"Hey, I Wanna Do That!"

For your research pleasure, here's a list of books and resources that I've found helpful. Unless otherwise noted, book links go to the author's web site, where there's often more free resources.

Food Raising - The Basics

"Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew
-- Raised beds & grid method. Suburb friendly. Very easy to read.
--Wikipedia overview of the method: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_foot_gardening

"How to Grow More Vegetables" by John Jeavons
--chewier. bio-intensive methods.

"Gardening Success with Difficult Soils" by Scott Ogden (link goes to Abebooks.com)
-- (may not be applicable to your area) how to deal with clay or alkaline soils

"What's Wrong with my Plant (And How do I fix it?)" by David Deardorff & Kathryn Wadsworth
-- color, loads of pics & illustrations, and organic remedies

"The Complete Compost Gardening Guide" by Barbara Pleasant & Deborah Martin
-- many different ways of composting

"The Backyard Orchardist" by Stella Otto (link goes to Indiebound.org)
-- concise, fantastic

Permaculture Methods (a bit more chewy/advanced, but these are good entry-level books)

"Gaia's Garden, A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture" by Toby Hemenway
-- after some initial work on your part, the garden becomes an easy-care project!

"Sepp Holzer's Permaculture" by Sepp Holzer (link goes to Chelsea Green)
-- larger scale, and tons of inspiration.

Web site & forum:
http://www.permies.com/ - sh*t-tons of fantastic info, for beginning gardeners and old-school permaculturists alike. I always find something new to learn. Good podcasts & videos, too.

Poultry & Waterfowl

Chicken 101: http://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
-- new to chickens? Go there, read it, all of it. And join the forum, too - lots of good information.

"The Chicken Health Handbook" by Gail Damerow (link goes to Randall Burkey)
-- between the BYC web site/forum and this book (and my local avian vet on occasion), this is all I've needed for chickens. Had a friend teach me to slaughter.

For fun: chicken breed selector phone app (yep, there's an app for that, and I actually helped beta test): Pickin Chicken

"Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks" by Dave Holderread
"Raising Ducks: Choosing Breeds, Feed, Housing & More" by Liz Wright (Mother Earth News, excerpt from "Natural Living") http://www.motherearthnews.com/sustainable-farming/raising-ducks-ze0z10zhir.aspx

"The Book of Geese" by Dave Holderread
"Raising Geese: The Basics" article by Liz Wright (Mother Earth News, excerpt from "Natural Living") http://www.motherearthnews.com/sustainable-farming/keeping-geese-ze0z10zhir.aspx#ixzz1E8hzrNvT
[I love Holderread's stuff. He has a website: http://holderreadfarm.com/index.htm ]

!! Electric poultry net fencing (for backyard or field) - fantastic ground predator control, gives the chickens more protected space to roam, and easily moved around. We kept ours charged with a solar panel & battery.
http://www.premier1supplies.com (800-282-6631) - ask for their poultry catalog. Also sells other livestock fencing/supplies. Great customer support.

DIY Pond & filter info for ducks and geese:

Livestock Guardian Dogs

Very few print books on the subject, but these two sites provide good information.

http://www.lgd.org/ - by the LGD Association - info on various breeds & resources

Great Pyrenees Guard Dog Training Guide by Milk & Honey Farm:

Rainwater Collection

For bigger efforts than a downspout & a barrel... "Water Storage - Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds" by Art Ludwig

Free Stuff

Starbucks gives away bags of used coffee grounds for the asking via their "Grounds for the Garden" program. Some even have a dedicated can by the door. Good for compost pile and plants that like acidity (roses, blueberries, etc.)

Independent nurseries & garden centers sometimes sell cheap or give away used plant pots, anywhere from seedling to 5-gallon pots or larger. Ask, and if you get some, be sure to clean with a 10% bleach solution (or other methods) to ensure removal of any plant diseases.

Independent grocery stores can be a source of free compost materials or supplemental animal fodder - vegetable/fruit trimmings, etc. - for the asking. Deli departments sometimes give away 5-gallon food-grade buckets as well.

Do you have a favorite resource? List it in the comments section!

1 comment:

  1. The encyclopedia of country living is another great resource. http://www.powells.com/biblio/9781570615535


Of Mice and Various Snakes and new Duck Feed Station

As mentioned in the previous post, our region is experiencing a near-Biblical plague of mice. "It's due to all the moisture we had...