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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: Book Reviews

Starting Your Farm

Starting Your Farm: Chapter 2

How do you learn the true status of that farm with the “for sale” sign? Here are some important pieces of information for you to learn about a given selling farm. The answers will most probably tell you how serious the seller is.

Making Buttermilk

The Small-Scale Dairy

What kind of milk animal would best suit your needs? For barnyard matchmaking to be a success, you need to address several concerns.

Work Horse Handbook

Work Horse Handbook

Horses are honest creatures. And, what I mean by honest is that a horse is almost always true to his motivations, his needs, his perceptions: if he wants to eat, if he needs water, if he perceives danger. He is incapable of temporarily setting aside or subverting his motivations to get to some distant goal. This is often mistaken as evidence for a lack of intelligence, a conclusion which says more of human nature than equine smarts. What it means for the horse is that he is almost never lazy, sneaky or deceptive. It is simply not in his nature.

Horsedrawn Plows and Plowing

Setting Up A Walking Plow

Here is a peek into the pages of Horsedrawn Plows and Plowing, written by SFJ editor and publisher Lynn R. Miller.

The Horsedrawn Mower Book

Removing the Wheels from a McCormick Deering No. 9 Mower

How to remove the wheels of a No. 9 McCormick Deering Mower, an excerpt from The Horsedrawn Mower Book.

Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees

Storey’s Guide To Keeping Honey Bees

It is well known that the value of pollination and its resultant seed set and fruit formation outweigh any provided by honey bee products like honey and beeswax.

Art of Working Horses

Lynn Miller’s New Book: Art of Working Horses

Art of Working Horses, by Lynn R. Miller, follows on the heels of his other eight Work Horse Library titles. This book tells the inside story of how people today find success working horses and mules in harness, whether it be on farm fields, in the woods, or on the road. Over 500 photos and illustrations accompany an anecdote-rich text which makes a case for the future of true horsepower.

Haltering Foals - Training Workhorses Training Teamsters

Haltering Foals

Lynn Miller’s highly regarded book, “Training Workhorses / Training Teamsters,” is back in print! And that’s not even the most exciting news: The Second Edition is in FULL COLOR! Today’s article, “Haltering Foals,” is an excerpt from Chapter 8, “Imprinting and Training New Born Foals.”

Audels Gardeners and Growers Guide

How to Store Vegetables

Potatoes may be safely stored in bits on a well drained spot. Spread a layer of straw for the floor. Pile the potatoes in a long, rather than a round pile. Cover the pile with straw or hay a foot deep.

A Short History of the Horse-Drawn Mower

A Short History of the Horse-Drawn Mower

Book Excerpt: The enclosed gear, late model John Deere, Case, Oliver, David Bradley, and McCormick Deering International mowers I (we) are so fond of had a zenith of popular manufacture and use that lasted just short of 25 years. Millions of farmers with millions of mowers, built to have a serviceable life of 100 plus years, all pushed into the fence rows. I say, it was far too short of a period.

Starting Your Farm

Starting Your Farm: Chapter 5

You might think that your new farm is fenced all wrong, or that a certain tree is in the wrong place, or that a wet area would be better drained, or that this gully would make a good pond site, or that a depression in the road should be filled, or that the old sheds should all come down right away. Well maybe you’re right on all counts. But maybe, you’re wrong.

Chicken Guano: Top-Notch Fertilizer

Whoever thought I’d be singing the praises of chicken poop? I am, and I’m not the only one. Chickens are walking nitrogen-rich manure bins.

Art of Working Horses Another Review

Art of Working Horses – Another Review

by:
from issue:

One could loosely say this is a “how-to” book but it is more of an “existential” how-to: how to get yourself into a way of thinking about the world of working horses. Maybe we need to explain what a working horse is. A working horse is one, in harness, given to a specific task. So, in that context, the book illustrates the many ways Miller has worked with his equine partners over the years – helping them understand what he wants them to do, as both work together to create relationships that help achieve desired goals.

Retrofitting a Fireplace with a Woodstove

How to Retrofit a Fireplace with a Woodstove

Because the venting requirements for a wood stove are different than for a fireplace you need to retrofit a stainless steel chimney liner. A liner provides the draft necessary to ensure that the stove will operate safely and efficiently.

Starting Your Farm

Starting Your Farm: Chapter 3

What goes with the sale? What does not? Do not assume the irrigation pipe and portable hen houses are selling. Find out if they go with the deal, and in writing.

Dont Eat the Seed Corn

Don’t Eat the Seed Corn: Strategies & Prospects for Human Survival

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from issue:

Gary Paul Nabhan’s book “WHERE OUR FOOD COMES FROM: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine” (Island Press, 2009) is a weighty tome, freighted with implications. But as befits its subject it is also portable and travels well, a deft exploration of two trips around the world, that of the author following in the footsteps of a long-gone mentor he never met, the Russian pioneer botanist and geneticist Nikolay Vavilov (1887-1943).

Book Review Butchering

Two New Butchering Volumes

Danforth’s BUTCHERING is an unqualified MASTERPIECE! One which actually gives me hope for the furtherance of human kind and the ripening of good farming everywhere because, in no small part, of this young author’s sensitive comprehension of the modern disconnect with food, feeding ourselves, and farming.

Old Man Farming

Spinning Ladders

You die off by passing away. You live on by passing on. I want to pass the culture of my life on slowly, over the ripening time of my best years.

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