributed to egg shells. Sartell will show you a variety breeds of birds, and what sizes, shapes, and even colors of egg they produce; from white to blue, brown, chocolate, olive, and speckled, plus heritage breeds and how to breed for specific colors. Illustrated with fantastic color photography of eggs and their birds, Epic Eggs goes on to address how to optimize living conditionsand diet for the healthiest and most-flavorful eggs, the process of grading and storing eggs, and the eternal washing debate. There’s also discussion of nutrition, baking, cooking, preserving, pickling, and dehydrating. The book ends with advice for homesteaders looking to create business plans and a section on troubleshooting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many gardeners fear chickens will peck away at their landscape, and chicken lovers often shy away from gardening for the same reason. But you can keep chickens and have a beautiful garden, too! Fresh eggs aren't the only benefit — chickens can actually help your garden grow and thrive, even as your garden does the same for your chickens.
In this essential handbook, award-winning garden designer Jessi Bloom covers everything a gardener needs to know, including chicken-keeping basics, simple garden plans to get you started, tips on attractive fencing options, the best plants and plants to avoid, and step-by-step instructions for getting your chicken garden up and running.
For anyone who wants a fabulous garden where colorful chickens happily roam, Free-Range Chicken Gardens is the guide that will bring the dream home to roost.
As communities across the country amend urban bylaws to allow backyard flocks, more and more of us are enjoying the pleasures and rewards of keeping hens in the garden.Her book is stuffed full of practical advice on keeping the garden both gorgeous and productive and hens happy and healthy. Langford includes dozens of simple and elegant recipes from her own kitchen, as well as contributions from celebrated chefs.With beautiful photographs, illustrations, and garden plans, this book is sure to become a favorite of avid and aspiring backyard farmers alike.
Pigs are much closer to their cousin, the wild boar, than other domesticated animals are to their wild ancestors. Ethical pig management requires an understanding of their natural behavior, including factors such as social grouping, mating territory, and shelter.
In Happy Pigs Taste Better, author Alice Percy advises readers on pasturing and feeding hogs organically to ensure the highest-quality gourmet meat, as well as managing the breeding herd and administering effective natural health care. In addition, she provides an overview of marketing and distribution for those looking to turn their hog farming operation into a lucrative business.
Whether you’re looking to convert a conventional operation to organic, grow your backyard hog operation into a viable business, or start from scratch, this comprehensive book has got you covered.
If you want to incubate, hatch and brood chicks yourself, rather than buying them from a hatchery, this is the guide you need. Poultry authority Gail Damerow explains exactly how to hatch healthy baby chickens, ducklings, goslings, turkey poults and guinea keets, addressing everything from selecting a breed and choosing the best incubator to ensuring proper setup and sanitary conditions, understanding embryo development, and feeding and caring for newborn chicks in a brooder.
This is a book about keeping chickens, but it is also a feather-clad soap opera of primal urges. Written from firsthand experience, its pages are filled with the quest for absolute power, sex, death, jealousy, and huge vet bills. Beyond all the intrigue and drama, however, there are even some practical lessons to be learned about what not to do when keeping chickens.
Martin Gurdon’s hilarious “chicken memoir” relieves the highs and lows of chicken ownership. The relationship between bird and human is by turns heartwarming and bewildering, but it is always entertaining.
A single information-packed volume with everything a hobby farmer needs to know about farm animals, this new, comprehensive manual to selecting, caring for and breeding livestock brings forth the expertise of six hobby farmers, each of whom has real-life on-the-farm experience with the animals she discusses. With exhaustive detail, the authors offer complete coverage of chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, cattle, pigs and rabbits, including the housing, health care, special needs, advantages and challenges of each.
Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter to carrying packs and clearing brush, there isn’t much that goats cannot do. Managing goats successfully requires an understanding of how nature designed them to thrive, including nutritional and psychological needs, as well as how to identify a problem and intercede before it’s too late.
For more than a decade, Gianaclis Caldwell and her family have operated Pholia Farm Creamery, an off-grid, raw milk goat cheese dairy. In Holistic Goat Care, Caldwell offers readers a comprehensive guide to maintaining a healthy herd of goats, whether they are dairy goats, meat goats, fiber goats, or pet goats. Holistic Goat Care will empower even novice goat owners to confidently diagnose and treat most of the ailments that goats might experience. For the experienced goat farmer, the book offers a depth of insight and approaches to treatment not found in any other book. Caldwell places special emphasis throughout on holistic, natural, and alternative approaches to caring for goats, including information on:
Whether your herd is two or two hundred, this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive book will help you keep your goats healthy, safe, and productive, and give you a deep and enjoyable insight into the wondrous creature that is the goat.
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!