Chelsea Green Publishing

The Scythe – Historic Tool on the Modern Homestead

This article was first published in the March/April 2010 issue of Countryside & Small Stock Journal. It was added to the site November 2, 2011. The growing and harvesting of grasses and other pasture plants should be at the heart of the homestead/small farm enterprise. The more we clothe our fields with grass, the less we plow, and the more we protect the soil and biological diversity. What we harvest from the sward can be the foundation of livestock feeding (hay) or of gardening (mulches and composts). My own soil care practices become more radically no-till every season, with generous use of heavy mulches the entire growing season. Thus the pasture is not only a resource for my mixed flock of poultry, but a key resource for two large gardens as well. As I, the mower, take the place of grazers in the ecology, I stimulate healthy growth of the sward, prevent succession to forest, and
Read More

Moral Puzzles in the Backyard

Let’s Go to the Video Recently an animal advocacy group, Mercy for Animals, circulated on the Net a video made secretly by one of its members at a Hy-Line hatchery—the world’s largest for layer chicks for industrial egg production. Since every male chick hatched in this facility is by definition surplus, and since the number […]
Read More