Posts by Jill Swenson

Jill Swenson is the president of Swenson Book Development, LLC, based in Brooktondale, NY. She may be reached at or 607-539-3278.

Luscious Guide to Growing Fruit Naturally

By Jill Swenson / March 27, 2013

  Move over vegetables. Less kale, more quince. Fewer zucchini, more kiwi. Make room for more fruit in the garden and on the farm. Whether you add fruits for your own home use or to add small crop diversity at the farm stand or farmer’s market, now is the time to explore what lies between…

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The Buzz About Bees

By Jill Swenson / January 7, 2013

It’s cold outside. Steep a cup of tea and put in a teaspoon of pure, local, raw honey. Then take a sip, close your eyes, and feel that warm golden glow. Give thanks for the angels of agriculture: bees. Homegrown Honey Bees: Beekeeping Your First Year, from Hiving to Honey Harvest, by Alethea Morrison is…

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The Business of Growing Green Ideas

By Jill Swenson / October 1, 2012

Growing the seeds of good ideas into books is akin to farming in some respects. In publishing, like in farming, there are large multinational, multimillion dollar corporations dominant in the industry. Yet, the groundswell of good books about small scale farms, seasonable cuisine, and sustainable living reflects the growing market for good ideas. You may…

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By Jill Swenson / June 27, 2012

Sheepfolds, pigpens, chicken coops, and smoke houses:  on a farm with animals, these places have meaning. Cynthia G. Falk writes about the agricultural and architectural diversity of historic farm buildings in her new book: Barns of New York: Rural Architecture of the Empire State (Cornell University Press, 2012). This is a beautiful book about the…

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Farm Memoirs

By Jill Swenson / April 2, 2012

  There’s nothing more enjoyable than spending a spring afternoon indoors reading a book while it rains outside or while you wait for the mud to dry. Memoirs export you to a different time and place and put the reader into the shoes walked by the author. The genre of memoir is very popular and…

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Winter Reads: Water and Natural Gas

By Jill Swenson / January 9, 2012

Winter brings us indoors and the weather provides an overdue excuse to sit down and pick up a book. But which one? This column will offer a review of the newest and best books on a particular topic of general interest to the readers of Small Farm Quarterly. Hydrofracking and the risks to our agricultural…

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Fall’s Bounty: Field Fresh Beans

By Jill Swenson / October 3, 2010

The sign may say “fresh,” but that is no indication of when beans were picked or how they taste. “Fresh” means they aren’t frozen or canned. Beans, like most farm produce, lose nearly 50% of their nutritional value within one week after being picked. If you live on a farm, or grew up on one,…

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New Kind of Old Fashioned Seed Company

By Jill Swenson / July 4, 2010

  The “buy local” and “grow your own” movements have gone mainstream. Yet, until now you couldn’t find a single seed company within 150 miles of Ithaca, NY, that sold seeds labeled locally grown. It makes a difference in the yield and bounty when the seed is suited to the local climate, soils, pests, fungi,…

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Are you a Daylighter?

By Jill Swenson / April 4, 2010

What country folks know to be common sense becomes news as a new practice in sustainability. Become a “daylighter” and put your lifestyle back in sync with the sun and the seasons. A daylighter wakes up with the sun and goes to sleep shortly after it sets. “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a…

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