- Recommended Products
Josh Volk, author of the best-selling Compact Farms, offers small-scale farmers an in-depth guide to building customized equipment that will save time and money and introduce much-needed efficiencies to their operations.
Author: Josh Volk
Comeback Farms takes up where Judy's previous book, No Risk Ranching ended. Here, he shows how to add sheep, goats, and pigs to existing cattle operations. He details fencing and water systems that build on existing infrastructure set up for Management-Intensive Grazing. Sharing his firsthand experience (the mistakes as well as successes), Judy takes graziers to the next level. He shows how high density grazing (HDG) on his own farm and those he leases can revitalize hayed-out, scruffy, weedy pastures, and turn them into highly productive grazing landscapes that grow both green grass and greenbacks.
Author: Greg Judy
Small is beautiful, and these 15 real farm plans show that small-scale farmers can have big-time success. Compact Farms is an illustrated guide for anyone dreaming of starting, expanding, or perfecting a profitable farming enterprise on 5 acres or less. The farm plans explain how to harness an area’s water supply, orientation, and geography in order to maximize efficiency and productivity while minimizing effort. Profiles of well-known farmers such as Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier show that farming on a small scale in any region, in both urban and rural settings, can provide enough income to turn the endeavor from hobby to career. These real-life plans and down-and-dirty advice will equip you with everything you need to actually realize your farm dreams.
Author: Josh Volk
In Dirt to Soil, Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge: restoring the soil. The Brown’s Ranch model, developed over 20 years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown’s Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only 20 years!
Author: Gabe Brown
Roll up your sleeves and build a better farm!
Loaded with complete plans and easy-to-follow construction tips, this book offers a creative mix of both practical and decorative projects for working and hobby farms. Veteran family farmers and 4-H alumni Samantha and Daniel Johnson present 20 essential projects for aspiring homesteaders. From log jacks, rabbit hutches, and milking stands to a weather vane and a barn quilt, each hands-on project includes clear step-by-step color photographs to guide the reader.
An introduction to the DIY mindset, the book explains the positive benefits and satisfaction of building things yourself (and it provides an overview of the basic tools and skills needed to complete each task). Farm DIY also includes a background discussion of farming today, as well as instructions for building an effective farmer’s market display stand for selling your products.
Inside Farm DIY:
• 20 step-by-step, do-it-yourself projects for creating the farm of your dreams
• Build practical items like fences, gates, bee houses, log jacks, rabbit hutches and milking stools
• Make fun items like a weather vane, barn quilt, and goat seesaw
• Create an attractive display stand for selling your products at farmers markets
• Easy-to-complete projects that all feature inexpensive materials and basic techniques
Author: Daniel & Samantha Johnson
The guide is broken up into sections that cover every aspect of farm work, from woodworking and laying cement to farm machinery repair. Informative and easy to understand (with close to 500 illustrations and photographs), Farm Mechanics is both a historical reference for those interested in the history of agriculture and a commonsense tool that outlines essential agricultural skills.
Author: Fred Crawshaw & E.W. Lehmann
The Mushroom Hut @ Fox Farms is a small-scale diversified working and teaching farm. They are a registered nursery, licensed seed dealer, grain dealer, and dairy goat farm. This book includes recipes and information regarding their workshops, from simple-cheese making, tapping maple trees using sumac spiles, making flower essence jellies, growing hops and bloody butcher corn, and much more.
Author: Susan Tipton-Fox
Farming While Black is the first comprehensive how-to guide for aspiring African-heritage growers to reclaim their dignity as agriculturists and for all farmers to understand the distinct, technical contributions of African-heritage people to sustainable agriculture.
Author: Leah Penniman
As communities seek greater resiliency in the wake of economic upheaval, job loss, climate change and global food shortages, local farmers are seen as a key resource to help reinvigorate (or create) a diversified, regionalized, ecologically based food system. Farms with a Future explores the passion, creativity and entrepreneurship that's needed to help family farms find their niche and remain sustainable and successful in an age of agribusiness and consolidation.
What is a farm with a future? What will make it sustainable and resilient? And what key qualities and skills does a farmer need in today's climate to be successful?
Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this must-read book for anyone aspiring to get into small to mid-scale market farming, or who wants to make their existing farm more dynamic, profitable and, above all, sustainable.
A growing interest in locally grown food is evident: In 2008, local food sales (direct to consumers or direct to restaurants/retailers) totaled $4.8 billion dollars, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Those sales were predicted to top $7 billion by the end of 2011.
An experienced farmer herself, Thistlethwaite does not idealize or romanticize her subject in Farms with a Future. "If you are not prepared for some serious hard work, inclement weather, dirt lodged in every crevice of your body, and being so dog-tired that you fall into your easy chair at night and don't wake up until the next morning, then you might look into another vocation," the author warns.
Thistlethwaite and her husband took a one-year sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation's most innovative farmers to learn some of their best practices … and a whole lot about what doesn't work too.
Farms with a Future introduces readers to some of the country's most innovative farmers, who are embracing their "inner entrepreneur": unabashedly marketing and sharing the pride they have for what they produce; building systems and finding efficiencies and cost savings so they don't have to keep raising prices every year; shying away from huge debt loads by developing ways to build their businesses patiently over time, using earned income or creative arrangements with their community of customers; harnessing natural processes to ensure they are not degrading the natural resources the farms depend upon; and treating their employees and volunteers like family.
While many other books address agricultural production, very few talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future will help guide farmers to manage for long-term sustainability and build a triple-bottom-line farming business focused on economic viability, social justice and ecological soundness.
Author: Rebecca Thistlethwaite
America's average farmer is 60 years old. When young people can't get in, old people can't get out. Approaching a watershed moment, our culture desperately needs a generational transfer of millions of farm acres facing abandonment, development or amalgamation into ever-larger holdings. Based on his decades of experience with interns and multigenerational partnerships at Polyface Farm, farmer and author Joel Salatin digs deep into the problems and solutions surrounding this land- and knowledge-transfer crisis. Fields of Farmers empowers aspiring young farmers, midlife farmers and nonfarming landlords to build regenerative, profitable agricultural enterprises.
Author: Joel Salatin
This practical guide contains all of the information you need to have before purchasing farmland, covering everything from the characteristics of the land and the surrounding area to government regulations, land use considerations, and financing. Checklists and questionnaires are included to help you decide exactly what you need and how to find it.
Author: Ann Larkin Hansen
p>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.
Author: MIKE MADISON