Looking to get some of the same tools and books professional farmers use? Here are my picks, plus fun projects for the home gardener.
Free Video: “Healthy Soil Hacked” Urban Farm U
Learn the basics of how to have healthy soil, the backbone of your garden. Find out how to sheet mulch and why this technique is so great for your garden. Learn how you can cheaply build a front or backyard garden in ONE day. This free video will teach you everything you need to know to build and maintain healthy soil for your garden. Urban Farm U hosts a series of free and paid videos when you sign up for their newsletter. You can opt out at any time.
Hula-Ho Weeder Cultivator
Get the weeds before they get you. Once, one of the most exhausting and back breaking gardening projects was to prepare or maintain the soil in an effort to establish a beautiful garden. That all changed when the Hula-Ho was first introduced in 1961. Inch The weeder with the wiggle-Inch forever changed the way gardeners weed, aerate, mulch and cultivate their gardens. Quite simply, the heat treated, self-sharpening Hula-Ho blade works beneath the surface of the soil. The almost effortless back and forth “hula” motion cuts weeds at the roots. Meanwhile, the weeds and soil blend to create a healthy mulch. This Hula-Ho garden weeder and cultivator features a 54-Inch premium grade hardwood handle. Made in the USA.
We ALWAYS need zip ties on the farm. From attaching tomatoes to twine or just about any hack job that needs to be done quick, zip ties are your friend when you’re working in the garden.
Florist Grafting Knife (Multi-purpose Knife)
This multi-purpose, high quality knife is a must for any budding homesteader. Use it for harvesting and anything that needs cutting. Small, inexpensive, and indispensable.
Row Crop Harvest Knife, Lettuce Trimmer
Be a pro at harvesting lettuce and other leafy greens like kale with this Zenport K115 field harvest knife with a 7.25-inch stainless steel blade has weight concentrated at the tip to provide clean striking cuts. Bright orange non-slip grip plastic handle is easy to identify in the field.
Folding Saw with Pull-Stroke Action
You’ll get tons of use out of this rust resistant, hard-chromed blade made of high quality steel. Uniquely shaped blade is thinner on the top and thicker on the bottom to prevent clogging and binding. Cuts branches up to 4-inches in diameter. Features ergonomic handle made of non-slip comfort material. 14-inches in overall length with 6-inch blade, weighing 5.5-ounces.
Electric Poultry Net Fence 12/48/3 Yellow
Keep fox, coyotes, dogs and raccoons away from your poultry and other small livestock. Simple to install, easy to follow instructions. Comes with PVC posts pre-fitted into fence at 13.5′ intervals with 6′ spike at the bottom. Recommend using non-conductive support posts at corners and ends. Multiple rolls of net are easily clipped together by power clip at end of net.
Premier Pig QuikFence Electric Netting
This fence is a very good conductor with only 32 ohms of resistance. This ensures a strong, uniform pulse from end to end. Rolls are 100′ in length and weigh 11 lbs. (including line posts). Allows pigs to forage gardens, orchards and fields after harvest. Replaces welded wire panels, which are heavy, not easy to move and more expensive per foot. FENCE MUST BE PROPERLY ENERGIZED TO BE EFFECTIVE! Use ONLY low or wide impedance energizers to electrify the netting fence. Fence needs to be energized to at least 3000 volts at the end of the fence furthest from the fence charger or energizer. It’s essential to train domestic pigs to electric fences by initially setting up the electric fence alongside (1 to 2 ft. away) a secure permanent fence.
Electric Fence Yellow/Black Tape
PVC coated fiberglass gives Baygard high strength as well as low stretch and sag properties. 50X more conductive than stainless steel – High conductivity (low resistance) aluminum wire conductors. Baygard tape is light weight, only 4.5 lb. (2 kg) per 1/4 mile. Baygard will not kink and is easy to re-roll and reuse.
Solar Pak 6 Low Impedance 6-Volt Battery-Operated 25-Mile-Range Electric Fence Charger
For use with your electric fence, this shocks through wet weeds and brush for livestock control in small to medium size pastures. The Solar Pak 6 is laser trimmed, computer precision, solid state circuitry provides reliable, powerful low impedance shock to end of fence. Uses free energy from the sun for maximum shock – day or night. Eliminates need for expensive battery replacement or inconvenient recharging. At a glance built-in performance meter shows you the fence condition – good, marginal or bad. While reaching maximum power in direct sunlight, battery will charge even on cloudy days, and will operate for 21 days in total darkness when fully charged.
