Long embraced by corporations that are driven only by the desire for profit, industrial agriculture wastes precious resources and spews millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year, exacerbating climate change and threatening the very earth and water on which we depend. However, this dominant system, from which Americans obtain most of their food, is being supplanted by a new paradigm.
The Emergent Agriculture is a collection of 14 thematic essays on sustainability viewed through the lens of farming. Arguing that industrial food production is incompatible with the realities of nature, science and ethics, this lyrical narrative makes the case for a locally based food system that is:
A revolution in food production is underway. Written from the vantage point of an ecologist who is also a farmer, The Emergent Agriculture is essential reading for anyone interested in food security and the potential for growing local economies. It’s food for thought about the future of food.
Author: Gary Kippel
In barnyards and backyards, on rooftops and in alleyways, a movement is happening: the modern homesteading movement. Whether it’s turning a lawn into a vegetable garden, getting a flock of chickens, or transforming cucumbers into pickles, people everywhere are taking charge of their own food supply. Ashley English, a major figure in the return to homesteading, gives newcomers her time-honored tips for successfully overseeing food production in their own homes. Completely updating material from her phenomenal homesteading books (Keeping Bees, Keeping Chickens, Canning & Preserving, and Home Dairy), this collection covers everything from preserving jams and jellies to whipping butter and keeping a hive of honey bees. English provides entry points, troubleshooting tips, and inspiration for putting the food your family consumes back in your own hands.
Author: Ashley English
A major outdoor survival book, The Extreme Survival Almanac is unlike anything else on the market. It’s written specifically for regular folks who may be suddenly forced to survive in the wilderness without assistance … and with no planning, specialized training nor equipment. This remote-area survival manual provides clear decision-making guidelines to walk you step-by-step from the first signs of trouble all the way through to rescue. It outlines specific courses of action for every type of survival scenario imaginable, including thousands of useful tips, directions and suggestions that can be understood and followed by the panicked and possibly injured layman stranded in the woods, in a vehicle or at sea.
Sections are devoted to topics like surviving in land-locked settings, including in the desert or in the tundra, as well as surviving at sea. Each section covers the basics for survival in detail, including how to create shelter and find water or food in each scenario. Also included are appendices with navigation tools and maps detailing unique information such as prevailing ocean current patterns, prevailing wind patterns and common commercial flight routs.
Author: Reid Kincaid
If your sweet corn is tall, your brood of chickens is beautiful, and your half-dozen goats give delicious milk, then you know firsthand the rewards of running a small farm. But what if you could turn that do-it-yourself hobby into a long-term source of regular income? Nurturing a healthy harvest is only half the battle. What you really need to know is how to create a successful and sustainable business.
In The Farm to Market Handbook, veteran dairy-goat farmer Janet Hurst combines her deep knowledge of farming life and farmers markets with her hard-won experience turning farm products into a living wage. From community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs) and weekly markets to school programs and local chefs, Hurst guides you through every type of market available to small farmers. She explains how you can develop a realistic marketing plan, provides a breakdown of the food laws and regulations you'll need to be aware of, and offers insider tips on how to be a successful businessperson.
Through enlightening interviews with producers around the country who speak of their successes (and their failures), this book looks at the nation's top markets and analyzes why they have thrived where others have not. So if you've ever wondered how to start selling your produce, entertained the idea of raising meat goats, or wanted to spread the word about your homegrown honey, you should read The Farm to Market Handbook and figure out how to put money in your pockets.
Author: Janet Hurst
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.
Author: Julia Shanks
There has never been a better time to make and sell great cheese. People worldwide are consuming more high-quality, handmade cheese than ever before. The number of artisan cheesemakers has doubled in recent years, and many of the industry's newcomers are "farmstead" producers — those who work only with the milk of their own animals. More than ever before, the people who choose to become farmer-cheesemakers need access to the knowledge of established cheese artisans who can help them build their dream.
