Heritage breeds matter, and they are often a better choice than conventional breeds for small farms and backyards. This eloquent and inviting visual guide explains why conserving heritage breeds is important and shows you how you can raise these breeds yourself, helping to preserve them and benefiting from them at the same time. Written by three experts from the Livestock Conservancy, this book includes chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys and horses, detailing each breed's specific needs and characteristics so that you can select the one that's right for you. Whichever breed you choose, you'll find thorough, comprehensive information on how to raise it successfully.
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.
p>As the average age of America’s farmers continues to rise, we face serious questions about what farming will look like in the near future, and who will be growing our food. Many younger people are interested in going into agriculture, especially organic farming, but cannot find affordable land, or lack the conceptual framework and practical information they need to succeed in a job that can be both difficult and deeply fulfilling.
In Fruitful Labor, Mike Madison meticulously describes the ecology of his own small family farm in the Sacramento Valley of California. He covers issues of crop ecology such as soil fertility, irrigation needs, and species interactions, as well as the broader agroecological issues of the social, economic, regulatory, and technological environments in which the farm operates. The final section includes an extensive analysis of sustainability on every level.
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, paddocks and feedlot pens. The benefits are great — for you and for your livestock. Well-treated animals, free from fear and pain:
Humane Livestock Handling includes Grandin's insightful explanations of how her general research into how animals think can be applied to improving any farmer's understanding of livestock behavior and effectiveness in handling animals. The book includes complete construction plans that are applicable for facilities of every size and a wide range of needs, including:
For more than four decades, the self-described “contrary farmer” and writer Gene Logsdon commented on the state of American agriculture. In Letter to a Young Farmer, his final book of essays, Logsdon addressed the next generation: young people moving back to the land to enjoy a better way of life as small-scale “garden farmers.” It’s a lifestyle that isn’t defined by accumulating wealth or by the “get big or get out” agribusiness mindset. Instead, it’s one that recognizes the beauty of nature, cherishes the land, respects our fellow creatures, and values rural traditions. It’s one that also looks forward and embraces “right technologies,” including new and innovative ways of working smarter, not harder, and avoiding premature burnout.
Stalwart and powerful, oxen can plow fields, haul stones, assist in logging, improve roads and demonstrate traditional farming techniques. And they are stronger, steadier, less expensive and easier to keep than draft horses. Here is the definitive guide to selecting, training, feeding and caring for working oxen. With proper care and training, oxen can be a dependable, economical alternative to heavy machinery on small working farms.
Now, more than ever, people across the country are turning toward simpler, greener, and quieter ways of living, whether they’re urbanites or country folk. This large, fully illustrated book provides the entire family with the information they need to make the shift toward self-sufficient living.
Self-Sufficiency provides tips, advice, and detailed instructions on how to improve everyday life from an environmentally and organic perspective while keeping the focus on the family. Readers will learn how to plant a family garden and harvest the produce; can fruits and vegetables; bake bread and cookies; design interactive and engaging “green” projects; harness natural wind and solar energy to cook food and warm their homes; boil sap to make maple syrup; and build treehouses, furniture, and more. Also included are natural crafts readers can do with their children, such as scrapbooking, making potato prints, dipping candles, and constructing seasonal decorations. Whether the goal is to live entirely off the grid or just to shrink their carbon footprints, families will find this book a thorough resource and a great inspiration.
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.
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.
Hobby farming is alive and thriving in semi-rural, suburban, and rural areas across the country, and female farmers have been cited as the fastest growing sector within the farming community in recent years. With more than 1 million women in the United States and Canada describing farming as their primary source of income, and many more for whom hobby farming is just that—a hobby—the time is right for a publication dedicated to hobby farming from a female perspective. Written for women, by a woman, this insightful volume is packed with stories and advice from women hobby farmers and looks at female-specific farming challenges as well as issues that all farmers face.
Inside The Woman Hobby Farmer:
•Discussions on the who, what, why, and where of hobby farming
•Deciding on your farming goals and making a plan
•What to expect in your new endeavor
•How to decide what to plant and prepare your planting sites
•Advice on feeding, caring for, and housing different types of livestock
•A look at “agripreneurship”—running and marketing your hobby farm as a successful business
•Stories, quotes, and advice from successful female hobby farmers