Books on the Farm

It’s been chilly and rainy, so not much is happening on the farm. Critters need fed, herbs are growing, but the tomatoes aren’t ripening yet and the raspberries are holding off, too. Dad and I both tend to do one thing during down times… we read. A lot. My parents gave me a love of reading early on, and there are books in every room of this old farmhouse. Most of them are kids books, fiction, and related to the hundred other things we are passionately or slightly interested in. But a few dozen – at least a hundred or so – are directly related to farming, gardening, plants, animals and cooking. Dad has a library of bee books, for instance, that includes a few titles rare on this continent and at least one that should really be in a museum. While he’s recovering from his surgery he’s been reading a couple of hours every night after work. I’ve been writing articles on beekeeping and raiding his library and realized how many he had. Perhaps this winter I will take the time to do an inventory. I bought him three bee books for Father’s Day and managed to buy a duplicate. He says he’ll donate it to one of the bee clubs.

The new bookshelf, filling up rapidly with cookbooks and garden books.

I bought a bookshelf the other day, intending it for the kitchen. It’s almost full now, half cookbooks and half garden books. I could never pare it down this far, but for the sake of brevity, if I could only keep one book in each category I think the list would look like this:

Cookbook – Meta Given’s Encyclopedia of Modern Cooking (because the Alton Brown cookbooks are really three books!)

Gardening – Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening

Herbs – my Dorling-Kindersley field guide to herbs.

Farming – Bill Mollison’s Permaculture

Wildcrafting – Ooohhh, hard choice, I keep several field guides, and all my Euell Gibbon’s books. If I had to do just one it would probably be the Guide to Wild Edible Plants of New England because it’s well illustrated and topical.

And that list is just for that one bookcase. Fortunately, I have several more in other rooms. The kids have shelves of their own, too.

If you are looking for free online books on farming, try the SARE site, http://mysare.sare.org/publications/e_books.htm. You will find an excellent list of resources there.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathleen
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 20:45:45

    Speaking of books, Cedar, Grandma has finally got Confessions of a Poacher (Great-grandad’s book) sent to the publisher! Maybe you can help me promote it once it’s published; I’d really like to see Grandma at least make back what all this is costing her (then she’ll probably put that money into the next book!).

    Reply

    • Cedar
      Jun 30, 2011 @ 21:55:17

      Of course, Mom. I’d be delighted. Any plans for an ebook edition? Let me know how pre-ordering should be planned and I’ll start spreading the word.

      Reply

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