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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT

norwayfarmFrom the pages of Farming For Security comes a short introduction to the benefits of grassland farming. Farming For Security was written in 1943, during one of the darkest and hardest times in American history: World War II. It focuses on how to make a sustainable lifestyle and future in agriculture, with an emphasis on rebuilding the country and the world with hope and hard work. This is truly an amazing book, so be sure to check out the links below to see more from it’s pages.

“Often the buyer of a farm will acquire a few acres of land that he does not need for a garden, a poultry establishment or other small-area uses. In other cases a good deal of land is included in the farm. Whatever the reason, the question is posed as to the use of that land. The following discussion is intended to assist in meeting this problem in the simplest method possible. Although the term “grassland farming” may seem to imply large-scale operations, this is not necessarily the case, since the owner of a small tract of sod land is just as anxious to utilize it properly as is the extensive livestock grower or rancher. Grassland farming is adapted to any size of farm and to all types of animal husbandry.

Grassland farming is the production of grasses and clovers of various types as a crop. There are two fundamental purposes in grassland farming: to hold and improve the soil and to make the operation pay dividends in the form of livestock. It is certainly the most economical type of agriculture. It consists simply of good soil preparation, the sowing of adapted seeds and harvesting. The harvesting process can be done by grazing or by mowing the standing hay and garnering it for one’s own animals or for sale. Thus the investment in machinery and equipment is kept at a minimum. Labor requirements are likewise very small. In these times a farm-labor shortage and demand for meat animals, grassland farming is ideally fitted to the new farmer. It keeps down his cost of labor, of overhead in machinery, requires little skilled labor, preserves and builds up the fertility of the soil and adds a sward of green lights and shadows to the landscape.

Lambing.01

Contrast this method of farming with the production of cultivated crops on extensive areas of one’s farm. With these crops one has the problems of annual plowing, soil preparation, planting, cultivation and harvesting, all of which require heavy investments in specialized machinery, unusual skill, the facing of seasonal hazards of moisture and frost, and the uncertainties that go with marketing and specialized cropping practices. Furthermore, it has been amply demonstrated that land in grass will improve with each year of use. This can hardly be said of the practice of growing cultivated crops in successive seasons.

Grassland farming is particularly well adapted to a majority of farms acquired by those entering the vocation for the first time. Most farms that are for sale are characterized by worn lands in a minor or major degree. There is no better tonic for such worn lands and in fact no substitute that is more valuable, than seeding these lands to grass. Many such farms have been subject to erosion of the gully or sheet movement type. Once these lands are seeded to grass, erosion problems are forgotten and the restoration process begins.

 

Many people have the impression that grassland farming is “dead” farming. They think there is no income to be derived from it and hence it is looked upon as a necessary but unproductive part of a crop rotation system. This is too limited a viewpoint.”

View more from Farming For Security:
STARTING SEEDS
PLANTING DIAGRAMS

Spotlight On: How-To & Plans

Livestock Guardians

Introducing Your Guard Dog To New Livestock And Other Dogs

When you introduce new animals to an established herd or flock, you should observe your dog’s reactions and behavior for a few days. Since he will be curious anyway, it is a good idea to introduce him to the new animals while he is leashed or to place the new animals in a nearby area.

Basic Blacksmithing Techniques

Illustrated guide to basic blacksmithing techniques, an excerpt from Blacksmithing: Basics For The Homestead.

Starting Seeds

From Dusty Shelves: A WWII era article from Farming For Security

The Milk and Human Kindness Making Camembert

The Milk and Human Kindness: Making Camembert

by:
from issue:

Camembert is wonderful to make, even easy to make once the meaning of the steps is known and the rhythm established. Your exceptionally well fed, housed and loved home cow will make just the best and cleanest milk for this method. A perfect camembert is a marvelous marriage of flavor and texture. The ripening process is only a matter of a few weeks and when they’re ripe they’re ripe and do not keep long.

Horseshoeing Part 3A

Horseshoeing Part 3A

An examination should be made while the animal is at rest, and afterwards while in motion. The object of the examination is to gain accurate knowledge of the direction and movements of the limbs, of the form and character of the feet and hoofs, of the manner in which the foot reaches and leaves the ground, of the form, length, position, and wear of the shoe, and distribution of the nail-holes, in order that at the next and subsequent shoeings all ascertained peculiarities of hoof-form may be kept in mind and all discovered faults of shoeing corrected.

