Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

The Most Exciting New Trend in Farming Looks Decidedly Amish

While the industrial food system is busy pioneering plows guided by satellite, and engineering transgenic frankencrops to pair with their ever more toxic pesticides, a quiet revolution is taking place. If you don’t know what you’re looking at, you might think there’s a sudden boom in the cutesy historical re-enactment industry, but the truth is far more interesting.

“It may seem strange to link the adjective ‘ultra-modern’ with the noun ‘horse-farming,’ but that’s exactly what this new book does with unimpeachable justification.” — Gene Logsdon, author of A Sanctuary of Trees and Small-Scale Grain Raising

Small farmers today are rediscovering a cutting edge technology that was nearly lost to the past: horse-power. And The New Horse-Powered Farm by Stephen Leslie is arriving at just the right time to provide a long-awaited guide to farmers who want to use this age-old skill. The book is on sale this week: 35% off.

Marketing Director of Horse Progress Days Dale Stoltzfus told us the book is the best thing he’s read in a long time, “The past 50-60 years have been one long lament for the losses horse farming has experienced. Now we are in a different time and the fire is burning more brightly, and we need to keep the blower on the forge cranking so that the fire doesn’t die back. This book is the kind of support we need.”

The New Horse-Powered Farm covers the whole spectrum from considering whether a horse-powered operation is right for you, to the practical management of one, including:

  • Getting started with workhorses;
  • The merits of different draft breeds;
  • Various training systems for the horse and teamster;
  • Haying with horses, seeding crops, and raising small grains;
  • In-depth coverage of tools and systems;
  • Managing a woodlot, farm economics, education, agritourism, and more.

Browse the Table of Contents here, and take a look at some of the beautiful photographs from the book that show the diversity and vitality of this exciting movement.

 

 


“If we work hard, we sleep well.” Independent Farmstead Q&A (part 2)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More
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