The people at Urban Farm magazine sent me a stack of recent issues to check out, much to my delight. I've always loved Hobby Farms, the magazine that is sort of the parent of Urban Farm, and of course I adore their Chickens magazine. A whole magazine about chickens? Hell, yes!
What's so great about these magazines is that they do not assume that you are a trembling, fearful beginner who needs to be talked down to and reassured and lulled into a stupor with pretty pictures and useless little lists and sidebars. No, they assume that you intend to roll up your sleeves and actually go outside and build a chicken coop or birth a calf or put up enough turnips to see you through the winter. They assume, in other words, that you are a competent adults, engaged in the business of amateur farming, and that you're well past the stage of wanting to lounge about reading a teaser or an overview that won't let you do anything but dream about maybe someday getting a flock of turkeys or planting an apple orchard, if only someone would actually tell you how.
No. Hobby Farms, and Urban Farm, and Chicken magazine, will actually tell you how. You will find brilliantly specific articles on, say, moulting. That's right, moulting. It's not a bullet point in a sidebar, but the subject of an entire article in the Sept/Oct issue of Urban Farm. In that same issue, you're also going to read about goat bedding. Not about goats in general and how cute they are and how maybe you might get some someday. No, this is an entire article on the subject of bedding.
And so on. How to graft an apple tree, how to stock a root cellar, how to tap a maple tree, how to make kaffir cheese, how to make a table out of an old door. Sure, there are profiles of community gardens, product reviews, interviews with the rock stars of the urban farming world, and other such bits and pieces. But mostly, every magazine these people put out is devoted to hardcore, nuts-and-bolts, meat-and-potatoes GETTING STUFF DONE.
And they're nicely photographed and well-written and all that. And subscriptions are something like $15, which is less than the price of a pizza. And I promise that you'll get more pleasure–and more good food–out of this subscription than you would from the pizza. So do get over there and check them out. They're awesome.