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As communities seek greater resiliency in the wake of economic upheaval, job loss, climate change and global food shortages, local farmers are seen as a key resource to help reinvigorate (or create) a diversified, regionalized, ecologically based food system. Farms with a Future explores the passion, creativity and entrepreneurship that's needed to help family farms find their niche and remain sustainable and successful in an age of agribusiness and consolidation.
What is a farm with a future? What will make it sustainable and resilient? And what key qualities and skills does a farmer need in today's climate to be successful?
Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this must-read book for anyone aspiring to get into small to mid-scale market farming, or who wants to make their existing farm more dynamic, profitable and, above all, sustainable.
A growing interest in locally grown food is evident: In 2008, local food sales (direct to consumers or direct to restaurants/retailers) totaled $4.8 billion dollars, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Those sales were predicted to top $7 billion by the end of 2011.
An experienced farmer herself, Thistlethwaite does not idealize or romanticize her subject in Farms with a Future. "If you are not prepared for some serious hard work, inclement weather, dirt lodged in every crevice of your body, and being so dog-tired that you fall into your easy chair at night and don't wake up until the next morning, then you might look into another vocation," the author warns.
Thistlethwaite and her husband took a one-year sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation's most innovative farmers to learn some of their best practices … and a whole lot about what doesn't work too.
Farms with a Future introduces readers to some of the country's most innovative farmers, who are embracing their "inner entrepreneur": unabashedly marketing and sharing the pride they have for what they produce; building systems and finding efficiencies and cost savings so they don't have to keep raising prices every year; shying away from huge debt loads by developing ways to build their businesses patiently over time, using earned income or creative arrangements with their community of customers; harnessing natural processes to ensure they are not degrading the natural resources the farms depend upon; and treating their employees and volunteers like family.
While many other books address agricultural production, very few talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future will help guide farmers to manage for long-term sustainability and build a triple-bottom-line farming business focused on economic viability, social justice and ecological soundness.
First published in 1887, Fences, Gates, and Bridges is an instructional guide to the best ways to build a variety of fences, gates, hedges, bridges, and culverts. The section on fences boasts a wealth of information on building various types of fences, including rail, composite, garden, board, and picket. It also explores how to construct an effective barbed wire fence, how to use a stone wall to reinforce a wooden fence, and highlights the pros of building portable fences. Fences, Gates, and Bridges is a classic manual for anyone who wants to build their own structures for their farm, large property, or quaint backyard.
Grow Create Inspire is a rallying cry, itself an inspiration urging all of us to help fill the vital need for growth … not only of food, but also in the hearts and the minds of individuals around the globe. Focusing on step-by-step approaches to accumulating skills toward self-sufficiency, Grow Create Inspire is a comprehensive guide to creating a beautiful, regenerative, and deeply satisfying life, covering everything from basic and more advanced growing tips, preparing and preserving harvest, and generally greening those aspects of life that bring about happiness, including, food, art, music, beauty, and time in nature.
Malcolm Wells' fourth book about underground architecture will show you that building a house underground is not only possible but also a very good idea for those who want a friendly-with-the-earth life.
This book covers everything you need to know about underground building, from concept basics to house plans you can use for your own underground home.
An architect by trade, Wells lived in The Underground Art Gallery, in Brewster, Mass., and wrote several books about this subject, which he began promoting in 1964. A pioneer of underground building and natural design, he penned such best-selling books as Gentle Architecture and The Earth-Sheltered House. How to Build an Underground House is scanned from his own handwritten and illustrated pages and is self-published.
Wondering if an off-grid lifestyle is right for you? Scared that it’ll be too challenging for you and your family to handle? Living Off the Grid is a comprehensive shakedown of what this unique lifestyle looks like in practice and will help ease your mind about transitioning to an off-grid life. With practical instruction, time-saving tips, and hard-earned wisdom, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of a simplified off-grid existence.
