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Fencing Book: How to Choose, Build, and Maintain the Best
Fence for Your Plants and Animals
by Ann Larkin Hansen
96 pp, 2013, $10
guide covers everything you need to know about the types of
electric fencing available, how to choose the type that is
right for your needs, how electric fencing works, how to put
an electric fencing system together, and how to use portable
electric fencing for rotational grazing. Whether you need
to keep livestock and horses in or keep predators out, you'll
find the information you need in this comprehensive handbook.
Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse
by Ali Berlow, Temple
Grandin (Foreword) 144pp,
If you are raising chickens, turkeys, or other poultry for
meat and lack easy access to a humane, local slaughterhouse,
this guide shows you how to put together a slaughtering and
processing unit that will accommodate any type of poultry
and can be moved from farm to farm. These units can be funded,
built, and used by a community of small farmers, or you can
develop one by yourself and use it as part of a business.
This book covers the mechanics of constructing the unit, government
regulations, the permitting process, sanitation, safety, and
Select Your Location
Gift Greeting / Instructions
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. 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.
The Complete Guide to Milk, Meat and More
by Deborah Niemann
304pp., 2013, $25
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to
raising goats (or any livestock for that matter). But by
working with nature, you can raise dairy goats as the centerpiece
of a diversified homestead and produce your own milk, cheese,
meat, fertilizer, leather, fiber and soap -- all without
relying on drugs or following the factory-farm model. By
observing your own animals closely and educating yourself
about their specific needs, you can create an individualized
plan for keeping them healthy and maximizing their productivity.
unique, fully-illustrated guide will teach you to help your
herd thrive with: breed-specific
descriptions to help you choose the right goats for your
goals and lifestyle, detailed information on housing, fencing,
breeding, health, milking and nutrition, recipes and instructions
for making your own cheese, dairy products, and soap, as
well as cooking with goat meat.
with personal experiences backed up by expert veterinary
advice and scientific studies, Raising Goats Naturally brings
together a wealth of practical information on raising goats
for the love of it and using their milk and meat to become
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Gift Greeting / Instructions
"With endearing personal stories and layman's scientific
explanations, Raising Goats Naturally lays an enjoyable and
empowering foundation for goat-rearing success on the self-reliant
farmstead." --- Joel Salatin Polyface Farm
of Plant Propagation by Lewis Hill 176pp, 1985, $20
starting your own flowers and vegetables, inside and out.
It's raising shrubs and trees for your property, creating
your own orchard -- even growing many houseplants from one.
are just a few of the results you can expect:
Raise the best tomato plants.
* Grow your own Christmas trees.
* Offer the finest of gifts -- houseplants.
* Avoid buying expensive shrubs; start your own.
* Plant those hard-to-find flowers, perennials and annuals,
at little or no cost.
is it expensive? Definitely not. You don't need a greenhouse
or costly equipment. You can do a lot with a couple of fluorescent
bulbs. Seeds are cheap, some are free. As for shrubs, trees,
and houseplants, Lewis Hill explains how to collect, rather
than buy, the materials you'll need. It's fun, can be profitable,
and, with the help of Lewis Hill plus the many illustrations
in this book, is easy. Beginners will learn from step one;
those more advanced will discover new techniques and find
tips to improve their results.
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Gift Greeting / Instructions
Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Healing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes
by Leila Darwish
$25, 336pp., 2013
of acres of land have been contaminated by pesticides, improperly
handled chemicals, dirty energy projects, toxic waste, and
other pollutants in Canada and the United States. This toxic
legacy impacts the environment, our health, our watersheds,
and land that could otherwise be used to grow healthy local
food and medicines. Conventional clean-up techniques employed
by government and industry are not only incredibly expensive
and resource-intensive, but can also cause further damage
to the environment. More and more communities find themselves
increasingly unable to rely on those companies and governments
who created the problems to step in and provide solutions.
How can we, the
grassroots, work with the power of living systems to truly
heal and transform toxic and damaged landscapes into thriving,
healthy, and fertile places once more? How can we respond
to environmental disasters in accessible and community empowering
Earth Repair explores a host of powerful grassroots bioremediation
techniques to assist with the recovery of the lands that nourish
us, and to support the work many of us do everyday to grow healthy
food and medicine amidst the polluted and damaged soils of our
backyard gardens, community commons, and wild lands.
Microbial remediation – using microorganisms
to break down and bind contaminants
Phytoremediation – using plants to extract, bind, and
Mycoremediation – using fungi to clean up contaminated
soil and water.
