Thursday, December 10, 2015

Book Review - Woman Powered Farm

Woman Powered Farm
Audrey Levatino
The Countryman Press 2015

When a colleague sent me a link to this book and said she thought of me when she saw it, I had to learn more. I was intrigued knowing that there is a new trend now with women in farming and changing the face of agriculture and food. But I found that this book is much more; it is an actual how to guide for getting things done on the farm.

I was raised in a city and although my Mother always had a garden, I learned to garden from her, this was much different than farming. My father spent some time on a farm as a child and talked of his experiences, but still, that provided me with no practical experience. I basically bought land to farm with my husband with no real knowledge of farming.

I wish I had this book several year ago when we first started on the farm. Although extremely difficult, I find farm work to be quite satisfying. I love the physicality of the work and joke about the money it saves me on a gym membership. I love being close to the earth and the need to be completely aware of the weather. I love having the responsibility of caring for land and animals. I love being able to make a value added product from the herbs I grow on my farm.  (Colorado Aromatics Cultivated Skin Care products).

Women Powered Farm starts by discussing various ways of getting into farming; internships, apprentices, classes etc. In my case it was basically reading all I could and learning from failures. The book also addresses things to look for when buying a farm. We found it was important to look at county zoning and even neighborhood zoning and that even 35 acre plots may have restrictions.

Importantly, author Audrey Levatino talks about health on the farm; stretching to prevent muscle pulls and joint stress, and how to keep your energy and enthusiasm up and making priorities - because work on the farm is never, never finished. As women, we often rely on a man's strength, but she has tips for getting around that.

Other topics covered include;
how to pick out a pair of shoes
how to buy a tractor
what you need to know about burning wood
how to do basic country skills (like put up fencing)
how to use basic hand tools
making compost tea

The book includes a table for germination temperatures for various crops and how much seed is necessary to sow a field. I enjoyed reading the personal stories of women farmers; their struggles and joys.

This book will stay on my shelf as a constant reference source during the year when I need advice about how to do something or for when I need the encouragement and comfort of re-reading another woman's story on her farm. I highly recommend this book to anyone making that transition from gardening to farming.

Read more about our Farm and skin care, we call Farm to Skin.

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