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Organic Farming Books
The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the only book that teaches all the skills needed to live independently in harmony with the land harnessing natural forms of energy, raising crops and keeping livestock, preserving foodstuffs, making beer and wine, basketry, carpentry, weaving, and much more. Our 2009 edition includes 150 new full-color illustrations and a special section in which John Seymour, the father of the back to basics movement, explains the philosophy of self-sufficiency and its power to transform lives and create communities. More relevant than ever in our high-tech world, The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the ultimate practical guide for realists and dreamers alike.
A growing body of evidence shows that agricultural landscapes can be managed not only to produce crops but also to support biodiversity and promote ecosystem health. Innovative farmers and scientists, as well as indigenous land managers, are developing diverse types of "ecoagriculture" landscapes to generate cobenefits for production, biodiversity, and local people. "Farming with Nature" offers a synthesis of the state of knowledge of key topics in ecoagriculture. The book is a unique collaboration among renowned agricultural and ecological scientists, leading field conservationists, and farm and community leaders to synthesize knowledge and experience across sectors. The book examines: the knowledge base for ecoagriculture as well as barriers, gaps, and opportunities for developing improved ecoagriculture systemswhat we have learned about managing landscapes to achieve multiple objectives at a landscape scaleexisting incentives for farmers, other land managers, and investors to develop and invest in ecoagriculture systemspathways to develop, implement, manage, and scale up successful ecoagricultureInsights are drawn from around the world, in tropical, Mediterranean, and temperate environments, from farming systems that range from highly commercialized to semi-subsistence. "Farming with Nature" is an important new work that can serve as a foundation document for planners, farm organizations, researchers, project developers, and policy makers to develop strategies for promoting and sustaining ecoagriculture landscapes. Replete with valuable best practice guidelines, it is a critical resource for both practitioners and researchers in the field.
Acre-for-acre, flowers are the most profitable--as well as the most beautiful--crop on the farm. In "The Flower Farmer" expert flower grower Lynn Byczynski provides a complete introduction to raising a cornucopia of cut flowers for home use and for sale to retail customers, florists, and other markets. The book offers detailed, manageable plans for flower growing on a scale ranging from a backyard border to a half-acre commercial garden. It will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, including: Home gardeners who want growing tips from professionals, so that they can enjoy an abundance of flowers year-round in fresh and dried bouquets Passionate gardeners and small-scale growers who want to raise and sell cut flowers in season for additional income Small commercial farmers who want to increase farm revenue or even make a living from selling field-grown, specialty cut flowers. "The Flower Farmer" provides a clear, realistic look at both the benefits and the challenges of growing flowers organically for local markets. Chapters include information on: The best varieties of cut flowers--an A-Z list of more than one hundred recommended annuals and perennials, spotlighting the cultivars that are grown by professional flower farmers How to cut, store, and preserve flowers for long-lasting beauty How to dry flowers for crafting or for a dried-flower business Flower-arranging basics from a designer's perspective Extending the season with woody shrubs and trees Marketing options for commercial growers, including sales at farmer's markets, supermarkets, florists, and wholesalers. Sprinkled throughout are profiles of successful flower farmers--from Vermontto California, Texas to Wisconsin--each of them providing a unique perspective proving that growing flowers can be as profitable as it is satisfying.
Written for the transitioning and new organic farmer, Organic Dairy Farming brings together for the first time in a single volume the information to explain everything from organic soil management, calf care and mastitis control to the certification process and marketing for the organic premium. Combining up-to-date advice from 20 experts in a variety of fields, it presents organic concepts and practices in a readable form. The book includes farmer interviews demonstrating how they have successfully applied organic practices on their own farms. Over sixty illustrations, glossary, list of resources and complete index make the book very useable. An essential tool for both the farmer and the agricultural professional.
The Complete Guide to Organic Livestock Farming: Everything You Need to Know about Natural Farming on a Small Scale
Small scale farming has grown greatly in popularity during the last two decades, with a greater turn in public awareness toward locally grown, organic, grass fed products that have not been modified, chemically altered, or poorly fed. For that reason, those looking to start a small scale farm and raise livestock have a greater chance than ever before to take advantage of the new market for small scale goods. This book will show any potential small scale farmer how to start raising their livestock and marketing it to the organic, natural lifestyle community that so fervently seeks out these products. You will learn how to start the basic outline for your new small farm, including which livestock to raise, how to build their pens and habitat, and what you will be feeding them to maintain a healthy, organic farm. You will learn the basics of animal husbandry, from genetics and breeding to feeding, building locations, and proper health and reproduction care. You will learn how to find yourself in the right niche for selling your products and what legalities you must see to as well as the butchering and processing phase Hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews have been conducted for this book with top experts in farm management to provide you with details about farm planning, financial planning, and proper livestock planning. A complete appendix will detail the various breeds and needs of cattle, chickens, goats, horses, pigs, and sheep to help you select the right livestock for your farm. In addition, you will learn the basic composition of most feeds, different grasses and legumes you can use, and find a plethora of outside resources to utilize. For anyone with dreams of a small farm and raising livestock in their future, this is a book for you.
