Synopses & Reviews
When I first wrote Successful Small-Scale Farming eleven years ago, writes Karl Schwenke in the preface to this new edition, "an 'organic farmer' was synonymous with a 'lonely hippie troublemaker.' Today he is classed somewhere between a high-priced elitist and an opportunistic liar."
So begins this classic guide to organic small-scale agriculture, fully updated and revised for the 1990s -- for a new generation of readers who would like to live closer to the earth.
Successful Small-Scale Farming introduces anyone owning (or planning to own) a small farm to both the harsh realities and the real potential involved in making a full- or part-time living on the land. Karl Schwenke's clear-eyed approach to the best farming methods covers a wide range of proven techniques and practical advice, including:
* How to improve, conserve, and enrich your soil organically, to ensure the highest (and healthiest) yields.
* What machinery you'll need and how to use it.
* The best "cash crops" and specialty crops to grow for profit and how to raise them.
* How to use innovative strategies to find or create a market "niche" for your farm's crops or services.
* A concise overview of essential farmstead skills, such as haying, fencing, and managing a woodlot.
* Numerous charts and tables that put useful calculations at your fingertips.
With today's increased concern for the quality of the food we eat and the health of our environment, Successful Small-Scale Farming offers a unique and invaluable perspective on the future of agriculture. Karl Schwenke's message -- that small-scale farms can be cleaner, smarter, and more efficient than corporate agribusiness -- has never been so relevant as it is today.
This inspiring handbook contains everything small-farm owners need to know, from buying land to organic growing methods and selling cash crops.
"My advice is as old as the plow." So says author, Karl Schwenke of his guide to making a full- or part-time living on the land, a book for anyone who plans to own a small farm. With sections on soil management, farm practices, cash crop selections, machinery, and many other topics, as well as comprehensive series of appendices, the author touches upon the basics of getting started with one's own small-scale farm. Schwenke, himself a small farm owner, has provided a great practical resource for the beginning cash crop grower. Get started on acquiring "the hodgepodge of knowledge blended with a plethora of skills" necessary to becoming a successful organic farmer.
About the Author
Karl Schwenke is a professional writer who lives with wife Sue on a farm in Newbury, Vermont, where they have raised strawberries, pigs and hay among other crops. Together, this couple has written the book Build Your Own Stone House, and Karl wrote the Storey title Successful Small-Scale Farming. His other work includes Sierra North and Sierra South from Wilderness Press, an organization in Berkeley, California, that he co-founded after graduating from college. Karl has also written In a Pig's Eye (Chelsea Green Publishing).
Table of Contents
Preface to the First Edition
3 Farm Machinery
4 Farm Practices
5 Cash Crops
6 Other Cash and Specialty Crops
7 The Whole Farm
Appendix I: Handy Hints, Formulas and trivia
Appendix II: Charts, Tables and Addenda
Land Trust Organizations
Periodicals of Interest to Small-Scale Farmers