Small-Scale Grain Raising: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains for Home Gardeners and Local Farmers, 2nd Edition

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Chelsea Green Publishing, May 12, 2009 - Technology & Engineering - 320 pages
3 Reviews

First published in 1977, this book—from one of America’s most famous and prolific agricultural writers—became an almost instant classic among homestead gardeners and small farmers. Now fully updated and available once more, Small-Scale Grain Raising offers a entirely new generation of readers the best introduction to a wide range of both common and lesser-known specialty grains and related field crops, from corn, wheat, and rye to buckwheat, millet, rice, spelt, flax, and even beans and sunflowers.

More and more Americans are seeking out locally grown foods, yet one of the real stumbling blocks to their efforts has been finding local sources for grains, which are grown mainly on large, distant corporate farms. At the same time, commodity prices for grains—and the products made from them—have skyrocketed due to rising energy costs and increased demand. In this book, Gene Logsdon proves that anyone who has access to a large garden or small farm can (and should) think outside the agribusiness box and learn to grow healthy whole grains or beans—the base of our culinary food pyramid—alongside their fruits and vegetables.

Starting from the simple but revolutionary concept of the garden “pancake patch,” Logsdon opens up our eyes to a whole world of plants that we wrongly assume only the agricultural “big boys” can grow. He succinctly covers all the basics, from planting and dealing with pests, weeds, and diseases to harvesting, processing, storing, and using whole grains. There are even a few recipes sprinkled throughout, along with more than a little wit and wisdom.

Never has there been a better time, or a more receptive audience, for this book. Localvores, serious home gardeners, CSA farmers, and whole-foods advocates—in fact, all people who value fresh, high-quality foods—will find a field full of information and ideas in this once and future classic.


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Excellent resource for homesteaders or small commercial growers. He's funny (in fact, wonderfully sardonic) and his commentary entertains while his instruction informs. In general, I find Logsdon's books to be indispensable whether it concerns pasture grass, raspberries or the state of commercial farming. While having a keen eye and sharp tongue directed towards agribusiness and the industrial culture of farming, his tone remains one of optimism, and he inspires me to optimism as I receive his wisdom and insight. It is unique that a good farmer is also a good writer, so take, witness and enjoy. 

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - blue_wizard - LibraryThing

Liked the 1977 edition so much we bought the 2009 edition too. Read full review

Selected pages


Homegrown Grains The Key to Food Security
Corn Americas Amazing Maize
Wheat The Main Source of the Staff of Life
The Sorghum Family
Oats The HighProtein Cereal Grain
Dry Beans The Poor Mans Meat
Rye and Barley
Buckwheat and Millet
Rice The Oldest Garden Grain
Some Uncommon Grains Old and New
Legumes The Overlooked Partner in SmallScale Grain Raising
Feeding Grain to Animals
An Illustrated Glossary of Grain Equipment and Terms

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About the author (2009)

Over the course of his long life and career as a writer, farmer, and journalist, Gene Logsdon published more than two dozen books, both practical and philosophical, on all aspects of rural life and affairs. His nonfiction works include Gene Everlasting, A Sanctuary of Trees, and Living at Nature’s Pace. He wrote a popular blog, The Contrary Farmer, as well as an award-winning column for the Carey, Ohio, Progressor Times. Gene was also a contributor to Farming Magazine and The Draft Horse Journal. He lived and farmed in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, where he died in 2016, a few weeks after finishing his final book, Letter to a Young Farmer.

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