Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Small Scale Grain Raising is Back in Print !

There are many helpful gardening and beginning homesteading books. I collect books from library sales and flea markets, and many cover the same ground in different ways. There are many good books to tell someone how to start vegetable seeds, plant a garden. preserve the harvest, and save heirloom seeds, as well as milk a goat, raise chickens or cut firewood. However, if you want to move beyond these common basics into how to raise a patch of wheat and make your own bread, or plant an acre of corn to feed your own chickens, the list grows MUCH shorter.

I commend to anyone interested, Small Scale Grain Raising. Gene Logsdon wrote this classic years ago. There is material in there that can be found nowhere else. Unfortunately, the book is an agrarian cult classic and used copies were trading on Amazon for up to $100. I paid $3.00 for mine, was very stingy about loaning it out, and kept it in a mylar book cover.
It is very exciting to see this come back in print in an affordable edition.

Many of the skills in this book are not hard. Growing grain is very easy. Spill some oats or wheat on the ground at the right time of year and they will grow. The key is processing that grain. Logsdon makes processing small grains like wheat, oats, and buckwheat possible for someone growing on a quarter acre "pancake patch".

The best place to buy the book is from another agrarian-the good folks at Cumberland books. You can find it here

I only have one issue with the 1977 edition that I hope was corrected in the new one. Logsdon uses and discusses the classic American Scythe. I inherited one and used it until I found out about the vastly superior Austrian Scythe. The American scythe is clunky and awkward. The Austrian scythe is a joy to use. I bought mine about 8 years ago from the Marugg Company. I also recommend them.


Kelle said...

Thank you for this info and BTW love your blog. Last season we harvested an nice crop of Spring(soft white)Wheat from a "pancake plot". We improvised, and used a weed wacker to harvest the wheat. We then bundled it into shocks and let cure. We then laid the shocks in a tarp( folding the tarp over the shocks) and beat with brooms and leaf rakes, to separate the wheat from the head and stem. It was labor intensive but OH my,it was well worth our every effort! Some of the wheat reseeded itself, so we left it to grow as a green manure to be tilled in this season.

We, this season, have millet and barley growing. Maybe we'll afford the needed equipment for our fall harvest, otherwise weed wacker here we come *wink*

Blessings from,
The Never Done Farm

The Midland Agrarian said...

Thanks you for visiting.
great idea to harvest small grains with a weed eater!!! Use what you have!