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New Releases

  • Fruitful Labor

    Fruitful Labor

    By Mike Madison

    As the average age of America’s farmers continues to rise, we face serious questions about what farming will look like in the near future, and who will be growing our food. Many younger people are interested in going into agriculture, especially organic farming, but cannot find affordable land, or lack the conceptual framework and practical information they need to succeed in a job that can be both difficult and deeply fulfilling.

    In Fruitful Labor, Mike Madison meticulously describes the ecology of his own small family farm in the Sacramento Valley of California. He covers issues of crop ecology such as soil fertility, irrigation needs, and species interactions, as well as the broader agroecological issues of the social, economic, regulatory, and technological environments in which the farm operates. The final section includes an extensive analysis of sustainability on every level.

    Pithy, readable, and highly relevant, this book covers both the ecology and the economy of a truly sustainable agriculture. Although Madison’s farm is unique, the broad lessons he has gleaned from his more than three decades as an organic farmer will resonate strongly with the new generation of farmers who work the land, wherever they might live.

    *This book is part of Chelsea Green Publishing’s NEW FARMER LIBRARY series, where we collect innovative ideas, hard-earned wisdom, and practical advice from pioneers of the ecological farming movement—for the next generation. The series is a collection of proven techniques and philosophies from experienced voices committed to deep organic, small-scale, regenerative farming. Each book in the series offers the new farmer essential tips, inspiration, and first-hand knowledge of what it takes to grow food close to the land. 

    Paperback 18.00 $11.7

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  • Holistic Orcharding with Michael Phillips (DVD)

    Holistic Orcharding with Michael Phillips (DVD)

    By Michael Phillips

    Every farm and homestead can enjoy the timeless pleasure of a fruit orchard. Yet this can also be challenging, because few people today have the depth of knowledge and experience that’s needed to produce healthy trees and nutritious, great-tasting fruit. At the same time, both orchardists and consumers are looking to avoid spraying harmful and expensive chemicals on their trees.

    The answer is to create a more holistic orchard, one that emphasizes biological health and diversity – from the microscopic fungi in the soil to the beneficial insects, companion plants, and the birds and wildlife that together form a complete and living orchard ecosystem. In other words, it’s time for us to start working with nature, rather than fighting against it.

    Michael Phillips is a pioneering author and orchardist whose books include The Holistic Orchard and The Apple Grower. In this video, he leads viewers through a year in his own orchard, demonstrating basic horticultural skills like grafting and pruning, but also revealing groundbreaking and field-tested strategies for growing apples and other tree fruits not just organically, but holistically. With this information in hand, there’s now every reason to confidently plant that very first fruit tree!

    DVD $49.95

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    Defending Beef

    Defending Beef

    By Nicolette Hahn Niman

    For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists and health advocates that cattle and beef are public enemy number one.

    But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly, argues environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in her new book, Defending Beef.

    The public has long been led to believe that livestock, especially cattle, erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations.

    In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for either the Earth or our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe. Hahn Niman argues that dispersed, grass-fed, small-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production, replacing the factory farms that harm animals and the environment.

    The author—a longtime vegetarian—goes on to dispel popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false.  She shows how foods from cattle—milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass—are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system.

    Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world, Defending Beef builds a comprehensive argument that cattle can help to build carbon-sequestering soils to mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, help prevent desertification, and provide invaluable nutrition.

    Defending Beef is simultaneously a book about big ideas and the author’s own personal tale—she starts out as a skeptical vegetarian and eventually becomes an enthusiastic participant in environmentally sustainable ranching.

    While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.

    Paperback $19.95

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  • The New Livestock Farmer

    The New Livestock Farmer

    By Jim Dunlop and Rebecca Thistlethwaite

    Including information on cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, and goats, and exotics like bison, rabbits, elk, and deer

    How can anyone from a backyard hobbyist to a large-scale rancher go about raising and selling ethically produced meats directly to consumers, restaurants, and butcher shops? With the rising consumer interest in grass-fed, pasture-raised, and antibiotic-free meats, how can farmers most effectively tap into those markets and become more profitable? The regulations and logistics can be daunting enough to turn away most would-be livestock farmers, and finding and keeping their customers challenges the rest.

    Farmer, consultant, and author Rebecca Thistlethwaite (Farms with a Future) and her husband and coauthor, Jim Dunlop, both have extensive experience raising a variety of pastured livestock in California and now on their homestead farm in Oregon. The New Livestock Farmer provides pasture-based production essentials for a wide range of animals, from common farm animals (cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep, and goats) to more exotic species (bison, rabbits, elk, and deer).

    Each species chapter discusses the unique requirements of that animal, then delves into the steps it takes to prepare and get them to market. Profiles of more than fifteen meat producers highlight some of the creative ways these innovative farmers are raising animals and direct-marketing superior-quality meats.

