you may find interesting
by Sara Swett
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Acres USA, A Voice for Eco-Agriculture. A journal of sustainable agriculture, published for more than 30 years. My introduction to the field of sustainable agriculture, I've read it for years. www. acresusa.com. 800/355-5313.
The Stockman Grass Farmer, the Grazier's Edge. Published since 1947, this is a terrific monthly publication dealing with the issues involved in raising ruminant animals on grass. Packed with facts, figures, producer profiles, and inspiration. Just like Acres USA above, I read every issue cover to cover the day it arrives. 800/748-9808 www.stockmangrassfarmer.com.
Organic Livestock Handbook, a project of Canadian Organic Growers Inc. This book provides an excellent introduction for anybody interested in raising livestock by organic methods. It covers general principles as well as specific management tools for problems like internal parasites, manure management, low-stress handling, etc. Animals covered include sheep, dairy cows, beef cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, rabbits, work horses, and honey bees. My own experience with raising sheep organically since 1992 agrees with most of the findings presented here. Worth a look if you're just starting out in organic production. 613/231-9047; www.cog.ca.
Weeds, Control Without Poisons. Written by the founder and editor of Acres USA, Charles Walters. Listing hundreds of weeds alphabetically, this inspiring book describes the soil makeup, pH, chemistry, and environmental conditions that encourage growth of that particular weed. It argues that we can often eliminate or reduce weeds by simply altering those conditions, rather than attacking the plants with poisons. Yeah! Acres USA 800/355-5313.
Raising Sheep the Modern Way. This was the first sheep book that I bought, and my copy is dog-eared, stained with iodine, and has spent many a cold night out in the barn with me during my early years of lambing. Well over 100,000 copies sold. A must for beginners. Paula Simmons, Storey Communications, Inc.
Managing Your Ewe and Lamb Problems. These two books are also excellent resources, and provide detailed diagnostic tools for most common ewe and lamb problems. Laura Lawson, LDF Publications. 800/258-6992.
The Sheep Book. This book offers very thorough coverage of the entire shepherding process, arranged by season from flushing through weaning. Verterinarian and shepherd Ron Parker has years of experience with sheep and is able to communicate that accumulated knowledge in a clear, easy-to-read style. Swallow Press/Ohio University Press. Also available through Acres USA Books, 800/355-5313.
More Sheep, More Grass, More Money. In recent years, I find myself referring to this little book again and again, as I evolve from a small, intensive, barnyard flock into a hybrid pasture-based sheep operation. This book is packed with more practical, down-to-earth sheep grazing advice than I've ever found in any one place. Peter Schroedter, Ramshead Publishing, Ltd. Moosehorn, Manitoba, Canada.
Natural Sheep Care. Austrialian shepherd Pat Coleby is one of the few to take the radical position that the key to successfully raising sheep by organic/natural methods is simply to keep them healthy in the first place with superior nutrition. She puts great emphasis on providing proper feed and also mineralizing soils. I do tend to question her specific recommendations for soil mineral supplementation just because of the difference in soils between Australia and the US. However, I recommend this book highly anyway, as a major step forward in changing our national thinking about keeping animals healthy. She makes it sound as easy as (in my experience) it really is! Acres USA Books, 800/355-5313.
The Farmer's Dog. This book is full of good, practical advice for me, very helpful as I searched for the perfect herding dog to help me with the SkyLines flock. It has a lot of information on the nature of herding dogs, how to pick the right one for your situation, and how to teach her to be a useful member of the family once she gets here. John Holmes. Distributed in North America by Diamond Farm Book Publishers, Ontario, Canada.
KNITTING BOOKS. I've been spinning for years, but finally learned to knit just recently. Three beautiful books that I started out with were instant favorites and now live on my end table so I can see them and be inspired on a daily basis:
Folk Vests by Cheryl Oberle. Gorgeous! Will I have time to make all of my favorites in this lifetime?
Twisted Sisters Sock Book. Lynn Vogel. Beautiful photos! Wonderfully written! Great ideas!
Homespun, Handknit Caps, Socks, Mittens & Gloves. Linda Ligon. Ooh! One beautiful photo and pattern after another. Ditto above re can I make them all in this lifetime?