Anna Hess dreamed about moving back to the land ever since her parents dragged her off their family farm at the age of eight. She worked as a field biologist and nonprofit organizer before acquiring fifty-eight acres and a husband, then quit her job to homestead full time. She admits that real farm life involves a lot more hard work than her childhood memories entailed, but the reality is much more fulfilling and she loves pigging out on sun-warmed strawberries and experimenting with no-till gardening, mushroom propagation, and chicken pasturing.
She also enjoys writing about the adventures, both on her blog at WaldenEffect.org, and in her books. Her first paperback, The Weekend Homesteader, helped thousands of homesteaders-to-be find ways to fit their dreams into the hours leftover from a full-time job. The Naturally Bug-Free garden, which suggests permaculture techniques of controlling pest invertebrates in the vegetable garden, is due out in spring 2015 from Skyhorse Publishing. In addition, a heaping handful of ebooks serve a similar purpose.
Weekend Homesteader: April
by Anna Hess
(3.00 from 2 reviews)
The second edition of the popular Weekend Homesteader series includes exciting, short projects that you can use to dip your toes into the vast ocean of homesteading without getting overwhelmed. If you need to fit homesteading into a few hours each weekend and would like to have fun while doing it, these projects will be right up your alley.
The Working Chicken
by Anna Hess
Get ready for your new flock in thirty minutes or less with this short, sweet, and self-sufficient guide to keeping chickens! Learn everything you need to know to get started on your poultry adventure on a rural or urban homestead. Then enjoy a bonus picture book to inspire the next generation of chicken lovers.
How To Garden For Goats: Gardening, Foraging, Small-Scale Grain and Hay, & More
on March 27, 2015
I should start out by saying that I've had goats for all of 5.5 months now...but that doesn't make me as inexperienced as I sound. Whenever I start a new project, I read widely before diving in, so I've worked my way through Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats, Raising Goats Naturally, Natural Goat Care, and The Goat Care Handbook, plus lots of websites on the topic. I also resolved from the beginning not to feed my goats grain, so have instead been keeping them healthy on a seasonally varying ration based on grazing, hay, foraging trips to honeysuckle patches and oat leaves, carrots, alfalfa pellets, and sunflower seeds, plus kelp and minerals.
Which is a long way of saying that this is the book I wished I'd had when I got started. Tate walks you through a widely varying array of potential feeds you can grow or collect for your goats, along with a list of what you really shouldn't be feeding to your herd. She included sections on sprouting grains and growing them all the way to "fodder" also, both options of which are both better for the health of your herd than the dried seeds if you must feed grain. Tate also offers advice on drying a wide range of weeds and herbs to make your own mineral mix, and even covers small-scale methods of harvesting hay.
Overall, while Tate's short book obviously isn't the be-all and end-all on the subject, it's an eye-opening edition that should be part of your goat-keeping library if you want to move away from simply scooping up some sweet feed for your caprines to dine on each morning.