Wednesday, April 17, 2013

TBF 006 :: 10 Books for the Beginning Farmer, Farm Updates, and a Hard Lesson Learned

Over the years I've received quite a few e-mails from people wanting to pick my pea-sized farming brain. Usually when that happens I have two thoughts run through my mind ... #1 :: Have they ever read any of my blog posts, I even know what I'm doing half the time! #2 :: Don't farm ... it's not worth it! Thought number one is true no matter what ... and thought number two is something I only half mean. It's not that I want to discourage people from farming, but rather I think it is important to spend a lot of time considering what it really means to be a farmer. With all of that being said, I do love hearing from people that stumble on to the blog and want to ask a question.

On today's show I take some time to answer an e-mail from Patrick who asked one of the questions that I receive most often, "What books and websites would you suggest reading?" As an avid reader this is an easy question for me to answer. The biggest problem that I have when I think about this answer is whittling the list down a little bit to a manageable size. So, what I've done is come up with my "10 Books a Beginning Farmer Should Read". It should be noted that these books are coming from my livestock based background.

In no particular order here are my 10 favorites ... for the moment. I have also included links for each book if you are interested in purchasing them. These links are affiliate links, so if you are interested in one of the books and enjoy the show it does support the show a little.

      Finally, this weeks "Hard Lesson Learned" has to do with that old adage ... "Don't always believe what you read." I'm not saying that all of those great authors I mentioned are wrong, but what I am saying is that all things don't work in all places and it probably would have been better if I would have tried to get some real world experience rather than just armchair experience!

      The Beginning Farmer ShowAs always, thank you so much to all of you who have taken the time to subscribe and listen to the show each week. I hope that I'm growing as a podcast producer and that as time goes along the show just gets better and better. If you do enjoy the show don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes (by clicking this link or the image on the left) or on the Stitcher App on your smartphone. For those of you that have taken the time to leave a review on iTunes ... thank you, thank you, thank you! It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

      I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with The Beginning Farmer and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...

      (if you are interested in the music in this episode check out my brother's record label, Historic Records)


      bioscene said...

      what a good site, glad I found it.

      Rich said...

      I'm not exactly sure if it is what you are thinking of building for your chickens, but there is a video of a large organic chicken farmer from Canada that shows the moveable pens they use at:

      The open fenced part is shown in the beginning of the video, and the "enclosed" back part is shown at the very end of the video.

      If you read the comments, he says that they are about 15x48 pens that look like they are built out about 1" square tubing with a sheet metal roof. And, they move them with a tractor about 24' each day.

      To my eye, they look pretty simple and sturdy, the wind probably wouldn't blow them over, you could build a scaled-down version (10x20?), and you could easily park them for the winter. Or, you could leave a door open and run some electro-net around them if you wanted to let your chickens roam over a larger area.

      I've never figured out how much it would actually cost to build a moveable pen like that, and I don't see myself raising chickens anytime soon, but IF I was going to raise chickens on a pasture I've always thought that might be the way I'd do it.

      Talking about hay or winter feed for the cattle and stuff that doesn't always work the same for everybody, I've become a big fan of sorghum-sudangrass.

      I planted some into wheat stubble last summer and despite the record setting drought, I was able to grow just enough hay so that I didn't have to sell any cows last fall. I've been thinking that it might make sense to plant some about mid-summer, let it winter-kill in the fall, and then strip-graze it over the winter (that way I wouldn't have to bale it, I'd leave more fertility in the field, etc.). I've grazed grain sorghum stubble sorta like that before, and I usually get a volunteer stand of ryegrass in the spring which would be a plus in the spring.

      Something similar might or might not work for you.

      Unknown said...

      Catching up on your podcasts but I'm very glad for the book suggestions.

      Still an armchair farmer but I love the Gene Logsden books so I'm looking forward to the others on the list.

      Thanks for putting the time in. It doesn't just disappear into the ether. I'm sure there are plenty of other people like me who can't get out onto the land but love living vicariously through you.


      Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...