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The Organic Grain Grower: Small-Scale, Holistic Grain Production for the Home and Market Producer Hardcover – August 13, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1603583657 ISBN-10: 1603583653 Edition: 2nd

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The Organic Grain Grower: Small-Scale, Holistic Grain Production for the Home and Market Producer + 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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 2 edition (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603583653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603583657
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Given our industrial agriculture, most of us assume that grain can only be grown in huge monocultures devoted to producing as much as possible, unmindful of the quality. But in The Organic Grain Grower, Jack Lazor provides us with a practical and attractive alternative. As a farmer he has demonstrated that one can provide an emerging market with a diversity of superior quality grains, grown on a small scale, using heirloom varieties and modest investment. This book is (as Eliot Coleman puts it) “like acquiring hundreds of years of knowledge in one book.”--Frederick Kirschenmann, author of Cultivating an Ecological Conscience



“I believe I can safely say, without losing any money, that if you know of one fact truly necessary to growing grains organically in the United States that is not in this book, I'll pay you five bucks out of my own pocket. Plus there's a whole bunch of stuff about how to process and use grains in the barn or on the table that I have not found all in one place before.”--Gene Logsdon, author of Small-Scale Grain Growing



“Jack writes from the top of a mountain—the mountain of his life. His long years of experience are longer than his very beard, and the wisdom and distillation of his farming life are written here with clarity and graceful articulation. As he says in the book, ‘people are hungry for meaning as well as food.’ In this classic book, Jack provides not only the meaning, but also the methods required to succeed as a small-scale grower of organic grains."--Jeffrey Hamelman, director, King Arthur Flour Bakery, and author of  Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes



The Organic Grain Grower is quite possibly the most complete and extensive text ever written on grain production in the Northeast. Jack Lazor’s deep passion and knowledge creates an astounding story, and he shares his wisdom and experience generously. If you have ever wanted to grow grain, this is a book to own and cherish.”--Dr. Heather Darby, University of Vermont Extension Agronomist



ForeWord Reviews-

"Longtime farming pioneer Jack Lazor has progressed from a back-to-the-land idealist to the co-manager, with his wife, of a profitable dairy and grain business, Butterworks Farm in Westfield, Vermont. In The Organic Grain Grower, he shares his considerable experience and expertise with new generations of holistic home and market grain producers.

Lazor’s book starts with the history of grain production in his local region; early settlers found that northern New England offered a good climate for wheat, vital for animal fodder and bread making. Today, “the rebirth of grain growing” is not just common sense, but fun, Lazor enthusiastically reports. He takes readers through soil fertility and tillage, to the crucial matter of storage (“mice … have an uncanny ability to … burrow into bags that you can’t see from the outside of the pile”), drying, screening, grinding, and grading. He recommends equipment, including less expensive “retired” machinery. Grains covered are corn, wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt, triticale, buckwheat, and flax, plus soybeans and other legumes.

The book is very well organized, including a large section of clear, helpful photos. Though he is not averse to employing newfangled machinery if it does the job well, Lazor takes pride in using older farming equipment that is less complicated than modern counterparts, and some examples of these are illustrated.

The Organic Grain Grower is more than 500 pages, with a colorful, informative cover. Anyone seriously considering growing grain for animal feed, human consumption, or sale will find value in this manual. It would also be beneficial for those interested in any aspect of organic farming, since the sound advice given for grains could apply to any crop.

The foreword by author Eliot Coleman (The Winter Harvest Handbook) praises Lazor as the person “who inspired the movement” back to the “small farm’s grain heritage.” Lazor is as handy with a pen as with a plow, making even grain diseases sound interesting (“there is nothing like a mid-June thunderstorm to set up wheat plants for an invasion of … rust”). His flowing style demonstrates both hard knowledge and old world graces, as he modestly expresses the hope that the book “will help people avoid some of the mistakes that I have made.”

Another outstanding offering from Chelsea Green Publishing, Lazor’s guide will doubtless plant the seeds of inspiration among beginners and old hands alike as they tackle the complexities of grain growing and organic agriculture, and will do its part to propagate more general interest in the subject."



"Jack Lazor writes about grain growing with passion and experience. With this wealth of background and insight, readers will want to do it themselves, and with the lode of detailed information Jack provides, they will be able to do so. Although his focus is on medium-scale commercial production, many of the tips he shares are applicable to the backyard grain-grower as well."--Will Bonsall, Khadighar Farm; director, Scatterseed Project



Mother Earth News-

"The Organic Grain Grower is the best resource we’ve seen for small-scale grain growers everywhere. The book covers necessary equipment and cultivation techniques for many types of crops: corn, wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt and triticale, buckwheat, soy, dry beans, and oilseeds. Lazor describes himself as 'a grain-processing nut,' and his passion comes alive in this fine guidebook’s depth of detail."

