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Small-Scale Grain Raising: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains for Home Gardeners and Local Farmers, 2nd Edition Paperback – May 12, 2009


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Small-Scale Grain Raising: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains for Home Gardeners and Local Farmers, 2nd Edition + Homegrown Whole Grains: Grow, Harvest, and Cook Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rice, Corn and More + Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 2 edition (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603580778
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603580779
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Interspersed with good-humored vintage anecdotes and his usual 'Contrary Farmer' commentary, this primer elevates the status of grain-growing on farms of all sizes (from the backyard on up) to a happy essential."--Jennifer McMullen, reviewed in The Ethicurean



"Home bakers rejoice! Gene's book is back just in time to help you grow those flavorful, old, heirloom grain varieties you have always wanted to try. Bon appétit!"--Eliot Coleman, author of The Winter Harvest Handbook and The New Organic Grower






"Small-Scale Grain Raising, 2nd ed., is the definitive book on how to grow, thresh, process, and use grains in the amounts that matter to a family--from enough wheat for a single batch of pancakes up to an acre or two--all the grain needed for a family with a cow, a pig, a few sheep, and a flock of chickens. The first edition has long been a cult classic, decades out of print, decades before its time, eagerly begged, borrowed, and handed around in bootleg copies. The second edition is updated and expanded to include virtually every grain grown in North America. Particularly useful is the state-of-the-art information about threshing and dehulling of various grains for those without access to specialized equipment. Even more useful than the specific information, however, is the portrayal of the overall pattern--the full integration of appropriate grain-growing, appropriate cover-cropping, appropriate livestock keeping, appropriate economics, and appropriate philosophy, all woven together into a powerful model of a coherent framework for gardening, farming, and living. This book is the Small is Beautiful of grain growing, by Gene Logsdon, one of the founding curmudgeons of modern garden farming and sustainable agriculture."--Carol Deppe, author of Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving




"Gene Logsdon could just say, 'I told you so.' Instead, he has revitalized Small-Scale Grain Raising with bushels of new information, thirty additional years of insight, and the welcome leavening of his wonderful and cranky (with a wink and a nod) voice. He makes sowing sexy, and shifts the food revolution from his back 40 to your back yard."--Michael Perry, author of COOP: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting



The Ethicurean-
In Small-Scale Grain Raising, Logsdon lays out clearly just how easy it can be to grow grains for your family and your livestock, from his beloved "pancake patch" up to acre-sized plots. Interspersed with good-humored vintage anecdotes and his usual Contrary Farmer commentary, this primer elevates the status of grain-growing on farms of all sizes (from the backyard on up) to a happy essential. As he states repeatedly, there's nothing so delicious -- or so economical -- as home-baked goods made with fresh grains you grew and milled yourself. And when those same home-grown grains can also feed your animals and build soil fertility… well, what's stopping you?Logsdon's book covers all of the well-known grains and several of the lesser ones: barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, rice, spelt, sorghum, triticale, wheat, and others. He also devotes a chapter to soybeans and dried beans, despite their classification as legumes, because they partner so well with grains both in growing and in eating. For at least the major grains he discusses varieties, yields, nutritional value, and uses (both for human and animal consumption as well as other farm uses). He describes how to prepare the soil, how to plant the grain seeds (including optimal space requirements), what diseases and pests to watch for and how to deal with them, how to harvest and dry the grains, how to store them, and, finally, how to turn those seeds into food for your family.Drawing on his personal experience growing almost all of the major grains, Logsdon describes "how we do it" even when it contrasts with conventional wisdom. He touts the value of open-pollinated seed, despite advances in hybrids, because of their superior taste and the satisfaction of not being beholden to agribusiness. He also demonstrates that old hand tools and techniques can sometimes be the most efficient when growing on a small scale. For example, though corn may be harvested by machine, he outlines how to bundle corn stalks into shocks for easy, inexpensive drying and storage (and aesthetic value). He claims to keep a basket full of old socks to slip over ripening ears of corn to prevent wild animals from dining on his crops. (I'd like to see that!) And for his money, the best weed control -- the one to which pests never develop resistance -- is the hoe.

About the Author

A prolific nonfiction writer, novelist, and journalist, Gene Logsdon has published more than two dozen books, both practical and philosophical. Gene’s nonfiction works include Holy Shit, Small-Scale Grain Raising, Living at Nature’s Pace, The Contrary Farmer's Invitation to Gardening, Good Spirits, and The Contrary Farmer. His most recent novel is Pope Mary and the Church of Almighty Good Food. He writes a popular blog, The Contrary Farmer, as well as an award-winning column for the Carey Ohio Progressor Times, and is a regular contributor to Farming Magazine and Draft Horse Journal. He lives and farms in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. You can visit his blog at http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/.


