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The Farming Ladder, G. Henderson

posted 8 Sep 2011, 17:30 by Taiss Q   [ updated 9 Oct 2011, 22:44 ]

Author: George Henderson
Publisher: Faber and Faber (1944)
Other Titles: Farmers Progress; The Farming Manual

George Henderson is a unique man. He knew what he wanted, and he went after it with every fibre of his being. He wanted to be on the land. He wanted to work with it. Live on it. Have his very fortune tied to it. This book details the rungs he climbed to reach those dreams. 

As much a biography of his life as it is a discussion on aspects of farming, his story provides one with an interesting read of the affairs of rural England during post World War 1 and through the 20 years into World War 2. 

For those interested in farming, it goes into details of setting up sheep, cattle and pig herds, the division of the farm, buildings, looking after labour, accounts and even the importance of taking a holiday. 

A man before his time, George details how his 85 Acres of intensively applied, sustainable and organic farm became synonymous with quality farming practices. 

Thoroughly recommended to anyone interested in farming, farming practices or simply tertiary historical data source of the state of brittain from the view of a farmer over the period of 1922 through 1924

This book was an early influence on me -- up till the discovery of this book, I only really considered farming as either something that was out of reach to be commercially viable and that "small holdings" were something that were only usable for small vine plots and self-sustainable ventures.

I see George as an early Joel Salatin, demonstrating a mix of what (to him) were "non-fancy", "common sense" and "easily achievable" approaches to farming, management and commerce.

I think it's important to think about the nature of farming and the methods available that were achievable a half-century ago as a means to consider what is available and repeatable today. 

I can honestly say that this book is what convinced me to re-consider my approach and plans for a farm and choose to look beyond a few vines, a chicken coop and a house cow.

Availability: OUT OF PRINT 
Available as a download as a single PDF file (1.25 mb) via the Soil and Health Library who offer a wonderful service and I financially support to continue their operations.