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Farming & Homesteading
No-Till Intensive Vegetable Culture
Pesticide-Free Methods for Restoring Soil and Growing Nutrient-Rich, High-Yielding Crops
From a veteran organic grower: a unique agricultural methodology that delivers higher yields, higher quality, and higher profitability—absolutely free of herbicides or pesticides
No-till farming has rapidly grown in popularity among vegetable growers due to its high-quality, high-yield, high-profit results. Renowned organic grower Bryan O’Hara perfected the technique during the multi-year transition of his Connecticut vegetable farm to a no-till system. His vibrantly healthy, resilient plants are testaments to the value of allowing the inherent biological functions in soil to do their work.
In No-Till Intensive Vegetable Culture, O’Hara describes the methods he has developed, which are completely free of herbicides or other pesticides and require only a few acres of land and minimal capital investment. He asserts that this flexible, ecological methodology is as important for soil fertility as it is for his economic success. This comprehensive manual delves into all facets of a dynamic, holistic growing system, including:
- No-till bed preparation techniques
- Seeding and transplanting methods
- Use of fertilizers (including foliar feeds)
- Composting (preparation and application)
- Culture of indigenous microorganisms to support soil biology
- Pest and disease management
- Year-round growing
- Harvest and storage techniques
O’Hara also explores the spiritual dimension of managing a farm ecosystem: observing the natural balance between plants, soil, air, water, and sunlight and the ways in which working to maintain that balance influences practical production decisions.
Whether you’re a high-yield producer, a homesteader, or a market gardener, No-Till Intensive Vegetable Culture is the go-to vegetable grower’s manual for the twenty-first century. O’Hara’s advanced yet accessible methodology will both help you respond to natural systems and adapt to meet future challenges.
Raising Pastured Rabbits for Meat
An All-Natural, Humane, and Profitable Approach to Production on a Small Scale
An accessible, practical resource for pasture-based rabbit production-complete with rabbit husbandry basics, enterprise budgets, and guidelines for growing, processing and selling rabbits commercially.
In recent years, there has been talk in the food world that rabbits make more sense than chicken. In a country with a $41 billion broiler chicken industry, this might seem like a pretty bold statement, but it’s hardly unsubstantiated. And yet while media has been abuzz about the supposed super protein, very few farmers are stepping up to meet the rapidly increasing interest in sustainably raised rabbit meat. This is partly due to the lack of available resources in the field of rabbit husbandry.
Raising Pastured Rabbits for Meat is the first book to address the growing trend of ecological rabbit husbandry for the beginning to market-scale farmer. Inspired by Daniel Salatin, who has long been considered the pioneer in integrated rabbit farming, Nichki Carangelo proves that a viable pasture-based rabbitry is not only possible and user-friendly, it’s also profitable.
In Carangelo’s approach, happy, healthy rabbits are seasonally raised outside on pasture, using a pasture and wire hybrid system that promotes natural behaviors and a diverse diet, while effectively managing the associated risks. Raising Pastured Rabbits for Meat offers valuable information on how farmers can build their own rabbit enterprise from scratch and includes tips on breed selection, breeding techniques, nutrition guidelines, record keeping tools, slaughtering and butchering instructions, marketing advice, and enterprise guides to help farmers plan for profitability. This is an essential guide for anyone interested in integrating rabbits onto a diversified farm or homestead.
Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy
A new “farm-to-closet” vision for the clothes we wear–by a leader in the movement for local textile economies
There is a major disconnect between what we wear and our knowledge of its impact on land, air, water, labor, and human health. Even those who value access to safe, local, nutritious food have largely overlooked the production of fiber, dyes, and the chemistry that forms the backbone of modern textile production. While humans are 100 percent reliant on their second skin, it’s common to think little about the biological and human cultural context from which our clothing derives.
Almost a decade ago, weaver and natural dyer Rebecca Burgess developed a project focused on wearing clothing made from fiber grown, woven, and sewn within her bioregion of North Central California. As she began to network with ranchers, farmers, and artisans, she discovered that even in her home community there was ample raw material being grown to support a new regional textile economy with deep roots in climate change prevention and soil restoration. A vision for the future came into focus, combining right livelihoods and a textile system based on economic justice and soil carbon enhancing practices. Burgess saw that we could create viable supply chains of clothing that could become the new standard in a world looking to solve the climate crisis.