Packed with valuable, firsthand information,
recipes and remedies from visionaries in the field, Earth
Repair empowers communities and individuals to take action
and heal contaminated and damaged land. Encompassing everything
from remediating and regenerating abandoned city lots for
urban farmers and gardeners, to responding and recovering
from environmental disasters and industrial catastrophes such
as oil spills and nuclear fallout, this fertile toolbox is
essential reading for anyone who wishes to transform environmental
despair into constructive action.
Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre
by Eric Toensmeier
$20, 240pp., 2013
Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down
part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was
barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of
concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work
designing what would become not just another urban farm, but
a "permaculture paradise" replete with perennial
broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa—all told, more
than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative
food forest on a small city lot. The garden—intended
to function like a natural ecosystem with the plants themselves
providing most of the garden's needs for fertility, pest control,
and weed suppression—also features an edible water garden,
a year-round unheated greenhouse, tropical crops, urban poultry,
and even silkworms.
the story of Paradise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles
and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual
food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and,
of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process.
Packed full of detailed, useful information about designing
a highly productive permaculture garden, Paradise Lot is also
a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant
nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams
and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts,
Food in a Hotter, Drier Land:
Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty
by Gary Paul Nabhan
$30, 257pp., 2013
uncertainty now “the new normal,” many farmers,
gardeners, and orchardists in North America are desperately
seeking ways to adapt how they grow food in the face of climate
change. The solutions may be at our back door.
In Growing Food
in a Hotter, Drier Land, Nabhan, one of the world’s
experts on the agricultural traditions of arid lands, draws
from the knowledge of traditional farmers in the Gobi Desert,
the Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara Desert, and Andalusia, as
well as the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Painted deserts of North
America to offer time-tried strategies, including:
Building greater moisture-holding capacity and nutrients in
Protecting fields from damaging winds, drought, and floods;
Reducing heat stress on crops and livestock;
Harvesting water from uplands to use in rain gardens and terraces
filled with perennial crops;
Selecting fruits, nuts, succulents, and herbaceous perennials
that are best suited to warmer, drier climates; and,
Keeping pollinators in pace and in place with arid-adapted crop
and refining these adaptations may help us secure food in
the face of climate change,” writes Nabhan.
certain type of agricultural history was made in 2011 when
more than 500 food-producing counties in the continental United
States were declared parts of disaster areas because they
suffered weather-related crop failures. The searing heat waves
and dry conditions suffered across seven-tenths of the United
States during the summer of 2012 proved even more devastating:
2,228 counties were designated as federal disaster areas,
where crops and livestock were either severely affected or
lost to drought.
practical book is replete with detailed descriptions and diagrams
showing how to implement desert-adapted practices in your
own backyard, orchard, or farm to mitigate the impact of these
rapid changes. It also includes colorful “parables from
the field” that exemplify how desert farmers think about
increasing the carrying capacity and resilience of the lands
and waters they steward.
by Mark Shepard
2013, 344pp., $30
Around the globe most people get their calories from annual
agriculture - plants that grow fast for one season, produce
lots of seeds, then die. Every single human society that has
relied on annual crops for staple foods has collapsed. Restoration
Agriculture explains how we can have all of the benefits of
natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems
that imitate nature in form and function while still providing
for our food, building, fuel and many other needs - in your
own backyard, farm or ranch. This book, based on real-world
practices, presents an alternative to the agriculture system
of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future.
Agriculture is the intentional restoration of healthy, functional
ecosystems as the context for economically-viable farm operations.
Perennial crops, livestock, fungus, and pollinators are integrated
to produce abundant food, fiber, and fuel and simultaneously
restore critical ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration,
water purification and infiltration, nutrient cycling, and
Organic Seed Grower:
A Farmer's Guide to Vegetable Seed Production
by John Navazio
400pp, 2012, $50
Seed Grower is a comprehensive manual for the serious vegetable
grower who is interested in growing high-quality seeds using
organic farming practices. It is written for both serious
home seed savers and diversified small-scale farmers who want
to learn the necessary steps involved in successfully producing
a commercial seed crop organically.
profiles for each of the major vegetables provide users with
practical, in-depth knowledge about growing, harvesting, and
processing seed for a wide range of common and specialty vegetable
crops, from Asian greens to zucchini.
readers will find extensive and critical information on topics
The reproductive biology of crop plants • Annual vs.
biennial seed crops • Isolation distances needed to
ensure varietal purity • Maintaining adequate population
size for genetic integrity • Seed crop climates •
Seed-borne diseases • Seed cleaning basics • Seed
storage for farmers • and more . . .
book can serve as a bridge to lead skilled gardeners, who
are already saving their own seed, into the idea of growing
seed commercially. And for diversified vegetable farmers who
are growing a seed crop for sale for the first time, it will
provide details on many of the tricks of the trade that are
used by professional seed growers. This manual will help the
budding seed farmer to become more knowledgeable, efficient,
and effective in producing a commercially viable seed crop.
