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Book Nook: The Independent Farmstead, by Shawn and Beth Dougherty


Some people assume that I know a lot about farming because I'm from Iowa. I don't. I'm a city boy and for me cattle and cornfields were mostly just a passing blur as my parents sped along the interstate highway. Years later I conducted a lot of market research for the agricultural industry. I interviewed hundreds of farmers. That experience helped me to become a better interviewer but the things I learned about farming were mostly related to the way agriculture is now being conducted in America with monoculture crop rotations; corn, then soybeans. Herbicides. Pesticides. Bovine growth hormone.

Since my move to Ohio I have lived in farm country. The fellow who farms across the way from me saturates his fields with herbicides and anhydrous ammonia. Every time I smell the sickening fragrance of whatever substance he has been applying to his fields I think that there has to be a better way. And apparently there is.

The book "The Independent Farmstead - Growing  Soil, Biodiversity, and Nutrient-Dense Food with Grassfed Animals and Intensive Pasture Management" by Shawn and Beth Dougherty reveals a different approach to agriculture. This book is a revelation. The Doughertys have put a lot of thought into how they manage their land. They have reclaimed land which was once considered to be unsuitable for agriculture.

Our current approach to living on this planet is looking less sustainable by the day. How can we save our planet? The Doughertys have spent a lot of time considering the best ways to heal our wounded lands. Theirs is a message of hope.

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by six local library systems in southwest Ohio:  the Greene County Public LibraryWashington-Centerville Public Library, MidPointe Library SystemClark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.