Meal Worms (Freeze Dried)
Premium quality dried mealworms are great for chickens and much easier to deal with than live worms. Five pounds, zip top resealable bag. Great for wild birds, too!
Metal Hanging Poultry Feeder
Heavy duty galvanized steel poultry feeder is ideal for 15-30 birds.
Vertical Garden Planter
Gardening is even easier with Vertical Gardening, with a small footprint. It’s possible to have a garden just about anywhere. Comes pre-assembled and includes a drip line irrigation system, so you can water less and enjoy growing more.
- Exclusive Lifetime Warranty
- Unfinished Cedar
- No assembly required
- 100-Percent Western Red Cedar
- Handcrafted in the USA, includes drip irrigation kit
Elevated Garden Bed
The Arboria EZ Plant Elevated Garden is a unique planter box designed to allow gardeners to tend to their plants while standing, helping to avoid back strain and improve the patio gardening experience. Both sturdy and decorative, the EZ Plant Garden’s four tapered legs gracefully support a solidly constructed bed that is crowned with beveled post tops. Plant it with your favorite her herbs, vegetables or flowers. Includes optional plastic bed liner and easy-to-follow assembly instructions.
Wooden Pet House
Ideal for the starter homesteader who would like a high quality cedar coop for chickens, rabbits, even a safe place for your little dog or cat to spend time outdoors while keeping them safe.
This Merax wood chicken coop features natural cedar wood, stable and durable. When chickens are in the living house,they also can have a great view of outside.There is a folding iron hook to control the opening and closing of the door that between living house and ramp. The tray can easily pulled out to clean up to guarantee the living room clean and neat. An egg box is equipped to provide place for chicken to lay eggs and you just need to open the roof to take the egg out.
please note: size details are shown in our pictures for your reference
These are by far the best hand pruners on the market. The Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruner has a comfortable, light, sturdy handle made of forged aluminum with a limited lifetime guarantee. The blade is made of high-quality hardened steel, which allows clean, precise cuts. The sap groove prevents the blade sticking when cutting “sappy” wood. It saves time and makes pruning easier by removing sap and debris after each cut. The Felco Classic Pruner is easily adjustable. Hand and wrist protection and optimization of the force exerted are provided by the angled head, the ideal shape of the handles, and the cushion-shock absorber / non-slip coating.
Organic Hydrolized Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer
Neptune’s Harvest is a great company and my husband uses their products on the vegetables at the farm.
Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer 2 3 1 Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fish/Seaweed Blend Fertilizer gives you the best of both products with a perfect blend of fish hydrolysate and seaweed, ensuring a complete fertilization program. Growers using our fish/seaweed blend fertilizer on a regular basis have reported increased marketable yields and improved shelf life on fruits and vegetables. Fish and Seaweed are known to build the natural sugar in plants. Flowers and foliage will be stronger and more colorful. Blooms will be more plentiful, fragrant and longer lasting.
The Family Cow
A family cow can provide an endless supply of delicious fresh milk, but also requires a large investment of time and money. In this practical guide, Dirk van Loon provides detailed information on choosing an appropriate breed for your needs, nutrition, milking, health care, and bovine behavior. With expert advice on everything you need to know keep your animal healthy, happy, and productive, you’ll soon be enjoying all the benefits a family cow can bring.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep, 4th Edition: Breeding, Care, Facilities
Whether you’re about to acquire your first sheep or are interested in diversifying your operation with rare breeds, Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep covers everything small-scale sheep farmers need to know to keep their animals healthy and productive. Drawing from years of hands-on experience, Paula Simmons and Carol Ekarius provide expert advice on breed selection, lambing, feeding, housing, pasture maintenance, and medical care. You’ll also find tips on profitably marketing your meat and fiber products, as well as information on obtaining organic certifications.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens
From hatching chicks to putting eggs on the table, this comprehensive guide has all the information you need to successfully keep chickens. Gail Damerow shows you how to choose the right breeds for your needs, build efficient chicken coops, provide necessary medical attention for your animals, and much more. Whether you’re raising broilers for meat or preparing your chickens to win a blue ribbon at the next county fair, Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens will help you achieve your poultry-raising goals.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry, 4th Edition: Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Guineas, Game Birds
Whether you’re running a farm or interested in keeping a few backyard birds, Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry covers everything you need to know to successfully raise your own chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, and more. Stressing humane practices throughout, Glenn Davis provides expert advice on breed selection, housing, feeding, behavior, breeding, health care, and processing your own meat and eggs. With tips on raising specialty species like doves, ostriches, and peafowl, you’ll be inspired to experiment with new breeds and add diversity to your poultry operation.
