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Smallholder farmers produce seventy per cent of the world's food, but they're often overlooked, and their livelihoods are under threat from large scale industrial farming which has a huge impact on nature, our landscapes, health and society. Over the last two years the Gaia Foundation commissioned a team of internationally renowned photographers documented the working lives of small-scale farmers from six continents. The resulting book, WE FEED THE WORLD, is a testament to their resilience, rooted in their intimate relationship to the land and waters across the planet. From Uganda to Somerset, Ibiza to Colombia these intimate portraits and stories tell a story of diversity, community, nutrition, feminism and the fight against climate change.
My Family and Other Animals meets The Secret Life of Cows: this rediscovered gem of a memoir tells the charming tale of how a baby llama transformed a Welsh farming family forever (with a foreword by John Lewis-Stempel) Things llamas like: Snaffling cherry brandy, Easter eggs, and the Radio Times. Fluttering movie star eyelashes at surprised visitors. Curling up in 'tea-cosy' position by the fire. Orbiting, helicoptering, and oompahing. Humming along to classical music. Locking victims in the lavatory. Things llamas dislike: Having toenails trimmed by a visiting circus. Being adopted mother to an orphaned lamb. Invitations to star on Blue Peter. Accidentally swimming. Snowdonia's rainfall. The dark. Ruth Ruck's family live on a Welsh mountain farm, no strangers to cow pats on the carpet and nesting hens in the larder. When dark days strike, they embark on a farming experiment to cheer them all up - but raising a baby llama proves more of an adventure than expected . Reissued with a new foreword by John Lewis-Stempel, Along Came a Llama is a delightful 1970s farming classic: a charming, witty potrait of country life that will warm the hearts of animal lovers everywhere. 'Full of soul ... One departs this book a convinced llama-lover ... Certainly, Along Came a Llama has a Durrellian-recollection-of-family-life-with-unusual-pet spirit about it. But it is so much more. It is a guide to the future. To a good life.' John Lewis-Stempel
A reissue of Beekeeping (2007). A practical and inspirational guide to keeping bees and apiaries in both rural and urban areas. It's no shock that the beekeeping trend is steadily on the rise. These fascinating and beautiful insects can be kept anywhere, whether your garden is a large country plot or an urban rooftop terrace. What's more, there's no sting in this tale: bees are a source of delight for honey lovers, hay-fever sufferers and gardeners alike. This charming and practical guide is intended for both the beginner and experienced beekeeper. It covers everything from setting up hives and maximising bees in the garden, to optimum honey production and a fascinating troubleshooting section. With charming illustrations throughout, you will find all you need to catch the bee buzz in this wonderful book.
This book explores the sustainability aspect of organic and conventional farming systems, which is commonly categorized into three sub-aspects: social, environmental and economic. The social structure of a given area, organic friendly technologies, soil properties, crop diversification and income are the elements chosen for comparison, and are analyzed using descriptive and statistical methods. In addition, the book assesses the current status of the local organic market in Nepal and field experiments involving the use of various organic means to achieve better production for selected vegetables. Determining the benefits and/or challenges of organic and conventional farming is important to determining the most viable type of farming in the long term, but can be greatly impacted by a given area's specific characteristics (social, environmental, political, etc.), which is why this study focuses on a specific location: the Chitwan district of Nepal, where group conversion to organic farming has existed alongside conventional farming for years. This book offers a useful guide for both practitioners and academic researchers who are interested in organic farming and food security, particularly in developing countries.
We don't need to poison the earth in order to grow better food, and what is harmful to the environment when improperly disposed of often can be turned back to the soil in a beneficial way through composting - if you know how. Here's how. Malcolm Beck's Garden-Ville is one of the largest commercial composting operations in the country. He shares his insight into the processes of decay that can transform everything from lawn trimmings to sewer sludge into life-giving earth. Coupled with Beck's insight into nature and practical advice are remarks from Charles Walters, author, founder of Acres U.S.A.
A couple working six months per year for 50 hours per week on 20 acres can net $25,000-$30,000 per year with an investment equivalent to the price of one new medium-sized tractor. Seldom has agriculture held out such a plum. In a day when main-line farm experts predict the continued demise of the family farm, the pastured poultry opportunity shines like a beacon in the night, guiding the way to a brighter future.