In Fibershed readers will learn how natural plant dyes and fibers such as wool, cotton, hemp, and flax can be grown and processed as part of a scalable, restorative agricultural system. They will also learn about milling and other technical systems needed to make regional textile production possible. Fibershed is a resource for fiber farmers, ranchers, contract grazers, weavers, knitters, slow-fashion entrepreneurs, soil activists, and conscious consumers who want to join or create their own fibershed and topple outdated and toxic systems of exploitation..
Going Over Home
A Search for Rural Justice in an Unsettled Land
An intimate portrait of the joys and hardships of rural life, as one man searches for community, equality, and tradition in Appalachia
Charles D. Thompson, Jr. was born in southwestern Virginia into an extended family of small farmers. Yet as he came of age he witnessed the demise of every farm in his family. Over the course of his own life of farming, rural education, organizing, and activism, the stories of his home place have been his constant inspiration, helping him identify with the losses of others and to fight against injustices. In Going Over Home, Thompson shares revelations and reflections, from cattle auctions with his grandfather to community gardens in the coal camps of eastern Kentucky, racial disparities of white and Black landownership in the South to recent work with migrant farm workers from Latin America. In this heartfelt first-person narrative, Thompson unpacks our country’s agricultural myths and addresses the history of racism and wealth inequality and how they have come to bear on our nation’s rural places and their people.
Farming on the Wild Side
The Evolution of a Regenerative Organic Farm and Nursery
One farm’s decades-long journey into regenerative agriculture—and how these methods enhance biodiversity, pollinators, and soil health
Northern Vermont’s Nancy and John Hayden have spent the last 25 years transforming their draft horse–powered, organic vegetable and livestock operation into an agroecological, regenerative, biodiverse, organic fruit farm, fruit nursery, and pollinator sanctuary. In Farming on the Wild Side they explain the philosophical and scientific principles that influenced them as they phased out sheep and potatoes and embraced apples, pears, stone fruits, and a wide variety of uncommon berry crops; turned much of their property into a semi-wild state; and adapted their marketing and sales strategies to the new century. As the Haydens pursued their goals of enhancing biodiversity and regenerating their land, they incorporated agroforestry and permaculture principles into perennial fruit polycultures, a pollinator sanctuary, repurposed greenhouses for growing fruit, hügelkultur, and ecological “pest” management. Beyond the practical techniques and tips, this book also inspires readers to develop greater ecological literacy and respect for the mysteries of the global ecosystem. Farming on the Wild Side tells a story about new ways to manage small farms and homesteads, about nurturing land, about ecology, about economics, and about things that we can all do to heal both the land and ourselves.
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2 is a how-to guide enabling you to “plant the rain” by creating water-harvesting “earthworks” or “rain gardens.” Earthworks are simple, inexpensive strategies and landforms that passively harvest multiple sources of free on-site water including rainfall, stormwater runoff, air conditioning condensate, and greywater within “living tanks” of soil and vegetation. The plants then pump the water back out in the form of beauty, food, shelter, wildlife habitat, timber and forage, while controlling erosion, reducing down-stream flooding, dropping utility costs, increasing soil fertility, and improving water and air quality.
This revised and expanded full-color second edition builds on the information in Volume 1 by showing you how to turn your yard, school, business, park, and neighborhood into lively, regenerative producers of resources. Conditions at home will improve as you simultaneously enrich the ecosystem and inspire the surrounding community.
Learn to select, place, size, construct, and plant your chosen earthworks. All is made easier and more effective by the illustrations of natural patterns of water and sediment flow with which you can collaborate or mimic. Detailed step-by-step instructions with over 550 images show you how to do it, and plentiful stories of success motivate you so you will do it!
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 3rd Edition
Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life and Landscape
Turn water scarcity into water abundance! Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 3rd Edition is the best-selling, award-winning guide on how to conceptualize, design, and implement life-enhancing water-, sun-, wind-, and shade-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community. This book enables you to assess your on-site resources, gives you a diverse array of strategies to maximize their potential, and empowers you with guiding principles to create an integrated, multi-functional plan specific to your site and needs.
Clearly written with more than 290 illustrations, this full-color edition helps bring your site to life, reduce your cost of living, endow yourself and your community with skills of self-reliance and cooperation, and create living air conditioners of vegetation growing beauty, food, and wildlife habitat. Stories of people who are successfully welcoming rain into their life and landscape will invite you to do the same.