Few career choices lead to such extremes of labor, emotion and monetary challenge. In The Farmstead Creamery Advisor, respected cheesemaker, instructor and speaker Gianaclis Caldwell walks would-be producers through the many, and often confusing, steps and decisions they will face when considering a career in this burgeoning cottage industry. This book fills the gap that exists between the pasture and cheese plate. It goes far beyond issues of caring for livestock and basic cheesemaking, explaining business issues such as:
Drawing from her own and other cheesemakers' experiences, Caldwell brings to life the story of creating a successful cheesemaking business in a practical, organized manner. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in becoming a licensed artisan cheesemaker, The Farmstead Creamery Advisor will also appeal to the many small and hobby-farm owners who already have milking animals and who wish to improve their home dairy practices and facilities.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Author: Gianaclis Caldwell
With this compact, portable reference in hand, crafters can quickly and easily look up any of 100 sheep breeds, the characteristics of their fleece, and the kinds of projects for which their fleece is best suited. Each breed profile includes a photo of the animal and information about its origin and conservation status, as well as the weight, staple length, fiber diameter, and natural colors of its fleece. This is a great primer for beginners, and a handy guide for anyone who loves working with fleece!
Author: Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius
Christophe Pourny learned the art of furniture restoration in his father’s atelier in the south of France. In this, his first book, he teaches readers everything they need to know about the provenance and history of furniture, as well as how to restore, update and care for it—from antiques to midcentury pieces, family heirlooms and funky flea-market finds. The heart of the book is an overview of Pourny’s favorite techniques—ceruse, vernis anglais and water gilding, among many others—with full-color step-by-step photographs to ensure that readers can easily replicate each refinishing technique at home. Pourny brings these techniques to life with a chapter devoted to real-world refinishing projects, from a veneered table to an ebonized desk, a gilt frame to a painted northern European hutch. Rounding out this comprehensive guide is care and maintenance information, including how to properly clean leather, polish hardware, fix a broken leg and replace felt pads, as well as recipes to make your own wax, shellac, varnish, stain, and more.
Author: Christope Pourny
From honey experts C. Marina Marchese and Kim Flottum comes this comprehensive introduction to the origin, flavor, and culinary uses of more than 30 varietals of honey, from ubiquitous clover to tangy star thistle to rich, smoky buckwheat.
Like wine, cheese, coffee and chocolate, honey has emerged as an artisanal obsession. Its popularity at farmers markets and specialty food stores has soared as retailers capitalize on the trend. The Honey Connoisseur teaches consumers everything they need to know about how to taste, select and use a diverse selection of honey.
After a brief explanation of how bees produce honey, the authors introduce the concept of terroir, the notion that soil, weather and other natural phenomena can affect the taste of honey. As with wines, knowing the terroir of a honey varietal helps to inform an understanding of its flavor.
The book goes on to give a thorough course in the origins of more than 30 different honeys as well as step-by-step instructions on how to taste honey, describe its flavor and determine what other flavors will pair best with it. Also included are simple recipes such as dressings, marinades, beverages and quick-and-easy desserts.
Beautifully illustrated and designed, The Honey Connoisseur is the perfect book for foodies and locavores alike.
Author: K. Flottum, C. Marchese
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.
Author: Shawn & Beth Dougherty
The Knot Tying Bible is a complete guide to selecting, tying and using a wide array of knots, useful for everything from hauling logs to securing a canoe to wrapping presents. Beginners can master the basics before progressing to the more difficult knots. Experienced rope users can enjoy new knot challenges and discoveries.
Using a dual approach of photographs and written instructions explaining step-by-step how to tie knots, the book includes:
A hands-on knot directory outlines the function and formation of more than 70 knots and categorizes them according to physical properties, making it easy to find the right knot for the job at hand.
Knowing the right knot to use and how to tie it can make life easier … and safer. The Knot Tying Bible is a timeless resource that will be useful just about anywhere, for just about anything. This is an essential purchase.
Author: Colin Jarman
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.
Author: Ben Hartman