First up was Mudpies to Magnets: A Preschool Science Curriculum, a book recommended in The Well-Trained Mind for teaching young children about science. It has about a gazillion science projects to do with young children. Susie and I pored over it this afternoon and decided we're going to do at least one project every week. I am so excited! We do a lot of science and nature-y stuff in our normal course of business, but I feel like this will help us stay a bit more focused, as well as providing a seemingly unending supply of fresh ideas.
But the really exciting arrival was Joel Salatin's You Can Farm, which I have been devouring all evening. I won't lie, there's some nutty stuff in this book. I can't say I agree with everything Salatin has to say. But the majority of what I've read so far has been informative, inspiring, and inventive. The most important lesson so far is not to wait until you have the perfect property, all the time in the world, and plenty of money stashed away in the bank. If you are interested in farming, if you think you might somehow someday want to make a living from farming, just start doing something about it. Grow stuff! Turn your backyard into a kitchen garden and learn from experience what works and what doesn't. Don't wait around for perfect opportunities, just start with what you've already got.
Well, what I've got is a whole bunch of really annoying HOA covenants that won't allow me to have chickens. Hmph. But... I also have a decently-sized yard, and my husband and I have had terrible luck with the whole maintaining-a-pretty-lawn thing. The front yard will probably have to stay pretty conservative (except for the vegetables I'm growing in the flower beds, shhh), but who's to say we can't just take over the back yard and start growing some fun edible stuff among all the pretty perennials? Oooh yes, this could be exciting.