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Which books come first for me?  RSS feed

 
Frank Turrentine
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Okay, I'm on a very limited budget, but I'm acquiring books as I'm able. I've read Fukuoka's One Straw Revolution a while back. It is the one that started me in all of this, really, after several years of gardening in my spare time out on the farm and falling in love with what I thought of as my sandbox.

Over time my daydreams have become much more concrete, or at least more focused toward particular ends that are radically different from what I ever expected my life to be in the future. Now it's no longer my sandbox. I have visions of myself simply stewarding and helping things along until I'm running barefoot in my 70s through an edible and useful landscape out there on the river. Weird, really, since I never cared much for picturing myself as a hippie.

So I've got forty bones to spend tonight. I ordered Mark Shepard's book the other day already, and it should deliver tomorrow or Monday, I figure. I could get a copy of Fukuoka's "Natural Way of Farming", but I'm more interested in particulars at the moment, really. However, I'd like to have a copy of it anyway, and it'll be a little while before I crack any of these as I'm still finishing up Bolano's 2666 and have a couple of other books ahead of anything new. Still, I may do Fukuoka anyway. I could get Toensmeier's Perennial Vegetables, but honestly, I'm thinking that might be less than helpful for the place here in Texas with our climate and rainfall and specific situation. I'm really interested in getting the most bang for the buck. I also want to think more along the lines of structural changes and methods and design principles right now. Mollison's big black book is way over my budget, though it might be the most helpful.

So maybe Yeoman's "Water for Every Farm" would be a better choice, but it's too spendy at the moment. Additionally, from the reviews on amazon, I'd have to find an earlier edition to really do myself any good, and those are outrageously expensive. I could get Holzer's book, which, even though it sounds like it's not really specific and wouldn't be useful for me in Texas even if it were, would be something I'd really like to have in any case.

So, I dunno, maybe I'll just get something that interests me and keep studying things online until I have the scratch to buy more books later. I bought the first forty podcasts the other day, and I've been listening to them while I go back and forth to the farm and then watching the Restoratin Ag lecture while I shell pecans at night here at the apartment with my dog. I bought Dirr's reference books on trees and propagation and all that not long ago, and I figure they'll perhaps be helpful at some point.

I'm wondering if maybe all I'm really doing is spending money, and that perhaps I'm better off doing exactly what Fukuoka and Holzer apparently suggest repeatedly and just observe and imitate nature out on the river and learn things as I go by myself. I don't really have money, interns or even support from my dad, who with advancing dementia and a strong attachment to his memories of what farms are supposed to look like is only tolerant of my convert's zealotry in certain areas around the place.

Anyway, I may pop off and purchase something right now or walk the dog first and ruminate about it for a while longer. But any suggestions would be appreciated, even if I don't act on them.
 
Frank Turrentine
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I think I'll skip buying more books for now and spend this money on seeds, actually.
 
Leila Rich
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Frank, the soil and health online library has many wonderful books available for legal download.
Seeds and books
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I have found "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Volume 2" by Brad Lancaster to be extremely helpful. http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/ More useful than Yeoman's for the small scale.

For each author you mention, make sure they don't already have a website with free info, such as the lists on Toensmeier's: http://perennialvegetables.org/

As Leila points out, there is so much free info, including entire books, no need to spend money you don't have.

 
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