Back in 1980, the cost of money easily overshadowed the cost of energy for most folks. But for small low-income farmers, saving on energy expenses was a major concern because the dollar’s price was so high. Nebraska’s Center for Rural Affairs came to the rescue with their Small Farm Energy Primer, a 58-page booklet that’s jam packed with the goods on how small farmers and other rural dwellers can reduce their dependence on big utilities and oil companies. Solar collectors, wind generators, ethanol stills and conservation strategies, are all covered in the Primer.
With the goal of reaching a new generation of acreage-owners and small farmers, the primer has been republished in electronic format by the National Center for Appropriate Technology and the New England Small Farm Institute.
“Most of the innovations described in the primer are still not widely known or employed by America’s small farmers and ranchers, and we believe that these experiments in low-energy agriculture are at least as relevant today as they were over 25 years ago,” says Judy Gillan of the New England institute. “The primer is still the best information out there for small farmers.”
The Center for Rural Affairs has the electronic version available on the Web at http://www.cfra.org/pdf/Small-Farm-Energy-Primer.pdf.