    In addition, the book contains information on a variety of vital topics:

    •    Governmental regulations and how they differ from state to state;

    •    Slaughtering and butchering logistics, including on-farm and mobile processing options and sample cutting sheets;

    •    Packaging, labeling, and cold-storage considerations;

    •    Principled marketing practices; and

    •    Financial management, pricing, and other business essentials.

    This book is must reading for anyone who is serious about raising meat animals ethically, outside of the current consolidated, unsustainable CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) system.  It offers a clear, thorough, well-organized guide to a subject that will become increasingly important as the market demand for pasture-raised meat grows stronger.

    Paperback $29.95

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    The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm

    The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm

    By Josh Trought

    With practical examples of alternative building, renewable energy, holistic forestry, no-till gardening, hospitality management, community outreach, and more

    The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm describes not only the history of the D Acres project, but its evolving principles and practices that are rooted in the land, its inhabitants, and the joy inherent in collective empowerment.

    For almost twenty years, D Acres of New Hampshire has challenged and expanded the common definition of a farm. As an educational center that researches, applies, and teaches skills of sustainable living and small-scale organic farming, D Acres serves more than just a single function to its community. By turns it is a hostel for travelers to northern New England, a training center for everything from metal- and woodworking to cob building and seasonal cooking, a gathering place for music, poetry, joke-telling, and potluck meals, and much more.

    While this book provides a wide spectrum of practical information on the physical systems designed into a community-scale homestead, Trought also reviews the economics and organizational particulars that D Acres has experimented with over the years.

    The D Acres model envisions a way to devise a sustainable future by building a localized economy that provides more than seasonal produce, a handful of eggs, and green appliances. With the goal of perennial viability for humanity within their ecosystem, D Acres is attempting an approach to sustainability that encompasses practical, spiritual, and ethical components. In short: They are trying to create a rural community ecology that evolves in perpetuity.

    From working with oxen to working with a board of directors, no other book contains such a wealth of innovative ideas and ways to make your farm or homestead not only more sustainable, but more inclusive of, and beneficial to, the larger community. Readers will find information on such subjects as:

    • Working with pigs to transform forested landscapes into arable land;
    • Designing and building unique, multifunctional farm and community spaces using various techniques and materials;
    • Creating and perpetuating diverse revenue streams to keep your farm organization solvent and resilient;
    • Receiving maximum benefits and yields for the farm without denigrating resources or the regional ecology;
    • Implementing a fair and effective governance structure;
    • Constructing everything from solar dehydrators and cookers to treehouses and ponds; and,
    • Connecting and partnering with the larger community beyond the farm.

    Emphasizing collaboration, cooperation, and mutualism, this book promises to inspire a new generation of growers, builders, educators, artists, and dreamers who are seeking new and practical ways to address today’s problems on a community scale.

    Paperback $40.00

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  • The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer

    The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer

    By Melanie Carpenter and Jeff Carpenter

    A new approach to growing local medicine, including information on geo-authenticity, wildcrafting, and developing a good business plan

    Both a business guide and a farming manual, The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer will teach readers how to successfully grow and market organic medicinal Western herbs.

    Whether you’re trying to farm medicinal plants, culinary herbs, or at-risk native herbs exclusively or simply add herbal crops to what you’re already growing, successful small-scale herb farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter will guide you through the entire process—from cultivation to creating value-added products.

    Using their Zack Woods Herb Farm in Vermont as a backdrop, the Carpenters cover all the basic practical information farmers need to know to get an organic herb farm up and running, including:

    • Size and scale considerations;

    • Layout and design of the farm and facilities;

    • Growing and cultivation information, including types of tools;

    • Field and bed prep;

    • Plant propagation;

    • Weed control, and pests and diseases;

    • Harvesting, as well as wild harvesting and the concept of geo-authentic botanicals;

    • Postharvest processing; and,

    • Value-added products and marketing.

    The authors also provide fifty detailed plant profiles, going deeper into the herbs every farmer should consider growing. In an easy-to-understand, practical, and comprehensive manner, readers will learn how to focus on quality over quantity, and keep costs down by innovating with existing equipment, rather than expensive technology.Market farmers who have never before considered growing medicinal herbs will learn why it’s more important to produce these herbs domestically.

    The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer makes a convincing case that producing organic medicinal herbs can be a viable, profitable, farming enterprise. The Carpenters also make the case for incorporating medicinal herbs into existing operations, as it can help increase revenue in the form of value-added products, not to mention improve the ecological health of farmland by encouraging biodiversity as a path toward greater soil health.

    Paperback $39.95

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    Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening

    Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening

    By Will Bonsall

    "Society does not generally expect its farmers to be visionaries." Perhaps not, but longtime Maine farmer and homesteader Will Bonsall does possess a unique clarity of vision that extends all the way from the finer points of soil fertility and seed saving to exploring how we can transform civilization and make our world a better, more resilient place.