Collar Hames and Harness Fitting

Collars, Hames and Harness Fitting

Farmers who are good horsemen know everything that is presented here: yet even they will welcome this leaflet because it will refresh their memories and make easier their task when they have to show hired men or boys how to adjust equipment properly. Good horsemen know from long experience that sore necks or sore shoulders on work stock are due to ignorance or carelessness of men in charge, and are inexcusable.

Swallow

Rotation As A Means Of Blight Control

Every farmer knows that when a crop is grown on the same field year after year, it becomes inferior in quality and the yield steadily diminishes.

Rebuilding the New Idea Manure Spreader

Rebuilding the New Idea Manure Spreader

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from issue:

To select a Model 8, 10 or 10A for rebuilding, if you have a few to choose from – All New Idea spreaders have the raised words New Idea, Coldwater, Ohio on the bull gear. The No. 8 is being rebuilt in many areas due to the shortage of 10A’s and because they are still very popular. The 10A is the most recent of the spreaders and all three can be rebuilt. The 10 and 10A are the most popular for rebuilding as parts are available for putting these spreaders back into use.

"Work Horse Handbook, 2nd Edition" by Lynn Miller

Draft Collars and How To Size Them

It is difficult to accurately measure a horse’s neck without fitting. In other words, there are so many variables involved in the shape and size of a horse’s neck that the only accurate and easy way to size the neck is to use several collars and put them on one at a time until fitting is found.

Delivery Wagon Plans

Delivery Wagon Plans

from issue:

While the low down delivery wagon is an improvement, the objectionable features are increased. But with all those objections the low down wagons increase every year. Their convenience outweighs all other objections. They are handy for country delivery and are fitted up inside to suit either grocers, bakers, butchers or milk delivery, or a combination of the four.

Harvesting Rainwater

Harvesting Rainwater

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from issue:

Collecting rainwater for use during dry months is an ancient practice that has never lost its value. Today, simple water collection systems made from recycled food barrels can mean a free source of non-potable water for plants, gardens, bird baths, and many other uses. Rainwater is ideal for all plants because it doesn’t contain dissolved minerals or added chemicals. One inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof yields approximately 600 gallons of water.

How To Dry Up A Doe Goat

How To Dry Up A Doe Goat

You are probably thinking why would I want to dry up a doe? If the plan is to rebreed the doe, then she will need time to rebuild her stamina. Milk production takes energy. Kid production takes energy, too. If the plan is to have a fresh goat in March, then toward the end of October start to dry her up. The first thing to do is cut back on her grain. Grain fuels milk production.

Shed and Barn Plans

Below is a short piece from Starting Your Farm, by SFJ editor and publisher Lynn R. Miller. Click the links below to see Chapter One of Starting Your Farm and to view the book in our online bookstore. “You may have purchased a farm with a fantastic set of old barns and sheds. You, on […]

McCormick Deering/International No 7 vs no 9

McCormick Deering/International: No. 7 versus No. 9

McCormick Deering/International’s first enclosed gear model was the No. 7, an extremely successful and highly popular mower of excellent design.

Fencing for Horses

Fencing for Horses

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from issue:

The first wire we tried was a small gauge steel wire which was not terribly satisfactory with horses. Half the time they wouldn’t see it and would charge on through. And the other half of the time they would remember getting shocked by something they hadn’t seen there and would refuse to come through when we were standing there with gate wide open. We realized that visibility was an important consideration when working with horses.

The Craft of the Wheelwright

The Craft of the Wheelwright

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from issue:

In these days of standardization and the extensive use of metal wheels you might think there is little call for the centuries old craft of wheelwrighting, but the many demands on the skills of Gus Kitson in Suffolk, England, show this to be very far from the truth. Despite many years experience of renovating all types of wagons and wheels even Gus can still be surprised by the types of items for which new or restored wooden wheels are required.

The Use and Construction of Home Made Implements

The Use and Construction of Home Made Implements

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from issue:

It is now possible to purchase a make of machine to suit almost any condition if the money is available. There is no doubt that eventually they will be quite generally used. However, the dry farmers are at present hard pressed financially and in many instances the purchase of very much machinery is out of the question. For the man of small means or limited acreage, a homemade implement may be utilized at least temporarily.

How to Grow an Acre of Potatoes

How to Grow an Acre of Potatoes

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from issue:

Heretofore potato production in this country has been conducted along extensive rather than intensive lines. In other words, we have been satisfied to plant twice as many acres as should have been necessary to produce a sufficient quantity of potatoes for our food requirements. Present economic conditions compel the grower to consider more seriously the desirability of reducing the cost of production by increasing the yield per acre.

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT