Monday, 17 September 2012

Gifts for the farm

We've been buying each other gifts for the farm.  I bought the lad this book full of helpful hints.

And the lad bought me this giant Stephanie Alexander edition with natty cloth cover -  I guess to keep the grubby dirty gardening hands off!

Are there books you swear by?  Books handy for your chook raising, fruit tree tending, soap making, cheese cultivating, kitchen cow keeping  - I guess not many of you keep a kitchen cow.

Books that we might find useful for our new adventure?


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  3. When I was little we used to swap eggs with the people across the road who gave us milk in exchange - that's the closest I've come to having a kitchen cow. How self sufficient are you aiming for? I remember mum having a book which I think was called household self sufficiency that she used a lot - the main contribution from that seemed to be dying our homegrown wool with potions made from Eucalyptus leaves. We had a lot of orangey brown jumpers.

    1. I will be moderate (I think!), just doing as much as we can that is practical and efficient. I love the idea of making some of my cheese, but that doesn't really have to include a kitchen cow! And knitting jumpers doesn't have to include spinning and dying my own wool. I am aiming for energy efficiency, water conservancy, growing more things and being a bit handier. There will be yabbbies in the dams and rabbits on the menu. There will be chickens - but many of our blogfriends out here have chickens in suburban Melb/Syd.

  4. Very nice! Is 'Practical Self Sufficiency' any good? It's good to see something Aussie based. I do love 'The New Self-Sufficient Gardener' by John Seymour, and I believe their is an more general self-sufficiency version that has more - I just looked it up and its called 'The New Complete Book of Self-sufficiency'. But the gardening specific one is great, I got so many great tips from that one! I hate to bang on about Jackie French, but I do love the way she writes, and she has recently released an updated version of her chook book, so I'd expect that would be pretty good. On fruit tree tending the best book I found is called 'How to Prune Fruit Trees' by R. Sanford Martin. I found it on Amazon and bought it from America. Its a tiny book but totally aimed at non-commercial fruit growing and is amazingly useful. If you can't find one I could lend it to you on pain of death that I get it back, I adore it that much. I have a copy of 'Artisan Cheese Making at Home' by Mary Karlin. Its very inspiring, but I've only made three recipes from it - ricotta (which is barely making cheese its so easy), mozzarella and halloumi. Perhaps Gavin from the greening of gavin and little green cheese might offer some advice?

  5. Oh thanks for these suggestions Bek, they are great. I don't mind you Jackie Frenching, I love her approaches too, one of my favourite gardening books is a magazine -style one of hers. And yes, there is our own Gavin!



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