The New Horse-powered Farm

The New Horse-powered Farm

Tools and Systems for the Small-scale, Sustainable Market Grower

Book - 2013
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Chelsea Green Publishing

In an era when fuel is a primary concern, draft horses are seen by many as the solution to small-scale, resilient farming with a closed-loop system. Horses bring farmers back to the roots of what it means to work the land and present a viable model for a small farm that lasts, while offering enjoyment for the whole family. This is the first book of its kind, offering wisdom and techniques for using horse power on the small farm or homestead, from longtime horse farmer Stephen Leslie.

The New Horse-Powered Farm sets the stage for incorporating draft power on the farm by presenting tips on getting started with horses, care of the work horse, different horse-training systems, and the merits of different draft breeds. The novice teamster is introduced to the basic tools of horse-drawn tillage and cultivation used for profitable horse-powered farming, with a spotlight on whole-farm management, as well as information on haying with horses, raising small grains, managing the woodlot, farm education, agritourism, and more.

Incorporated throughout are profiles of more than a half-dozen farms that epitomize some exciting new trends in agriculture and highlight the new and old horse-drawn equipment used for profitable market gardening, including contributions directly from the farmers about what works and what doesn't. The novice teamster is introduced to the specifics of horse-drawn tillage and cultivation of the market garden, and using horses in the woodland. Recent studies on the economics of horse-powered market gardening and a comparison between horse-, human-, and tractor-powered systems have been included to help round out the picture. The resources section lists contact info for teamster schools, books, draft-animal publications, annual events, equipment manufacturers, parts and repairs, and more. A must-have for any farmer, homesteader, or teamster seeking to work with draft power in a closed-loop farming system.

Book News
Leslie, a suburbanite who came to farming later in life, presents horse power on the farm as a means of reconnecting to the land, cultivating environmental awareness, and building a model for sustainable agriculture going into the future. This guide to raising and utilizing horses interweaves the animal-centered practices with other traditional techniques, such as crop rotation, that are often bypassed in industrialized agriculture. The book covers care and training of horses, planning of the farm around animal power, and specifics of how to grow certain crops. Many color photographs, illustrations, and infoboxes supplement the main text. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: White River Junction, VT : Chelsea Green Pub., c2013
ISBN: 9781603584166
Characteristics: xvi, 346 p. : col. ill. ; 25 cm


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