Once patronized primarily by the counterculture and the health food establishment, the organic food industry today is a multi-billion-dollar business driven by ever-growing consumer demand for safe food and greater public awareness of ecological issues. Assumed by many to be a recent phenomenon, that industry owes much to agricultural innovations that go back to the Dust Bowl era. This book explores the roots and branches of alternative agricultural ideas in twentieth-century America, showing how ecological thought has challenged and changed agricultural theory, practice, and policy from the 1930s to the present. It introduces us to the people and institutions who forged alternatives to industrialized agriculture through a deep concern for the enduring fertility of the soil, a passionate commitment to human health, and a strong advocacy of economic justice for farmers. Randal Beeman and James Pritchard show that agricultural issues were central to the rise of the environmental movement in the United States. As family farms failed during the Depression, a new kind of agriculture was championed based on the holistic approach taught by the emerging science of ecology. Ecology influenced the "permanent agriculture" movement that advocated such radical concepts as long-term land use planning, comprehensive soil conservation, and organic farming. Then in the 1970s, "sustainable agriculture" combined many of these ideas with new concerns about misguided technology and an over-consumptive culture to preach a more sensible approach to farming. In chronicling the overlooked history of alternative agriculture, A Green and Permanent Land records the significant contributions of individuals like RexTugwell, Hugh Bennett, Louis Bromfield, Edward Faulkner, Russell and Kate Lord, Scott and Helen Nearing, Robert Rodale, Wes Jackson, and groups like Friends of the Land and the Practical Farmers of Iowa. And by demonstrating how agriculture also remains central to the public interest-especially in the face of climatic crises, genetically altered crops, and questionable uses of pesticides-this book puts these issues in historical perspective and offers readers considerable food for thought.
" Farming in Nature's Image" provides, for the first time, a detailed look into the pioneering work of The Land Institute, the leading educational and research organization for sustainable agriculture.The authors draw on case studies, hands-on experience, and research results to explain the applications of a new system of agriculture based on one unifying concept: that farms should mimic the ecosystems in which they exist. They present both theoretical and practical information, including: a review of the environmental degradation resulting from current farming practices a critical evaluation of the attempts to solve these problems a detailed description of the ecosystem perspective and the proposed new agricultural system a case study illustrating how this new system could be applied to temperate grain production using perennial seed crops and the prairie as a model an examination of the potential savings in energy and water use, as well as potential contributions to ecological experiments and yield analysis work from The Land Institute.Written in clear, non-technical language, this book will be of great interest to soil and agricultural scientists, academics, policymakers, environmentalists, and other concerned with finding long-range solutions to agricultural problems.
Whoosh . . . the wind blows open a creaky gate. Inquisitive and mischievous, a homeless little cat scampers through—and suddenly finds herself in the wondrous world of an organic farm! Affectionately named "Molly" by the farmers who discover her, she romps, naps, and hunts among the vegetables. Seen through Molly's eyes, the reader discovers the interplay of nature that grows wholesome food. But what will happen to Molly when winter comes? Based on a true story, Molly will touch children's hearts while introducing them to plants and the key elements of growing food organically. Standards-based science concepts and activities at the end of the book expand the message of the story.
The 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
The 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. Ussery offers extensive information on:The definition of an integrated poultry flock (imitation of natural systems, integrating patterns, and closing the circle)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 preventionPlanning 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 anywhereMaking and mixing your own feed (with tips on equipment, storage, basic ingredients, technique, grinding and mixing)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 soldier grubsUsing poultry to increase soil fertility, control crop damaging insects, and to make compost-including systems for pasturing and for tillage of cover crops and weedsRecipes 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 photos.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.
Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive "how-to" guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens--all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics.Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops and storage lockers into commercial-quality sprout and mushroom farms, and their outside nooks and crannies into whatever they can imagine, including sustainable nurseries for honeybees and chickens. Free space for the city gardener might be no more than a cramped patio, balcony, rooftop, windowsill, hanging rafter, dark cabinet, garage, or storage area, but no space is too small or too dark to raise food.With this book as a guide, people living in apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes will be able to grow up to 20 percent of their own fresh food using a combination of traditional gardening methods and space-saving techniques such as reflected lighting and container "terracing." Those with access to yards can produce even more.Author R. J. Ruppenthal worked on an organic vegetable farm in his youth, but his expertise in urban and indoor gardening has been hard-won through years of trial-and-error experience. In the small city homes where he has lived, often with no more than a balcony, windowsill, and countertop for gardening, Ruppenthal and his family have been able to eat at least some homegrown food 365 days per year. In an era of declining resources and environmental disruption, Ruppenthal shows that even urban dwellers can contribute to a rebirth of local, fresh foods.
Meat and dairy production and consumption are in crisis. Globally 60 billion farm animals are used for food production every year. It is well accepted that methane emissions from cattle and other livestock are major contributors to greenhouse gas levels and to climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) predicts a rough doubling of meat and milk consumption by 2050, with particularly rapid growth occurring in the developing economies of Asia. This could raise the number of farm animals used annually to nearer 120 billion. What will this mean for the health and wellbeing of those animals, of the people who consume ever larger quantities of animal products, and for the health of the planet itself?This powerful and challenging book explores these issues surrounding the global growth in the production and consumption of meat and dairy animals and products, including cultural and health factors, and the implications of the likely intensification of farming for both small-scale producers and for the animals. Several chapters explore the related environmental issues, from resource use of water, cereals and soya, to the impact of livestock production on global warming and issues concerning biodiversity, land use and the impacts of different farming systems on the environment. A final group of chapters addresses ethical and policy implications for the future of food and livestock production and consumption. The overall message is clearly that we must eat less meat to help secure a more sustainable and equitable world.
Find the right balance of organic matter, tillage, and chemical additives to increase the quality and quantity of crops This book shows the importance of organic matter in maintaining crop production. The addition of organic matter to soil is covered in great detail. This book is unique in that it draws on practical farming operations to illustrate many of the points discussed. The senior author has had almost 60 years of experience in solving production problems--many of which have been related to insufficient organic matter. In addition, Sustainable Soils: The Place of Organic Matter in Sustaining Soils and Their Productivity stresses the necessity of combining the addition of organic matter with reduced tillage and added chemicals. Photographs, tables, and figures, as well as appendixes containing common and botanical names of plants, symbols and abbreviations found in the text, and useful conversion factors and data help bring the information into focus quickly and efficiently. An extensive bibliography points the way to other useful material on this subject. Sustainable Soils discusses: what materials can be added techniques for proper handling of organic matter how much is enough (and how much is too much ) the nutritive value of various forms of organic matter the benefits that can be expected from properly handling and adding organic matter to soil From the Editors: "Sustainable agriculture is not possible without a sustainable soil science, which in turn is largely dependent on organic matter. It is necessary to return large amounts of organic matter to the soil in order to maintain satisfactory crop production. It can be derived from crop residues, cover crops, sods, or various wastes, such as manures, sludges, and composts. This book details the benefits of various forms, and how each should be handled for maximum returns."
If you love the joys of eating home-garden vegetables but always thought those joys had to stop at the end of summer, this book is for you. Eliot Coleman introduces the surprising fact that most of the United States has more winter sunshine than the south of France. He shows how North American gardeners can successfully use that sun to raise a wide variety of traditional winter vegetables in backyard cold frames and plastic covered tunnel greenhouses without supplementary heat. Coleman expands upon his own experiences with new ideas learned on a winter-vegetable pilgrimage across the ocean to the acknowledged kingdom of vegetable cuisine, the southern part of France, which lies on the 44th parallel, the same latitude as his farm in Maine. This story of sunshine, weather patterns, old limitations and expectations, and new realities is delightfully innovative in the best gardening tradition. "Four-Season Harvest" will have you feasting on fresh produce from your garden all through the winter.