A charming and practical guide for anyone wishing to keep bees, accompanying the would-be beekeeper through every season of the bee-keeping year. From spring awakening and summer swarms to the autumn honey harvest and providing winter protection, this essential resource guides you each step of the way. There is extensive advice for beekeeping beginners, from siting and smoking your hives to rearing a queen and controlling your swarm. There is also in-depth information for improvers and more experienced apiarists who wish to experiment with different hive-management and queen-rearing techniques. Troubleshooting tips on protecting your hives and keeping your bees healthy are also covered. The book is also packed with practical advice on using beeswax, and of course, extracting and making the tastiest honey.
Ehrenfried Pfeiffer was a pioneer of biodynamics in North America. This short but comprehensive book is a collection of three key articles introducing the concepts, principles and practice of the biodynamic method, as well as an overview of its early history. The book also includes a short biography of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer by Herbert H. Koepf.
Louis Bromfield was a World War I ambulance driver, a Paris expat, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist as famous in the 1920s as Hemingway or Fitzgerald. But he cashed in his literary success to finance a wild agrarian dream in his native Ohio. The ideas he planted at his utopian experimental farm, Malabar, would inspire America's first generation of organic farmers and popularize the tenets of environmentalism years before Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. A lanky Midwestern farm boy dressed up like a Left Bank bohemian, Bromfield stood out in literary Paris for his lavish hospitality and his green thumb. He built a magnificent garden outside the city where he entertained aristocrats, movie stars, flower breeders, and writers of all stripes. Gertrude Stein enjoyed his food, Edith Wharton admired his roses, Ernest Hemingway boiled with jealousy over his critical acclaim. Millions savored his novels, which were turned into Broadway plays and Hollywood blockbusters, yet Bromfield's greatest passion was the soil. In 1938, Bromfield returned to Ohio to transform 600 badly eroded acres into a thriving cooperative farm, which became a mecca for agricultural pioneers and a country retreat for celebrities like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (who were married there in 1945). This sweeping biography unearths a lost icon of American culture, a fascinating, hilarious and unclassifiable character who-between writing and plowing-also dabbled in global politics and high society. Through it all, he fought for an agriculture that would enrich the soil and protect the planet. While Bromfield's name has faded into obscurity, his mission seems more critical today than ever before.
The Bec Hellouin model for growing food, sequestering carbon, creating jobs, and increasing biodiversity without using fossil fuels When Charles and Perrine Herve-Gruyer set out to create their farm in an historic Normandy village, they had no idea just how much their lives would change. Neither one had ever farmed before. Charles had been circumnavigating the globe by sail, operating a floating school that taught students about ecology and indigenous cultures. Perrine had been an international lawyer in Japan. Each had returned to France to start a new life. Eventually, Perrine joined Charles in Normandy, and Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin was born. Bec Hellouin has since become a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring Cesar and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain ("Tomorrow"). Miraculous Abundance is the eloquent tale of the couple's evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future-when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must. Today, the farm produces a variety of vegetables using a mix of permaculture, bio-intensive, four-season, and natural farming techniques--as well as techniques gleaned from native cultures around the world. It has some animals for eggs and milk, horses for farming, a welcome center, a farm store, a permaculture school, a bread oven for artisan breads, greenhouses, a cidery, and a forge. It has also become the site of research focusing on how small organic farms like theirs might confront Europe's (and the world's) projected food crisis. But in this honest and engaging account of the trials and joys of their uncompromising effort, readers meet two people who are farming the future as much as they are farming their land. They envision farms like theirs someday being the hub for a host of other businesses that can drive rural communities-from bread makers and grain millers to animal care givers and other tradespeople. Market farmers and home gardeners alike will find much in these pages, but so will those who've never picked up a hoe. The couple's account of their quest to design an almost Edenlike farm, hone their practices, and find new ways to feed the world is an inspiring tale. It is also a love letter to a future in which people increasingly live in rural communities that rely on traditional skills, locally created and purveyed goods and services, renewable energy, and greater local governance, but are also connected to the larger world.