With the strong
demand for certified organic produce, many regional seed companies
are increasingly seeking out dedicated seed growers to ensure
a reliable source of organically grown seeds for their farmer
and gardener customers. This trend represents a great business
opportunity for small-scale commercial growers who wish to
raise and sell vegetable seeds as a profitable part of their
diversified small-farm operation. Written by well-known plant
breeder and organic seed expert John Navazio, The Organic
Seed Grower is the most up-to-date and useful guide to best
practices in this exciting and important field.
Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach
to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market
Growers--With information on building ... feed, and
working with poultry in the garden
By Harvey Ussery, 2011, 394pp, $39
Review - PDF)
most comprehensive guide to date on raising all-natural
poultry for the small-scale farmer, homesteader, and
professional grower. The Small-Scale Poultry Flock offers
a practical and integrative model for working with chickens
and other domestic fowl, based entirely on natural systems.
Readers will find information on growing (and sourcing)
feed on a small scale, brooding (and breeding) at home,
and using poultry as insect and weed managers in the
garden and orchard. Ussery's model presents an entirely
sustainable system that can be adapted and utilized
in a variety of scales, and will prove invaluable for
beginner homesteaders, growers looking to incorporate
poultry into their farm, or poultry farmers seeking
to close their loop.
offers extensive information on:
- The definition of an integrated poultry flock (imitation
of natural systems, integrating patterns, and closing
- Everything you need to know about your basic chicken
(including distinctive points about anatomy and behavior
that are critical to management)
- Extended information on poultry health and holistic
health care, with a focus on prevention
- Planning your flock (flock size, choosing breeds,
fowl useful for egg vs. meat production, sourcing stock)
- How to breed and brood the flock (including breeding
for genetic conservation), including the most complete
guide to working with broody hens available anywhere
- Making and mixing your own feed (with tips on equipment,
storage, basic ingredients, technique, grinding and
- Providing more of the flock's feed from sources grown
or self-foraged on the homestead or farm, including
production of live protein feeds using earthworms and
- Using poultry to increase soil fertility, control
crop damaging insects, and to make compost-including
systems for pasturing and for tillage of cover crops
- Recipes for great egg and poultry dishes (including
Ussery's famous chicken stock!)
- And one of the best step-by-step poultry butchering
guides available, complete with extensive illustrative
No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems
approach, or discusses producing homegrown feed and
breeding in such detail. This is a truly invaluable
guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a
new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.
A Practical Guide to Small-Scale Integrative Farming
2011, 256pp, $30 (Read
Review - PDF)
Holzer farms steep mountainsides in Austria 1,500 meters
above sea level. His farm is an intricate network of
terraces, raised beds, ponds, waterways and tracks,
well covered with productive fruit trees and other vegetation,
with the farmhouse neatly nestling amongst them. This
is in dramatic contrast to his neighbors’ spruce
this book, Holzer shares the skill and knowledge acquired
over his lifetime. He covers every aspect of his farming
methods, not just how to create a holistic system on
the farm itself, but how to make a living from it. Holzer
writes about everything from the overall concepts, down
to the practical details.
Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture readers will learn:
How he sets up a permaculture system
* The fruit varieties he has found best for permaculture
* How to construct terraces, ponds, and waterways
* How to build shelters for animals and how to work
with them on the land
* How to cultivate edible mushrooms in the garden and
on the farm
* and much more!
offers a wealth of information for the gardener, smallholder
or alternative farmer yet the book’s greatest
value is the attitudes it teaches. He reveals the thinking
processes based on principles found in nature that create
his productive systems. These can be applied anywhere.
is a groundbreaking exploration of the difficult environmental,
ethical and health issues surrounding the human consumption
of animals. Garnering huge praise in the UK, this is
a book that answers the question: should we be farming
animals, or not? Not a simple answer, but one that takes
all views on meat eating into account. It lays out in
detail the reasons why we must indeed decrease the amount
of meat we eat, both for the planet and for ourselves,
and yet explores how different forms of agriculture--including
livestock--shape our landscape and culture.
At the heart of this book, Simon Fairlie argues that
society needs to re-orient itself back to the land,
both physically and spiritually, and explains why an
agriculture that can most readily achieve this is one
that includes a measure of livestock farming. It is
a well-researched look at agricultural and environmental
theory from a fabulous writer and a farmer, and is sure
to take off where other books on vegetarianism and veganism
have fallen short in their global scope.
Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming & Climate Change
by Albert Bates
(Read Review -
Civilization as we know it is at a crossroads. For the
past 10,000 years, we have turned a growing understanding
of physics, chemistry and biology to our advantage in
producing more energy and more food and as a consequence
have produced exponential population surges, resource
depletion, ocean acidification, desertification and
path we are following began with long-ago discoveries
in agriculture, but it divided into two branches, about
8,000 years ago. The branch we have been following for
the most part is conventional farming -- irrigation,
tilling the soil, and removing weeds and pests. That
branch has degraded soil carbon levels by as much as
80 percent in most of the world's breadbaskets, sending
all that carbon skyward with each pass of the plow.
other branch disappeared from our view some 500 years
ago, although archaeologists are starting to pick up
its trail now. At one time it achieved success as great
as the agriculture that we know, producing exponential
population surges and great cities, but all that was
lost in a fluke historical event borne of a single genetic
quirk.It vanished when European and Asian diseases arrived
in the Americas.
excavations on the banks of the Amazon river, clearings
of the savanna/gallery forests in the Upper Xingu, and
ethnographic studies of Mesoamerican milpas, science
has now re-traced the path of the second great agriculture,
and, to its astonishment, found it more sustainable
and productive that what we are currently pursuing.
conventional agriculture leads to deserts, blowing parched
dirt across the globe and melting ice caps, this other,
older style, brings fertile soils, plant and animal
diversity and birdsong. While the agriculture we use
has been shifting Earth's carbon balance from soil and
living vegetation to atmosphere and ocean, the agriculture
that was nearly lost moves carbon from sky to soil and
crops. The needed shift, once embarked upon, can be
profound and immediate. We could once more become a
garden planet, with deep black earths and forests of
fruit and nuts where deserts now stand. We can heal
our atmosphere and oceans.
like a detective story but marked by impressive scholarship.
New historical evidence that climate is remarkably responsive
to human impacts had me gripping the edge of my seat."
A Grass-Based Approach for Health, Sustainability, and
by Carol Ekarius 1999, 217pp, $19 (Read
Review - PDF)
natural, organic, grass-based approach to livestock
management for healthier animals, reduced feed and healthcare
costs, and maximum profitability. Through case studies
of successful farmers, nitty-gritty details on every
facet of livestock farming, and fascinating insights
for working with nature instead of against it, you'll
learn to make your farm thrive.
wonderfully illustrated book is full of "I wish
somebody had told me that!" information, from the
"big picture" of small-scale-farming to mathematical
equations for figuring feeds and feeding or interest
and payments. The book is divided into sections on:
The Roots of Grass-Based Farming, Animal Husbandry,
Marketing, and Planning.
has been a full-time livestock farmer for over a decade,
in addition to writing for a variety of newspapers and
magazines. This book is a wonderful meld of those skills.
It is for "those people who are still in the dreaming
phase, and for those who have recently taken the plunge."
But Ekarious does such a good job of laying out her
information that even city slickers will enjoy browsing
through this book and picking up interesting bits of
information such as how to use an animal's point of
balance to move it backwards or forwards, or the anatomy
of a goat.
- simple, low-tech solutions in booklet form.
understanding of and approaches to soil health. Soil
fertility, Earthworms, Cover Cropping, Getting the Most
out of Your Compost Pile, the Art and Science of Sheet
Mulching, Rhizosphere Wars: Tree & Soil Health,
Keyline Planning for Soil Improvement, Very Intensive
Beds, Silt as a Resource, Roof Gardens Using Leaves,
Soil Pesticide Detox.
Simplified: Step-by-step instructions to
make your own round hive for healthier bees.
40 pp, $7
and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology
by Eric Grissell with
photographs by Carll Goodpasture
345pp (with more than a hundred exquisite photos), $20
us make a truce in the war on insects and end the annual
application of a billion pounds of pesticides in America's
a sound basis in science and a practical grounding in
gardening experience, Grissell aims to introduce the
reader to insect biology and the role of insects in
garden ecology. Unlike other books on insects, this
is not a handbook on how to recognize and eliminate
"pests". Instead, Insects and Gardens
casts a more appreciative eye on them and seeks to find
a middle ground in which both humankind and insectkind
can share the garden to mutual benefit. Very high -quality
Aquaculture: A Sustainable Solution by
2005, $45, 149pp, 2 color foldout charts
work, research and development, 25 years in the making
and 4 years in the writing, presents a comprehensive
and detailed analysis of the principles and objectives
of freshwater resource management for aquatic diversification.
