Ben Falk, 2013, 305 pp.
We think this is the book of the year, and probably the decade. Open it to almost any page and you’ll find some stimulating and exciting way of making a homestead more productive, more healthful, more energy-efficient, and more like a natural, self-sustaining system. After decades of gardening and homesteading ourselves, it is not often we run into so many ideas that trigger that “aha!” Many of us hands-on types will want to dip into the exciting projects and experiments going on at the author’s farm. Not only gardening and permaculture, but building, fuel, grazing animals medicinal foods, preserving—he has rethought it all, leading to some surprising conclusions. Who would have thought that the best grain to grow in Vermont would be rice?