Agriculture and Farming
The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One's Own
Paperback ISBN: 1603427953
Whether they're about raising chickens or herding sheep, the tales of Jenna Woginrich have caught the imagination of thousands of young homesteaders. As she learns traditional farming skills by trial and error, Woginrich records her offbeat observations and poignant moments with honesty, humility, and humor. In BarnHeart, she lands at a small rented farm and struggles to find her place in a reserved rural community filled with working farmers who are scraping by and wealthy vacation-home owners with fancy barns that never house livestock. Although her barnheart — a term Woginrich coins to describe her state of longing for a farm of her own — never subsides, she makes do on her rented farmstead, caring for her sheep, chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, a goat, and a turkey, until relationships sour and she's abruptly forced to leave. Where will she and her animals go? Will she finally be able to afford the farm she's always dreamed of? Even when dealing with cranky neighbors, small-town politics, and the loneliness that comes with running a farm on her own, Woginrich never loses her sense of humor. Readers will recognize themselves and find inspiration in this appealing story of longing and striving for a more authentic life.
The Education of an Urban Farmer
Hardcover ISBN: 1594202214
Urban and rural collide in this wry, inspiring memoir of a woman who turned a vacant lot in downtown Oakland into a thriving farm Novella Carpenter loves citiesÂ—the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she canÂ't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parentsÂ' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways: a homegrown vegetable plot as well as museums, bars, concerts, and a twenty-four-hour convenience mart mere minutes away. Especially when she moved to a ramshackle house in inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door. She closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop. What started out as a few egg-laying chickens led to turkeys, geese, and ducks. Soon, some rabbits joined the fun, then two three-hundred-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals werenÂ't pets; she was a farmer, not a zookeeper. Novella was raising these animals for dinner. Novella CarpenterÂ's corner of downtown Oakland is populated by unforgettable characters. Lana (anal spelled backward, she reminds us) runs a speakeasy across the street and refuses to hurt even a fly, let alone condone raising turkeys for Thanksgiving. Bobby, the homeless man who collects cars and car parts just outside the farm, is an invaluable neighborhood concierge. The turkeys, Harold and Maude, tend to escape on a daily basis to cavort with the prostitutes hanging around just off the highway nearby. Every day on this strange and beautiful farm, urban meets rural in the most surprising ways. For anyone who has ever grown herbs on their windowsill, tomatoes on their fire escape, or obsessed over the offerings at the local farmersÂ' market, CarpenterÂ's story will capture your heart. And if youÂ've ever considered leaving it all behind to become a farmer outside the city limits, or looked at the abandoned lot next door with a gleam in your eye, consider this both a cautionary tale and a full-throated call to action. Farm City is an unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmersÂ' tips, and a great deal of heart. It is also a moving meditation on urban life versus the natural world and what we have given up to live the way we do.
The Dirty Life
A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love
Paperback ISBN: 1416551611
"This book is the story of the two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of my life: one with farming—that dirty, concupiscent art—and the other with a complicated and exasperating farmer." Single, thirtysomething, working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to five hundred acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of their first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through the following harvest season—complete with their wedding in the loft of the barn. Kimball and her husband had a plan: to grow everything needed to feed a community. It was an ambitious idea, a bit romantic, and it worked. Every Friday evening, all year round, a hundred people travel to Essex Farm to pick up their weekly share of the "whole diet"—beef, pork, chicken, milk, eggs, maple syrup, grains, flours, dried beans, herbs, fruits, and forty different vegetables—produced by the farm. The work is done by draft horses instead of tractors, and the fertility comes from compost. Kimball’s vivid descriptions of landscape, food, cooking—and marriage—are irresistible. "As much as you transform the land by farming," she writes, "farming transforms you." In her old life, Kimball would stay out until four a.m., wear heels, and carry a handbag. Now she wakes up at four, wears Carhartts, and carries a pocket knife. At Essex Farm, she discovers the wrenching pleasures of physical work, learns that good food is at the center of a good life, falls deeply in love, and finally finds the engagement and commitment she craved in the form of a man, a small town, and a beautiful piece of land
Small-Scale Grain Raising
2nd Edition Paperback ISBN: 1603580778
First published in 1977, this book—from one of America’s most famous and prolific agricultural writers—became an almost instant classic among homestead gardeners and small farmers. Now fully updated and available once more, Small-Scale Grain Raising offers a entirely new generation of readers the best introduction to a wide range of both common and lesser-known specialty grains and related field crops, from corn, wheat, and rye to buckwheat, millet, rice, spelt, flax, and even beans and sunflowers. More and more Americans are seeking out locally grown foods, yet one of the real stumbling blocks to their efforts has been finding local sources for grains, which are grown mainly on large, distant corporate farms. At the same time, commodity prices for grains—and the products made from them—have skyrocketed due to rising energy costs and increased demand. In this book, Gene Logsdon proves that anyone who has access to a large garden or small farm can (and should) think outside the agribusiness box and learn to grow healthy whole grains or beans—the base of our culinary food pyramid—alongside their fruits and vegetables. Starting from the simple but revolutionary concept of the garden “pancake patch,
The One-Straw Revolution
An Introduction to Natural Farming
Paperback ISBN: 1590173139
Masanobu Fukuoka’s book about growing food has been changing the lives of readers since it was first published in 1978. It is a call to arms, a manifesto, and a radical rethinking of the global systems we rely on to feed us all. At the same time, it is the memoir of a man whose spiritual beliefs underpin and inform every aspect of his innovative farming system. Equal parts farmer and philosopher, Fukuoka is recognized as one of the founding thinkers of the permaculture movement. But when he was twenty-five, he was just another biologist taking advantage of the unprecedented development of postwar Japan. Then a brush with death shattered his complacency. He quit his job and returned to his family farm. Over the decades that followed, Fukuoka perfected his so-called “do-nothing” technique, a way of farming that dispenses with both modern agribusiness practices and centuries of folk wisdom, replacing them with a system that seeks to work with nature rather than make it over through increasingly elaborate–and often harmful –methods. Fukuoka developed commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminated the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and the wasteful effort associated with them–and his yields matched those of neighboring factory farms. His farm became a gathering place for people from all over the world who wished to adapt his ways to their own local cultures. Now, more than thirty years after they were first published, Fukuoka’s teachings are more relevant and necessary than ever.
A Slice of Organic Life
1st Edition Paperback ISBN: 0756662117
Provides a comprehensive guide to growing one's own food organically, as well as how to cook home-grown produce, raise one's own selected livestock, and develop a more sustainable lifestyle, in a richly illustrated volume that features more than eighty self-contained projects for rural, suburban, and urban locales.
A Love Story
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0307267156
Examines the natural history of the tuna, one of the world's most endangered marine animals, revealing how the increasing demand for sushi has caused a devastating overfishing of the tuna and detailing the implications of its potential extinction.
Farm Together Now
A Portrait of People, Places, and Ideas for a New Food Movement
Hardcover ISBN: 0811867110
With interest in home gardening at an all-time high and concerns about food production and safety making headlines, Farm Together Now explores the current state of grassroots farming in the U.S. Part oral history and part treatise on food politics, this fascinating project is an introduction to the many individuals who are producing sustainable food, challenging public policy, and developing community organizing efforts. With hundreds of photographs and a foreword from New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, Farm Together Now will educate, inspire, and cultivate a new wave of modern agrarians.