Friday, March 20, 2009

What Next?

Okay, if you follow this blog with any sort of regularity you know that I recently finished reading Dirt Hog: A Hands-On Guide to Raising Pigs Outdoors....Naturally by Kelly Klober. Right now I'm working my way through "Harris on the Pig" and "Small-Scale Pig Raising", but I'm interested in taking a break from the pigs for a little bit and branching out. In the past I have come to those of you that take time to read the blog for all sorts of tips and advice, so once again I'm coming to you ... What are you reading now or what would you suggest.

Here are a few things I'm looking for in a book:
  1. It has to be agriculturally related.
  2. The book could be about agricultural history, grazing, agricultural philosophies, how-to, etc. Just no pig books for the moment because I already have those.
  3. Maybe something from an author I haven't read yet. Of course if there is a can't miss book out there from an author I have already read don't neglect to share it with me.
  4. I'm looking for a book that you consider a "must read" for every farmer.
  5. Can't miss publications are also good. Right now I'm really interested in an "Acres" subscription, but would love to hear what others read from cover to cover.
  6. And finally, I would be interested in reading something outside of what we are doing now on the farm (beef, pork, poultry). Something that would give ideas for the future of our farm.
So, there you go. What suggestions do you have for me this time?

12 comments:

Kevin and Beth said...

Have you read "The Contrary Farmer" by Gene Logsdon? Very Good!

Jena said...

If you're interested in raising sheep this might be a good time to read up on them. Managing Your Ewe is a can't-do-without resource once you have sheep, not so much for you right now though.

I'm not sure if you have just a tree line or an actual woodlot on your property. If you do, what about something on woodlot management? My library has a couple good ones (unsure on the names) that are on my list for future reading.

BlueGate said...

We really enjoyed reading Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin as we got started with chickens.

John said...

Ethan,

You have a similar layout to mine, with a mix of large open pasture and woods. I have been trying to find a resource that describes watering systems. I read a article on Stockman that described a system, but was not enough details on how to implement. For 9 months of the year, freezing is not an issue, but for the winter, it is (except probably not rotating). So trying to decide over the ground, under the ground, temorary vs. permanent. I will have to water 10-15 head eventually, and it needs to be moveable so that I can implement my rotational plan.

Any books on that topic would be very interesting!

John

Bil said...

I just finished reading "Every Farm Tells a Story" by Jerry Apps. It is a story of this man's life growing up on a farm. He shares the good and the bad. What he learned, and how the way farming changed while he was growing up.

Great book. Looking forward to what others have to suggest.

Bil

Yeoman said...

How about a historical account by a farmer or rancher?

Some that might interest you, possibly.

Wyoming Cattle Trails. Rollinson's history, from first hand accounts, of the very early livestock industry in Wyoming, which he participated in.

Sheep! Louise Turk's autobiography of raising sheep in Wyoming. It's a life story, but more than that really. Gives you a good idea of changes over time.

There must be accounts like this from all over the country. I'd encourage you to read something on how things had been, so we can see where we are now.

Also, I haven't seen any Wendell Berry in your list. I'd regard The Gift of Good Land and The Unsettling of America as must reads.

Rich said...

I'm not sure if my suggestions would be considered agriculturally related by everybody (even though they should be), but I cut my gardening teeth using the methods in a book called "Joy of Gardening" by Dick Raymond, (it was included with a Troybilt tiller my parents bought in the '80's)

It talks about using wide-row techniques for planting a garden, using "green manure" cover crops to build fertility, various garden layouts, harvesting and storing, etc.

Another book about gardening I have found useful is Eliot Coleman's "Four-Season Harvest". It covers a range of subjects like extending the growing season by planting more cool-season crops, using greenhouses and cold frames, general garden layout, building soil fertility using organic methods, and harvesting and storing garden crops.

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in getting a few beehives for you farm. They are amazing creatures and very much unappreciated in our society.

I read Fruitless Fall about the colapse of the bee colonies here in America. It is very informative and a real eye opener!

Concord Dad said...

Animal Vegetable Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver, 1 year journey of local grown "slow food".

Mike W. said...

I would recommend that you pick up the 4 Newman Turner Classics that is bundled up at Acres USA. These books contain invaluable information for any grass-based small (or large) farm.

Out of the four, I would start with Fertility Pastures. After all, your livestock are what they eat!

Mike

Dave said...

Your a little farther in your farming life that we are, and I think that the Acres USA sub would be a great addition to what you have read so far from what I have seen.

I had just started reading "You Can Farm" from Salatin when I stumbled on your blog. I have gotten and received the free sample issue from Acres and I would love to have the sub, but I am using that $$$ to get a few more supplies using the "Reading is good, Doing is better" principal and I am asking for the Acres sub as a bday present later this year.

Fritz Nordengren said...

Ethan, love your work and here's wishing you continued success: How about:

Gene Logsdon's "All Flesh is Grass"

William Paul Manchester's "A Very Small Farm"

Iowa author Mary Swander "Out of this World"

and Iowa author John Price "Not Just Any Land"

or a contemporary examination of midwest life. Richard Longworths's "Caught in the Middle"

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