    In Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening, Bonsall maintains that to achieve real wealth we first need to understand the economy of the land, to realize that things that might make sense economically don't always make sense ecologically, and vice versa. The marketplace distorts our values, and our modern dependence on petroleum in particular presents a serious barrier to creating a truly sustainable agriculture.

    For him the solution is, first and foremost, greater self-reliance, especially in the areas of food and energy. By avoiding any off-farm inputs (fertilizers, minerals, and animal manures), Bonsall has learned how to practice a purely veganic, or plant-based, agriculture—not from a strictly moralistic or philosophical perspective, but because it makes good business sense: spend less instead of making more.

    What this means in practical terms is that Bonsall draws upon the fertility of on-farm plant materials: compost, green manures, perennial grasses, and forest products like leaves and ramial wood chips. And he grows and harvests a diversity of crops from both cultivated and perennial plants: vegetables, grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and nuts—even uncommon but useful permaculture plants like groundnut (Apios).

    In a friendly, almost conversational way, Bonsall imparts a wealth of knowledge drawn from his more than forty years of farming experience.

    "My goal," he writes, "is not to feed the world, but to feed myself and let others feed themselves. If we all did that, it might be a good beginning."

    Paperback 34.95 $26.21

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Farming & Homesteading

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  1. Sprig the Rescue Pig

    By Leslie Crawford
    Illustrated by Sonja Stangl

    Things aren't looking good for Sprig, who is packed into a fast-moving truck with dozens of other pigs. He doesn't know where they're going but his nose knows there's something better out there.

    So with one dramatic leap, or really more of a tumble, Sprig sets out on a pig-centered adventure that leads him to his new best friend, a girl named Rory. Inspired by true events, this light-hearted tale introduces kids to an intelligent and inquisitive pig who finds his way to an animal sanctuary.

    The book includes a bonus section called "More About Pigs," where curious readers will learn that pigs are smart enough to play video games, enjoy sleeping in cozy pig piles, run really fast, and other amazing facts.

    Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig, said of the book: "May Sprig help people to see what wonderful individuals pigs truly are."  

    Sprig the Rescue Pig is the first children's book in our series on farm animals, perfect for ages 5 to 8.

     

    Hardcover $17.99

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  2. The Suburban Micro-Farm

    By Amy Stross

    Reduce your lawn and your grocery budget. Take gardening to the next level!

    Would you like to grow healthy food for your table? Do you want to learn the secrets of farming even though you live in a neighborhood? Author Amy Stross talks straight about why the suburbs might be the ideal place for a small farm.

    In these pages you'll learn:

    • How to make your landscape as productive as it is beautiful
    • Why the suburbs are primed with food-growing potential
    • How to choose the best crops for success
    • Why you don't need the perfect yard to have a micro-farm
    • How to use easy permaculture techniques for abundant harvests

     If you're ready to create a beautiful, edible yard, this book is for you.

    The Suburban Micro-Farm will show you how to grow your own fruits, herbs, and vegetables even on a limited schedule. From seed to harvest, this book will keep you on track so you feel a sense of accomplishment for your efforts.

    You'll learn gardening tricks that are essential to success, like how to deal with a 'brown thumb', how to develop and nurture healthy soil, and how to manage garden pests.

    Although this book has everything a new gardener needs to get started, experienced gardeners will not be disappointed. With helpful tips throughout, you will love the in-depth chapters about permaculture and making money on the micro-farm.

    Paperback $34.95 $22.72

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  3. Fruitful Labor

    By Mike Madison

    As the average age of America’s farmers continues to rise, we face serious questions about what farming will look like in the near future, and who will be growing our food. Many younger people are interested in going into agriculture, especially organic farming, but cannot find affordable land, or lack the conceptual framework and practical information they need to succeed in a job that can be both difficult and deeply fulfilling.

    In Fruitful Labor, Mike Madison meticulously describes the ecology of his own small family farm in the Sacramento Valley of California. He covers issues of crop ecology such as soil fertility, irrigation needs, and species interactions, as well as the broader agroecological issues of the social, economic, regulatory, and technological environments in which the farm operates. The final section includes an extensive analysis of sustainability on every level.

    Pithy, readable, and highly relevant, this book covers both the ecology and the economy of a truly sustainable agriculture. Although Madison’s farm is unique, the broad lessons he has gleaned from his more than three decades as an organic farmer will resonate strongly with the new generation of farmers who work the land, wherever they might live.

    *This book is part of Chelsea Green Publishing’s NEW FARMER LIBRARY series, where we collect innovative ideas, hard-earned wisdom, and practical advice from pioneers of the ecological farming movement—for the next generation. The series is a collection of proven techniques and philosophies from experienced voices committed to deep organic, small-scale, regenerative farming. Each book in the series offers the new farmer essential tips, inspiration, and first-hand knowledge of what it takes to grow food close to the land. 

