Monday, December 1, 2008

Education for the Ignorant

I put together a small list of some of the books I've read over the past years to get ideas about how to go on with this farming business. I posted it as a sidebar on the front page of the blog. I am woefully ignorant, and lacking in a paternal/maternal figure who knows the soil. My grandmother used to have an acre garden with great yields but she is past the point of remembering the essence of many details, such as canning, weather, growing patterns, etc.

I have been doing well with the fauna education, but now is the time to focus on the flora. I know very little about soil, except some basics from color, consistency, acidity. I can't identify many tree specifies and am even worse with weeds and mushrooms.

So any tips on which books to add to my bookshelf? I am looking for books about organic, diversified, small-scale vegetable and herb farming. There are literally thousands of books touting these attributes in this day and age, but are there some real gems I should pick up? Winter is a time for reading and planning, and although I missed the boat on many important items, such as liming, I would like to enter the Spring as prepared as possible.

Thanks is advance! Every comment is greatly appreciated!


Funder said...

Read that Grass-Fed Cattle book I mentioned in the first post! The soil and grass info is well worth the price of the book, even if you never get closer to a cow than a NY strip.

Also, I think you'll really enjoy the Trapper Creek blog. She's a cattle person too, but man she knows a lot about gardening, seed saving, preserving, etc.

Daun said...

Hey Funder, I already have your first book suggestion down. Thanks!

And thanks for the blog. Lots of good learning there. :)

Tina said...

In my opinion, the two Lynn Miller Books, Training Workhorses/Training Teamsters and the Workhorse Handbook, are only ok. If you want excellent draft horse books, go for the ones by Steve Bowers, A Teamster's View and Farming With Horses. We use them 100 times more than Miller's books.

fatchance said...

One of my favorites is "I'll never marry a farmer" by Lois Hole. This is filled with wisdom about their life making a living from a kitchen garden. There is a section on the best vegetable picks for planting, and since she was local here in Alberta it is really good advice.

Since I never paid attention to the recipes, and my mom is gone, I have found my 1980s edition of Joy of Cooking filled with good information on making jams and pickling. I heard they took it out of the new edition.

If you want to learn about edible wild mushrooms...David Arora's little pocket book "All that the rain promises" is as useful as it is beautiful..and entertaining to read.