The New Horse-Powered Farm by Stephen Leslie
Tools and Systems for the Small-Scale, Sustainable Market Grower

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In an era when fuel is a primary concern, draft horses are seen by many as the solution to small-scale, resilient farming with a closed-loop system. Horses bring farmers back to the roots of what it means to work the land and present a viable model for a small farm that lasts, while offering enjoyment for the whole family. This is the first book of its kind, offering wisdom and techniques for using horse power on the small farm or homestead, from longtime horse farmer Stephen Leslie.

The New Horse-Powered Farm sets the stage for incorporating draft power on the farm by presenting tips on getting started with horses, care of the work horse, different horse-training systems, and the merits of different draft breeds. The novice teamster is introduced to the basic tools of horse-drawn tillage and cultivation used for profitable horse-powered farming, with a spotlight on whole-farm management, as well as information on haying with horses, raising small grains, managing the woodlot, farm education, agritourism, and more.

Incorporated throughout are profiles of more than a half-dozen farms that epitomize some exciting new trends in agriculture and highlight the new and old horse-drawn equipment used for profitable market gardening, including contributions directly from the farmers about what works and what doesn't. The novice teamster is introduced to the specifics of horse-drawn tillage and cultivation of the market garden, and using horses in the woodland. Recent studies on the economics of horse-powered market gardening and a comparison between horse-, human-, and tractor-powered systems have been included to help round out the picture. The resources section lists contact info for teamster schools, books, draft-animal publications, annual events, equipment manufacturers, parts and repairs, and more. A must-have for any farmer, homesteader, or teamster seeking to work with draft power in a closed-loop farming system.


About Stephen Leslie

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Stephen Leslie brings a broad spectrum of life experience to his writing. He studied fine arts at the Museum School in Boston, Massachusetts. He lived the life of a Benedictine monk for seven years with the Brothers of the Weston Priory in Vermont. After leaving the monastery in 1992, he worked for three years as an apprentice at the Hawthorne Valley Biodynamic Farm in upstate New York. Since then, in partnership with his wife, Kerry Gawalt, he has made his living farming and gardening with draft horses. Currently, Stephen and Kerry and their daughter, Maeve Rose, manage an organic farm at the Cobb Hill Ecovillage in Hartland, Vermont.
Published March 5, 2013 by Chelsea Green Publishing. 368 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The New Horse-Powered Farm

Publishers Weekly

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How many citizens of the 21st century know that a teamster is someone who drives workhorses? Leslie—a former art student and monk turned small-scale farmer—is part of a growing revival of horse-powere

Mar 18 2013 | Read Full Review of The New Horse-Powered Farm: T...

ForeWord Reviews

His book has its origins in a series of articles Leslie wrote for Small Farmer’s Journal about working with Fjord horses, which he expanded into a thorough, useful guide that will shepherd farmers through choosing a breed, basic horse care, training horses, making compost, and plow usage, among o...

Mar 19 2013 | Read Full Review of The New Horse-Powered Farm: T...

Readers will quickly find this work, far from a nostalgic look at using horses to farm, to be an excellent, practical guide to incorporating horses into sustainable farming practices. Leslie has used draft horses to farm and garden for several years and currently manages an organic farm at the Co...

Apr 01 2013 | Read Full Review of The New Horse-Powered Farm: T...

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