Book Review – The Farmer and the Grill by Shannon Hayes

I enjoyed reading “The Farmer and the Grill”.  This book was short and simple, but is a great one for understanding the principles of how to grill grass-fed meat and make it tender and tasty.  I also enjoyed learning about the differences between cuts of meat and how tougher cuts were often more flavorful.

Understanding how critical internal temperatures are will help me to grill more successfully.  The other method I learned was indirect grilling.  I will be using this method frequently now.

A lot of the book is devoted to recipes for many different types and cuts of meat.  I am excited to try some of these recipes out.

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Book Review – Grassfed to Finish by Allan Nation

Grassfed to finish is the best book I have read so far on finishing grass fed beef. It is very practical and explains the important factors in creating grass finished beef that is tender, tasty and healthy.

I also like that the book explains techniques to produce finished grass-fed beef year round. This will be an important skill for farmers as abattoirs require year round supply to stay profitable. Explaining several models that other countries use to produce grass fed beef was helpful as well.

I felt that Allan’s explanation of the challenges and opportunities in this industry were realistic but encouraging.

There is so much practical knowledge in this book and general wisdom. This book exceeded my expectations.

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Book Review – Grass Fed Cattle by Julius Ruechel

This book is an excellent and comprehensive overview of raising cattle on grass.  The book is packed with practical information.  It explains exactly what you need and don’t need to get started raising grass fed beef.  There is no sugar coating of all the difficult things that need to be managed when raising beef.  However, the book is encouraging as it gives you strategies to produce a better product, become more profitable, and improve your cattle operation every year.

The practical nuts and bolts how-to combined with the methods for planning your operation make this book one of the best I have read on the subject of raising and selling beef.

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Thanks for listening to The Farming Podcast.  If you’d like to leave feedback or questions for a future show call our voicemail line at 1-858-208-FARM or email josiah@thefarmingpodcast.com  Have a great day and keep farming!

Book Review – How to Direct Market Your Beef by Jan Holder

How to Direct Market Your Beef was a good book to get an overview of how to direct market beef. I found the information to be a little scattered and disorganized, but there was some very important and helpful information I learned. The book definitely gives some good ideas and things to keep in mind.

I found the book to be a little discouraging as it is very honest about the difficulties in direct marketing your beef. However, it is helpful to know the things which are difficult, rather than trying to direct market to certain channels and realize their requirement later. One example of this would be that restaurants want fresh beef. This is a very important piece of information to know for someone interested in marketing to restaurants. It changes your production methods, processing schedule, delivery requirements and more.

Overall, I would recommend reading this book. I would not consider this book comprehensive on the subject. It’s a quick read and has some very valuable information.

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Thanks for listening to The Farming Podcast.  If you’d like to leave feedback or questions for a future show call our voicemail line at 1-858-208-FARM or email josiah@thefarmingpodcast.com  Have a great day and keep farming!

Book Review – The Pruning Book by Lee Reich

Book Review

I enjoyed this book and it was very helpful for understanding why to prune and how to do it.  Part 1 was the most helpful to me as it went over the basic principles of pruning which tend to apply to all the future chapters.  I thought the concepts were explained very well despite the fact that these concepts can be difficult to explain in written form.  There are good diagrams of many of the important concepts.

I would suggest that this book not be read cover to cover.  I would recommend carefully reading Part 1 (Chapters 1-3).  After understanding the basic principles of pruning I would recommend moving on to Part 2 and picking out the plants you want to learn about and then reading those specific sections.  There is a lot of redundancy in each section of Part 2 as many of the pruning principles apply to each type of plant.  It seems as if this section was written so that the reader would pick out the parts relevant to what they want to prune.  I would even recommend reading the relevant section just prior to when you are going to be pruning that specific type of plant.  That is what I did and I think I will learn more because of it.

Part 3 covers some specialized pruning techniques which likely will not all apply to many readers, but are definitely interesting.  I’d recommend at least skimming this section to get an understanding of the specialized techniques that are available.

Overall the book was very helpful to understand pruning.  I think I will need to put it into action, in order to totally understand the principles.  I certainly will be less intimidated by pruning jobs now that I understand the basic principles.  Understanding the reasons behind why different pruning techniques are done, allows me to now start a pruning job with confidence.

This is the only book I have read on pruning, but it is hard to imagine how it could be significantly improved upon.

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