I’m a magazine lover. Always have been. But not the new-fangled digital versions. I’m old-fashioned. I like the paper, in-your-hand, turn-the-page versions. I admit, I did break down a couple years ago and get a Barnes & Noble Nook, but I use it only for my fiction reading. I still have to have an in-the-hand, honest-to-goodness book for non-fiction. And, well, magazines are non-fiction, too, so I guess I’m at least consistent. That said, I’d like to share with you a couple of my new favorite magazines.
Among my magazine subscriptions, you’ll find the typical womanly magazines – All Recipes Magazine (a new bimonthly based on the website) and Better Homes & Gardens (which I’ve subscribed to uninterrupted for 20 years this year). However, in the past couple years, I’ve added a couple of magazines that I’m sure have caught the curiosity of my mailman.
About a year and a half ago, I discovered Urban Farm Magazine in my local Tractor & Supply store. I bought a copy and fell in love with it. I am now on my second subscription. This magazine is for all of us who do not live on a rural farm with acres of land yet are trying to carve out a suburban or urban homestead on the land we do have. The article topics range from gardening to bee keeping to chicken raising to small farm animal care. In addition to the bimonthly magazine (which you can subscribe to here for only $15.00/year), they have a wonderful website and email subscription service that are jam-packed with more farming knowledge for the urban/suburban homesteader. (If you happen to have a large rural farm, this magazine can be informative for you, as well.) It’s a very folksy, homey magazine that will give you great ideas and answer many questions.
My other favorite farming magazine is a new discovery. While doing research for my newly acquired refractometer, I learned a new term: eco-agriculture or sustainable agriculture. Of course, I began to dig into what that meant and learned that it is simply the method of farming our ancestors used to use. It goes beyond organic (which allows pesticides and fungicides that are natural) into a practical application of the philosophy that nature knows best. Work WITH nature, not against it, by healing and balancing the soil. Once the soil has the proper balance of nutrients, minerals, bacteria, organic matter, etc., plants will be healthy enough to ward off pests and diseases on their own, AND the fruit the plants produce will contain optimum nutrition for humans and livestock. (That’s where the refractometer comes in; it will measure the nutrition of my fruit and my plants – to tell me how I’m doing.)
Anyway, in the course of my dipping my toe into the depths of this awesome ocean called eco-agriculture, I found the premier magazine for this wonderful method of agriculture: Acres USA Magazine. They offered a free magazine which I immediately ordered and just received a week ago. (It also came with a catalog of books and textbooks on eco-agriculture – so you know how I’ll be spending my off-season time and money!) The sample magazine contains articles garnered from the past couple of years worth of magazines to give a potential subscriber an idea of their content. Well, the articles are so meaty (yet not technical or full of jargon), I’m still trying to digest all of this new knowledge. Halfway through the magazine, I subscribed. At only $29.00/year for 12 issues, it’s like getting a year of college education for the price of a small tank of gas. For a free magazine and/or to subscribe, click here.
Those are my two favorite farming magazines – for now. If you have any favorites, please share them with me (and my readers) in the comments below. Winter is coming, and I have a great fireplace to curl up in front of to read and plan how I’m going to grow my 2015 garden!