    Paperback $18.00 $11.70

    Add to Cart

  4. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables

    By Ben Hartman

    At Clay Bottom Farm, author Ben Hartman and staff practice kaizen, or continuous improvement, cutting out more waste—of time, labor, space, money, and more—every year and aligning their organic production more tightly with customer demand. Applied alongside other lean principles originally developed by the Japanese auto industry, the end result has been increased profits and less work.

    In this field-guide companion to his award-winning first book, The Lean Farm, Hartman shows market vegetable growers in even more detail how Clay Bottom Farm implements lean thinking in every area of their work, including using kanbans, or replacement signals, to maximize land use; germination chambers to reduce defect waste; and right-sized machinery to save money and labor and increase efficiency. From finding land and assessing infrastructure needs to selling perfect produce at the farmers market, The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables digs deeper into specific, tested methods for waste-free farming that not only help farmers become more successful but make the work more enjoyable. These methods include:

    • Using Japanese paper pot transplanters
    • Building your own germinating chambers
    • Leaning up your greenhouse
    • Making and applying simple composts
    • Using lean techniques for pest and weed control
    • Creating Heijunka, or load-leveling calendars for efficient planning

    Farming is not static, and improvement requires constant change. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables offers strategies for farmers to stay flexible and profitable even in the face of changing weather and markets. Much more than a simple exercise in cost-cutting, lean farming is about growing better, not cheaper, food—the food your customers want.

    Paperback $29.95 $19.47

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  5. Your Successful Farm Business

    By Joel Salatin

    Twenty years ago Joel Salatin wrote You Can Farm, which has launched thousands of farm entrepreneurs around the world. With another 20 years of experience under his belt, bringing him to the half-century mark as a full-time farmer, he decided to build on that foundation with a sequel, a graduate level curriculum.

    Everyone who reads and enjoys that previous work will benefit from this additional information. In those 20 years, Polyface Farm progressed from a small family operation to a 20-person, 6,000-customer, 50-restaurant business, all without sales targets, government grants, or an off-farm nest egg.

    As a germination tray for new farmers ready to take over the 50 percent of America's agricultural equity that will become available over the next two decades, Polyface Farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley stands as a beacon of hope in a food and farming system floundering in dysfunction: toxicity, pathogenicity, nutrient deficiency, bankruptcy, geezers, and erosion. Speaking into that fear and confusion, Salatin offers a pathway to success, with production, profit, and pleasure thrown in for good measure.

    Paperback $30.00

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  6. Patrick’s Great Grass Adventure

    By Joel Salatin and Rachel Salatin

    In his first children's book, farmer-author Joel Salatin and his daughter Rachel team up on a whimsical tale about a pigeon, a farmer, and grass. This beautifully illustrated edu-tainment book introduces 4-7 year-olds to Greg the grass farmer through the eyes of Patrick Pigeon. What better way to discover ecology-enhancing grass farming than from an aerial view? Grass as crop, insect haven, and diversity blanket comes to life as Patrick Pigeon watches and reports on Greg the grass farmer's activities.  Discovering a real farm from a real farmer through captivating explanation and illustration brings a local grass farm to life.

    Paperback $15.00

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  7. Holistic Goat Care

    By Gianaclis Caldwell

    Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter to carrying packs and clearing brush, there isn’t much that goats cannot do. Managing goats successfully requires an understanding of how nature designed them to thrive, including nutritional and psychological needs, as well as how to identify a problem and intercede before it’s too late. 

    For more than a decade, Gianaclis Caldwell and her family have operated Pholia Farm Creamery, an off-grid, raw milk goat cheese dairy. In Holistic Goat Care, Caldwell offers readers a comprehensive guide to maintaining a healthy herd of goats, whether they are dairy goats, meat goats, fiber goats, or pet goats.

    Holistic Goat Care will empower even novice goat owners to confidently diagnose and treat most of the ailments that goats might experience. For the experienced goat farmer, the book offers a depth of insight and approaches to treatment not found in any other book. Caldwell places special emphasis throughout on holistic, natural, and alternative approaches to caring for goats, including information on:

    •  Handling and managing goats using their natural instincts as an asset
    •  Developing good farm management practices such as appropriate housing and fencing systems and manure and mortality management
    • Making feeding decisions based on understanding goats’ ruminant digestive system and their evolutionary needs
    • Growing forage and garden crops as feed and utilizing wild browse
    • Troubleshooting health problems based on assessing symptoms
    • Implementing advanced health procedures such as pain control, fecal testing, and transplanting rumen microbes from healthy to sick goats
    • Diagnosing, treating, and preventing more than 75 common goat ailments

    Whether your herd is two or two hundred, this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive book will help you keep your goats healthy, safe, and productive and give you a deep and enjoyable insight into the wondrous creature that is the goat.

