Small is beautiful, and these 15 real farm plans show that small-scale farmers can have big-time success. Compact Farms is an illustrated guide for anyone dreaming of starting, expanding, or perfecting a profitable farming enterprise on 5 acres or less. The farm plans explain how to harness an area’s water supply, orientation, and geography in order to maximize efficiency and productivity while minimizing effort. Profiles of well-known farmers such as Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier show that farming on a small scale in any region, in both urban and rural settings, can provide enough income to turn the endeavor from hobby to career. These real-life plans and down-and-dirty advice will equip you with everything you need to actually realize your farm dreams.
When you read Growing Fruit With a Smile, you cannot resist a feeling that Kurdyumov is teaching some kind of ‘gardening magic’, reveals the ultimate secrets of mastering what people call a ‘green thumb’. And it’s not just because he shows you how to start an orchard without buying a single nursery tree; how to influence the taste of the fruit any way you like; how to grow five-pound pears; how to grow apricots in Zone 2; or how to train trees into stunning shapes without any pruning. There’s more to it. We tend to view growing fruit as hard work full of challenges: sweating to improve the soil, fighting drought and pests, trying to heal sunscald, then figuring out how to do proper pruning etc. And Kurdyumov shows us how to have more fruit with fewer trees, how to achieve amazing results with less effort — and all those color photos of the garlands of fruit show you his approach works! Ultimately you realize that there is nothing magical in that — it’s just that Kurdyumov offers genuine understanding where many other authors limit themselves to cookie-cutter instructions.
Learn how to improve the day-to-day operation as well as the profitability of your farm by raising healthier, more contented animals. Temple Grandin, North America's most influential advocate of humane livestock treatment, shares dozens of methods and detailed plans she has developed for low-stress ways to move livestock on pastures, paddlocks and feedlot pens.
While supplies last.
At Clay Bottom Farm, author Ben Hartman and staff practice kaizen, or continuous improvement, cutting out more waste—of time, labor, space, money, and more—every year and aligning their organic production more tightly with customer demand. Applied alongside other lean principles originally developed by the Japanese auto industry, the end result has been increased profits and less work. In this field-guide companion to his award-winning first book, The Lean Farm, Hartman shows market vegetable growers in even more detail how Clay Bottom Farm implements lean thinking in every area of their work, including using kanbans, or replacement signals, to maximize land use; germination chambers to reduce defect waste; and right-sized machinery to save money and labor and increase efficiency. From finding land and assessing infrastructure needs to selling perfect produce at the farmers market, The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables digs deeper into specific, tested methods for waste-free farming that not only help farmers become more successful but make the work more enjoyable. These methods include: •Using Japanese paper pot transplanters •Building your own germinating chambers •Leaning up your greenhouse •Making and applying simple composts •Using lean techniques for pest and weed control •Creating Heijunka, or load-leveling calendars for efficient planning Farming is not static, and improvement requires constant change. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables offers strategies for farmers to stay flexible and profitable even in the face of changing weather and markets. Much more than a simple exercise in cost-cutting, lean farming is about growing better, not cheaper, food—the food your customers want.
In Compost Teas for the Organic Grower, you’ll find everything you need to know about feeding your garden, orchard, or smallholding with homemade and chemical-free “teas.” It’s packed with recipes for creating nutrient-rich, healthy soil, to give you healthy plants and ecosystems.
In the book’s pages, permaculture orchardist Eric Fisher provides an in-depth history of organic agriculture and the rise in chemical inputs. He then goes on to explore the importance of nutrients, their cycles, and the structure of soil. This enables readers to truly understand their soil and ecosystems, so they can manage them properly.
In a groundbreaking debut, farmer and social scientist Chris Smaje argues that organizing society around small-scale farming offers the soundest, sanest and most reasonable response to climate change and other crises of civilization—and will yield humanity’s best chance at survival.
Drawing on a vast range of sources from across a multitude of disciplines, A Small Farm Future analyzes the complex forces that make societal change inevitable; explains how low-carbon, locally self-reliant agrarian communities can empower us to successfully confront these changes head on; and explores the pathways for delivering this vision politically.
Opening your barn doors to the people is much more than sharing holiday hayrides, farm tours, and bottle-feeding lambs with friends. It is also a means of reconnecting people with their food and diversifying your farm income.
Packed with decades of sustainable tourism experiences, Agritourism: A Manual for Diversifying Your Farm Income is an experience-based guide to connecting with the public and developing multiple, sustainable income streams on your farm. Chock-full of case studies, Q&A's, pros and cons, solutions, priorities, and actionable items from agritourism farms that succeeded and failed.
Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm describes the creation of a sustainable food system through a detailed case study of the successful year-round organic market garden and permaculture design at Pennsylvania’s Three Sisters Farm.
A picture-book of the Buddha House, by famed craftsman and natural builder Sun Ray Kelley. This house, built in Washington State, features sculpted walls of stucco, stone and cedar shakes, round timberframe construction, a living roof, and Sun Ray's signature curved ridgebeams and railings made from whole trees--roots and all. A collection of 60 color photographs of this one-of-a-kind house with sayings from the world's great thinkers that help explain SunRay's philosophy of natural building. This book is the first in a series documenting the work of SunRay Kelley and his School of Natural Living.
The space, setup, and equipment required to raise and process poultry are minimal when compared to other types of livestock, which is part of what makes chickens such an appealing choice for small-scale meat producers. Expert butcher and teacher Adam Danforth covers the entire slaughtering and butchering process in this photographic guide specifically geared toward backyard chicken keepers and small-farm operations invested in raising meat responsibly.
With step-by-step photos, detailed instructions, and chapters dedicated to necessary tools and equipment, essential food safety measures, how to prepare for slaughter and process the birds quickly and humanely, how to break down the carcasses into cuts, and how to package and freeze the cuts to ensure freshness, this comprehensive handbook gives poultry raisers the information they need to make the most of their meat.
It’s time to take the hassle out of defeathering! This chicken plucker will help you quickly defeather your poultry and fowl.
Powerful and Quick: Quickly defeather chickens, ducks, geese, hens, and waterfowl with a powerful 1.2-horsepower motor. Process each bird in just 30 seconds.
Hands-Free Cleanup: Simply attach a standard garden hose to the integrated irrigation ring and flush out feathers.
Long-Lasting Stainless Steel: Durable 403 stainless steel tub allows for a lifetime of processing.
Large-Capacity 20-Inch Tub: Large tub with 92 rubber fingers quickly and efficiently processes two to four birds at a time.
This item is only available for shipment to continental U.S. addresses.
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.
In Dirt to Soil, Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge: restoring the soil. The Brown’s Ranch model, developed over 20 years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown’s Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only 20 years!
Over the past 70 years, the industrial farming system and its ruinous practices have exhausted our soils, poisoned our groundwater, and provided the basis for a food culture that is making most of our population sick. In order to move forward, toward a more regenerative and sustainable form of agriculture, author and organic farmer Michael Foley suggests we will have to look back to recover lessons from traditional agriculture societies, stewardship, social organization, community, and resilience.
Farming for the Long Haul is a guide to building a viable small farm economy; one that can withstand the economic, political, and climatic shock waves that the 21st century portends. It details the innovative work of contemporary farmers, but more than anything else, it draws from the experience of farming societies that maintained resilient agriculture systems over centuries of often turbulent change.
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!
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.
From underexplored native flavors like bayberry and spicebush to accessible ecological threats like Japanese knotweed and mugwort, Viljoen presents hundreds of recipes unprecedented in scope. Motivated by a hunger for new flavors and working with 36 versatile wild plants (some increasingly found in farmers markets), she offers deliciously compelling recipes for everything from cocktails and snacks to appetizers, entrées, and desserts, as well as bakes, breads, preserves, sauces, syrups, ferments, spices, and salts.
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.
Ready to take your beekeeping skills to the next level? In Business with Bees provides the answers you need.
“The only way to save the honey bee is to save the beekeeper. All the rest comes second,” says best-selling author and beekeeping expert Kim Flottum. In this book, Flottum shows you how to save bees, beekeepers, and your business. He’ll takes serious beekeepers past the early stages and learning curves and offer practical, useful advice for converting your their passion into a part-time or full-time career with measurable results.
This beekeeping business how-to guide offers all of the in-depth answers to the questions you didn’t know you had.
• Writing a business plan
• Finding the best sources for funding
• Determining what your facilities will be and how to acquire them
• Getting and installing the right equipment
• Cooperating with other local businesses
• Promoting your business and measuring success
• And much more!
With this expert advice you can become as knowledgeable, confident, and successful in running a business as you are in beekeeping.
In Managing Pasture, author Dale Strickler guides farmers and ranchers through the practical and ideological considerations behind caring for the land as a key part of running a successful grass-based operation, from the profitability of replacing expensive grain feed with nutrient-rich native grasses to the benefits of ecologically-minded land management.