this blessed earth a year in the life of an american family farm

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This Blessed Earth A Year In The Life Of An American Family Farm

Author : Ted Genoways
ISBN : 9780393292589
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 67. 19 MB
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Is there still a place for the farm in today’s America? The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, yet its future is in peril. Rick Hammond grew up on a small ranch, and for forty years he has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation homestead in York County, Nebraska, in hopes of passing it on to their four children. But as the handoff nears, their small family farm—and their entire way of life—are under siege. Rising corporate ownership of land and livestock is forcing small farmers to get bigger and bigger, assuming more debt and more risk. At the same time, after nearly a decade of record-high corn and soybean prices, the bottom has dropped out of the markets, making it ever harder for small farmers to shoulder their loans. All the while, the Hammonds are confronted by encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change, and shifting trade policies. Far from an isolated refuge beyond the reach of global events, the family farm is increasingly at the crossroads of emerging technologies and international detente. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, Ted Genoways explores this rapidly changing landscape of small, traditional farming operations, mapping as it unfolds day to day. This Blessed Earth is both a concise exploration of the history of the American small farm and a vivid, nuanced portrait of one family’s fight to preserve their legacy and the life they love.

This Blessed Earth

Author : Ted Genoways
ISBN : 0393356450
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 85. 22 MB
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The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, and yet its future is in peril. Rick Hammond grew up on a farm, and for forty years he has raised cattle and crops on his wife's fifth-generation homestead in Nebraska, in hopes of passing it on to their four children. But as the handoff nears, their family farm--and their entire way of life--are under siege on many fronts, from shifting trade policies, to encroaching pipelines, to climate change. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, Ted Genoways explores the rapidly changing world of small, traditional farming operations. He creates a vivid, nuanced portrait of a radical new landscape and one family's fight to preserve their legacy and the life they love.

This Blessed Earth

Author : Ted Genoways
ISBN : 0393292576
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73. 30 MB
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Is there still a place for the farm in today's America?

Farm

Author : Richard Rhodes
ISBN : 9781476709598
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 68. 28 MB
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Pulitzer Prize winning author, Richard Rhodes’s year-long journey into the heart of American agriculture reveals a life trapped between two eras: the modern and the traditional, the future and the past. Richly textured and deeply moving, Farm chronicles a year in the life of Tom and Sally Bauer of Crevecoeur County, Missouri, who cultivate nearly two square miles of the surface of the earth. They struggle to build up their farm, harvesting corn, birthing calves, planting wheat, coping with the vagaries of nature and government regulations. Required of them are ancient skills (an attunement to the weather, animals, crops, and land) as well as a mastery of modern technology, from high-tech machinery to genetics and sophisticated chemicals. Written with honesty and insight, Farm is a revelatory exploration of farm life in the 20th century and the joys and challenges of the modern rural landscape.

The Chain

Author : Ted Genoways
ISBN : 9780062288776
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 80. 57 MB
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A harrowing investigation of the tortuous path our food products take—from slaughter to Spam On the production line in American packing-houses, there is one cardinal rule: the chain never slows. Under pressure to increase supply, the supervisors of meat-processing plants have routinely accelerated the pace of conveyors, leading to inhumane conditions, increased accidents, and food of questionable, often dangerous quality. In The Chain, acclaimed journalist Ted Genoways uses the story of Hormel Foods and its most famous product, Spam—a recession-era staple—to probe the state of the meatpacking industry, including the expansion of agribusiness and the effects of immigrant labor on Middle America. Interviewing scores of line workers, union leaders, hog farmers, and local politicians and activists, Genoways reveals an industry pushed to its breaking point. Along the way, he exposes alarming new trends: sick or permanently disabled workers, abused animals, water and soil pollution, and mounting conflict between small towns and immigrant labor. The narrative moves across the heartland—from Minnesota, to witness the cut-and-kill operation; to Iowa, to observe breeding and farrowing in massive hog barns; to Nebraska, to see the tense town hall meetings and broken windows in reaction to the arrival of Hispanic workers; and back to Minnesota, where political refugees from Burma give the workforce the power it needs to fight back. A searching exposé in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, Rachel Carson, and Eric Schlosser, The Chain is a mesmerizing story and an urgent warning about the hidden costs of the food we eat.

Nature S Matrix

Author : Ivette Perfecto
ISBN : 9781849770132
Genre : Nature
File Size : 86. 38 MB
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Landscapes are frequently seen as fragments of natural habitat surrounded by a 'sea' of agriculture. But recent ecological theory shows that the nature of these fragments is not nearly as important for conservation as is the nature of the matrix of agriculture that surrounds them. Local extinctions from conservation fragments are inevitable and must be balanced by migrations if massive extinction is to be avoided. High migration rates only occur in what the authors refer to as 'high quality' matrices, which are created by alternative agroecological techniques, as opposed to the industrial monocultural model of agriculture. The authors argue that the only way to promote such high quality matrices is to work with rural social movements. Their ideas are at odds with the major trends of some of the large conservation organizations that emphasize targeted land purchases of protected areas. They argue that recent advances in ecological research make such a general approach anachronistic and call, rather, for solidarity with the small farmers around the world who are currently struggling to attain food sovereignty.Nature's Matrix proposes a radically new approach to the conservation of biodiversity based on recent advances in the science of ecology plus political realities, particularly in the world's tropical regions.

