Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Nature Pages: The Naturalist's Notebook.

This book is both a guide to nature journaling and a calendar for recording events and observations by date over a five-year period. Inspired by the garden calendar of Gilbert White in the 18th century, it is designed to accommodate brief periodic natural history observations that evoke an "immersion in the familiar" that assure "all is right with the world."

The text suggests ways to become a more attentive and observant naturalist. It explains how to record and organize observations of the natural world so as to better analyze them and recognize subtle patterns. And it describes simple experiments like putting a plastic bag over the buds on a tree to see if it hastens budding. Or changing the mix or quantities of seed in birdfeeders to see what difference it makes in the birds that come to dine.

An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal
by Nathaniel T. Wheelwright and Bernd Heinrich. 324 pp. Mariner Books, 2017.

continued in The Nature Pages

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review: The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner

Author and Wisconsin homesteader Ann Larkin Hansen compiled this homesteading planner that outlines the seasonal chores needed to maintain a healthy and productive, garden, orchard, woodlot, beeyard, and farmstead.

"Doing a thing in its proper season - when it would naturally occur, or when conditions make the job most efficient and comfortable - is how you spread the work more evenly through the year," she explains. "This is what makes it possible to get it all done and still have some leisure time."

Her planner is divided by seasons, beginning with Midwinter and Late Winter and continuing through to Early Fall and Early Winter of the same calendar year. Suggested chores and priorities are presented in each time period along with tips and primers on weaning animals, constructing wetland crossings, butchering chickens, drying herbs, mulching, planting a garden, and more.

What to Do & When to Do It in the Garden, Orchard, Barn, Pasture & Equipment Shed
by Ann Larkin Hansen
Storey Publishing, 2017

continued in The Book Stall

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Artwork: The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner