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Small Family Farms

"Variety is not just the spice of life but the indispensable ingredient."
-- Diane Ackerman, writing in The New Yorker, August 17, 1992

"Thomas Jefferson was a representative agrarian who built Jeffersonian democracy around the notion that farmers are 'the most valuable citizens' and the truest republicans."
-- from the Wikipedia article, "Agrarianism"

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Many believe that small diversified farms can solve most of the problems of our current large-scale agriculture. In this section we present many resources that can help.

Cottage farming: Why should we farm in the old ways?

Title Author, etc. Medium Topic Library Description
Bringing It to the Table Wendell Berry Book Farming Both A collection of essays, and some fictional shorts, about the American farm system that was, and the one that is. Particularly memorable is "Seven Amish Farms", about a father and his sons, and how their way of farming offers us a pattern that we could return to. All great, deserving of your time.
The Contrary Farmer Logsdon, Gene Book Small farms Both Logsdon describes his farming philosophy and, more important, quite a lot of his farming practices. Sections cover pastoral economics, the garden as proving ground for the farm, the barnyard, water power, meadows, living in a grove of trees, corn, farm mechanics, and seasons on the farm. There's an extensive book list.
"Importance of Traditional Farming Practices", in Meeting the Expectations of the Land Gene Logsdon Article/Book farming KSC Describes the symbiotic relationship between chickens, cattle, cowpies, and fertility; along with other important traditional practices that are, unfortunately, mostly lost in days of mega-farms.
Living at Nature's Pace Logsdon, Gene Book Food, LS Kl Co Farming and the American Dream
You Can Go Home Again Logsdon, Gene Book Living Sust. Kl Co Adventures of a contrary farm life
  • Small Farmer's Journal has an electronic subscription as well as print. They're into draft horses, farm economics, crops, compost, combatting federal regulation -- lotsa stuff.

Animal Farming

Title Author, etc. Medium Topic Library Description
All Flesh Is Grass Gene Logsdon Book Food Kl Co The pleasures and promises of pasture farming
Holy Shit Gene Logsdon Book Small Fam Frms Kl Co Managing manure to save mankind
Righteous Porkchop Niman, Nicolette Hahn Book Food Kl Co Finding a life and good food beyond factory farms

An animal farmer who won't keep quiet

Everything I want to do is Illegal Salatin, Joel Book Food Kl Co From Joel Salatin, one of the most contrary farmers
The Sheer Ecstasy of being a Lunatic Farmer Salatin, Joel Book Food Kl Co The lunacy is in mega-farming! (another of Joel Salatin's books)
  • Polyface Farm is Joel Salatin's farm in Virginia, where he concentrates on clever ways of synergizing his diversified family farm. He has written several books about his ideas, and has appeared in several videos.

Education for farmers

Funding for new or expanding farms


Making Your Small Farm Profitable Ron Macher Book Food Kl Co "Apply 25 guiding principles / Develop new crops and new markets / Maximize net profit per acre"
The Profitable Hobby Farm Sarah Beth Aubrey Book Food KSC How to build a sustainable local foods business
Successful Small-Scale Farming Storey Books Book Food Kl Co

Some particular farms

The Resilient Farm and Homestead Falk, Ben, book permaculture, small farms Both The best permaculture gardening/farming book I've seen. Falk knows permaculture theory, and he's applied it excellently to his farm in New England.
The Seasons on Henry's Farm Brockman, Terra Book Food Kl Co A year of food and life on a sustainable farm (lots of recipes)
  • Bob Cannard's Green String Farm is a sustainable farm in Petaluma that focuses on aiding natural processes to grow healthy fruits and vegetables.
  • Locavore Forms is an almost-local organic growing operation in Surprise Valley, CA. They have about 40 acres with a year-round stream, and grow organic beef in addition to other produce. The farm is operated by Laurie Wayne, whom some of you may remember from when she had a job working for the OSU Extension here.
  • Eatwild.com has a searchable directory of pasture-based farms from which you can buy both locally and by mail. They also have information for those wishing to start producing grass-fed meats.

Protecting against political & economic attacks

Techniques & skills

Farm Conveniences Lyons Press Book Living sust. KSC Classic American labor-saving devices
Handy Farm Devices Cobleigh, Rolfe Book Living sust. Both Classic American ingenuity
Gene Logsdon's Practical Skills Logsdon, Gene Book Living Sust. KSC A revival of forgotten crafts, techniques, and traditions

Local organizations

  • The Central Oregon Food Policy Council is a non-profit citizen-based advisory board whose goal is to secure the future of local food systems in central Oregon communities.
  • Klamath Greenways Foundation was founded with the mission of preserving Southern Oregon's open space. Their annual meeting is in the fall.
  • Klamath-Lake Land Trust - is a relatively new local non-profit dedicated to preserving deserving land from development.
  • The Oregon Small Farms Program at OSU provides information for the commercial small farmer as well as the small acreage landowner.

National organizations

  • American Farmland Trust is one of the premier organizations helping to protect farmland from development & loss to agriculture.
  • ATTRA "is a source for the latest in news, publications, and information on sustainable agriculture and organic farming."
  • Center for Rural Affairs is a non-profit in Nebraska that attempts to enhance rural life while providing some of the resources to do so. They keep their eyes on politics, economics, home & hearth, farm production, etc.
  • The Cornucopia Institute seeks economic justice for family-scale farming through research, advocacy, and economic development.
  • The Environmental Working Group's farm bill page. Lots of room for improvement from current law.
  • Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is a nationwide membership organization working to improve the status of organic food in the US.

Klamath Sustainable Communities
1221 Main Street, Klamath Falls OR 97601
(541) 363-7316, (541) 884-9942

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