The New Horse-Powered Farm: Tools and Systems for the Small-Scale Sustainable Market Grower

Stephen Leslie, Author, Lynn Miller, Foreword by
Stephen Leslie. Chelsea Green, $39.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-60358-416-6
Reviewed on: 03/18/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-60358-417-3
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How many citizens of the 21st century know that a teamster is someone who drives workhorses? Leslie—a former art student and monk turned small-scale farmer—is part of a growing revival of horse-powered farming, and in this comprehensive, thoughtful guide, he dusts off archaic terms and demonstrates how he and others are reviving and revising traditional skills for a postmodern era of rising oil prices, soil loss and degradation, and climate change. The author covers horse selection and care; working and communicating with horses; training horses and drivers; old, repurposed, and newly created tools; and uses for horse labor on a small farm. Leslie also offers economic comparisons to tractor- and human-powered farms. Perhaps most importantly, he draws on stories from contemporary horse-powered farms to demonstrate both the satisfaction and difficulties of living in a work relationship with animals. “The lively presence and wonderful mix of personalities the workhorses bring adds a richness of relationships that makes the farm without animals seem sterile and lonesome in comparison,” Leslie writes. This will be compelling reading for the enthusiastic and idealistic young farmers in the local food movement. (Apr.)
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