Farm to Fork Meat Riot
Regenerating Life Giving Force
You are about to delve into the subject of lifestyle and nutrition from a different perspective, perhaps, than you have previously considered. Until our daughter Meenakshi was diagnosed with cancer, we were conventional food eaters. Frankly, if I had not had to seek life force in the most nutrient dense foods available to save my daughter’s life, I would be at the grocery store buying the same blank, dead, carcinogenic food like substances I was buying before.
This book is about truth. FOOD can shape or destroy an entire civilization. We are capable of regenerating cells to heal our bodies when given the correct unadulterated nutrients to support the cells.
We need to do everything we can to expand living soils since it is the root of our wellness. Regenerating soil is the basis of food freedom; the result of this practice is health independence – the purpose of this system/cycle is to balance the eco-system, which will stabilize the climate and overall well-being of all life on earth.
Although this book will guide you to a deeper and more practical understanding of what a regenerative lifestyle looks and feels like, my intention is to give you a more conscious awareness of the potential depth and breadth of the power each of you has to influence.
I am the catalyst to reestablish the regenerative small family farm food system in America so we can stop the browning of the earth and restore life giving force back into the soil. Our family committed our lives to healing ourselves, healing our land, and healing others. What will your choice be? #GetOutOfTheGroceryStore
Compost Teas for the Organic Grower
Everything you need to know about feeding your garden, orchard, or smallholding with homemade and chemical-free “teas”—packed with recipes for creating nutrient-rich, healthy soil, to give you healthy plants and ecosystems
Permaculture orchardist Eric Fisher provides an in depth history of organic agriculture and the rise in chemical inputs. He then goes on to explore the importance of nutrients, their cycles and the structure of soil. This enables the reader to truly understand their soil and own ecosystem, so they can manage it properly.
Once we understand how soil and nutrients work, it is easier to diagnose problems and find a natural remedy. Eric provides recipes for a wide range of compost teas that can remedy many different deficits, as well as for natural pesticides and insecticides. Eric shows the reader how to use the plants growing around them to create these “teas,” using aerobic and anaerobic processes, as well as how to grow specific plants to encourage beneficial insects for healthy ecosystems.
Eric’s aim is for growers to feel confident in diagnosing plant disease and pest problems, and then be able to create the right remedy for the problem. If we can care for the health of our plants and soil without using chemicals, we can save money, encourage others to do the same, and demonstrate that conventional chemical inputs are not necessary.
Happy Pigs Taste Better
A Complete Guide to Organic and Humane Pasture-Based Pork Production
What does it take to raise a happy pig? Armed with experience from running the largest organic hog operation in Maine, author Alice Percy is well equipped to answer this question.
Pigs are much closer to their cousin, the wild boar, than other domesticated animals. Ethically managing pigs requires an understanding of their natural mannerisms, including factors such as social grouping, mating, territory, housing, and, of course, their love of wallowing in the mud.
In Happy Pigs Taste Better Percy offers a comprehensive look at raising organic, pasture-fed, gourmet meat. She advises readers on pasturing and feeding hogs organically, as well as managing the breeding herd and administering effective natural healthcare. In addition, she provides an overview of marketing and distribution for those looking to turn their hog farming operation into a lucrative business.
This book is the first of its kind to offer an in-depth approach to organic, high-welfare commercial production, including information on:
– Designing a hog business from the ground up
– Housing pigs, including benefits and drawbacks of various housing systems
– Evaluating the nutritional content of common organic feedstuffs
– Butchering humanely and economically
– Recordkeeping, with templates for financial tracking
Whether you’re looking to convert a conventional operation to organic, grow your backyard hog operation into a viable business, or start from scratch, this comprehensive book has got you covered, nose to tail.
The Whole Okra
A Seed to Stem Celebration
With recipes for gumbos and stews, plus okra pickles, tofu, marshmallow, paper, and more
Chris Smith’s first encounter with okra was of the worst kind: slimy fried okra at a greasy-spoon diner. Despite that dismal introduction, Smith developed a fascination with okra, and as he researched the plant and began to experiment with it in his own kitchen, he discovered an amazing range of delicious ways to cook and eat it, along with ingenious and surprising ways to process the plant from tip-to-tail: pods, leaves, flowers, seeds, and stalks. Smith talked okra with chefs, food historians, university researchers, farmers, homesteaders, and gardeners. The summation of his experimentation and research comes together in The Whole Okra, a lighthearted but information-rich collection of okra history, lore, recipes, craft projects, growing advice, and more.
