A Book of the Month for GQ, The New Yorker, and Flavorwire
"Beautifully told...In this one season of life, Crawford's writing about the work, people, nature and his family legacy reveals much about a simple life, and reminds us all to appreciate life's riches."--Seattle Post Intelligencer
"A must-read..."--Washington Independent Review of Books
An intimate, gorgeously observed memoir about family and farming that forms a powerful lesson in the hard-earned risks that make life worth living
The summer he was thirty-one, Arlo Crawford returned home for the summer harvest at New Morning Farm--seventy-five acres tucked in a hollow in south-central Pennsylvania where his parents had been growing organic vegetables for almost forty years.
Like many summers before, Arlo returned to the family farm's familiar rhythms--rise, eat, bend, pick, sort, sweat, sleep. But this time he was also there to change his direction, like his father years ago. In the 1970s, well before the explosion of the farm-to-table and slow food movement, Arlo's father, Jim, left behind law school and Vietnam, and decided to give farming a try. Arlo's return also prompts a reexamination of a past tragedy: the murder of a neighboring farmer twenty years before. A chronicle of one full season on a farm, with all its small triumphs and inevitable setbacks, A Farm Dies Once a Year is a meditation on work--the true nature of it, and on taking pride in it--and a son's reckoning with a father's legacy. Above all, it is a striking portrait of how one man builds, sows, and harvests his way into a new understanding of the risks necessary to a life well-lived.
A moving, graceful elegy for the American farm. --Larry Zuckerman, author of The PotatoNonfiction literature of a high and lasting order . . . Clearing Land, Brox's] third book, parlays the resonantly detailed specifics of life on her immigrant family's farm in Massachusetts into a larger consideration of the meaning of cleared land and its relationship to other iconic locations in the American landscape: wilderness, prairie, mountain, city. Her precise, eloquent prose, wedded to a sensibility that manages to be at once elegiac and hard-minded, strikes unerringly through sentiment and convention to the heart of the matter . . . The result is a deeply affecting conclusion to her trilogy of books about living the consequences of natural process, human desire and the shifting balance between them.
-Carlo Rotella, Chicago Tribune Sings with the joy of life . . . Brox knows farming, but she knows writing even better . . . Clearing Land is a treasure.
-Jules Wagman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Clearing land is the book's guiding metaphor, one that encompasses both time and space, and serves brilliantly to compare the material world and its flux with our attempts to understand it. . . This Brox] does with eloquent melancholy.
-Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Globe
As human populations grow and resources are depleted, agriculture will need to use land, water, and other resources more efficiently and without sacrificing long-term sustainability. Darwinian Agriculture presents an entirely new approach to these challenges, one that draws on the principles of evolution and natural selection.
R. Ford Denison shows how both biotechnology and traditional plant breeding can use Darwinian insights to identify promising routes for crop genetic improvement and avoid costly dead ends. Denison explains why plant traits that have been genetically optimized by individual selection--such as photosynthesis and drought tolerance--are bad candidates for genetic improvement. Traits like plant height and leaf angle, which determine the collective performance of plant communities, offer more room for improvement. Agriculturalists can also benefit from more sophisticated comparisons among natural communities and from the study of wild species in the landscapes where they evolved.
Darwinian Agriculture reveals why it is sometimes better to slow or even reverse evolutionary trends when they are inconsistent with our present goals, and how we can glean new ideas from natural selection's marvelous innovations in wild species.
The chicken is one of the most familiar and ubiquitous of all the domestic animals, having been kept by humankind for thousands of years for its meat, eggs and feathers. It has also played and continues to play a part in religious ceremonies and other ancient rituals, aspects which are examined here. Today, chickens are found in almost every part of the world, and it is estimated that over 24 billion of them exist worldwide. Yet their exact origins are still open to conjecture, despite our long and mutual association, although they most likely stemmed from one of the breeds of Asian jungle fowl, to which many chickens bear a striking resemblance.
Chickens serves as a general introduction to the many aspects of keeping domestic chickens, examining their likely origins and relationship with their closest relatives among the gamebirds, while sections on bird biology and behavior highlight the similarities and differences between chickens and other birds, providing insights into the reasons why they behave as they do. Advice is also given on choosing a chicken and where to obtain one and housing, feeding, health, and general care is considered. To finish, a comprehensive description of many of the world's most popular breeds is also provided, which will simplify the task of choosing chickens of your own.
Reclaiming Our Food tells the stories of people across the United States who are finding new ways to grow, process, and distribute food for their own communities. Discover how abandoned urban lots have been turned into productive organic farms, how a family-run sustainable fish farm can stay local and be profitable, and how engaged communities are bringing fresh produce into school cafeterias. Through photographic essays and interviews with innovative food leaders, you'll be inspired to get involved and help cultivate your own local food economy.
Providing expert tips on tending the land, caring for animals, and necessary equipment, Ann Larkin Hansen also covers the intricate process of acquiring organic certification and other business considerations important to a profitable operation. Discover the rewarding satisfaction of running a successful and sustainable organic farm.
Discover the joys of raising llamas Whether you're interested in profitably harvesting their fleece or using them as livestock guardians, this comprehensive guide provides everything you need to know to keep healthy and happy llamas. With expert advice on breeding, facilities, shearing, training, showing, and health care, Storey's Guide to Raising Llamas also includes tips on creating a viable business plan and marketing your own fiber products. Save on veterinary costs, increase your self-sufficiency, and successfully care for a thriving and productive herd of llamas.
Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planetBill McKibben is not a person you'd expect to find handcuffed and behind bars, but that's where he found himself in the summer of 2011 after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House. With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Irene scouring the Atlantic, McKibben recognized that action was needed if solutions were to be found. Some of those would come at the local level, where McKibben joins forces with a Vermont beekeeper raising his hives as part of the growing trend toward local food. Other solutions would come from a much larger fight against the fossil-fuel industry as a whole. Oil and Honey is McKibben's account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight--from the center of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers to climate change. With empathy and passion he makes the case for a renewed commitment on both levels of the fight to stop global warming, telling the story of raising one year's honey crop and building a social movement that's still cresting.