Worried about ever-rising fuel bills and longing for the day when you can be off-grid and independent? Anxious about the quality of the food you eat and planning to go organic? Yearning to get back to the way it was but don't know where to start? This book will show you how to achieve the eco-friendly good life. The authors cover the ecological gamut from geothermal heating to crop rotation to soap making. They answer important questions like how much land is really needed to be self-sufficient, whether or not to depend entirely on natural forms of energy, and which farm animals will best meet your needs. There’s practical information here on building an insulated flue pipe chimney, identifying edible wild plants, and composting with worms?as well as recipes for jams, rhubarb wine, cheeses, and more. Packed with full-color photographs, helpful illustrations, and diagrams, Self-Sufficiency Handbook will appeal to urban dwellers who want to adopt certain aspects of greener living and to serious adherents of back-to-basics living.
The concept of silvopasture challenges our notions of both modern agriculture and land use. For centuries, European settlers of North America have engaged in practices that separate the field from the forest, and even the food from the animal. Silvopasture systems integrate trees, animals, and forages in a whole-system approach that offers a number of benefits to the farmer and the environment. Such a system not only offers the promise of ecological regeneration of the land, but also an economical livelihood and even the ability to farm extensively while buffering the effects of a changing climate: increased rainfall, longer droughts, and more intense storm events.
Silvopasture, however, involves more than just allowing animals into the woodlot. It is intentional, steeped in careful observation skills and flexible to the dynamics of such a complex ecology. It requires a farmer who understands grassland ecology, forestry, and animal husbandry. The farmer needn’t be an expert in all of these disciplines, but familiar enough with them to make decisions on a wide variety of time scales. A silvopasture system will inevitably look different from year to year, and careful design coupled with creativity and visioning for the future are all part of the equation.
With just a quarter acre of land, you can feed a family of four with fresh, organic food year-round. The Backyard Homestead is a comprehensive guide to self-sufficiency that gives you all the information you need to grow and preserve a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, and grains; keep chickens for eggs and meat; raise cows, sheep, and goats for meat or milk; raise pigs and rabbits; and keep honeybees. Simple instructions make it easy to enjoy canned, frozen, dried, and pickled produce all winter; use your own grains to make bread, pasta, and beer; turn fresh milk into delicious homemade yogurt, butter, and cheese; make your own wine, cordials, and herbal teas; and much more. It truly is possible to eat entirely from your backyard. Want a companion planner book, too? The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner offers expert advice on what tasks to do around your farm and when to do them — no matter where on the planet you call home. Author Ann Larkin Hansen sets the priorities for each area of the farm, including the barn, garden, orchard, field, pasture, and woodlot. For every critical turn of the year (12 in all), Hansen provides an at-a-glance to-do list along with tips and a more in-depth discussion of key topics for the season. Easy-reference charts, checklists, and record-keeping sections help you keep track of it all.
Take control of your own health care and that of your family, pets, and livestock, with tips on growing and foraging herbs safely and ethically; secrets to preservation and processing; and easy, soothing recipes. With bonus sections on creating your own herbal apothecary, creating a foraging journal, and more, this handy book is sure to become your go-to reference for all things herbal.