About the Author

Jack Lazor is co-owner of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, VT, with his wife, Anne, and cofounder of the Northern Grain Grower's Association. Jack has been growing organic grains in the mountains of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom since 1975 and is considered a leader in the movement for growing grains in cold climates. Lazor grows grains both for human consumption and for feed for their herd of Jersey cows, including corn, oats, barley, soybeans, legumes, alfalfa, and oilseeds, such as flax and sunflower. Butterworks Farm also produces organic Jersey milk yogurt, buttermilk, sweet Jersey cream, cheddar cheese, and grain products. He is the recipient of many agricultural awards.


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Customer Reviews

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I have been hoping like hell a book like this would show up.
B. Carter
Drawing from over four decades of experience, Mr. Lazor has acquired an immense amount of knowledge.
Bud Tristano
This book is very well written and an easy, entertaining read.
Ben

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ben on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very well written and an easy, entertaining read. I am amazed at how thorough he has covered the subject. It is an outstanding resource for the small scale farmer and especially for someone new to grain growing. This is a great place to start, and will give you a good base of knowledge and the confidence to go out and put plow to soil.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bud Tristano on November 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Steeped in agricultural history and distilled in life experience, Jack Lazor gives us a book that covers everything you need to know to grow, store and use organic grains. The Organic Grain grower will be invaluable to everyone from home-style gardeners to full-scale farmers. Comprehensive enough to serve as a university textbook yet organized well enough to be a handy reference book - the first eight chapters cover general topics from soil fertility and planting to harvest and storage, while the remainder devotes a chapter to each grain covered (corn, wheat, barley etc.). Although the author's own personal odyssey is centered in Vermont, this should not deter would-be grain-growers in other regions. The unique set of circumstances in northern New England notwithstanding, it is the problem-solving and overall knowledge base which can be applied anywhere.

Drawing from over four decades of experience, Mr. Lazor has acquired an immense amount of knowledge. Leaving no stone unturned, he has learned from all sources. That is to say, from university to field, library to farm: scientists, historians, farmers (conventional and organic alike), homesteaders, end-users (e.g. millers and bakers) and most of all, the school of hard knocks, experience itself, which he relates in a very engaging personable manner. Indeed, much of the book reads as if one is sitting down with the author in conversation. He shares all, good and bad alike, so that new grain growers are aware of strategies and pitfalls. His advice even extends into agronomics - acquiring everything from seed to used equipment at bargain prices hand in hand with overall farm management for fun and profit. What drives him is his passion - from enriching and tilling the soil to nurturing sprouting plants to combining amber waves of grain.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wyatt W. Jones on January 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an decent book if you don't know much about the subject and live in New England. Some of the farming methods are outdated and not really that good for the soil, especially if your soil has a high clay content. Though I understand he's trying to give hints about how to farm on a low budget, he should give more background into why and where these methods might be OK or not, the way its written is a little too one size fits all. Its written far too New England specific, in many places like here in Ohio with my heavy clay soil, many of his methods would be pretty detrimental and he doesn't address that subject at all. A beginning farmer facing different farming conditions than those in New England and who didn't know any better might be better off not having read this book unless he knew enough to sort out what was region specific but then he probably wouldn't need the book in the first place. Like said its an OK book but I didn't really learn much from it and would do things a little differently. As it is the title should read 'The Organic Grain Grower: Small-Scale, Holistic Grain Production for the Home and Market Producers of New England"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janet L. Pearson on January 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of us don't have a few acres to spare, and even then, potatoes are probably a more reliable source of carbs for most of us to grow, but if you have ever contemplated growing even a few square feet of grain as bird feed or as protein sources for a vegan diet, this book will give you lots of ideas and references to see you on your way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Carter on January 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before I talk about this book,a little context for it.According to the US census only 1% of us list our occupation as farmers. That is 1 in 100 people for those who dislike percentages.In New Hampshire , where I live - a mostly rural state with no city even close to a half million people- nit is 1 in 1,000, and that one is part-time.This is how civilizations collapse. This is ecological imbalance that no technology can address.

Jack Lazor has, as he stresses, obsessed about growing and processing grain for local markets for at least 35 years, living in far northern Vermont. This book details his experience, but not as autobiography. Instead it is meant to light a fire under the feet of anyone who can spare enough attention to wonder where their bread, oatmeal, beans, and cooking oil might come from. Next year. The year after that.

I have been hoping like hell a book like this would show up. The information here may be available somewhere (the references are all online-a first in my experience for a book, but a concession and an aid that is necessary now) but here it is collected and presented in the real world of dirt and weather. This is not the most basic primer that some might want , but it is the Rosetta Stone for anyone who has a desire to grow grain and even a little experience in a garden. Heavy New England character, but, again, readily translatable to anywhere in a temperate climate.

Here is where we start if we want to have real food security.
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