Some great current titles that are inspiration at Leafhopper Farm:
Two Good “HOW TOs”
“Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening” by Will Bonsall
-this is a from experience author who takes you step by step through basic gardening methods that have stood the test of time. Will is in Industry Maine, but his methods of fertility and seed saving philosophies carry into any cultivator’s soil. Approach this book with the intension of at least actively growing a garden to test some of his suggestions if you can. Otherwise, share the book with a friend who is cultivating soil and offer to help out.
“The New Livestock Farmer” by Rebecca Thistlewaite and Jim Dunlop
-Rebecca and Jim really did their homework on this guide. The walk through each animal, it’s needs, market value, and humane handling was flawless. Information regarding land stewardship, and impact came with solid solutions to keep fields and forest as happy as the animals. Butchering information would come better from another book, though the breakdown on what you get out of a processed animal is well covered.
For Philosophy check out:
“The Call of the Land; An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century” by Steven McFadden
-The Dedication of this book says it all: For the next seven generations of our children. McFadden captures the idealist vision of tending land, then anchors it in diversity to expand thriving local economic stability through food security. Real farm case studies add context to lofty thoughts.
“The Contrary Farmer” by Gene Logsdon
-Ok, this book is a window into the mind of a plugged in land steward. It’s like reading a sit spot (spending time sitting in one place where you can observe your surroundings often) and then, after a long time of watching, years in fact, you can start to see patterns and make reasonable choices to enhance those surroundings. Gene Longsdon does just that in this candid capturing of good old know-how based on strong ethical stewardship of place.
A great economic guide would be:
“Farms with a Future; Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business” by Rebecca Thistlewaite
-That’s right, Rebecca is back again to go deeper into the economic heart of small farms. She helped us better understand how to produce in her earlier book, “The New Livestock Farmer” with Jim Dunlop, and now she leads us into the business side of tending, in which a farmer actually makes a living, brava! It’s not just operating a cash machine, but a real set of building blocks from acquiring a place to grow (which does not mean you have to own) to what to build if you need a space on your place. The reading is fun, grounded in real farm experiences, and approachable for all interest levels.