Book Reviews


What I've Learned From No-Till, Cropping Secrets From 58 Highly Successful No-Tillers,  

            by Ron Ross, 2007           
               Published by Lessiter Publications, Inc, 
                P.O. Box 624
                Brookfield, WI  53008

     This is a comprehensive compliation of interviews with farmers from all over the U.S. who practice No-Till (also known as Direct Seed) Farming.  It is well written, well laid out, and has good photos to accompany the interviews. 

     Each of the farmers address situations and issues which are specific to their region, their farm and their land.  While one farmer's methods may not pertain to another's, it is interesting to learn how farmers do things in different parts of the country.  The entire book of all the interviews builds a broad resource for anyone who has already begun No-Tilling or who is interested in converting their operation to No-Till.

     After reading this book, a person will have real knowledge of this method of soil conservation farming, and will have practical information for different situations and issues on their own farm.  The ideas shared by all these farmers about retaining soil moisture, erosion reduction, plant residue, planter adjustments, sprayer nozzles, light bars, fertilizer application and weed control are so practical, most every farmer will enjoy this book, whether he is a No-Tiller or Minimum-Tiller.

                                                                   Posted by Robin W.L. on August 17, 2013

The Farmer's Earthworm HandbookManaging Your Underground Money-Makers, by David Ernst, Published by Lessiter Publications, 1995.  

Everything you always wanted to know about earthworms, but didn't know who to ask, is all found in the 112 pages of this valuable handbook.  This book is for the full-time farmer or the home gardener, or for anyone who wants to learn more about how our soil produces, how to make it healthier.

This book deals with all aspects of managing earthworms more profitably in your operation.  It cites hundreds of rigorous scientific research results from leading scientists around the world, as well as practical on-the-ground ideas from farmers; people who believe in what earthworms can mean in the way of increased yields, reduced costs and higher profits.

You will learn how earthworms allow more air and water to penetrate the soil, improve fertility and help plant roots grow deeper and increase crop productivity.

This is a fine book, enjoyable, and a fast read.
                                                                                   Submitted by Robin W.L.     April 29, 2013

Vintage Farming Books - A great review by James R. Wylie of some vintage farming books published in the early 1900's.  These books were written just as big technological advances were being made in agriculture.  Read these books, and others like them for a glimpse of how farming was 100 years ago!  While many of our methods have changed, the philosophy and intent remain the same in many cases.  They're fascinating.

DIRT: The Erosion of Civilizations by DAVID R. MONTGOMERY, University of California Press, Berkeley, California 94704
             The author makes a case for the rise and fall of civilizations and of farmers, based on how they tended to their soil. Farmers take great care to learn from others, and especially, from the past. If you are a farmer who values and cares for his land, if you are a farmer's friend or an urbanite, this book is for you. It is a quick and easy read.
Read the full book review here
                                                 Submitted by James R. Wylie, March 25, 2013

Palouse Perspective, byAlison Meyer, Flying Cedar Press, 2008
     This is a gorgeous coffee table book, outstanding photography by Alison Meyer.  It's the most
     beautifully composed photography book of the region I've seen.  The photos are representative of the region, and are especially creative in their compostion.
Posted 2/27/2013 by Robin W.L.

The Complete Cow, by Sara Rath, Voyager Press, Inc., 1998
     This book has history, use, care of all varieties of cattle.  It is interesting, very well written, gives good descriptions of all aspects of the topic of the cow.  The book addresses both beef cattle breeds and care, as well as dairy animals.  It contains many sketches, diagrams, good photography and is an enjoyable to read.                                                                                                                                                                                        Posted 2/27/2013 by Robin W.L.

Keeping A Cow, by Jim Wilson, NSW Agriculture TOCAL, 2001
        This is a fine, educational book for a person just beginning to keep cattle, either dairy or beef.  It has detailed information from preparing the yards, barns, pasture, to purchasing an animal, feed and veterinary care, breeding, marketing and showing cattle.  It has good descriptive illustrations, and is suitable for a young person. The book is published by the state of New South Wales, Australia.
                                                                                     Posted 3/19/2013 by Robin W.L.


Edible magazine - a regional magazine devoted to highlighting local food producers, craftsmen, and restauranteurs.  See the review here

NoTill Farmer magazine, a Conservation Tillage Guide
    Lessiter Publications, P.O. Box 624, Brookfield, WI  53008
    This magazine is published monthly, is an outstanding cutting-edge reference for direct-seed (no-till) farming.  It includes tips, guidelines, equipment, testimonials from other farmers.  Additionally, this magazine details resources from government as well a private sources for anyone interested in learning more about the cutting edge no-till method of farming.
                                                                                                           Posted 2/27/2013 by Robin W.L.

The Progressive Farmer (Your Farm, Your Land, Your Life) magazine,
     General Editorial Office, 2204 Lakeshore Dr., #415, Birmingham, AL  35209
     This is my favorite farming magazine.  Every single month they discuss current topics, such as:  planting, tillage, seed, equipment, harvest, land, buildings, risk, family farming concerns.  It's well written, well laid out, enjoyable to read, and super educational for farmers or those who want to improve their business and operation.
                                                                                                           Posted 2/27/2013 by Robin W. L.


How Heirloom Seeds Can Feed the World, National Geographic, July 2011
     This is an excellent writing on the evolution of seeds, the discovery of old varieties, the benefits of
     new strains of seeds, and the loss of old varieties of plants and seeds.
                                                                                                         Posted 2/27/2013 by Robin W.L.

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