    Hardcover $39.95 $29.96

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  8. Forest Gardening in Practice

    By Tomas Remiarz

    A forest garden is a place where nature and people meet halfway--between the canopy of trees and the soil underfoot. It doesn’t have to look like a forest: what’s important is that natural processes are allowed to unfold, to the benefit of plants, people and other creatures. The result is an edible ecosystem. For three decades experimental forest gardens have been planted in temperate cities and rural sites, in households, neighborhoods, community gardens, parks, market gardens and plant nurseries. Forest Gardening In Practice offers an in-depth review of forest gardening with living, best practice examples. It highlights the four core skills of forest gardeners: ecology, horticulture, design, and cooperation. It is for hobby gardeners, smallholders, community gardeners and landscape professionals.

    Forest Gardening In Practice features:

    • A history of forest gardening
    • A step-by-step guide to creating your own edible ecosystem
    • 14 in-depth case studies of established forest gardens and edible landscapes in Europe and the U.S.
    • Chapters on integrating animals, learning, enterprises, working in community and public settings

    Paperback $31.95

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  9. Mycorrhizal Planet

    By Michael Phillips

    Regenerative practices for the farm, garden, orchard, forest, and landscape

    Mycorrhizal fungi have been waiting a long time for people to recognize just how important they are to the making of dynamic soils. These microscopic organisms partner with the root systems of approximately 95 percent of the plants on Earth, and they sequester carbon in much more meaningful ways than human “carbon offsets” will ever achieve. Pick up a handful of old-growth forest soil and you are holding 26 miles of threadlike fungal mycelia, if it could be stretched it out in a straight line. Most of these soil fungi are mycorrhizal, supporting plant health in elegant and sophisticated ways. The boost to green immune function in plants and community-wide networking turns out to be the true basis of ecosystem resiliency. A profound intelligence exists in the underground nutrient exchange between fungi and plant roots, which in turn determines the nutrient density of the foods we grow and eat.

    Exploring the science of symbiotic fungi in layman’s terms, holistic farmer Michael Phillips (author of The Holistic Orchard and The Apple Grower) sets the stage for practical applications across the landscape. The real impetus behind no-till farming, gardening with mulches, cover cropping, digging with broadforks, shallow cultivation, forest-edge orcharding, and everything related to permaculture is to help the plants and fungi to prosper . . . which means we prosper as well.

    Building soil structure and fertility that lasts for ages results only once we comprehend the nondisturbance principle. As the author says, “What a grower understands, a grower will do.” Mycorrhizal Planet abounds with insights into “fungal consciousness” and offers practical, regenerative techniques that are pertinent to gardeners, landscapers, orchardists, foresters, and farmers. Michael’s fungal acumen will resonate with everyone who is fascinated with the unseen workings of nature and concerned about maintaining and restoring the health of our soils, our climate, and the quality of life on Earth for generations to come.

    Hardcover $40.00

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  10. The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3

    By Greenhorns

    Volume 3 of The New Farmer’s Almanac—360 pages of original agrarian content, essays, cartoons, imagery and historical snippets—harnesses the wisdom of over 120 contributors from our community of new farmers and ranchers. This volume explores the theme of The Commons, drawing from folklore, mathematical projections, empirical, emotional, and geographical observations of theory and praxis.

    Farmers hold space in many interwoven commons, and possibilities for our shared future would seem to rest on how these intersecting commons are governed—particularly at the juncture of humanity and ecology where we make our workplace. In re-visiting the Almanac format, we assert our version of Americana and equip ourselves for the challenges of rebuilding the food system and restoring a more democratic, more diverse, and more resilient foundation for society.

    We face a dystopian future, with guaranteed-unpredictable weather, the impending collapse of the fossil fuel economy, endlessly consolidating monopolies, and a country that is, for the first time in our history, majority urban. That’s why this Almanac is a utopian publication, one that reminds today’s farmers about the foundational concepts of an agrarian democracy—themselves utopian.

    But we also reject the self-propelling logic of techno-utopia—dependent upon extraction economies and enclosure of common resources. We orient ourselves instead toward the words of Ursula Le Guin, who reminds us that our intent in utopian thinking should not be “reactionary, nor even conservative, but simply subversive. It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth.”

    This tidy volume holds a civil, lived testimony from people whose work, lifeworld, and behavior patterns beamingly subvert the normative values of the macro economy called America.

    Paperback $20.00

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  11. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook

    By Andrew Mefferd

    Best practices for the eight most profitable crops

    Today only a few dozen large-scale producers dominate the greenhouse produce market. Why? Because they know and employ best practices for the most profitable crops: tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, and microgreens. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook levels the playing field by revealing these practices so that all growers—large and small—can maximize the potential of their protected growing space. Whether growing in a heated greenhouse or unheated hoophouse, this book offers a decision-making framework for how to best manage crops that goes beyond a list of simple do’s and don’ts.