The Bio-Integrated Farm is a twenty-first-century manual for managing nature's resources. This groundbreaking book brings "system farming" and permaculture to a whole new level. Author Shawn Jadrnicek presents new insights into permaculture, moving beyond the philosophical foundation to practical advanced designs based on a functional analysis. Holding his designs to a higher standard, Jadrnicek's components serve at least seven functions (classical permaculture theory only seeks at least two functions). With every additional function a component performs, the design becomes more advanced and saves more energy. A bio-integrated greenhouse, for example, doesn't just extend the season for growing vegetables; it also serves as a rainwater collector, a pond site, an aquaponics system, and a heat generator. Jadrnicek's prevalent theme is using water to do the work. Although applicable in many climates, his designs are particularly important for areas coping with water scarcity. Jadrnicek focuses on his experience as farm manager at the Clemson University Student Organic Farm and at his residence in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. These locations lie at the cooler northern edge of a humid subtropical climate that extends west to the middle of Texas and north along the coast to New Jersey. He has created permaculture patterns ranging from raising transplants and field design to freshwater prawn production and composting. These patterns have simplified the operation of the 125-share CSA farm while reducing reliance on outside resources. In less time than it takes to mow his two-acre homestead, Jadrnicek is building a you-pick fruit farm using permaculture patterns. His landscape requires only the labor of harvesting, and the only outside input he buys is a small amount of chicken feed. By carefully engaging the free forces of nature-water, wind, sunlight, convection, gravity, and decomposition-Jadrnicek creates sustenance without maintenance and transforms waste into valuable farm resources. The Bio-Integrated Farm offers in-depth information about designing and building a wide range of bio-integrated projects including reflecting ponds, water-storage ponds, multipurpose basins, greenhouses, compost heat extraction, pastured chicken systems, aquaculture, hydroponics, hydronic heating, water filtration and aeration, cover cropping, and innovative rainwater-harvesting systems that supply water for drip irrigation and flushing toilets.
One-Straw Revolutionary represents the first commentary on the work of the late Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka (1913 - 2008), widely considered to be natural farming's most influential practitioner. Mr. Fukuoka is perhaps most known for his bestselling book The One-Straw Revolution (1978), a manifesto on the importance of no-till agriculture, which was at the time of publication a radical challenge to the global systems that supply the world's food, and still inspires readers today. Larry Korn, who apprenticed with Mr. Fukuoka in Japan at the time, translated the manuscript and brought it to the United States, knowing it would change the conversation about food forever. The One-Straw Revolution, edited by Korn and Wendell Berry, was an immediate international success, and established Mr. Fukuoka as a leading voice in the fight against conventional industrial agriculture. In this new book, through his own personal narrative, Larry Korn distills his experience of more than thirty-five years of study with Mr. Fukuoka, living and working on his farm on Shikoku Island, and traveling with Mr. Fukuoka to the United States on two six-week visits. One-Straw Revolutionary is the first book to look deeply at natural farming and intimately discuss the philosophy and work of Mr. Fukuoka. In addition to giving his personal thoughts about natural farming, Korn broadens the discussion by pointing out natural farming's kinship with the ways of indigenous cultures and traditional Japanese farming. At the same time, he clearly distinguishes natural farming from other forms of agriculture, including scientific and organic agriculture and permaculture. Korn also clarifies commonly held misconceptions about natural farming in ways Western readers can readily understand. And he explains how natural farming can be used practically in areas other than agriculture, including personal growth and development. The book follows the author on his travels from one back-to-the-land commune to another in the countryside of 1970s Japan, a journey that eventually led him to Mr. Fukuoka's natural farm. Korn's description of his time there, as well as traveling with Mr. Fukuoka during his visits to the United States, offers a rare, inside look at Mr. Fukuoka's life. Readers will delight in this personal insight into one of the world's leading agricultural thinkers.
A renowned biodynamic expert, Klett provides a fascinating overview of the history of agriculture, then goes on to discuss the practicalities of spray and compost preparations and the philosophy behind them. This is essential reading for any biodynamic gardener or farmer who wants to understand the background to core biodynamic techniques. Based on keynote talks given by Manfred Klett at Biodynamic Agricultural Association conferences.
A biodynamic farm is an integrated, holistic organism which balances animal husbandry with growing a range of plants, crops and trees. Balance is of the utmost importance, and will result in a sustainable farm. This book focuses in depth on one aspect of biodynamic farming: growing crops. It addresses all aspects of crop husbandry, from the nature of plants and issues of land use to cultivating grassland, weed control, crop rotation, seeds and sowing, and growing cereals, row crops, legumes, fodder crops and herbs. This is a comprehensive overview of crops and cropping for biodynamic farmers, written by experts in their field.
'The task is to create a form of social life by which the soil, the plants, the animals are in harmony with each other.' -- Karl Koenig Karl Koenig was deeply concerned for the relationship between the earth and humanity, and how landscape, plants and animals contribute to that relationship. This book presents sixteen lectures and essays by Koenig, which explore the connection between biodynamics, domestic animals, elemental beings and many other aspects of farming and agriculture, all the time looking for how harmony and balance can be achieved in relation to the needs of human beings. This includes a revised edition of material previously published in Earth and Man.
