Friday, July 26, 2013

The Book Of The Farm - Henry Stephens / Victorian Farm

All of my long time readers know that I love the BBC series Victorian Farm. Great watching for cold winter nights and for both farmers and history buffs alike. The series was so popular it spawned all sorts of other 'farm' shows including Wartime and Edwardian versions, all equally interesting an available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

But I wanted to write this little post to let you know that I've got you a real treat! One of the major sources of farm wisdom that's used ont he show is a book written by Henry Stephens in 1849 called "The Book Of The Farm" and it's basically a manual telling you what to plant when, how to care for your livestock and draft animals, basically everything you would need to know. Now you might be wondering what that could possibly mean to us modern day organic farmers in the technology era. And that's a fair question. So I have a question for you.

Is everything old new again?

In many cases it is. Interest in quality food and goods over mass-produced items. Organic and sustainable farming practices, natural remedies, observation of your farm and lands. All this knowledge and wisdom is out there for us to benefit from, especially with the use of google and other search engines online. I mean, here you are on your computer reading about a farmer in Nova Scotia Canada when you may be thousands of miles away. But what if your computer went away and you had only books? My goodness you could buy a lot I'm sure, but this book is really comprehensive. And better yet, It's FREE!

The original book came out in 3 different editions and was recently revised by the BBC and Alex Langlands so it's available in a nice keepsake version. But if you've got some storage space I'd recommend loading a copy into your computer and saving it for interesting reading and to see if there are ways you can improve your farming based on ancient knowledge. It's these handed down traditions in farming that make it so wonderful. Since the book has been out of copyright for many years it's available for a free download in many formats including

I'm happy to be like the farmers of old and share information with you all. I hear so many interesting comments and questions that I'm looking into finding a new blog host or a way to have a forum for discussion here online. Hope you all have a wonderful day!

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