Synopses & Reviews
Gene Logsdon has become something of a rabble-rouser in progressive farm circles, stirring up debates and controversies with his popular New Farm magazine column, The Contrary Farmer. One of Logsdon's principle contrarieties is the opinion that--popular images of the vanishing American farmer, notwithstanding--greater numbers of people in the U.S. will soon be growing and raising a greater share of their own food than at any time since the last century. Instead of vanishing, more and more farmers will be cottage farming, part-time.
This detailed and personal account of how Logsdon's family uses the art and science of agriculture to achieve a reasonably happy and ecologically sane way of life in an example for all who seek a sustainable lifestyle. In The Contrary Farmer, Logsdon offers the tried-and-true, practical advice of a manual for the cottage farmer, as well as the subtler delights of a meditation in praise of work and pleasure. The Contrary Farmer will give its readers tools and tenets, but also hilarious commentaries and beautiful evocations of the Ohio countryside that Logsdon knows as his place in the universe.
Critics of American agriculture bemoan the widespread decline of family farms. Gene Logsdon asserts that the solution to this crisis is cottage farming -- farming part-time, for fun as well as profit. For those seeking a saner, more authentic connection with a piece of ground, Logsdon explains ways to combine a successful vegetable garden with raising livestock, pastures, grains, and woodlots, the values of pastoral economics ("Stay small and don't borrow money!"), and how to save expenses and avoid erosion by cultivating with hand tools.
The Contrary Farmer combines the virtues of a manual for the practicing farmer with eloquent meditations in praise of hard work and pleasure. The book gives its readers tools and tenets, but also hilarious stories and beautiful evocations of the Ohio countryside Logsdon knows as his place in the universe.
About the Author
Gene Logsdon farms in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He is one of the clearest and most original voices of rural America. He has published more that a dozen books; his Chelsea Green books include Living at Nature's Pace, The Contrary Farmer's Invitation to Gardening, Good Spirits, and The Contrary Farmer.
Table of Contents
The Ramparts People/xiii
CHAPTER 1/At Ease with the Work of Farming/1
CHAPTER 2/Pastoral Economics/16
CHAPTER 3/The Garden is the Proving Ground for the Farm/38
CHAPTER 4/The Peaceable Kingdom of the Barnyard/53
CHAPTER 5/Water Power/83
CHAPTER 6/A Paradise of Meadows/104
CHAPTER 7/Groves of Trees to Live In/125
CHAPTER 8/King Corn/149
CHAPTER 9/Cottage Mechanics/175
CHAPTER 10/Winter Wheat, Spring Oats, Summer Clover, Fall Pasture/200
Books the Contrary Farmer Treasures/225