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What's the buzz about the growing popularity of backyard beekeeping? Providing habitat for bees, pollinating your garden and producing honey for your family are some of the compelling reasons for taking up this exciting hobby. But conventional beekeeping requires a significant investment and has a steep learning curve. The alternative? Consider beekeeping outside the box.
The Thinking Beekeeper is the definitive do-it-yourself guide to natural beekeeping in top bar hives. Based on the concept of understanding and working with bees' natural systems as opposed to trying to subvert them, the advantages of this approach include:
Top bar hives can be located anywhere bees have access to forage, and they make ideal urban hives because of their small footprint. Emphasizing the intimate connection between our food systems, bees and the well-being of the planet, The Thinking Beekeeper will appeal to the new breed of beekeeper who is less focused on maximizing honey yield and more on ensuring the viability of the bee population now and in the coming years.
Permaculture is an important but often misunderstood method of growing food and building homes in a manner that works with nature, rather than against it, to create beautiful, healthy, and useful gardens. Blending ecology, organic agriculture, green home design, appropriate technology, and biology can be confusing and overwhelming, but The Ultimate Guide to Natural Farming and Sustainable Living simplifies this vast field for practical application.
Permaculture is an important but often misunderstood method of growing food and building homes in a manner that works with nature, rather than against it, to create beautiful, healthy, and useful gardens. Blending ecology, organic agriculture, green home design, appropriate technology, and biology can be confusing and overwhelming, but The Ultimate Guide to Permaculture simplifies this vast field for practical application. This is a hands-on guide, taking the beginner through each step of the design process, so that anyone can apply permaculture principles to their own life. While the principles are simple, the in-depth topics cover every aspect of permaculture, including:
The book begins with a personality test for your soil, then uses that information to plan a course of action for revitalizing poor soil and turning good dirt into great earth. Next, you’ll learn to start and maintain a no-till garden, to balance nutrients with remineralization, and to boost organic matter with easy cover crops
Hobby farming is alive and thriving in semi-rural, suburban, and rural areas across the country, and female farmers have been cited as the fastest growing sector within the farming community in recent years. With more than 1 million women in the United States and Canada describing farming as their primary source of income, and many more for whom hobby farming is just that—a hobby—the time is right for a publication dedicated to hobby farming from a female perspective. Written for women, by a woman, this insightful volume is packed with stories and advice from women hobby farmers and looks at female-specific farming challenges as well as issues that all farmers face.
Inside The Woman Hobby Farmer:
•Discussions on the who, what, why, and where of hobby farming
•Deciding on your farming goals and making a plan
•What to expect in your new endeavor
•How to decide what to plant and prepare your planting sites
•Advice on feeding, caring for, and housing different types of livestock
•A look at “agripreneurship”—running and marketing your hobby farm as a successful business
•Stories, quotes, and advice from successful female hobby farmers
Put your wooded land to work! This comprehensive manual shows you how to use your woodlands to produce everything from wine and mushrooms to firewood and livestock feed. You’ll learn how to take stock of your woods; use axes, bow saws, chainsaws, and other key tools; create pasture and silvopasture for livestock; prune and coppice trees to make fuel, fodder, and furniture; build living fencing and shelters for animals; grow fruit trees and berries in a woodland orchard; make syrup from birch, walnut, or boxelder trees; and much more. Whether your property is entirely or only partly wooded, this is the guide you need to make the best use of it.
Turning waste into wealth sounds too good to be true, but many worm farmers are finding that vermicomposting is a reliable way to do just that. Vermicast—a biologically active, nutrient-rich mix of earthworm castings and decomposed organic matter—sells for $400 or more per cubic yard. Compare that to regular compost, sold at about $30 a cubic yard, and you’ll see why vermicomposting has taken root in most countries and on every continent but Antarctica.
Vermicomposting is also one of the best sustainable solutions for organic waste management. Vermicomposting manure and crop wastes on farms improves crop yields while reducing demand for off-farm inputs. Vermicast has higher nutrient levels and lower soluble salt content than regular compost, and it improves soil aeration, porosity, and water retention. Plus, vermicast suppresses plant diseases and insect attacks. Municipalities, businesses, community gardens, schools, and universities can set up vermicomposting operations to process food residuals and other waste materials.
Days too short, list too long? Is being too busy taking the fun out of farming? Do you worry your business will suffer because you can't keep up with everything? Are you still expecting things to settle down to a manageable level once your farm gets "up and running"? You are not alone! In this book, farmers from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) speak from the heart about how they manage their days to reach short- and long-term goals while maintaining work/life balance. The result is a treasure trove of proven ideas for the ambitious, energetic self-starter tackling the business of farming.
"Farmers often feel like the days are never long enough; here is a handy manual that offers real life testimonials about what works on successful farms to get more done in less time." – Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm, Swoope, Virginia
This rollicking ride into machine history follows the innovators, entrepreneurs, and hucksters who transformed our world with farm machines. Starting with the turn-of-the-century visionaries who saw that four wheels and a motor could replace the horse, the book moves swiftly through key early developments to cover the power farming movement of the latter part of the 20th century—a time when major manufacturers lagged behind and independent builders and farmers began creating their own solutions with pencil drawings and welders.
Tractor Superstars focuses on remarkable tractors, including technical information such as the engine, horsepower, rpm, top speed, and weight. A wide collection of detailed photographs makes this a book that no one interested in tractors, tractor collectors, or anyone nostalgic for farm life will want to miss.
Turn This Book into a Beehive! teaches kids all about the fascinating world of bees. The fun exercises, activities, and illustrations engage their imagination and offer a deeper understanding of bee life and bee behavior. By following a few simple steps (including removing the book’s cover and taping it together), readers can transform the book into an actual living home for backyard bees. This book lets kids make a difference in the world: Building a home where bees can thrive is one small but critical step in reversing the alarming trend of dwindling bee populations.