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Successful Small-Scale Farming: An Organic Approach (Down-To-Earth Book) Paperback – January 4, 1991
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From the Back Cover
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.
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Top customer reviews
The book was almost ruined for me by comments such as "wrong headed farmers", "why soil scientists came up with such a cumbersome scale defies explanation" (referring to the logarithmic pH scale), while freely using science to support his beliefs (without citing sources or giving credit).
The book has one of the best introductory farm equipment chapters, covering the small, older tractors a beginning farmer would be able to afford, and one of the best summaries of many pieces of farm equipment, that I have read. It is worth the price alone.
It has a chapter on farming practices such as plowing, tilling, terracing, cultivating which is worth reading as well. There are rather cursory chapters on soils and plant growth. While the author obviously believes in organic and sustainable agriculture; he does little to explain it. There are two chapters analyzing various cash crops that serve as a good introduction to finding a crop to grow, including standard farm crops such as wheat and corn, and specialty crops such as berries and wood lots. The concluding chapters on the farm in general, and farm life, are also good.
I would give the book four stars, perhaps, except for the bashing mentioned above, that serves no purpose whatsoever. It is a good book for someone taking a first look at farming as a new occupation.