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Jessi Bloom, the bestselling author of Free-Range Chicken Gardens and an ecological landscape designer, and permaculture expert Dave Boehnlein explain the basic principles and ethics of permaculture, show the entire design process from land assessment to the completed master plan, and offer detailed information on the plants, water, waste, energy, shelter, food, animals, and structures that make up the garden.
Climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to the productivity and profitability of agriculture in North America. More variable weather, drought and flooding create the most obvious damage, but hot summer nights, warmer winters, longer growing seasons and other environmental changes have more subtle but far-reaching effects on plant and livestock growth and development.
Resilient Agriculture recognizes the critical role that sustainable agriculture will play in the coming decades and beyond. The latest science on climate risk, resilience and climate change adaptation is blended with the personal experience of farmers and ranchers to explore:
The climate change challenge is real, and it is here now. To enjoy the sustained production of food, fiber and fuel well into the 21st century, we must begin now to make changes that will enhance the adaptive capacity and resilience of North American agriculture. The rich knowledge base presented in Resilient Agriculture is poised to serve as the cornerstone of an evolving, climate-ready food system.
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.
Soil Sisters provides a wealth of invaluable information for fledgling female farming entrepreneurs. The first manual of its kind, this authoritative and comprehensive blueprint presents practical considerations from a woman's perspective, covering everything from business planning to tool use and ergonomics to integrating children and family in farm operations.
Award-winning author Temple Grandin is famous for her groundbreaking approach to decoding animal behavior. Now she extends her expert guidance to small-scale farming operations. Grandin’s fascinating explanations of how to analyze herd animals’ behavior and of how to understand how they think — (describing their senses, fears, instincts, and memories) — will help you handle your livestock more safely and effectively. You’ll learn to become a skilled observer of animal movement and behavior, and detailed illustrations will help you set up simple and efficient facilities for managing a small herd of 3 to 25 cattle or pigs, or 5 to 100 goats or sheep.
Beautiful New Paperback with over 150 illustrations tells the story of how grain storage began and elevators were invented. Includes sections on a variety materials used in the mid-west from the 1800s to today with many historic photos and 86 full color examples of these wonderful and fascinating buildings that are integral to our farm heritage.
About the author
Linda Laird was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. She was always fascinated with the shapes of the grain elevators that define the horizon in that flat place. She became a historic preservation consultant and community planner, moved back to Kansas and married a John Deere loving, ex-farmboy from rural Reno County.
In 1992 the Kansas state legislature revised the tax code to include taxing the historic wooden elevators used primarily for storage or remaining empty. Many of the oldest wood frame elevators have been torn down or burned since then to avoid taxes. Laird and her husband, Larry Haney, were determined to at least photographically document each elevator in Kansas before the destruction was complete. They were encouraged by The James Marsden Fitch Charitable Trust, a New York foundation that provides mid-career grants to historic preservation projects. The grant allowed them to travel through the mid-west researching and photographing elevators in a multi-state area. This book is a product of that grant.
The original goal of photographing all of the elevators in Kansas was achieved in 2003 when over 1200 elevators had been photographed and documented in a searchable index. It is now possible for the first time to write a history of grain elevators in the state.
Laird's next book will focus on the historic significance of the documented elevators with attention to the various architectural styles and materials used in the continuous development of Kansas elevators.
The Bio-Integrated Farm is a 21st-century manual for managing nature’s resources. This groundbreaking book brings “system farming” and permaculture to a whole new level. Author Shawn Jadrnicek presents new insights into permaculture, moving beyond the philosophical foundation to practical advanced designs based on a functional analysis. Holding his designs to a higher standard, Jadrnicek’s components serve at least seven functions (classical permaculture theory only seeks at least two functions). With every additional function a component performs, the design becomes more advanced and saves more energy.
You decided to become a farmer because you love being outside, working the land and making a difference in the way we eat and farm.
And when you decided to become a farmer, you also became an entrepreneur and business person. In order to be ecologically and financially sustainable, you must understand the basics of accounting and bookkeeping, and learn how to manage a growing business.
Author Julia Shanks distills years of teaching and business consulting with farmers into this comprehensive, accessible guide. She covers all aspects of launching, running, and growing a successful farm business through effective bookkeeping and business management. She provides tools to make managerial decisions, apply for a loan or other financing, and offers general business and strategy advice for growing a business.
Whether you've been farming for many years or are just getting started, The Farmer's Office gives you the tools needed to think like an entrepreneur and thoughtfully manage your business for success.
Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture management. witty and welcoming style, The Independent Farmstead covers everything from choosing a species of ruminant and incorporating it into a grass-based system to innovative electric fencing and watering systems. Best of all, it’s the kind of rare how-to book that the authors themselves view not as a compendium of one-size-fits-all instructions but as “the beginning of a conversation,” one that is utterly informative, sincere, and inspiring.
To many people today, using the words “factory” and “farm” in the same sentence is nothing short of sacrilege. In many cases, though, the same sound business practices apply whether you are producing cars or carrots. Author Ben Hartman and other young farmers are increasingly finding that incorporating the best new ideas from business into their farming can drastically cut their wastes and increase their profits, making their farms more environmentally and economically sustainable. By explaining the lean system for identifying and eliminating waste and introducing efficiency in every aspect of the farm operation, The Lean Farm makes the case that small-scale farming can be an attractive career option for young people who are interested in growing food for their community. Working smarter, not harder, also prevents the kind of burnout that startup farmers often encounter in the face of long, hard, backbreaking labor.
Lean principles grew out of the Japanese automotive industry, but they are now being followed on progressive farms around the world. Using examples from his own family’s 1-acre community-supported farm in Indiana, Hartman clearly instructs other small farmers in how to incorporate lean practices in each step of their production chain, from starting a farm and harvesting crops to training employees and selling goods. While the intended audience for this book is small-scale farmers who are part of the growing local food movement, Hartman’s prescriptions for high-value, low-cost production apply to farms and businesses of almost any size or scale that hope to harness the power of lean in their production processes.