Books

Christmas gifts happily bolstered my reading materials

It is no secret that I love to read. Typically multiple books will be read simultaneously if they are wildly different topics like 1 fiction novel and 1-2 non fiction novels covering different matters. For example I am currently re-reading (well, listening) to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn read by Elijah Wood (affiliate link) while physically reading the two books discussed below. I had audible credits to use or lose so why not re-read this masterpiece with a twist?

As christmas gifts I received two books that have been on my list for a very long time. The book relevant to the farm venture is Humanure Handbook: a guide to composting human manure (affiliate link). We are flushing away an astronomical amount of agricultural nutrients and using an equally astronomical amount of drinking water to do so. The first step to rectifying this major oversight is to work through the taboo of discussing recycling nutrient-rich human excrement. In fact, the author had to self publish the book because as he states it “no publisher would touch this book with a 10 foot pole”.

The Humanure Handbook covers a large amount of science behind composting so I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the various applications of compost whether it be landscaping, horticulture, gardening or reducing the environmental impact of the waste each of us produces. In order to successfully fight through the fecal-phobia and taboo topic, the author definitely needs to delve into the science of composting to adequately explain how to safely turn human excrement into a nutrient rich soil amendment. He does so beautifully based on the 40 pages I’ve read so far.

The other book I received has been on my list for about two years before it was even written. Steve Rinella is an idol of mine because of what amazingly honest content he produces regarding responsible and ethical hunting. His TV show Meateater is a huge breath of fresh air  from the norm which are basically half hour infomercials for hunting products with people I don’t consider hunters shooting animals that are functionally livestock (contained in a fence and fed corn). I’ve recommended the show to friends in the vegan or animal rights categories that, while still uncomfortable with the realities of gutting/butchering/harvesting meat, gained a new and valuable perspective on hunting. His podcast by the same name is also enjoyable while more geared for hunters.

When he announced they were undergoing a seemingly impossible venture of writing a complete guide to hunting, I immediately wanted the book. Over a year later, the big game edition was released followed shortly by the small game edition. For anyone interested in processing their own meat (or just how meat is processed in general) including hunters, farmers, etc. these books are invaluable resources. Affiliate links: Big Game edition, small game edition.

I’m excited to learn more in depth and hopefully share any relevant information I pick up!

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2 thoughts on “Christmas gifts happily bolstered my reading materials

  1. I have been using Kitchen Garden Aid on my Windoze laptop but recently moved to Linux so i am looking for a replacement program. I was a CADD tech for decades and got to thinking about ArcInfo and GIS for making an interactive map of the garden for multi-year planning. This blog site is a real boon for me! Thanks.

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    • You are very welcome! Since you seem technically skilled already, you can take a look at the Quantum GIS Suite. It’s open source and free vs the ESRI home license at $100/year. The trade off is that it has a much more difficult learning curve. If you want me to put together some data (aerial imagery, shapefiles of garden beds, elevation data, etc). I would be happy to do so!

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