Leading animal rights activist Gene Baur examines the real cost of the meat on our plates -- for both humans and animals alike -- in this provocative and thorough examination of the modern farm industry. Many people picture cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens as friendly creatures who live happily within the confines of a peaceful family farm, arriving as food for humans only at the end of their sun-drenched lives. That's what Gene Baur had been told -- but when he first visited a stockyard he realized that this rosy depiction couldn't be more inaccurate. Amid the stench, noise, and filth, his attention was drawn in particular to one sheep who had been cast aside for dead. But as Baur walked by, the sheep raised her head and looked right at him. She was still alive, and the one thing Baur knew for sure that day was that he had to get her to safety. Hilda, as she was later named, was nursed back to health and soon became the first resident of Farm Sanctuary -- an organization dedicated to the rescue, care, and protection of farm animals. The truth is that farm production does not depend on the family farmer with a small herd of animals but instead resembles a large, assembly-line factory. Animals raised for human consumption are confined for the entirety of their lives and often live without companionship, fresh air, or even adequate food and water.Viewed as production units rather than living beings with feelings, ten billion farm animals are exploited specifically for food in the United States every year. In "Farm Sanctuary," Baur provides a thoughtprovoking investigation of the ethical questions involved in the production of beef, poultry, pork, milk, and eggs -- and what each of us can do to stop the mistreatment of farm animals and promote compassion. He details the triumphs and the disappointments of more than twenty years on the front lines of the animal protection movement. And he introduces sanctuary. us to some of the special creatures who live at Farm Sanctuary -- from Maya the cow to Marmalade the chicken -- all of whom escaped horrible circumstances to live happier, more peaceful lives. "Farm Sanctuary" shows how all of us have an opportunity and a responsibility to consume a kinder plate, making a better life for ourselves and animals as well. You will certainly never think of a hamburger or chicken breast the same way after reading this book.
Turn your hobby farm into a successful business No experience in farming? No problem "The Profitable Hobby Farm" gives you all the tools you need to launch a thriving hobby farm business. Based on the author's expert guidance and the motivating experiences of other small farmers, it shows you how to blend strategy, marketing, and money management in order to prosper. "The Profitable Hobby Farm "provides sound, friendly start-up advice on a variety of topics essential to making an initial foray into a local foods venture. A must-read book for raising and selling local, sustainable foods Includes sample business plan, grant application, marketing and advertising plan, and other forms Lengthy resources section directs you to additional reading Also by Aubrey: "Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm Business "Whether it's growing heirloom tomatoes, raising free-range chickens for their eggs, or making organic wine or cheese, this book shows you how to turn your hobby into a profit.
A quiet revolution is taking place: People across the United States are turning toward local food. Some are doing it because they want more nutritious, less-processed food; some want to preserve the farmland and rural character of their regions; some fear interruptions to the supply of non-local food; some want to support their local economy; and some want safer food with less threat of contamination. But this revolution comes with challenges. "Reclaiming Our Food" tells the stories of people across America who are finding new ways to grow, process, and distribute food for their own communities. Their successes offer both inspiration and practical advice. The projects described in this book are cropping up everywhere, from urban lots to rural communities and everywhere in between. In Portland, Oregon, an organization called Growing Gardens installs home gardens for low-income families and hosts follow-up workshops for the owners. Lynchburg Grows, in Lynchburg, Virginia, bought an abandoned 6.5-acre urban greenhouse business and turned it into an organic farm that offers jobs to people with disabilities and sells its food through a local farmers' market and a CSA. Sunburst Trout Farm, a small family business in rural North Carolina, is showing that it's possible to raise fish sustainably and sell to a local market. And in Asheville, North Carolina, Growing Minds is finding ways to help bring fresh foods into schools. Author Tanya Denckla Cobb offers behind-the-scenes profiles of more than 50 food projects across the United States, with lessons and advice straight from their founders and staff. Photographic essays of 11 community food projects, by acclaimed photographer Jason Houston, detail the unusual work of these projects, bringing it to life in unforgettable images. "Reclaiming Our Food "is a practical guide for building a local food system. Where others have made the case for the local food movement, "Reclaiming Our Food "shows how communities are actually making it happen. This book offers a wealth of information on how to make local food a practical and affordable part of everyone's daily fare.
As the organic food market continues to expand, so too do the opportunities for small farmers. For the farmer, the benefits of running an organic operation are great. Organic farms conserve nonrenewable resources, offer better conditions for farm animals, produce high-demand goods, and boost farm income. As the organic food market continues to expand, so do the opportunities for small farmers. "The Organic Farming Manual" is a comprehensive guide to growing, certifying, and marketing organic produce, grains, meat, and dairy. Beginning farmers committed to launching an organic operation and experienced farmers hoping to transition from traditional farming techniques will find all the information they need. The organic certification process is lengthy and demanding, but author Ann Larkin Hansen clarifies every USDA requirement and offers complete advice on selecting equipment, tending the land, caring for animals, and marketing farm products. Readers will also find profiles of successful organic farmers throughout the book. Their experiences provide inspiration and valuable tips for first-time farmers looking for real success stories. Hansen's thorough coverage of the subject and the positive words of established growers will set countless farmers on a healthful, organic path.