Enhance and improve your recreational fisheries through
& other means of keeping seeds in the Hands of People
by Cindy Conner 2014,
if you had one source to refer to with the basics of
starting and maintaining a seed library to use with
your seed-saving partners. Seed Libraries: And Other
Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People is
that source! From this book you will learn the history
of the seed library movement, why you should be involved,
and how to go about it. Getting your seed sharing program
up and running is only part of the story. You need to
keep it going and this book is full of ideas to help
you have been watching from afar, wondering if a seed
library is in your future, this book will help you decide.
If you can, visit a seed library that is already established.
Do your homework first so you will know what to ask
about. All the seed libraries I’ve visited were
happy to show me around and not just because I was writing
a book. They are that friendly to everyone and excited
to show off what they’ve accomplished. They are
also frank about the pitfalls they experienced. There
are no guarantees that the seed library road won’t
be bumpy, but it will surely be exciting.
Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a
Few Acres by Pam Dawling
North America, an agricultural renaissance is unfolding.
A growing number of market gardeners are emerging to
feed our appetite for organic, regional produce. But
most of the available resources on food production are
aimed at the backyard or hobby gardener who wants to
supplement their family's diet with a few homegrown
fruits and vegetables. Targeted at serious growers in
every climate zone, Sustainable Market Farming is a
comprehensive manual for small-scale farmers raising
organic crops sustainably on a few acres.
by the author's extensive experience growing a wide
variety of fresh, organic vegetables and fruit to feed
the approximately one hundred members of Twin Oaks Community
in central Virginia, this practical guide provides:
Detailed profiles of a full range of crops, addressing
sowing, cultivation, rotation, succession, common pests
and diseases, and harvest and storage. Information about
new, efficient techniques, season extension, and disease
resistant varieties. Farm-specific business skills to
help ensure a successful, profitable enterprise.
Agriculture and Resistance edited
by Fernando Funes, Luis Garcia, Martin Bourque, Nilda
Perez, and Peter Rosset
2002, $19.00, 307pp
is a story of resistance against all odds, of Cuba's
remarkable recovery from a food crisis brought on by
the collapse of trade relations with the former socialist
bloc and the tightening of the U.S. embargo. Unable
to import either food or the farm chemicals and machines
needed to grow it via conventional agriculture, Cuba
turned inward toward self-reliance.
agriculture, organic farming, urban gardens, smaller
farms, animal traction and biological pest control are
part of the successful paradigm shift underway in the
Cuban countryside. In this book Cuban authors offer
details-for the first time in English-of these remarkable
achievements, which may serve as guideposts toward healthier,
more environmentally friendly and self-reliant farming
in countries both North and South. Get the acclaimed
Video / CDThe
Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
Your Own Vegetable Varieties:
The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding
and Seed Saving by Carol Deppe.
2000, 384pp., $28
authoritative and easy-to-understand guide to plant
for the home gardener. Presents information essential
to taking control of our food supply starting with seeds.
Stabilize hybrids; domesticate wild plants; select for
flavor, size shape, color, or hardiness. Explains all
major breeding methods in clear language.
Seed Saving Techniques for the Vegetable Gardener
Suzanne Ashworth 2nd
Edition 2002. 228pp. $25
complete guide to saving seed from 160 vegetable crops,
with detailed information on each vegetable: botanical
classification, flower structure and pollination method,
isolation distances, caging and hand-pollination techniques,
and proper methods for harvesting, drying, cleaning
and storing. Save your own seed...before the corporate
corpses make it illegal! Here's how.
Flesh Is Grass: The Pleasures & Promises of Pasture
Gene Logsdon 2004, 262pp.
Logsdon explains that well-managed pastures are nutritious
and palatable—virtual salads for livestock. Leafy
pastures also hold the soil, increase biodiversity,
and create lovely landscapes. Grass farming may be the
solution for a stressed agricultural system based on
an industrial model and propped up by federal subsidies.
The pasture farming that Gene Logsdon practices can
also produce grains, fruits, herbs, mushrooms, and salad
greens for human consumption. The book explains historically
effective practices and new techniques that have blossomed
in recent years for the care and sustenance of horses,
cattle, sheep, hogs, and poultry on pasture. Logsdon's
warm profiles of successful grass farmers offer inspiration
narrative is enriched by his experience as a "contrary
farmer" on his own artisan-scale farm.The culmination
of a lifetime's experience, this book is vital for owners
of small acreages, home food producers, horse enthusiasts,
and sustainable commercial farmers.