The Seasons On Henry S Farm

Author : Terra Brockman
ISBN : 1572846569
Genre : Cooking
File Size : 90. 43 MB
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Henry's Farm, run by Henry Brockman, is in central Illinois — some of the richest farming land in the world. There, he and his family — five generations of farmers, including sister Terra, the author — have bucked the traditional agribusiness conventional wisdom by farming in a way that's sensible, sustainable, and focused on producing healthy, nutritious food in ways that doesn't despoil the land. Terra Brockman tells the story of her family and their life on the farm in the form of a year-long memoir (with recipes) that takes readers through each season of life on the farm. Studded with vignettes, digressions, photographs, family stories, and illustrations of the farm's vivid plant life, the book is a one-of-a-kind treasure that will appeal to readers of Michael Pollan, E. B. White, Gretel Ehrlich, and Sandra Steingraber.

Wisdom Of The Last Farmer

Author : David Mas Masumoto
ISBN : 9781439182420
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 44. 12 MB
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It was when David Mas Masumoto's father had a stroke on the sprawling fields of their farm that the son looked with new eyes on the land where he and generations of his family have toiled for decades. Masumoto -- an organic farmer working the land in California's Central Valley -- farms stories as he farms peaches. In Wisdom of the Last Farmer, an impassioned memoir of revitalization and redemption, he finds the natural connections between generation and succession, fathers and children, booms and declines as he tells the story of his family and their farm. He brings us to the rich earth of America's Fruit Basket, under the vine trellises and canes where grapes are grown, and to the fruit orchards flush with green before harvest, where he uncovers and preserves the age-old wisdom that is fast disappearing in our modern, information-driven world -- and that is urgently needed in this time of food crises and social disruption. Masumoto sees the price the family has paid to grow complex heirloom peaches -- when the market rewards tasteless, big, and red fruits -- and the challenges of maintaining traditions and integrity while working in the modern, high-pressure agricultural marketplace. As his father's health declines along with the profitability of the family farm, Masumoto has the further hard work of nursing his father back to health -- becoming master to the teacher who once schooled him -- and is driven beyond economic concerns to even larger questions of life, death, and renewal. In his gorgeous, lyrical prose, Masumoto conjures the realities of farming life while weaving in the history of American agriculture over the past century, encapsulating universal themes of work along with wisdom that could be gleaned only from the earth. By the end of the workday, he understands the feeling of accomplishment when you've done your best...and discovers that it's when he lets go -- of both his father and control of nature -- that wisdom manifests itself. And, when Masumoto's daughter intends to return to the family farm, hope is found in the generations. In the quiet eloquence of Wisdom of the Last Farmer, you will see how your own destiny is involved in the future of your food, the land, and the farm.

The American Farmer In The Eighteenth Century

Author : Richard L. Bushman
ISBN : 9780300235203
Genre : History
File Size : 51. 2 MB
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An illuminating study of America’s agricultural society during the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Founding eras In the eighteenth century, three†‘quarters of Americans made their living from farms. This authoritative history explores the lives, cultures, and societies of America’s farmers from colonial times through the founding of the nation. Noted historian Richard Bushman explains how all farmers sought to provision themselves while still actively engaged in trade, making both subsistence and commerce vital to farm economies of all sizes. The book describes the tragic effects on the native population of farmers’ efforts to provide farms for their children and examines how climate created the divide between the free North and the slave South. Bushman also traces midcentury rural violence back to the century’s population explosion. An engaging work of historical scholarship, the book draws on a wealth of diaries, letters, and other writings—including the farm papers of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington—to open a window on the men, women, and children who worked the land in early America.

Fruitful Labor

Author : Mike Madison
ISBN : 9781603587952
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 27. 88 MB
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As the average age of America’s farmers continues to rise, we face serious questions about what farming will look like in the near future, and who will be growing our food. Many younger people are interested in going into agriculture, especially organic farming, but cannot find affordable land, or lack the conceptual framework and practical information they need to succeed in a job that can be both difficult and deeply fulfilling. In Fruitful Labor, Mike Madison meticulously describes the ecology of his own small family farm in the Sacramento Valley of California. He covers issues of crop ecology such as soil fertility, irrigation needs, and species interactions, as well as the broader agroecological issues of the social, economic, regulatory, and technological environments in which the farm operates. The final section includes an extensive analysis of sustainability on every level. Pithy, readable, and highly relevant, this book covers both the ecology and the economy of a truly sustainable agriculture. Although Madison’s farm is unique, the broad lessons he has gleaned from his more than three decades as an organic farmer will resonate strongly with the new generation of farmers who work the land, wherever they might live. *This book is part of Chelsea Green Publishing’s NEW FARMER LIBRARY series, where we collect innovative ideas, hard-earned wisdom, and practical advice from pioneers of the ecological farming movement—for the next generation. The series is a collection of proven techniques and philosophies from experienced voices committed to deep organic, small-scale, regenerative farming. Each book in the series offers the new farmer essential tips, inspiration, and first-hand knowledge of what it takes to grow food close to the land.

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