'Biodynamics seeks the holistic and interrelated health of the diverse creatures and beings composing a farm, including human beings and the wider, surrounding community. It is not just a "method" but a whole approach to life - one which could have far-reaching benefits for the health of the soil, plants, animals and human beings across the globe...' Born from a series of eight lectures delivered by scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner in 1924, the movement for biodynamic agriculture today encompasses many hundreds of farms and millions of consumers worldwide. Much has been written about biodynamics' unique perspectives on farming, nutrition, the world of nature and the wider cosmos. But how does it work in practise? What is it like to run a farm based on its principles? England's Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch farms form a co-operative venture in which the local community plays a crucial role. As successful, commercial enterprises with high outputs, they have a growing reputation for the excellence of their produce. Through interviews, commentary and dozens of full colour photos, Biodynamics in Practise gives a guided tour of the farms from the viewpoint of a sympathetic visitor. It illustrates how biodynamic farms work, how they differ from conventional and organic farms, and why that difference is important. In short and accessible vignettes, the book looks at many aspects of farm life, including animal rearing and welfare - cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry - crop growth, dairy and cheesemaking, and even bee-keeping and caring for people with special needs. It also gives an introduction to biodynamics itself and brief histories of both farms. Farms are sometimes regarded simply as food-producing factories, but this book shows that they can be much more, offering spiritually-sustaining focal points of community cohesion and participation.
Biodynamics is about respect for nature, sustainability and spiritual ecology - but most of all it is about flavoursome, nutritious and enjoyable food! This is a book rich in information, beautifully illustrated and packed with healthy yet tasty recipes. It is a movement that is supported by top chefs, expert viniculturists and numerous celebrities. Even Prince Charles has introduced its methods at his Gloucestershire farm. Yet biodynamic agriculture had humble beginnings, far from the glitz of expensive city restaurants. In 1924 a small group gathered to hear the philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner give a series of lectures. At a time when industrial farming and mass production were on the rise, Steiner spoke of the qualitative aspects of food, and outlined an agricultural method founded on a holistic perception of nature. Illustrated with hundreds of full-colour photographs, "The Biodynamic Food and Cookbook" explains the principles behind biodynamics, and places it in the context of food and cooking throughout the ages. Wendy Cook takes us on a journey through the four seasons, presenting over 150 delicious recipes based on years of working with biodynamic nutrition. She studies the ethics of food, the foundations of a balanced diet, and conjures up the colour and vibrancy of Mallorca which has contributed so much to her personal approach. There are supplementary sections on breads, sauces, salads, sweets, drinks and much more.
Sepp Holzer farms steep mountainsides in Austria 1,500 meters above sea level. His farm is an intricate network of terraces, raised beds, ponds, waterways and tracks, well covered with productive fruit trees and other vegetation, with the farmhouse neatly nestling amongst them. This is in dramatic contrast to his neighbors' spruce monocultures.In this book, Holzer shares the skill and knowledge acquired over his lifetime. He covers every aspect of his farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it. Holzer writes about everything from the overall concepts, down to the practical details.In Sepp Holzer's Permaculturereaders will learn:
How he sets up a permaculture system
The fruit varieties he has found best for permaculture growing
How to construct terraces, ponds, and waterways
How to build shelters for animals and how to work with them on the land
How to cultivate edible mushrooms in the garden and on the farm
and much more
Holzer offers a wealth of information for the gardener, smallholder or alternative farmer yet the book's greatest value is the attitudes it teaches. He reveals the thinking processes based on principles found in nature that create his productive systems. These can be applied anywhere.
"Growing Green: Animal-Free Organic Techniques" is an essential guide about organic growing and is perfect for absolute beginners as well as experienced professionals. This book introduces the concept of stockfree-organic and shows, through case studies, that when growers abandon the use of slaughterhouse by-products and manures they can be rewarded with healthier crops, less weeds, pests and diseases. In an age where dreams of self-sufficiency seem unattainable, "Growing Green" shows that making a living from growing organic vegetables can be achieved by anyone who is willing to rent land. Until now there have been no comprehensive guidelines on how to follow the organic standards at the different scales of vegetable production using tractors, small machinery and hand tools. This practical and easy-to-follow guide answers: What tools and machinery will I need? What are the benefits of compost? How do I manage different green manures? Can I make seed compost without slaughterhouse by-products? What rotations should I use for year-round vegetable supply? How do I grow, harvest and store 60 different vegetables? How can I weed without chemicals? How can I reduce pest and diseases? How can I encourage wildlife? Where should I sell my produce? How can I ensure that I am reducing my ecological footprint? An invaluable guide for the grower, researcher and student; this book will prove to be an important step forward for the organic movement.
