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Dirt, soil, call it what you want--it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations "explores the compelling idea that we are--and have long been--using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, "Dirt "traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil--as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers
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 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 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 grubs Using poultry to increase soil fertility, control crop damaging insects, and to make compost-including systems for pasturing and for tillage of cover crops and weeds 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 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.
Does animal welfare have a place in sustainable farming, or do the demands of a rising human population and the threat of climate change mean that the interests of animals must be put aside? Can we improve the way we keep animals and still feed the world - or is it a choice between ethics and economics? The aim of this book is to challenge the "them-and-us" thinking that sets the interests of humans and farm animals against each other and to show that to be really "sustainable," farming needs to include, not ignore, animal welfare. The authors of this remarkable book come from a diversity of backgrounds: industry, animal welfare organizations, academic institutions, and practical farming. They are united in arguing that farm animals matter and that sustainable farming must have animal welfare at its ethical core, along with the production of healthy, affordable food and care for the environment.
Urban Farm Handbook: City Slicker Resources for Growing, Raising, Sourcing, Trading, and Preparing What You Eat
You don t have to live on 50 acres to begin taking control over what you eat.Is that...a goat in your garage?! It might be if you ve been reading THE URBAN FARM HANDBOOK: CITY-SLICKER RESOURCES FOR GROWING, RAISING, SOURCING, TRADING, AND PREPARING WHAT YOU EAT. In this comprehensive guide for city-dwellers on how to wean themselves off of commercial supermarkets, the authors map a plan for how to manage a busy, urban family life with home-grown foods, shared community efforts, and easy yet healthful practices. More than just a few ideas about gardening and raising chickens, THE URBAN FARM HANDBOOK uses stories, charts, grocery lists, recipes, and calendars to inform and instruct. As busy urbanites who have learned how to do everything from making cheese and curing meat to collaborating with neighbors on a food bartering system, the authors share their own food journeys along with those of local producers and consumers who are changing the food systems in the Pacific Northwest.