The Whole Okra includes classic recipes such as fried okra pods as well as unexpected delights including okra seed pancakes and okra flower vodka. Some of the South’s best-known chefs shared okra recipes with Smith: Okra Soup by culinary historian Michael Twitty, Limpin’ Susan by chef BJ Dennis, Bhindi Masala by chef Meherwan Irani, and Okra Fries by chef Vivian Howard.
Okra has practical uses beyond the edible, and Smith also researched the history of okra as a fiber crop for making paper and the uses of okra mucilage (slime) as a preservative, a hydrating face mask, and a primary ingredient in herbalist Katrina Blair’s recipe for Okra Marshmallow Delight.
The Whole Okra is foremost a foodie’s book, but Smith also provides practical tips and techniques for home and market gardeners. He gives directions for saving seed for replanting, for a breeding project, or for a stockpile of seed for making okra oil, okra flour, okra tempeh, and more. Smith has grown over 75 varieties of okra, and he describes the nuanced differences in flavor, texture, and color; the best-tasting varieties; and his personal favorites. Smith’s wry humor and seed-to-stem enthusiasm for his subject infuse every chapter with just the right mix of fabulous recipes and culinary tips, unique projects, and fun facts about this vagabond vegetable with enormous potential.
Carving Out a Living on the Land
Lessons in Resourcefulness and Craft from an Unusual Christmas Tree Farm
When he first envisioned becoming a farmer, author Emmet Van Driesche never imagined his main crop would be Christmas trees, nor that such a tree farm could be more of a managed forest than the conventional grid of perfectly sheared trees. Carving Out a Living on the Land tells the story of how Van Driesche navigated changing life circumstances, took advantage of unexpected opportunities, and leveraged new and old skills to piece together an economically viable living, while at the same time respecting the land’s complex ecological relationships.
From spoon carving to scything, coppicing to wreath-making, Carving Out a Living on the Land proves that you don’t need acres of expensive bottomland to start your land-based venture, but rather the creativity and vision to see what might be done with that rocky section or ditch or patch of trees too small to log. You can lease instead of buy; build flexible, temporary structures rather than sink money into permanent ones; and take over an existing operation rather than start from scratch. What matters are your unique circumstances, talents, and interests, which when combined with what the land is capable of producing, can create a fulfilling and meaningful farming life.
The Humanure Handbook, 4th Edition
Shit in a Nutshell
An updated edition of an underground classic
This is the 4th edition of a self-published book that no respectable publisher would touch with a ten-foot shovel. The 1st edition was published in 1994 with a print run of 600 copies, which the author expected to watch decompose in his garage for the rest of his life. Now, 24 years later, the book has sold over 65,000 print copies in the U.S. alone, been translated in whole or in part into 19 languages and been published in foreign editions on four continents.
The previous editions won numerous awards, including the Independent Publisher Outstanding Book of the Year Award, deeming the book “Most Likely to Save the Planet.” The book has been mentioned on such diverse media outlets as: Mother Earth News, Whole Earth Review, Countryside Journal, The Journal of Environmental Quality, Natural Health, NPR, BBC, CBC, Howard Stern, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy Magazine, Organic Gardening Magazine, the History Channel, Tree House Masters, and many other national and international venues.
The 4th edition is a completely revised, expanded, and updated version of what has become an underground classic bestseller. The author draws from 40 years of research, experience, and travel, to expand and clarify your knowledge and understanding of… your poop!
Not only does the book address what to do with human turds, but it is also a priceless manual for anyone involved in composting or gardening, or looking for basic survival skills. There is no other book like this in print!
Trees of Power
Ten Essential Arboreal Allies
The organic grower’s guide to planting, propagation, culture, and ecology
Trees are our allies in healing the world. Partnering with trees allows us to build soil, enhance biodiversity, increase wildlife populations, grow food and medicine, and pull carbon out of the atmosphere, sequestering it in the soil.
Trees of Power explains how we can work with these arboreal allies, specifically focusing on propagation, planting, and individual species. Author Akiva Silver is an enthusiastic tree grower with years of experience running his own commercial nursery. In this book he clearly explains the most important concepts necessary for success with perennial woody plants. It’s broken down into two parts: the first covering concepts and horticultural skills and the second with in-depth information on individual species. You’ll learn different ways to propagate trees: by seed, grafting, layering, or with cuttings. These time-honored techniques make it easy for anyone to increase their stock of trees, simply and inexpensively.