In this groundbreaking study of organic farming, Julie Guthman
challenges accepted wisdom about organic food and agriculture in
the Golden State. Many continue to believe that small-scale organic
farming is the answer to our environmental and health problems, but
Guthman refutes popular portrayals that pit "small organic" against
"big organic" and offers an alternative analysis that underscores
the limits of an organic label as a pathway to transforming
What would it take to grow mushrooms in space? How can mushroom cultivation help us manage, or at least make use of, invasive species such as kudzu and water hyacinth and thereby reduce dependence on herbicides? Is it possible to develop a low-cost and easy-to-implement mushroom-growing kit that would provide high-quality edible protein and bioremediation in the wake of a natural disaster? How can we advance our understanding of morel cultivation so that growers stand a better chance of success? For more than twenty years, mycology expert Tradd Cotter has been pondering these questions and conducting trials in search of the answers. In Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, Cotter not only offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices; he shares the results of his groundbreaking research and offers myriad ways to apply your cultivation skills and further incorporate mushrooms into your life-whether your goal is to help your community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale. The book first guides readers through an in-depth exploration of indoor and outdoor cultivation. Covered skills range from integrating wood-chip beds spawned with king stropharia into your garden and building a "trenched raft" of hardwood logs plugged with shiitake spawn to producing oysters indoors on spent coffee grounds in a 4x4 space or on pasteurized sawdust in vertical plastic columns. For those who aspire to the self-sufficiency gained by generating and expanding spawn rather than purchasing it, Cotter offers in-depth coverage of lab techniques, including low-cost alternatives that make use of existing infrastructure and materials. Cotter also reports his groundbreaking research cultivating morels both indoors and out, "training" mycelium to respond to specific contaminants, and perpetuating spawn on cardboard without the use of electricity. Readers will discover information on making tinctures, powders, and mushroom-infused honey; making an antibacterial mushroom cutting board; and growing mushrooms on your old denim jeans. Geared toward readers who want to grow mushrooms without the use of pesticides, Cotter takes "organic" one step further by introducing an entirely new way of thinking-one that looks at the potential to grow mushrooms on just about anything, just about anywhere, and by anyone.
There is a profound, qualitative difference between the approach of biodynamic agriculture and mainstream factory farming or genetic modification. However, Jonathan Code argues that the most significant difference is not between the practical methods employed, but in the consciousness behind those methods. This insightful book examines how the biodynamic approach to land stewardship, and a deeper understanding of how to work with the land, plants and animals, can become a catalyst not only for the transformation of compost and soil, but also for the transformation of consciousness. This is a book for anyone interested in not only healthy agriculture, but how it feeds a healthy culture.
This collection reviews key research addressing key challenges faced by organic animal farming in improving yields, animal nutrition and health. Part 1 assesses current research on environmental impact, promoting animal health, enhancing naturalness and welfare. It also reviews how organic systems fit in with agroforestry, pastoralist and other smallholder farming systems. The second part of the book includes case studies from leading experts on current research in improving the farming of particular species. Chapters review challenges and opportunities in organic dairy and beef farming, sheep and goats, pigs and poultry. There are also chapters on organic aquaculture as well as organic and natural beekeeping. With its distinguished editors and international team of expert authors, this will be a standard reference for all those researching organic animal farming as well as the organic livestock farmers, organic certification and regulatory bodies.
When Bob Quinn was a kid, a stranger at a county fair gave him a few kernels of an unusual grain. Little did he know, that grain would change his life. Years later, after finishing a PhD in plant biochemistry and returning to his family's farm in Montana, Bob started experimenting with organic wheat. In the beginning, his concern wasn't health or the environment; he just wanted to make a decent living and some chance encounters led him to organics. But as demand for organics grew, so too did Bob's experiments. He discovered that through time-tested practices like cover cropping and crop rotation, he could produce successful yields--without pesticides. Regenerative organic farming allowed him to grow fruits and vegetables in cold, dry Montana, providing a source of local produce to families in his hometown. He even started producing his own renewable energy. And he learned that the grain he first tasted at the fair was actually a type of ancient wheat, one that was proven to lower inflammation rather than worsening it, as modern wheat does. Ultimately, Bob's forays with organics turned into a multimillion dollar heirloom grain company, Kamut International. In Grain by Grain, Quinn and cowriter Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground, show how his story can become the story of American agriculture. We don't have to accept stagnating rural communities, degraded soil, or poor health. By following Bob's example, we can grow a healthy future, grain by grain.
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