Farm Anatomy – A Book Review

In Book Reviews, Reference by James4 Comments

Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of Country Life by Julia Rothman is an informative and fun book that takes the reader through various aspects of farming. The title is fitting as the book gives a great overview of a lot of the different moving and non-moving parts of the farming life. The highlight of the book for me was the beautiful illustrations. In addition to the illustrations the book serves as a great reference piece, coffee table book, and something that could be shared between a farmer and his or her child.

Pictured in the slider below are various illustrations from the book. Most pages in the book look like these. To stop the slider hover the mouse over it.


What’s in the Book?

The book is sectioned into seven chapters as follows:

Chapter 1 Breaking Ground: Layers of Soil – Topsoil Chart – The Texture Triangle – Mineral Nutrients – Crop Rotation – Contour Farming and Terracing – Windbreaks – Predicting Weather – Composting – An Acre is… 

Chapter 2  Raised in a Barn: Barn Styles – Timber Construction – Trusses – Barn Doors, Bracing, and Hardware – Barn Cupolas – Barn Birds – Farm Buildings – Animal Housing – Feeders – Fencing 

Chapter 3 Tools of the Trade: Tractors – Tractor Implements – How to Plow a Field – Inside a Combine – Other Machines – Felling, Bucking, Splitting and Stacking – In the Toolshed 

Chapter 4  Plant a Seed: Average Frost Dates – Vegetable Anatomy – Squash Varieties – Build a Bean Teepee – Dry Bean Varieties – Pepper Varieties – Tater Tower – 4 Ways to Grow Tomatoes – Tomato Varieties – How to Can Tomatoes – Herb Chart – Growing Grains – Planting an Orchard – Apple Varieties – Good Bugs – Bad Bugs 

Chapter 5 Separating the Sheep from the Goats: Animal Terms – Parts of a Rooster – Comb Styles – Chicken Breeds – Fresh Eggs – Duck and Goose Breeds – Heritage Turkeys – Parts of a Beef Animal – How a Cows Stomach Works – Cow Breeds – How to Milk a Cow – Parts of a Goat – Goat Breeds – Hoof Trimming – Knots – Parts of a Horse – Horse Markings and Tail Styles – Parts of a Hoof – Draft Horse Breeds – Draft Harnesses – Mules – Parts of a Pig – Pig Breeds – Livestock Water Consumption – Parts of a Sheep – Sheep Breeds – Shearing Sheep – Parts of a Rabbit – Rabbit Breeds – Rabbit Coat types – Parts of a Bee -Anatomy of a Hive 

Chapter 6 Country Wining and Dining: In an Old-Fashioned Country Kitchen – Wine-Making Equipment – Edible Flowers – The Basics of Breadmaking – Dairy Terms – The Basic Steps in Making Cheese – Butchering Knives – How to Cut Up a Chicken – Prime Cuts of Beef – Build a Barrel Smokehouse – Prime Cuts of Pork – Dry Curing – Prim Cuts of Lamb – Freezing Meat – Pressure Canning – Root Cellaring – Making Maple Syrup 

Chapter 7 Spinning a Yarn: Carding and Spinning Yarn – Natural Dyes – How to Make a Flower Press – How to Make a Cornhusk Doll – Making Rag Rugs – Making Candles – Quilt Patterns 

Final Thoughts of a Wannabe Farmer 

As you can see by browsing the table of contents listed above this book covers a lot of information. It doesn’t go into great detail with each topic but it gives the reader enough information to get a general idea of the nuts and bolts. The illustrations are beautiful, but don’t be fooled, this is also a wonderful reference book that I’m sure to revisit many times.

Buy the book via Amazon by clicking HERE (It’s an affiliate link so I get a little kickback if you buy. Thanks!)



  1. Addye Thole

    Great review!! This book seems to have everything !!! Going to have to buy this one. Really like the changes of your website!! Laid out nice!!!!

  2. Author

    Thank you! The book is a really nice introduction to nearly everything farm and country related. And of course it’s very visual and fun to consume. Glad you’re enjoying the new website layout. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  3. gabrieldye

    Thanks for the intro. I may have to borrow this. I’m finding myself strangely interested in how fields are plowed, the anatomy of a hive, and how maple syrup is made. That sounds sarcastic. It’s not.

  4. Author

    Thanks Gabe. You can definitely borrow it. Who isn’t interested in this stuff? Mild sarcasm. It really is a great book – no sarcasm.

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