More 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.

Customer Reviews

My husband requested this book.
Carol Packer
Would recommend even for a small scale farm or small acre or two.
mjibg
I found this book very well written and extremely informative.
Reallyrusty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Laurie F. on June 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't think this book was of much help to me as someone interested in very small grain production. The author talks a lot about big machinery and acres to be something I relate to. He also seems to assume the reader can go to a grain elevator or a feed mill. I have access to neither, being in Florida. ( Of course, I'm accustomed to having to translate everything to Florida's terms.) I am currently reading "Homegrown Whole Grains" by Sara Pitzer, and it seems to be geared more to my scale. Both books give good basic coverage of different grains, how to grow them, and recipes for their use. I did enjoy Mr. Logsdon's style of writing, and I hope to read more of his books. I just hope I will be able to put them into perspective for my own homestead's applications.
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Louise Marcus on June 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank goodness, we can now put our 32-year-old copy of this book out to pasture; it is falling apart at the seams. We bought a copy from a used bookseller about 5 years ago, and have used it to formulate an approach for small-scale grain raising. Our old book has become considerably more threadbare than it already was.

This book introduces grain growing to the gardener or small-acreage homesteader. It offers many options for expediently producing and using grains (for both human and animal consumption) without needing to own the big iron usually associated with grain farming. It brings out the character of each type of grain as well as how to grow, harvest, and use it. And it introduces some grains that many gardeners might not be familiar with. There are great descriptions of hand tools which are no longer in use commercially, but which can still be quite useful to the small-scale grain producer.

On top of that, the book is well written and a pleasure to read. This is one of our most treasured homesteading reference books.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By greenSearcher on October 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was disappointed not in the book, it was an enjoyable read, but that growing grain requires more work and/or equipment than vegetable gardening. The information provided on how to plant, grow, harvest and store grains reveals that a "pancake" patch needs more equipment than the average home gardener would normally own, particularly for harvesting. The author frequently states that the hand tools needed for are either found used at farm actions or are antiques and not available. If you have acreage beyond a normal vegetable garden and a strong healthy back the book honestly presents the information needed to grow ones one supply of grain. I must admit, small plot grain growing is more for personal satisfaction than food production, but the book is a good reference to include in one's garden library.
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful By countrydreamer on March 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title suggest that this book is written as well for gardeners. It is not. Most of the cultivation techniques he describes are based on a tractor and a lot of machinery unknown to me (an I guess to most gardeners as well). There are no hints of hand cultivating as he assumes that all gardeners own a rotary hoe.

He also assumes a lot of knowledge the reader might have, i.e. sow clover in the wheat. OK, but what do I have to do when I have a garden bed full of wheat? Do I simply throw seeds in between or do I have to cultivate the bed before? Another example is he suggests to grow wheat like the Chinese did in rows. But no description how this is done, how it looks.
Some things like how to store your corn in the field are described in a very lengthy way and it would have been a lot easier putting in some pictures to explain. Other questions are not answered at all. The book is not very methodical and it is poorly organized.

The recipes are weird. For me it just does not fit to write a book on growing your own grains and then in the recipe section asking for ingredients like "frozen corn" or "nonfat dry milk".

I find it very disturbing that there are no metric measurements and temperatures in brackets. Even American readers might have problems to know what a peck of corn is or a bushel of wheat, which is something different than a bushel of oats. For the normal backyard gardener ponds or kilos are understandable.

In short, it is a nice book to read, lot of American farming history, but nothing which really help you to grow your own grains, unless you have a lot of knowledge yet.
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Format: Paperback
A tractor and acreage is called for in most of the situations raised in this book. It's the classic 1977 book on small, organic grain production. It's especially useful for grain for beer and other malt beverage making operations, or as the author originally wrote, for small-scale bakery operations. A great book, but not for gardeners. If you have an acre, or a couple of acres, and want to try raising grain, then this is your book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reallyrusty on June 25, 2011
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I found this book very well written and extremely informative. I initially had reservation about ordering this book because of the reviews that stated it was not written for small gardeners. I found this to be untrue. Whether you are spreading the seed by hand or grain drill and harvesting by hand sickle or combine, you will find a wealth of information in this book. If you are looking to add an excellent book on Grain to your personal library shelf, this is it. If you need more basic information, try Carla Emery's "Encylopedia of Country living".
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