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"If the world were to end tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today."
- Martin Luther
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 Reviews & Resources – Summer 2006 Minimize

Digging In – Two Books about Farming in Italy from Blackberry Books

A Silent Joy – the diaries of an Italian hill farm
By Etain Addey
250 pgs., paperback
$14

Real Horsepower: Living and Working with Horses & Donkeys
By Martin Lanz
76 pgs., paperback
$13

Copyright 2005
Blackberry Books, 617 East Neck Rd., Nobleboro, ME 04555

Even if you never want to have a horse or donkey, and your future travel plans don’t include Italy, you’ll find in these two books a fascinating glimpse of what it means to be closely connected to a piece of land. Etain Addey and her partner Martin Lanz farm in the northwest of Italy. They have settled in deeply over the past 30 years and thought about what works and what doesn’t. What has worked for them? Making connections with their neighbors and learning what has gone before. Helping when help is needed, accepting help when that is the solution. Trying to disturb as little as possible what has worked before. Using animals to do a lot of the jobs around the farm.

Addey and Lanz host many visitors during the course of the year, from Italy and beyond. They promote the idea of bioregionalism, but their books do it quietly, using their experience as the basis for the larger idea. If you are interested in training work animals to be part of your farm, Lanz offers his experience and techniques. Addey takes you through the cycle of the years, and provides the historical underpinning. Together, the two books provide a picture of a place that is well cared for, an example of what is possible anywhere.

– Russell Libby

Resources

New Book on Profitable, Direct-Marketing Beef
Work With Nature to Manage Insect Pests
Smart Water Use on the Farm
IFOAM Leaflets Help Advocate for Organic Agriculture
Video Addresses Environmental Risks to Children
New Farmers’ Market Resource Guide
Organic Dairy Farming Resource Released


New Book on Profitable, Direct-Marketing Beef

 
When Jan and Will Holder took the reins of the family’s ranch in 1992, they thought that if they just managed things a little more efficiently, the ranch would become instantly profitable.
 
Slowly, the realization hit them. “It took us a few years to learn,” Jan said. “No matter how hard we worked, the ranch was never going to make it on its own. The beef industry had changed. How could we possibly compete?”
 
How to Direct Market Your Beef, from the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), portrays how the Holders launched a profitable, grass-based beef operation focused on direct-market sales. From slaughtering to packaging, through labeling and advertising, they share their experiences in a compelling narrative rich with practical tips.
  
The 96-page book includes information about processing, labeling, packaging, sales outlets and marketing basics. A section of feature stories profiles successful agricultural entrepreneurs. The author, a former public relations expert, takes a light-hearted, humorous approach to describing their experiences. Yet, others can learn from what did – and didn’t – work for the Holders.
  
How to Direct Market Your Beef is one in a series of resources available through SAN, the outreach arm of SARE, a national sustainable agriculture competitive grants program. For more information about grants and other resources available through SARE, visit www.sare.org.
 
Download a free copy of How to Direct Market Your Beef at www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/How-to-Direct-Market-Your-Beef. To order print copies ($14.95 plus $5.95 s/h) visit www.sare.org/WebStore, call 301/374-9696 or send a check or money order to Sustainable Agriculture Publications, PO Box 753, Waldorf, MD 20604-0753. (Please specify title requested when ordering by mail.) Call 301/374-9696 for more information on bulk, rush or international shipments.
 

Work With Nature to Manage Insect Pests

Manage Insects on Your Farm highlights ecological strategies that improve your farm's natural defenses and encourage beneficial insects to attack your worst pests. 

Learn principles of ecologically based pest management and strategies of farmers around the world to address insect problems. Minimize insect damage with wise soil management and identify beneficial insects to put these "good bugs" to work for you.

 Examples of successful pest management strategies throughout the book will stimulate your imagination to address insect problems and develop a more complex, more diverse ecosystem on your farm. Download the entire publication free or order hard copies for $15.95 plus s/h at www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Manage-Insects-on-Your-Farm


Smart Water Use on the Farm
 
Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch spotlights innovative, SARE-funded research into conservation options including soil management, such as using compost, conservation tillage and cover crops; plant management, featuring crop rotation, water-conserving plants and rangeland drought mitigation; and water management strategies such as low-volume irrigation and water recycling.
 
For a free copy, go to www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Bulletins/National-SARE-Bulletins/Smart-Water-Use-on-Your-Farm-or-Ranch or contact san_assoc@sare.org or call (301) 504-5411. Available in quantity for agricultural educators at no cost.


IFOAM Leaflets Help Advocate for Organic Agriculture

As a new tool for advocacy, IFOAM (www.ifoam.org/) has developed leaflets for direct lobbying. These leaflets communicate the benefits of organic agriculture and related systems in a straightforward way that is accessible to policymakers and the public, and clearly outline corresponding threats or counter points:

Organic Agriculture and Seed Diversity

Organic Agriculture and Food Security

Organic Agriculture and Biodiversity

Organic Agriculture and Rural Development

Organic Agriculture and Participatory Guarantee Systems


Video Addresses Environmental Risks to Children

“Our Children at Risk” is a 30-minute documentary video about the latest scientific research linking environmental toxins to children’s health problems. Based on interviews with experts, this video helps parents understand issues and learn what they can do in their homes, schools and communities. For more information, see: http://grassrootsinfo.org/ocar.html


New Farmers’ Market Resource Guide

The Farmers Market Resource Guide lists grants, programs and other financial and information resources available from public and private organizations.

Developed by the newly formed Farmers Market Consortium (FMC), which includes the USDA, the Guide contains information about each participating agency or foundation and details more than 100 projects and grants available to help start or improve farmers’ markets.

Farmers’ markets continue to rise in popularity, mostly due to growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. More than 3,700 farmers’ markets operate in the United States, offering consumers farm-fresh, affordable, convenient and healthy products, while helping farmers supplement their income.

The Farmers Market Resource Guide, which will be updated periodically, is available at www.ams.usda.gov/ or from the Agricultural Marketing Service, Marketing Services Branch, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2646, South Bldg., Washington, DC 20250, 202-720-8317.


Organic Dairy Farming Resource Released

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (www.mosesorganic.org/) is selling a resource for transitioning and new organic dairy farmers. Organic Dairy Farming combines advice from 20 experts on everything from organic soil management, calf care and mastitis control to the certification process and marketing for the organic premium. The book includes interviews with successful organic farmers, illustrations and a resource list.


    

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