The New Horse-Powered Farm
Tools and Systems for the Small-Scale, Sustainable Market Grower
Foreword by Lynn Miller
"Many equate draft horse-powered farming with tilting at windmills, a laudable but unrealistic ambition. In this book, however, Stephen Leslie demonstrates that draft horse power is ideally suited to vegetable market farming. Indeed, this comprehensive treatment of the subject provides the beginner or transitional farmer with the resources needed to succeed, as Leslie takes no shortcuts in his research and presentation of material."
—Joe Mischka, Editor & Publisher of Rural Heritage magazine
With information on draft-powered vegetable and grains production, working in the woodlot, haying, and whole-farm management
In an era when fuel is a primary concern, draft horses are seen by many as the solution to small-scale, resilient farming with a closed-loop system. Horses bring farmers back to the roots of what it means to work the land and present a viable model for a lasting small farm.
The New Horse-Powered Farm is the first book of its kind, offering wisdom and techniques for using horse power on the small farm or homestead. “This book is not about trying to go back to some idyllic past,” writes author and longtime horse farmer Stephen Leslie in the Introduction. “It is designed to be a manual to help us move a few steps forward to a more sustainable future.”
The New Horse-Powered Farm sets the stage for incorporating draft power on the farm by presenting necessary information for experienced and novice teamsters alike, 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,
Novice teamsters will also learn the basic tools of horse-drawn tillage and cultivation used for profitable horse-powered farming, with a spotlight on whole-farm management.
The New Horse-Powered Farm includes profiles throughout of farms that epitomize some of the exciting new trends in agriculture and highlights the new and old horse-drawn equipment used for profitable market gardening, including contributions directly from the farmers about what works and what doesn’t. Leslie includes recent studies on the economics of horse-powered market gardening and offers a comparison between horse-, human-, and tractor-powered systems. A valuable resources section includes contact information for teamster schools, draft-animal publications, annual events, equipment and tool manufacturers, parts and repairs, and more.
The New Horse-Powered Farm is a must-have resource for any farmer, homesteader, or teamster seeking to work with draft power in a closed-loop farming system.