The One-cow Revolution

a grass-fed homestead


Well, first, our own book on low-input, grass-based sustainable food production,
The Independent Farmstead.  We look at family-scale food independence and sustainability, from choosing a small and affordable piece of land, to animals, water systems, fencing, the home dairy, and butchering large animals.
Foreword by Joel Salatin. (You can order this from our publisher, Chelsea Green in VT, or from us: Send $34, plus $8 shipping to The Sow’s Ear Farm, 210 Burge Rd. Toronto, Ohio 43964 and be sure to include the address where we are to send it!)

independent farmstead
Chelsea Green Publishing foreword by Joel Salatin

Library Journal starred review

A solid choice for those embarking on a serious animal-based hobby or enterprise, aspiring homesteaders, and sustainable farmers who already have basic knowledge of animal husbandry and agriculture. The authors’ blog provides a nice supplement.”Amanda ­Avery, Marywood Univ. Lib., Scranton, PA

Modern Farmer Magazine

Expect clear-eyed advice on rotational grazing methods, improving soil fertility, and much more.”


As mortifying and implausible as creating one’s own self-sustaining farmstead might sound to most city folk, the Doughertys, who embarked on their own farmstead 20 years ago, make the venture entirely feasible—even ennobling in the face of climate change—on as little as a half-acre of land. In a conversational style that is both welcoming and reality-based, the authors offer a big-picture plan—selecting property, sourcing water, building soil, choosing ruminants (chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, or cattle)—that is fully supported by a level of detail both practical and comforting to anyone new to the idea. Some examples: milking techniques for cows and goats, what grasses or fencing to consider for which animals, slaughtering techniques, watering tanks, and using paddocks for livestock. Highly recommended for libraries where such farmsteads are even remotely possible.”

Also, our series of short field guides, hip-pocket volumes on specific topics:

Field Guides to Inputs-free Farming and Homesteading

$5 each; shipping $8 for up to three books; add $1.50 for each additional book over 3

(also available online from Lulu)

Considering the Family Cow:  what it takes, why you should

Family Cow Basics:  your first year with a dairy cow

Milking for Beginners:  a how-to

Beating the Feed Bill Blues:  how to eliminate your feed bill and end your off-farm dependencies

Growing Feed for Farm Animals:  ten crops you can raise to feed your pigs, poultry, and ruminants

Working Chickens: the place of poultry on the independent farmstead

Pasture Permaculture: building the independent farmstead from the grass up

. . . and more to come . . .

To order any of the above, you can send a check to Shawn or Beth Dougherty, 210 Burge Rd. Toronto, Ohio 43964.  Be sure to include your mailing address!  

Then, in no sort of order, a partial list of books we find essential:

2 thoughts on “resources

  1. Would you please send me an email address where I can send some questions for you.
    Thanks very much.

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