Judy's Dutch Barn Farm Blog

Book recommendations

When we're not weeding or feeding we spend our free time reading about beginner farmers, farming, and food and history.

Written by the chef of Blue Hill at Sone Barns, The Third Plate looks at what we're eating and what it all means.  Dan Barber comments on food by looking at the farming that brings it to his kitchen.

This is a series of essays on farming philosophy and sustainability.  This collection of works is base on Mr Kirschenmann's experiences on his North Dakata farm.

Farms with a Future is a how-to guide for the beginner small farmer.  Rebecca Thistlethwaite has put together important perspectives from farm owners and managers accross the country to bring home lessons all focused on sustainability.

Judy


Recipes

Here are some of my favorite recipes.  Needless to say, they're all better with fresh, local ingredients.

If you're a fan of lamb then you can find a lot more recipes on the fans of lamb web site.

Armchair Farming

Posted by Marc Kratzschmar on Friday, December 30, 2011 Under: Books
I learned something interesting about farming in 2011. Millions of Americans got small farms, planted, crops, and milked cows every day – all on their cell phones or computers while playing  the game Farmville. I see the allure. You get to think about farming, personal responsibility, care of the land, and all while wearing slippers and sipping lattes. A really smooth idea. I have never played the game, but I am told that inattention results in poor farm production and even animal losses. So there are similarities to real life in the game. I’m also told that you can use real money to purchase virtual assets like animals and fertilizer. This part confuses me. I like to use real money to purchase,  well, …real things.
 
I have an in between suggestion for spending real money: farming books. There is  an entire genre of non-fiction dedicated to life on the farm. These books tell the tales of beginning farmers and old hands, ranging from beginning farmer adventures or  conundrums related to management on the long-held family farm.  Lots of them involve folks leaving the city or suburban life for a change of pace in the country. All of the authors see farm life as worth it but at a cost much higher than our Farmville playing friends would generally assume. 


 
My latest read in this area is a book called “Sheepish” by Catherine Friend. It tells the story of two women running a small sheep farm. The book is packed with tales that could have come directly from us – if one of us was a writer. Their travails range from  getting zapped from the electric fence (been there) to trying to balance farm and off-farm work requirements (done that). Mostly,  they share tales of life colored and flavored by farming and sheep.  Ms. Friend laments the issues of the declining American wool market.  She presents interesting and surprising facts about the virtues of wool (wait until you hear about the bedbug connection).  She has great stories of prepping wool and learning to spin.  I am no homesteader/crafter. But her work has intrigued me enough that I am at least going learn to knit. If you’re interested in carding or spinning wool, please let me  know. Overall, the chapters in Sheepish are witty and often endearing.  I recommend it for armchair farming.

In : Books 



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Armchair Farming

Posted by Marc Kratzschmar on Friday, December 30, 2011 Under: Books
I learned something interesting about farming in 2011. Millions of Americans got small farms, planted, crops, and milked cows every day – all on their cell phones or computers while playing  the game Farmville. I see the allure. You get to think about farming, personal responsibility, care of the land, and all while wearing slippers and sipping lattes. A really smooth idea. I have never played the game, but I am told that inattention results in poor farm production and even animal losses. So there are similarities to real life in the game. I’m also told that you can use real money to purchase virtual assets like animals and fertilizer. This part confuses me. I like to use real money to purchase,  well, …real things.
 
I have an in between suggestion for spending real money: farming books. There is  an entire genre of non-fiction dedicated to life on the farm. These books tell the tales of beginning farmers and old hands, ranging from beginning farmer adventures or  conundrums related to management on the long-held family farm.  Lots of them involve folks leaving the city or suburban life for a change of pace in the country. All of the authors see farm life as worth it but at a cost much higher than our Farmville playing friends would generally assume. 


 
My latest read in this area is a book called “Sheepish” by Catherine Friend. It tells the story of two women running a small sheep farm. The book is packed with tales that could have come directly from us – if one of us was a writer. Their travails range from  getting zapped from the electric fence (been there) to trying to balance farm and off-farm work requirements (done that). Mostly,  they share tales of life colored and flavored by farming and sheep.  Ms. Friend laments the issues of the declining American wool market.  She presents interesting and surprising facts about the virtues of wool (wait until you hear about the bedbug connection).  She has great stories of prepping wool and learning to spin.  I am no homesteader/crafter. But her work has intrigued me enough that I am at least going learn to knit. If you’re interested in carding or spinning wool, please let me  know. Overall, the chapters in Sheepish are witty and often endearing.  I recommend it for armchair farming.

In : Books 



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