• 23Jun

    The New Farmers AlmanacThe Greenhorns, a grassroots organization that works to support and promote the interests of new farmers has published The 2013 New Farmers Almanac (not to be confused with The Old Farmers Almanac. Unlike the latter publication, this 320 page publication does not predict the weather for the upcoming year. Subtitled “An Entertaining Collection of Practical Advice for Farmers and Other Patriots”, The 2013 New Farmers Almanac presents a comprehensive and critical history of American farming as well as an alternative vision for it’s future. In addition to their critical investigation of American agricultural history, the almanac incorporates results of Greenhorns’ research projects, case studies, poetry, and other ideas that are pertinent not just to beginning farmers, but also to established farmers and anyone who cares about the food system and the future of agriculture.

    The New 2013 New Farmers Almanac costs about $15, and can be purchased from the publisher (AK Press), as well as from Amazon or Etsy.

    Also available – Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement. This publication is a companion to the Greenhorns Movie and features essays by beginning farmersNew Farmer Book from Greenhorns on a broad range of topics. It includes reflections about money, land, and the many lessons that these farmers have learned in the process of starting up and becoming established.

    Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement also costs about $15 and can be purchased from the publisher (Storey), from Amazon, and elsewhere.


  • 08Jun

    Book Winter's Coming On BabcockAnother great book review by Jamee Larson about a fantastic publication on rural life: “Winters Almost Gone: Summer’s Coming On”, by Elaine Babcock; from Knuckledown Press. Buy the book, or check out a sample at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145021

    As a product of the Dakotas, Elaine Babcock has spent a lifetime interpreting the world through her surroundings. In Winters Almost Gone: Summer’s Coming On, she invites the reader into that world with a literary style that is as intricate as it is concise. What is abundantly clear throughout her essays is her deep and profound respect for the Midwest. In the essay “Seasons Are a Mystery” she writes, “How can anyone live through a Dakota winter to see the wonder of spring and not believe in God?” Throughout the collection, Babcock makes similar references to the miraculous appearance of the Dakotas and it is that appreciation and humble reverence that will strike a chord with readers. In the essay “Hope is Spelled S-E-E-D” she writes, “Spite of past failures, I will plant again this spring, because planting is claiming hope in God’s promise that life will go on in the Dakotas.” Read more »

  • 16May

    country-fied book Dakotas LifeGreat New Book on Farming and Country Living: Country-fied: Life in the Dakotas – by Elaine Babcock (Knuckledown Press).

    I highly recommend this new publication reviewed here by Jamee Larson. It can be purchased from Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9996. This is not an ad. I actually commissioned Jamee to do this review because I want people to read the book. It’s cheap, and I think many of you will really enjoy it!

    Elaine Babcock believes in living every moment to the fullest and appreciating the world around her. As a writer, her goal is to “paint word pictures of the way things used to be and the way I see things now.” Country-fied: Life in the Dakotas is a collection of essays that serves as a textual portfolio for those observations. Babcock takes readers on a journey from rummage sales and church potlucks, to funerals and hunting trips. Interspersed in between are essays that display her respect and admiration for the Dakotas. In “Living Country Style” she writes, “Sometimes when the weather was gentle that prairie called me. On the Dakota prairies I learned to listen to nature, to God, and to myself.” Her prose is full of rich sensory details that enable her to paint her word pictures.

    Many of Babcock’s essays deal with personal issues, often written with a mix of raw emotional honesty and self-deprecating humor. Readers will appreciate her candor and relate to her life experiences. Part advice column, part personal essay, the variety of subjects contained within this collection has something for everyone. Babcock has managed to take the personal and make it universal, which is the very thing that makes this collection so relatable.

  • 13May

    Two Featured Farm Books From Acres U.S.A.: Raising Chickens; Preventing Deer Damage

    1) ‘Talking Chicken by Kelly Klober

    Everywhere I go people are talking about chickens. And it doesn’t seem to matter who the group is – farmers, gardeners, or foodies. Seems everyone has them, is just started up a flock or is planning to have chickens soon. Just this past weekend, a group of people coming together for a garden party and got to discussing chickens – including what to do with a surprise rooster in the henhouse and who had the most humane termination technique.

    Raising chickens is no longer confined to a long, low building with masses of white birds never seeing daylight and has come in from the rural areas, firmly gaining hold in suburbia and even making inroads into urban centers. Here in Austin, Texas we just held the 3rd annual Funky Chicken Coop Tour with 20 coops (all but one within city limits) showcasing between 2 and 100 chickens in a diverse collection of breeds including Ameraucana, Buff Orpington, Black Australorp, Barred Rocks, Blue Andalusian, Cuckoo Marans, Speckled Sussex, Silver Gray Dorking, Welsummer and more. All these great heritage breeds are the same ones that Kelly Klober mentions in his new book, Talking Chicken.  These bird breeds from our grandparent’s days are the making a comeback on small (even urban) farms. Kelly Klober has been raising chickens all his life, since he was knee-high, helping on his grandfather’s farm collect fresh eggs from the White “English” Leghorns that produced 300 dozen eggs for a weekly egg route in St. Louis County, Missouri.  Today, Kelly continues to farm with much love and attention to their heritage poultry flock and is a huge supporter of the diversity and fortitude of yesterday’s poultry breeds – with all their personality and homegrown good meat and egg flavor. Read more »

  • 10Apr

    From FarmAid:

    HOMEGROWN: growing, cooking, crafting, preserving, building, making and creating. It’s a place where we can learn from each other, ask questions, and show off how we dig in the dirt, grow our own food, work with our hands, and cook and share our meals – all things that we call HOMEGROWN.

    Back in 2008, Farm Aid founded HOMEGROWN.org with the mission to create a place where our love for food and the land evolves, deepens and becomes something more fulfilling. It is an inspiring place where we can hear and appreciate the bigger stories that our food has to share – and connect to the source of our food: The family farm. It’s a place where we see the connections between good soil, good farmers, good taste and good times. Where the source of our food doesn’t feel like a stranger, but a fun and friendly neighbor.

    Today we’re thrilled to announce a new series, called The HOMEGROWN Bookshelf, in partnership with venerated publisher Mother Earth News. The series will pair a practical and informative article on MotherEarthNews.com with an ongoing discussion on HOMEGROWN.org. Read more »

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