Links to Other Websites
Another site focusing on homestead issues is Journey to Forever. Includes a library of out-of-print works, pages on composting, vermiculture, humanure, and much more.
Another repository of out-of-print books is Soil And Health Library. (“This is a specialist library about holistic agriculture, holistic health and self-sufficient homestead living. Most of the titles in this library are out of print. Many are quite hard to find.”)
If an understanding of “peak oil” and its implications is new to you, just key those words into an online search engine and you’ll be off and running. It is scarcely believable that most of us are largely ignoring the elephant in the room, but the shrinking of hydrocarbon fuel supplies will be the major event of our time.
Dr. Elaine Ingham has done more than perhaps anyone else to enlarge our understanding of soil life. Her website offers testing and other services, but also contains a wealth of information on the soil food web, compost, compost teas, etc. There are links to various pages on these subjects.
I highly recommend the soil consultant I have worked with, Mr. Houston Snoddy, a student of the great soil specialist William Albrecht. (546 Liberty Hall Lane, Burnt Chimney, VA 24184, (540) 721-2073 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to put a reference to “soil consultation” in the subject line.)
Livestock and Poultry
I strongly recommend American Pastured Poultry Producers Association. Though it is an organization dedicated to small farmers producing for local markets, they offer much of relevance to the serious poultry husbandman who wants to go beyond the “hobbyist” level. If you wish to join, go to their home page and click on “Membership” in the left navigation bar. On the linked page you can choose your level of membership. If you join at the “Producer Plus” level, you will have access to the APPPA discussion list—the very best listserve I participate in. Discussion is serious and to the point, and members do not waste my time with idle chit-chat.
To learn more about older breeds of poultry and other livestock, join the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, dedicated to preserving traditional and historic breeds. The Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities is another national organization dedicated to preservation breeding. (They don’t have their own website, but share a corner of Barry Koffler’s excellent feathersite.com. See below.) Membership in either organization will put you in touch with other breeders, from whom you might get stock. Make use of the sturdier, more self-reliant older breeds while at the same time helping with the task of preservation—many of these breeds are in danger of being lost forever.
As for feathersite.com, it is the most complete guide I know of online (or off-) to the astounding diversity of poultry breeds. Useful links, poultry husbandry information, and lots of pictures to help you fall in love with your preferred breeds.