Book Reviews

Cool Forages: Advanced Management of Temperate Forages


Written by Progressive Forage Grower Editor Lynn Jaynes
Published on 29 May 2014

I’ve always admired the coffee-table books with gorgeous photography and interesting insights. Although such books have frequently caught my eye over the years, my interest was short-lived when I realized I would have to look at that book every day for the next 10 years. I just didn’t think the subject matter would be interesting for that long, so I never acquired one – until now. I’ve finally found the book.
“Cool Forages: Advanced Management of Temperate Forages,” a collection of informational articles written by forage specialists throughout North America and edited by Shabtai Bittman and Derek Hunt, is that book. The hardbound, glossy 206-page book combines stunning photography with essential forage information that is both informational and easy to read.

I asked Bittman what audience they wanted to reach, and he replied, “By attempting to have quite technical information presented in a clear and attractive way, we hoped to reach a range – from interested farmers to professionals. Our goal was to present some new and unique and original information without being exhaustive. … There is also an attempt to interest students – every chapter can be a topic for a term paper or research paper.”

Bittman and Hunt have compiled a comprehensive collection of forage information from high-profile specialists. Among the authors you’ll recognize names like Orloff, Sulc, Acharya, Tremblay, Papadopoulos, Undersander, Putnam and Forge. Chapters cover ecosystem services, growth of forage, forage diversity, breeding new forage varieties, soil nutrients, managing waste in forage, and forage quality and feeding.

Whether you produce forages only or grow forages in combination with cattle, dairy, horses or small ruminants, this book will sharpen your skills and understanding with topics from tall fescue, orchardgrass and alfalfa to managing slurry on grasslands, pasture bloat, reducing greenhouse gasses and predicting harvest timing. The complete table of contents is available on

Bittman says forage specialists around the world have ordered copies, from researchers at the Russian research institute to New Zealand grasslands research center. Yet the book appeals to ranchers and dairy producers, as well.

Published and distributed by The Pacific Field Corn Association, the book is available for purchase at:, by emailing Proceeds go to Pacific Field Corn Association, a farmer-driven non-profit society, in support of future research, interns, publishing and website ventures. FG

Gaining Ground: Making a Successful Transition to Organic Farming (e-book)

Gaining Ground covers all bases – from soil-building and planting to certification and marketing – revealing an approach that is much more than simply farming without chemicals. Based on interviews with over 80 of Canada’s organic or transitional farmers across the country, this book provides valuable, practical advice and connects you to a national network of organic farmers, the next best thing to having an organic farmer next door. Farmer wisdom is supplemented with a wealth of scientific information from around the globe. The key tools of organic farming, like pest management, crop rotations and green manures, composting and equipment are addressed in Gaining Ground. In addition, it discusses the difficult shift in thinking from an input-output approach to an integrated, whole-system approach based on ecological principles. The handbook includes an extensive list of resources for further reading.

Please visit this link for order information.


High Water – Living with the Fraser River Floods

High Water 1 pdf

High Water 2 pdf

For further information or mail orders, contact:

Gerry Adams

33362 Clayburn Road

Abbotsford, BC V2S 7T8

Phone: 604-859-5491


Price: $50 plus GST

Coldstream: The Ranch Where It All Began

 by Donna Wuest

“Coldstream Ranch is right in the middle of suburbia. Most ranches, if the cattle did get out, they’re on someone else’s range. If the Coldstream cattle get out, they’re on somebody’s lawn . . . People are understandably annoyed that there are cows tromping in their rose beds. Then we come along and have to gallop through the beds. We’ve tripped over lawn furniture trying to round up cows.” —Sandy Boyd, cowboy

Coldstream Ranch, on the outskirts of the Okanagan city of Vernon, wasn’t always crowded in the ’burbs. One of the oldest continually operating ranches in Canada, it was on the far edge of the far West when Charles Houghton founded it to provision the Cariboo Gold Rush in 1863. It’s been operating so long Vernon is actually named after its second owners, the Vernon brothers. For decades it was owned by a succession of British bluebloods, including the quixotic Lord Aberdeen, who resigned his appointment as Governor General after he and his profligate brother-in-law Coutts squandered a fortune on grandiose schemes at Coldstream. Nevertheless, they proved drybelt soil could be turned into fine farmland with the aid of irrigation and pioneered the region’s world-renowned orchard industry.

Author Donna Wuest vividly evokes the lives of the apple pickers, packers and pruners, piggery hands, potato processors and cowhands who worked on the Ranch. It is a story rich in characters like the gruff old manager “Fluffy” Wollaston, who is buried on the Ranch, and Nez Perce Indians, who arrived to pick hops replete with teepees, papooses and colourful headdresses. Coldstream is an affectionately written, well-researched chronicle of a historic institution. The Coldstream story is the story of the orchard and cattle industries in BC, and in many ways the story of the BC Interior.

Donna (Yoshitake) Wuest was born and raised on the Coldstream Ranch during the years when much of the land was orchard. During one of her return visits to the Ranch as an adult, she was inspired to write a history of the place. She works as a freelance journalist and writer and lives in Vancouver, BC.

ISBN 1-55017-343-X

8½ x 11, 160 pages, paper

100 b&w photos