The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy Methods for Every Gardener
The essential guide to composting for all gardeners and environmentally conscious people
Composting is fast becoming a household word. Gardeners know it is the best way to feed the soil, while others look to composting as a way to dispose of grass clippings, autumn leaves, and tree trimmings. The Rodale Book of Composting edited by Grace Gershuny and Deborah L. Martin offers:
* Easy-to-follow instructions for making and using compost
* Helpful tips for apartment dwellers, suburbanites, farmers and community leaders
* Ecologically sound solutions to growing waste disposal problems
The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry
“Here is a human being speaking with calm and sanity out of the wilderness. We would do well to hear him.”—The Washington Post Book World
Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themes—an agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, agrarian religion, and geo-biography—these essays promote a clearly defined and compelling vision important to all people dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, disease, and destructiveness of contemporary American culture.
Why is agriculture becoming culturally irrelevant, and at what cost? What are the forces of social disintegration and how might they be reversed? How might men and women live together in ways that benefit both? And, how does the corporate takeover of social institutions and economic practices contribute to the destruction of human and natural environments?
Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front
Drawing upon 40 years’ experience as an ecological farmer and marketer, Joel Salatin explains with humor and passion why Americans do not have the freedom to choose the food they purchase and eat. From child labor regulations to food inspection, bureaucrats provide themselves sole discretion over what food is available in the local marketplace. Their system favors industrial, global corporate food systems and discourages community-based food commerce, resulting in homogenized selection, mediocre quality, and exposure to non-organic farming practices. Salatin’s expert insight explains why local food is expensive and difficult to find and will illuminate for the reader a deeper understanding of the industrial food complex.
Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
From farmer Joel Salatin’s point of view, life in the 21st century just ain’t normal. In FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL, he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impact.
Salatin, hailed by the New York Times as “Virginia’s most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture” and profiled in the Academy Award nominated documentary Food, Inc. and the bestselling book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, understands what food should be: Wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life. And his message doesn’t stop there. From child-rearing, to creating quality family time, to respecting the environment, Salatin writes with a wicked sense of humor and true storyteller’s knack for the revealing anecdote.
Salatin’s crucial message and distinctive voice–practical, provocative, scientific, and down-home philosophical in equal measure–make FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL a must-read book.
You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise
For all the wannabes and newbies, this book is subtitled: “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise.” A veritable compendium of information, Joel pulls from his eclectic sphere of knowledge, combines it with a half century of farming experience, and covers as many topics as he can think of that will affect the success of a farming venture. He offers his 10 best picks for profitable ventures, and the 10 worst. He covers insurance, record keeping, land acquisition, and equipment. Some people have suggested the title should just be “You Can,” meaning that really the book is about succeeding in life. A hard hitting, practical view from a successful farmer, if this book scares you off, it will be the best reality check you ever spent.
The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture
Since its publication by Sierra Club Books in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural development and spiritual discipline. Today’s agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we as a nation are more estranged from the land—from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it.
Sadly, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economic system dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are good people working “to make something comely and enduring of our life on this earth.” Wendell Berry is one of those people, writing and working, as ever, with passion, eloquence, and conviction.
Butchering Beef: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering
Learn how to humanely slaughter cattle and butcher your own beef. In this straightforward guide, Adam Danforth provides clear instructions and step-by-step photography of the entire butchering process, from creating the right preslaughter conditions through killing, skinning, keeping cold, breaking the meat down, and perfecting expert cuts. With plenty of encouragement and expert advice on food safety, packaging, and necessary equipment, this comprehensive guide has all the information you need to start butchering your own beef.
Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering
Slaughter and butcher your own animals safely and humanely with this award-winning guide. Providing detailed photography of every step of the process, Adam Danforth shows you everything you need to know to butcher poultry, rabbit, lamb, goat, and pork. Learn how to create the proper slaughtering conditions, break the meat down, and produce flavorful cuts of meat. Stressing proper food safety at all times, Danforth provides expert advice on necessary tools and helpful tips on freezing and packaging. Enjoy the delicious satisfaction that comes with butchering your own meat.