This set is a match! Get two books that have a plethora of information and knowledge to share for a great price! The Mother Earth News Almanac is a seasonal guide with subject matter that any passionate DIYer, homesteader, or environmentally aware reader will appreciate. You'll find recipes, money-saving tips, and homesteading techniques, such as illustrated directions for tying a timber hitch, cat's-paw, sheepshank, and other knots; folk medicine treatments and preventatives; tips on raising chickens and keeping bees; plans for building three kinds of kites; complete instructions for fast and easy compost; and much, much more! Building Soils Naturally gives gardeners a hands-on plan for creating productive, living soil by using a practical, holistic approach – crafted right in your garden. In an organic garden, plants in optimum health thrive abundantly, produce harvests with amazing taste, and possess the ability to fight off plant predators. When they don't, there's often something lacking in their proper nutrition. Maybe they are missing beneficial microorganism companions, or perhaps they are short of the energy needed to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The solution is to "start with the soil," but healthy soil doesn't happen just by composting, fertilizing, or companion planting alone. The solution can be found in Building Soils Naturally.
Detailed photography and a floor plan for each structure highlight inventive space-saving design features along with the nuts-and-bolts details of heating, cooling, electric, and plumbing systems. The real-life stories of residents impart the pleasures, as well as the challenges, of day-to-day living. With tips on what to consider before you build, along with framing plans for a prototype small cabin, Micro Living is the perfect starter handbook for both dreamers and doers.
The ultimate guide to acquiring, assembling, and using lifesaving emergency communication systems, this book includes in-depth information on operating ham radios, walkie-talkies, shortwave radios, and citizens band (CB) radios. When disaster strikes, calls, texts and emails don’t work. After 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy, cell phones were rendered useless when transmission towers were destroyed and networks became overloaded. Having an alternative way of reaching family and loved ones at these critical moments is essential. With this guide, learn the best tips, tricks, and expert secrets for surviving when phones and the internet fail. This comprehensive guide covers everything needed to be fully prepared for when the grid goes down.
When disaster strikes, it will take more than food and water to keep one’s family alive. Prepper’s Natural Medicineempowers readers with all the information they need to safely create their own medicines when a major disaster has rendered doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies unavailable. Using healing plants widely available and easily grown throughout the United States, expert prepper Cat Ellis explains how to craft renewable medicines from herbs, lichen, fungi, and other natural ingredients. She shares valuable tips for using Mother Nature’s pharmacy for situations specific to a large-scale disaster scenario, from an E. coli outbreak to an influenza pandemic.
This guide features easy-to-follow picture tutorials on how to build your own DIY survival projects (50 in all!). One of the prepping movement’s most prolific authors, Jim Cobb has taught readers how to fortify their homes, survive for weeks without electricity, and prepare themselves financially for years of economic turmoil. Now he turns to some of his favorite DIY projects to teach his thousands of fans how to create cheap, easy, and ingenious tools to help survive any natural disaster. Prepper’s Survival Hacks is filled to the brim with intriguing, fun, and innovative projects to secure any home.
When disaster strikes, bugging out will be sufficient to escape short-term danger. But when widespread collapse comes, survival will depend on having a long-term prepper retreat ready and waiting. Prepper’s Survival Retreatsbreaks down the daunting task of strategic relocation into manageable steps that allow readers to create a personalized plan appropriate for their budget, needs, and specific goals. No two preppers are alike and no two strategic relocation plans should be the same,this book will show how to put together the perfect survival retreat for every prepper.
Learn how to grow (and consume) sprouts, shoots, and microgreens at home without using expensive or complicated equipment. All you need is tap water and a glass jar, and you're ready to go! This is an easy, fast, and smart way to fit healthy greens into your diet. Following Lina Wallentinson's instructions, in just a few days, you'll see dry seeds transform into burgeoning green sprouts. In Sprouts, Shoots, and Microgreens, Wallentinson proves there is much more to shoots, sprouts, and microgreens than the classics cress and mung beans and that they are truly easy to grow, no matter where you try to do so. All plants in this book can be grown in jars, colanders, sieves, or bags at any height, using many different kinds of light sources, and even under pressure. In addition to showing how to grow shoots and sprouts, Wallentinson teaches how to make delicious meals with your harvest. Using step-by-step pictures and descriptive recipes, she demonstrates that shoots and sprouts are much more than just decorations on a plate. Recipes include sushi rolls with quinoa and wasabi mayonnaise, baked pumpkin with lentil sprouts and almond pesto or coffee, and coconut balls with toasted buckwheat!