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Plowing with Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions (PDF)
Fueled by a failing economy and a passionate desire for a return to simpler times, a new wave of homesteaders is seeking the good life, and the kind of true satisfaction that can only be built, not bought. Many of these modern pioneers are cash poor, but rich in energy and creativity. Plowing with Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions offers them a set of fresh ideas for achieving independence through sweat equity and the use of unconventional resources.
This highly readable and entertaining guide brings together answers to common problems faced by homesteaders young and old, urban, suburban, and rural. Traditional knowledge is combined with MacGyver-style ingenuity to create projects that maximize available resources, including:
- Animal management strategies for the yard, garden, and field
- Pole building and construction techniques from woodlot materials
- Replacing farm machinery with homemade hand tools and implements
- Leveraging increased self-sufficiency into a home-based business.
Whether you are a dreamer or a doer, Plowing with Pigs will inspire, challenge, and enable you to do more with less (and have fun doing it).
Oscar H. Will III is a farmer, scientist, and author, known for seeking and implementing creative farmstead solutions. His commercial agricultural production experience includes alfalfa sprouts, hay, beef cattle, free-range poultry (meat and eggs), native perennial plants, trees, cut flowers and vegetables. The editor-in-chief of Grit Magazine, Hank has published hundreds of articles and 5 books on a range of topics including antique farm machinery.
Karen K. Will is editor of The Heirloom Gardener magazine and operates Prairie Turnip Farm in Osage County, Kansas with her husband Oscar H. Will III. She is a freelance writer, photographer and blogger, and the author of Cooking with Heirlooms: Seasonal Recipes with Heritage-Variety Vegetables and Fruits.
"From hogging stumps to outwitting weasels, Oscar and Karen Will know all the fun, sweat and tears needed to live off the land. Here, they generously share their hard-learned lessons. Newcomers to the world of homesteading have much to gain from reading this book."
Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemakers and Long Way on a Little
"This book contains a wonderful collection of ideas and advice that will be invaluable to anyone whose goal is to build a more satisfying, sustainable life on the land. Hank and Karen Will are highly skilled farmers/gardeners/cooks/innovators who will teach you how to blend the best of modern tools with old-time country skills. Their “you can do it” attitude provides abundant inspiration and their clever ideas will save any homesteader a great deal of money."
Cheryl Long, Editor-in-Chief, Mother Earth News
"This book is a resource of limitless value. The Wills describe a life in which personal effort and ingenuity create beauty, health and sustenance. Their practical advice and first-person anecdotes provide an ideal guide for anyone interested in self-reliance and a naturally wholesome lifestyle. You won’t find a better model for a life lived well."
Bryan Welch, Publisher & Editorial Director, Mother Earth News, GRIT, Mother Earth Living
"Leave it to Karen and Hank Will to write a great introductory book for the aspiring back-to-the-lander. In Plowing with Pigs the Wills cover everything from raising farm animals to growing crops, and from building farmstead improvements to cooking with farm-fresh produce. The Wills not only describe the how-to’s of a small-scale farm or homestead in a way that is easy to follow, but also share many real-life lessons from their own experiences."
Carol Ekarius, author of Storey’s Guide to Poultry Breeds
"Whatever motivates your reach for greater self-sufficiency—an aspiration toward a more fulfilling life or the looming fractures in our economic systems— you will find abundant practical guidance in Plowing with Pigs. Out of a deep well of hard-won and hands-on experience, Hank and Karen Will offer an impressive array of strategies, grounded in a few principles both profound and simple: using cost-free assets available on the farm or homestead, using domesticated animals as partners—and using our heads."
Harvey Ussery, author of The Small-Scale Poultry Flock
"Whether you’re an established homesteader or just thinking of a homesteading lifestyle, grab a cup of tea or coffee and curl up with this book. Hank and Karen are the friendly neighbors with sage advice that homesteaders relied upon a century ago. In creating their own sustainable farm, they’ve discovered hundreds of practices that can make everyone’s homestead run more smoothly. (I can’t wait to create my own chicken moat!) Plowing With Pigs should be on the shelf of everyone who wants to live a more self-reliant lifestyle."
Deborah Niemann, author of Homegrown and Handmade and Ecothrifty
Design and Build a Low-Cost, Passive Solar Greenhouse
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Garden Farming for Town and Country
Tools, Tips and Templates to Successfully Manage a Growing Farm Business
Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres