Friday, July 23, 2010

Inspirational Reading

I've been reading a lot lately. It is one of my go-to mechanisms for coping with stress, along with napping and knitting furiously.

Most of the time, I get my books from the library, but every so often, I get an overwhelming urge to buy a book. Usually it's because it is a title that I don't have the patience to wait for at the library or, it's one that just looks so right that I feel that I must have it. Apparently, I am only a semi-reformed coveter of books.

When I go to the library, I am inevitably drawn to the gardening, animal husbandry, foraging and food preservation sections. With this farm house thing finally happening, I am downright thirsty for knowledge about running a small farm and self-sustainability. It recently dawned on me (extremely belatedly) that, when at the library, as opposed to at the bookstore, I could have as many books as my little heart desired, all free. I was reborn in that moment and started piling books into by bag - poultry husbandry for dummies, vermiculture, putting food by, etc. And so I've consumed a staggering amount of these books as of late, and therefore have a few recommendations for my like-minded granola hobby farmers. I have links listed here in the event that you'd like to buy, but as a dyed-in-the-wool cheapo, I'd encourage you to check your local library for them first and save yourself some serious dough.

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
by Novella Carpenter

Review via Amazon - Highways roared in the distance. Gunshots could be heard a few blocks away. And a homeless man slept in an abandoned car down the street. Among these modern-day urban scenes, author Novella Carpenter put down roots literally turning a vacant lot in Oakland, California, into a working mini-farm, complete with vegetables, herbs, chickens, ducks, and bees.

The Encyclopedia of Country Living
by Carla Emery

This is the most comprehensive book on back-to-the-land living ever written! Carla will walk you through putting up foods, designing a barn, harvesting livestock, etc. If I could only have one book to aid me through this farm journey, this would be it.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.)
by Barbara Kingsolver

Inspiration with an education in the importance of feeding ourselves well, and having reverence for the food we eat and what it took to make it happen.

There have been so many others too - The Self-Sufficiency Handbook, The Backyard Homestead, Making Wild Wines & Meads, the list could go on forever. I feel like I've gleaned new little tidbits from each of these books that I will hopefully be able to successfully put in to practice, starting this fall. While our move will be too late in the year for us to establish anything in the way of a garden, or add new livestock, I hope to at least be able to hit the ground running on my foraging, wine making, and garden planning, all the while plotting and planning for the forthcoming spring, my first as farm girl.

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