Fiber crafts, such as knitting, weaving, and crocheting, continue to surge in popularity, with sites like Ravelry (a social media community for the wool obsessed) gaining more than 6 million members. Artists are seeking quality, raw materials in greater numbers. The cottage industry of supplying not only raw fleece but handcrafted yarns is strong.
Janet Garman has a small fiber flock (including Pygora fiber goats) and shares her expertise, as well as interviews, tips, and advice from fiber farmers and craftspeople across the country.
She offers the basics of properly raising sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, and rabbits, with tips on selecting animals, feeding, housing, breeding, and health care. From there, instructions are provided for shearing, sorting, skirting, washing, picking, carding, combing, and spinning the wool. Enthusiasts will also find recipes and instructions for natural, plant-based dyes and advice for selling your finished yarn.
The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook is the modern homesteader’s guide to raising, feeding, breeding, selling, and enjoying the noblest animal on the farm: the chicken. From the rooster’s crow in the morning to the warm egg in the nesting box, chickens are the gateway livestock for almost every homesteader and backyard farm enthusiast. In this book, you’ll learn everything you need to know about raising chickens naturally. Author Amy K. Fewell guides you in:
This is heritage chicken keeping skills 101, with a modern twist. Gain knowledge about naturally keeping chickens through every stage of their lives, and fully embrace the joy and ease of raising all-natural chickens on your homestead.
From honey experts C. Marina Marchese and Kim Flottum comes this comprehensive introduction to the origin, flavor, and culinary uses of more than 30 varietals of honey, from ubiquitous clover to tangy star thistle to rich, smoky buckwheat.
Like wine, cheese, coffee and chocolate, honey has emerged as an artisanal obsession. Its popularity at farmers markets and specialty food stores has soared as retailers capitalize on the trend. The Honey Connoisseur teaches consumers everything they need to know about how to taste, select and use a diverse selection of honey.
After a brief explanation of how bees produce honey, the authors introduce the concept of terroir, the notion that soil, weather and other natural phenomena can affect the taste of honey. As with wines, knowing the terroir of a honey varietal helps to inform an understanding of its flavor.
The book goes on to give a thorough course in the origins of more than 30 different honeys as well as step-by-step instructions on how to taste honey, describe its flavor and determine what other flavors will pair best with it. Also included are simple recipes such as dressings, marinades, beverages and quick-and-easy desserts.
Beautifully illustrated and designed, The Honey Connoisseur is the perfect book for foodies and locavores alike.
When the going gets tough, the tough ... start raising their own food. In the first full-color guide of its kind, author and small farm owner Laura Childs reveals exactly what it takes to start raising your own animals, including chickens, geese, goats, sheep, pigs, and cows. Childs discusses what you can expect to harvest from your animals (from eggs to milk to meat to wool) based on her own real-life experiences. Whether you want to raise a few chickens for eggs alone, try your hand at a few goats with the intention of making your own cheese, or sustain your family and make some extra money from raising cows and selling beef, this is the book for you.
Childs explains how to get started and everything you need to know about successfully raising each animal, including:
This invaluable guide is the perfect first book for anyone interested in starting a backyard barnyard or a small farm (or simply dreaming about the idea).
The New Livestock Farmer provides pasture-based production essentials for a wide range of animals, from common farm animals (cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep and goats) to more exotic species (bison, rabbits, elk and deer).
The New Rules of the Roost addresses the problems that crop up when keeping backyard chickens long term. It covers a wide range of topics including guidance on organic health remedies and disease prevention, pest management, organic nutrition, the best breeds for specific needs, and the simplest and most effective options for daily maintenance and feeding. Readers will also learn how to introduce new chickens to a flock, how to manage aggressive birds, how to deal with mature chickens, and much more.
This Q&A resource from expert Karen Patry has the answers to all your questions about everything from housing and feeding to breeding, kindling, health and disease, behavior, and more.
The Small-Scale Dairy offers a holistic approach that explores the relationships between careful, conscientious management and the production of safe, healthy and delicious milk. A historical overview offers readers a balanced perspective on the current regulatory environment in which raw milk lovers find themselves.
Written by Kristina Mercedes Urquhart, The Suburban Chicken shares the author’s knowledge on general chicken husbandry, profiles of 20 suitable breeds for suburban living, how to provide your birds with optimal accommodations, and the health care needs of chickens (among other important topics about which prospective chicken owners should be familiar).
What's the buzz about the growing popularity of backyard beekeeping? Providing habitat for bees, pollinating your garden and producing honey for your family are some of the compelling reasons for taking up this exciting hobby. But conventional beekeeping requires a significant investment and has a steep learning curve. The alternative? Consider beekeeping outside the box.
The Thinking Beekeeper is the definitive do-it-yourself guide to natural beekeeping in top bar hives. Based on the concept of understanding and working with bees' natural systems as opposed to trying to subvert them, the advantages of this approach include:
Top bar hives can be located anywhere bees have access to forage, and they make ideal urban hives because of their small footprint. Emphasizing the intimate connection between our food systems, bees and the well-being of the planet, The Thinking Beekeeper will appeal to the new breed of beekeeper who is less focused on maximizing honey yield and more on ensuring the viability of the bee population now and in the coming years.
Hobby farming is alive and thriving in semi-rural, suburban, and rural areas across the country, and female farmers have been cited as the fastest growing sector within the farming community in recent years. With more than 1 million women in the United States and Canada describing farming as their primary source of income, and many more for whom hobby farming is just that—a hobby—the time is right for a publication dedicated to hobby farming from a female perspective. Written for women, by a woman, this insightful volume is packed with stories and advice from women hobby farmers and looks at female-specific farming challenges as well as issues that all farmers face.
Inside The Woman Hobby Farmer:
•Discussions on the who, what, why, and where of hobby farming
•Deciding on your farming goals and making a plan
•What to expect in your new endeavor
•How to decide what to plant and prepare your planting sites
•Advice on feeding, caring for, and housing different types of livestock
•A look at “agripreneurship”—running and marketing your hobby farm as a successful business
•Stories, quotes, and advice from successful female hobby farmers
The homesteading movement is continuing to grow, as more people are stepping up to have a hand in where their food comes from. Whether you want to dabble or immerse yourself completely in the do-it-yourself, back-to-basics lifestyle, Welcome to the Farm is a comprehensive, fully illustrated guide to growing the very best food right in your own backyard. Shaye Elliott takes readers on a journey that teaches them how to harvest baskets full of organic produce, milk a dairy cow (and make butter), plant a homestead orchard, can jams and jellies, and even raise chickens and bees. From her experience running The Elliott Homestead, Shaye provides all the how-to wisdom you need to know about:
Welcome to the Farm is aimed to serve homesteaders and urban-farmers alike, guiding them through the beginning stages of small-area farming and utilizing whatever amount of space they have available for optimal and delicious food production.