    As senior trial technician for greenhouse crops at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, author Andrew Mefferd spent seven years consulting for growers using protected agriculture in a wide variety of climates, soils, and conditions. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook brings his experience and expertise to bear in an in-depth guide that will help readers make their investment in greenhouse space worthwhile.

    Every year, more growers are turning to protected culture to deal with unpredictable weather and to meet out-of-season demand for local food, but many end up spinning their wheels, wasting time and money on unprofitable crops grown in ways that don’t make the most of their precious greenhouse space. With comprehensive chapters on temperature control and crop steering, pruning and trellising, grafting, and more, Mefferd’s book is full of techniques and strategies that can help farms stay profitable, satisfy customers, and become an integral part of re-localizing our food system. From seed to sale, The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook is the indispensable resource for protected growing.

    Paperback $34.95 $26.21

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  12. Gene Everlasting

    By Gene Logsdon

    Author Gene Logsdon—whom Wendell Berry once called “the most experienced and best observer of agriculture we have”—has a notion: That it is a little easier for gardeners and farmers to accept death than the rest of the populace. Why? Because every day, farmers and gardeners help plants and animals begin life and help plants and animals end life. They are intimately attuned to the food chain. They understand how all living things are seated around a dining table, eating while being eaten. They realize that all of nature is in flux.

    Gene Everlasting contains Logsdon’s reflections, by turns both humorous and heart-wrenching, on nature, death, and eternity, all from a contrary farmer’s perspective. He recounts joys and tragedies from his childhood in the 1930s and ‘40s spent on an Ohio farm, through adulthood and child-raising, all the way up to his recent bout with cancer, always with an eye toward the lessons that farming has taught him about life and its mysteries.

    Whether his subject is parsnips, pigweed, immortality, irises, green burial, buzzards, or compound interest, Logsdon generously applies as much heart and wit to his words as he does care and expertise to his fields. 

    Paperback $17.95 $13.46

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  13. Letter to a Young Farmer

    By Gene Logsdon
    Foreword by Wendell Berry

    For more than four decades, the self-described “contrary farmer” and writer Gene Logsdon has commented on the state of American agriculture. In Letter to a Young Farmer, his final book of essays, Logsdon addresses the next generation—young people who are moving back to the land to enjoy a better way of life as small-scale “garden farmers.” It’s a lifestyle that isn’t defined by accumulating wealth or by the “get big or get out” agribusiness mindset. Instead, it’s one that recognizes the beauty of nature, cherishes the land, respects our fellow creatures, and values rural traditions. It’s one that also looks forward and embraces “right technologies,” including new and innovative ways of working smarter, not harder, and avoiding premature burnout.

    Completed only a few weeks before the author’s death, Letter to a Young Farmer is a remarkable testament to the life and wisdom of one of the greatest rural philosophers and writers of our time. Gene’s earthy wit and sometimes irreverent humor combines with his valuable perspectives on many wide-ranging subjects—everything from how to show a ram who’s boss to enjoying the almost churchlike calmness of a well-built livestock barn.

    Reading this book is like sitting down on the porch with a neighbor who has learned the ways of farming through years of long observation and practice. Someone, in short, who has “seen it all” and has much to say, and much to teach us, if we only take the time to listen and learn. And Gene Logsdon was the best kind of teacher: equal parts storyteller, idealist, and rabble-rouser. His vision of a nation filled with garden farmers, based in cities, towns, and countrysides, will resonate with many people, both young and old, who long to create a more sustainable, meaningful life for themselves and a better world for all of us.

    Hardcover $22.50 $16.87

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    Paperback $18.00

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  14. The Permaculture Book of DIY

    By John Adams
    Contributions by Mike Abbott, Stuart Anderson, Jamie Ash, Simon Mitchell, Chris Southall, Alicia Taylor and Peter Willis

    Permaculture is a low cost, environmental and creative approach to living. The Permaculture Book of DIY presents over 20 practical projects that show you how to cleverly recycle materials into useful and unique objects at low financial and environmental cost. Some projects can even be completed for free.

    Want to spend more time enjoying your home and garden? With this diverse range of projects you could be growing vegetables in your own geodesic growdome, relaxing on a recycled wooden pallet garden bench whilst enjoying a cider from your very own cider press, or generating your own power with a self-installed solar panel!

    Each project has been carefully tried and tested and is clearly laid out with step–by–step instructions and supporting photography and diagrams. It is suitable for anyone who wants to learn DIY skills, have fun and involve their kids too.

    Learn how to make your own:

    • Solar food dryer
    • Self-watering raised bed
    • Pallet furniture
    • Wood-fired pizza oven
    • Rocket stove hot tub
    • and much more!

