|A photo from last summer of our goats (Little Tart, Truffles, Cotton, Ivory and Bo) and the three lambs we raised for meat.|
All my life I have had a farm dream. Even though I grew up in the city, I fantasized about collecting the morning eggs, riding my own horse and harvesting vegetables and herbs from my garden for dinner. A year and a half ago my husband and I were able to begin to realize that life (lucky for me he had a farm dream too!) when we purchased our first home on a 10-acre property a little south of Granite Falls. Since both of us were born and raised in Seattle we had quite a lot of learning to do about farm life! Fortunately for us one of the first things we did after we moved was get a Sno-Isle library card. Sno-Isle had so many resources to teach us how to do all of the new tasks we were suddenly presented with. From gardening to goat rearing every project we’ve begun has started with the library. Here are some essential resources we’ve used:
by Carla Emery
The most important book on this list! Emery’s encyclopedia provides step by step instructions and information on all aspects of country life. This exhaustive reference tool includes how to cultivate a garden, buy land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, can peaches, milk a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, build a chicken coop, catch a pig, cook on a wood stove, and much more. Even if you don’t have a farm of your own this book will prove an informative and entertaining read.
This well organized and easily accessible guide is full of gardening information specific to the Pacific Northwest including entries on composting, soil issues, pests and recommended plants. Solomon provides lots of helpful information for how to deal with no-sun winters, no-rain summers, and low-nutrient soil.
Rodale’s vegetable garden problem solver: the best and latest advice for beating pests, diseases, and weeds and staying a step ahead of trouble in the garden
by Fern Marshall Bradley
Bradley offers natural solutions for many common edible garden problems. Covering topics from animal pests to watering, weather, and weeds, the guide includes pest profiles, control methods, resources, recommended reading, and the USDA plant hardiness zone map.
The meat goat handbook: raising goats for food, profit and fun
by Yvonne Zweede–Tucker
Longtime goat rancher Yvonne Zweede-Tucker draws on twenty years of hands-on experience to help you raise your own meat goats. Illustrated throughout with color photography, this instructive handbook includes advice about breeds, feeding, housing, safety, health, kidding, butchering, and selling product. Included is a glossary and a resources appendix.
Storey’s guides are a great place to start when you need to find information on raising livestock. This guide is a good source of basic information about choosing a goat breed, day-to-day care, addressing common ailments and breeding.
Chick Days: an absolute beginner’s guide to raising chickens from hatchlings to laying hens
by Jenna Woginrich
by Jenna Woginrich
This is a good one for the whole family. Complete with wonderful color photos and simple explanations Woginrich’s book is a great place to start if you are thinking about raising chickens. Although it doesn’t provide much in-depth information, Chick Days chronicles the journey of three chickens from newly hatched fluffy butterballs to grown hens laying eggs. Day by day and week by week, readers watch the three starring chickens grow and change, learning about chicken behavior, feeding requirements, housing, hygiene, and health-care essentials, and fun facts on all things poultry.
If you have a farm dream like me this is the book for you! Salatin, a small-family-farm revolutionary, explains how making a living by farming is a realizable goal. Full of information on general farm management and suggestions for possible farming endeavors this book offers step-by-step how-to’s for beginning a profitable farming enterprise.
Last summer we raised three lambs for meat. In the fall we sheared them before dropping them off to be butchered. I’d never encountered a “greased fleece” (unwashed wool) before in my life and had no idea what to do to transform it into yarn. This DVD shows how to card or comb the wool to make roving and then how to make roving into yarn using a spinning wheel. Even though I don’t have a spinning wheel (I am spinning the roving using a drop spindle) this DVD was very useful.
The northwest herb lover’s handbook: a guide to growing herbs for cooking, crafts and home remedies
by Mary Preus
Preus provides information on herb-growing basics; planning and creating herb gardens of various types (including diagrams for themed herb gardens); harvesting and preserving herbs; and using herbs in cooking, healing, and crafts. She also offers superbly detailed coverage of 50 herbs and a month-by- month calendar of herb gardening in the Pacific Northwest.
Veterinary guide for animal owners: cattle, goats, sheep, horses, pigs, poultry, rabbits, dogs, cats
by C.E. Spaulding
A well-organized and illustrated guide for home veterinary care. Dr. Spaulding gives instructions for handling emergencies, diagnosing problems, and coping until the vet arrives.
The Backyard Orchardist includes information on selecting the best fruit trees and details about each stage of growth and development, along with tips on harvest and storage of the fruit. Those with limited space will learn about growing dwarf fruit trees in containers. Appendices include a fruit-growers monthly calendar and a trouble-shooting guide for reviving ailing trees.
A great magazine with information for hobby farmers. We love to flip through the articles for inspiration on ways to improve existing endeavors and to get ideas for future ones.
This is a great database full of articles and books on all sorts of crafts. It was a great resource for learning how to wash and use raw wool. Remember that when you print from a database at a Sno-Isle library you can print as much as you need for free and it doesn’t even count against your 70 page weekly limit. How awesome is that?! This means that you can print out that article on how to felt wool or create a block print and bring it home for your reference.
This database provides how-to instructions for all sorts of projects; outdoor, electrical, remodeling, plumbing projects, wood, decorating and maintenance. Included in the database are videos, books and magazine articles.
* You access either of these databases through links on this page or from our "Databases and Research" tab on Sno-Isle's homepage.