Ten chapters focus on the specific ecology, culture, and uses of different trees, ones that are common to North America and in other temperate parts of the world:
Chestnut: The Bread Tree
Apples: The Magnetic Center
Poplar: The Homemaker
Ash: Maker of Wood
Mulberry: The Giving Tree
Elderberry: The Caretaker
Hickory: Pillars of Life
Hazelnut: The Provider
Black Locust: The Restoration Tree
Beech: The Root Runner
Trees of Power fills an urgent need for up-to-date information on some of our most important tree species, those that have multiple benefits for humans, animals, and nature. It also provides inspiration for new generations of tree stewards and caretakers who will not only benefit themselves, but leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
Trees of Power is for everyone who wants to connect with trees. It is for the survivalist, the gardener, the homesteader, the forager, the permaculturist, the environmentalist, the parent, the schoolteacher, the farmer, and anyone who feels a deep kinship with these magnificent beings.
New Farmer Library Set
Save 10% when you purchase this exclusive online set
In this limited-edition set, you’ll get the first three books in our New Farmer Library series where we collect innovative ideas, hard-earned wisdom, and practical advice from pioneers of the ecological farming movement. This series provides the next generation of farmers with proven techniques and philosophies from experienced voices committed to 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.
“Extends, expands, and updates Wendell Berry’s The Unsettling of America, then puts forth a vision of a land of resilient small farms ready to survive the present and thrive into the future.”—Carol Deppe, author of The Resilient Gardener
Over the past seventy years, the industrial farming system and its ruinous practices have exhausted our soils, poisoned our groundwater, and provided the basis for a food culture that is making most of our population sick. In order to move forward, toward a more regenerative and sustainable form of agriculture, we must look back to recover the lessons that traditional agricultural societies can teach us about subsistence, stewardship, social organization, community, and resilience.
Farming for the Long Haul by author and organic farmer Michael Foley is the guide to building a viable small farm economy—one that can withstand the economic, political, and climatic shock waves that the twenty-first century portends.
“Instead of taking us through his work, season by season, crop by crop–the narrative approach–Madison explores his farm and its methods analytically, from many overlapping angles. The result is profoundly interesting.” — The New York Review of Books
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.
With a welcome mix of philosophy and pragmatism, Fruitful Labor is sure to inspire a new generation of farmers and provide an in-depth look at sustainable agriculture and farming practices.
Practical advice from one of farming’s “founding curmudgeons.” 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 Logsdon’s earthy wit and irreverent humor combine with his valuable perspectives on many wide-ranging subjects—everything from how to show a ram who’s the boss to enjoying the almost churchlike calmness of a wellbuilt livestock barn.
Combined, the wisdom passed along by Logsdon and Berry ensures that this book will provide both a practical and philosophical grounding for young farmers who are seeking a new way of life as small-scale “garden farmers” rather than the “get big or get out” approach to farming that has come to define much of Western agriculture.
The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume IV
The Greater "We"
In the fourth volume of this loved publication, dedicated to the Greater ‘We’, ninety contributing writers and artists explore the social, techno, and ecological processes of diversification. The New Farmer’s Almanac, Vol IV features essays and stories and poems from farmers, ranchers, ecologists, educators, food bank managers, grocers, gardeners, researchers, and advocates bound by their care for the land, the food system, and the survival of the natural world.
There are folk stories, reports on the racialized distribution of farmland, recipes for hickory nut milk and foraged teas. Toolboxes for seed-saving, indigenous land repatriation, and creating liberated space. Advice from old-timers and insights from the new. Meditations on failure, loved crops, and the wisdom of farm dogs. Here are stories about leaving, and of returning home to work the land; essays on the geography of self-discovery; reflections on trauma, both climatic and personal; and some practical guidance for farmers. Add to this hundreds of unique images, from woodcuts to inked watersheds to fine and historic photographs.
Created by the Greenhorns, The New Farmer’s Almanac is a place for public thinking and proactive literary inquiry into the future we share on the land and at the table. Shifting practices is a team sport, and with its original artwork, moon charts, songs, and old-time manifestos, this is just the compendium to inspire your own part in the mix.