    Paperback $19.95

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  15. Farm to Table

    By Darryl Benjamin and Lyndon Virkler

    With information on purchasing, marketing, and employing farm-to-table principles in restaurants, schools, hospitals, and other institutions

    Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Food for daily consumption—fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy products—was grown at home or sourced from local farms. Today, most of the food consumed in the United States and, increasingly, around the globe, is sourced from industrial farms and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which power a food system rife with environmental, economic, and health-related problems.

    The tide, however, is slowly but steadily turning back in what has been broadly termed the “farm-to-table” movement. In Farm to Table, Darryl Benjamin and Chef Lyndon Virkler explore how the farm-to-table philosophy is pushing back modern, industrialized food production and moving beyond isolated “locavore” movements into a broad and far-reaching coalition of farmers, chefs, consumers, policy advocates, teachers, institutional buyers, and many more all working to restore healthful, sustainable, and affordable food for everyone.

    Divided into two distinct but complementary halves, “Farm” and “Table,” Farm to Table first examines the roots of our contemporary industrial food system, from the technological advances that presaged the “Green Revolution” to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz’s infamous dictum to farmers to “Get big or get out” in the 1970s. Readers will explore the many threats to ecology and human health that our corporatized food system poses, but also the many alternatives—from permaculture to rotation-intensive grazing—that small farmers are now adopting to meet growing consumer demand. The second half of the book is dedicated to illuminating best practices and strategies for schools, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and other business and institutions to partner with local farmers and food producers, from purchasing to marketing.

    No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from all economic strata and in a number of settings, from hospital and office cafeterias, to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants. Farm to Table is a one-of-a-kind resource on how to integrate sustainable principles into each of these settings and facilitate intelligent, healthful food choices at every juncture as our food system evolves. While borrowing from the best ideas of the past, the lessons herein are designed to help contribute to a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable tomorrow.

    Hardcover $49.95

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  16. The Independent Farmstead

    By Beth Dougherty and Shawn Dougherty
    Foreword by Joel Salatin

    With in-depth information on electric fencing, watering, and husbandry for ruminants, poultry, and pigs, plus butchering, dairying, and more

    “If we work hard, we sleep well.”

    Twenty years ago, when authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased the land they would come to name the Sow’s Ear, the state of Ohio designated it “not suitable for agriculture.” 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 management. Pioneered by such luminaries as Allan Savory, Greg Judy, and Joel Salatin, the tenets of holistic grazing—employed mostly by larger-scale commercial operations—have been adapted by the Doughertys to fit their family’s needs. In The Independent Farmstead, The Sow’s Ear model for regenerating the land and growing food—“the best you ever tasted”—is elucidated for others to use and build upon.

    In 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, to what to do with all of the milk, meat, and, yes, manure that the self-sustaining farm produces. Within these pages, the Doughertys discuss how to:

    • Find and improve poor, waste, or abused land and develop its natural water resources;
    • Select and purchase the appropriate ruminant for regenerating your farmstead;
    • Apply fencing strategies and pasture management basics;
    • Implement basic, uncomplicated food processing, including large and small animal butchering and cheese making; and
    • Integrate grass, gardens, and livestock to minimize or eliminate the need for off-farm inputs.

    As the Doughertys write, more and more people today are feeling “the desire for clean, affordable food, unmodified, unprocessed, and unmedicated and the security of local food sourcing for ourselves and our children.” The Independent Farmstead is a must-have resource for those who count themselves as part of this movement: both new and prospective farmers and homesteaders, and those who are interested in switching to grass-based 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.

    Paperback $34.95 $26.21

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  17. Street Farm

    By Michael Ableman

    Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia—one of the worst urban slums in North America—who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood. It is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing others as a way to heal our world and ourselves.

    During the past seven years, Sole Food Street Farms—now North America’s largest urban farm project—has transformed acres of vacant and contaminated urban land into street farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables. By providing jobs, agricultural training, and inclusion in a community of farmers and food lovers, the Sole Food project has empowered dozens of individuals with limited resources who are managing addiction and chronic mental health problems.

    Sole Food’s mission is to encourage small farms in every urban neighborhood so that good food can be accessible to all, and to do so in a manner that allows everyone to participate in the process. In Street Farm, author-photographer-farmer Michael Ableman chronicles the challenges, growth, and success of this groundbreaking project and presents compelling portraits of the neighborhood residents-turned-farmers whose lives have been touched by it. Throughout, he also weaves his philosophy and insights about food and farming, as well as the fundamentals that are the underpinnings of success for both rural farms and urban farms. Street Farm will inspire individuals and communities everywhere by providing a clear vision for combining innovative farming methods with concrete social goals, all of which aim to create healthier and more resilient communities.

