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.
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.
When the going gets tough, the tough ... start raising their own food. In the first full-color guide of its kind, author and small farm owner Laura Childs reveals exactly what it takes to start raising your own animals, including chickens, geese, goats, sheep, pigs, and cows. Childs discusses what you can expect to harvest from your animals (from eggs to milk to meat to wool) based on her own real-life experiences. Whether you want to raise a few chickens for eggs alone, try your hand at a few goats with the intention of making your own cheese, or sustain your family and make some extra money from raising cows and selling beef, this is the book for you.
Childs explains how to get started and everything you need to know about successfully raising each animal, including:
This invaluable guide is the perfect first book for anyone interested in starting a backyard barnyard or a small farm (or simply dreaming about the idea).