Monday, March 14, 2011

Book: "The Joy of Hobby Farming"

Skyhorse Publishing sent me a copy of "The Joy of Hobby Farming" by Michael and Audrey Levatino.

It is interesting - it covers growing berries & mushrooms, farming timber, keeping bees, raising chickens, keep llamas, horses, cows, etc. It hadn't occurred to me that one could grow that much stuff on a small farm - but when you see it, it is obvious. The pictures that go with the different sections are very nice.

It is targeted at people with rural properties who want to use the property sustainably while maintaining a job off the farm.

There's nothing in the book about pigs. When I read the book, I understood why.

What's nice about chickens, llamas, horses, cows and goats is that the "cost" of keeping them is low. By "cost", I mean not only feed and labor, but the negative externalities like smells, rounding up pigs when they get out, repairing whatever they destroy, etc.

Basically, pigs are more work than the other animals; they are pretty much always a bother, except perhaps the ridiculously lazy Meishan pigs - who really belong in their own category.

Reading the book, I'm reminded of The Herbfarm's farm, and the farms belonging to other restaurants. I think that might make a neat book: how to run a garden/farm that serves a restaurant.

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