    Paperback $29.95

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  18. Restoring Heritage Grains

    By Eli Rogosa

    Including recipes for baking with Einkorn

    Wheat is the most widely grown crop on our planet, yet industrial breeders have transformed this ancient staff of life into a commodity of yield and profit—witness the increase in gluten intolerance and 'wheat belly’.  Modern wheat depends on synthetic fertilizer and herbicides that damage our health, land, water, and environment. Fortunately, heritage ‘landrace' wheats that evolved over millennia in the organic fields of traditional farms do not need bio-chemical intervention to yield  bountifully, are gluten-safe, have rich flavor and high nutrition. Yet the robust, majestic wheats that nourished our ancestors are on the verge of extinction.

    In Restoring Heritage Grains, author Eli Rogosa of the Heritage Grain Conservancy,  invites readers to restore forgotten wheats such as delicious gluten-safe einkorn that nourished the first Neolithic farmers, emmer—the grain of ancient Israel, Egypt, and Rome that is perfect for pasta and flatbreads, rare durums that are drought-tolerant and high in protein, and many more little known wheat species, each of which have a lineage intertwined with the human species and that taste better than any modern wheat.

    Restoring Heritage Grains combines the history of grain growing and society, in-depth practical advice on landrace wheat husbandry, wheat folk traditions and mythology, and guidelines for the Neolithic diet with traditional recipes for rustic bread, pastry and beer. Discover the ancient grains that may be one of the best solutions to hunger today, and provide resilience for our future.

    Paperback $24.95

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  19. The Art and Science of Grazing

    By Sarah Flack
    Foreword by Dr. Hubert Karreman

    New techniques for managing grazing animals are producing dramatic results that empower farmers to create grazing systems that are truly effective at meeting their farm and quality-of-life goals.

    In this comprehensive book, nationally known grazing consultant Sarah Flack builds on a solid foundation of the key principles of grazing management to help farmers design and manage successful grazing systems.

    Farmers and their farms will benefit greatly from Flack’s message that, in partnership with their animals, they can create profound change in pasture quality and productivity and the performance of the livestock. The book’s unique approach presents information first from the perspective of pasture plants, and then from the livestock perspective—helping farmers understand both plant and animal needs before setting up a grazing system.

    Flack’s lifelong experience with grazing began when her family employed mob grazing techniques on the family farm to transform a brushy, overgrown series of fields into high-quality pasture. She has pursued graduate studies on pasture management at the University of Vermont, and she has successfully helped many farmers create positive change in their pastures, soils, livestock, finances, and farm-family quality of life.

    The Art and Science of Grazing is an essential guide for ruminant farmers who want to create grazing systems that meet the needs of their livestock, pasture plants, soils, and the larger ecosystem. The book covers all the practical details that are critical for sustained success, including:

    • Design considerations for setting up a new system or improving existing systems
    • Acreage calculations
    • Paddock layout
    • Fence and drinking water access
    • Lanes and other grazing infrastructure
    • Livestock movement and flow management
    • Soil fertility
    • Seeding and reseeding of pastures

    Flack includes descriptions of real grazing systems working well on dairy, beef, goat, and sheep farms in different regions of North America. The book covers pasture requirements specific to organic farming but will be of use to both organic and non-organic farms.

    Paperback $39.95

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  20. An Unlikely Vineyard

    By Deirdre Heekin
    Foreword by Alice Feiring

    Named one of the Best Wine Books of 2014 by The New York Times, An Unlikely Vineyard tells the evolutionary story of Deirdre Heekin’s farm from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment.

    Is it possible to capture landscape in a bottle? To express its terroir, its essence of place—geology, geography, climate, and soil—as well as the skill of the winegrower?

    That’s what Heekin and her chef/husband, Caleb Barber, set out to accomplish on their tiny, eight-acre hillside farm and vineyard in Vermont.

    But An Unlikely Vineyard involves much more. It also presents, through the example of their farming journey and winegrowing endeavors, an impressive amount of information on how to think about almost every aspect of gardening: from composting to trellising; from cider and perry making to growing old garden roses, keeping bees, and raising livestock; from pruning (or not) to dealing naturally with pests and diseases. As Eric Asimov, chief wine critic for The New York Times, writes, “I love this book, which conveys beautifully why the best wine is, at heart, an agricultural expression.”

    Challenged by cold winters, wet summers, and other factors, Deirdre and Caleb set about to grow not only a vineyard, but an orchard of heirloom apples, pears, and plums, as well as gardens filled with vegetables, herbs, roses, and wildflowers destined for their own table and for the kitchen of their small restaurant. They wanted to create, or rediscover, a sense of place, and to grow food naturally using the philosophy and techniques gleaned from organic gardening, permaculture, and biodynamic farming.

    Accompanied throughout by lush photos, this gentle narrative will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.

    Paperback $25.00 $18.75

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