Last Updated on December 14, 2021

You may have heard about Henry Stephens’ The Book of the Farm from the British TV series Victorian Farm. Now you can download it yourself for free. Here are all the volumes as PDFs.


How the Book of the Farm Can Help a Beginning Farmer

Farming has had many technological advancements over the past few centuries but the basics are still the same. This is especially true if you are a small-scale farmer.

With modernization and the rapid technological advances in current commercial farming methods, some of the older, low-tech farming methods are being lost as time marches on. This is why I hope that having access to the this book can be of help to future small-scale farmers.


Introduction to The Book of the Farm

The Book of the Farm was originally published in 1842 by Henry Stephens. Spanning three volumes, 91 chapters, and 1384 pages, it was the farming “bible” of it’s day. It was also used extensively in the British TV series Victorian Farm that follows three archaeologists and historians as the spend a year running a Victorian Era farm in England.


The Book of the Farm Horse Team Picture

The Book of the Farm Table of Contents

Detailing the Labours of the Farmer, Farm-Steward, Ploughman, Shepherd, Hedger, Cattle-Man, Field-Worker, and Dairy-Maid

By Henry Stephens, F.R.S.E.

In Three Volumes with Numerous Illustrations

Originally published: 1842

Volume I

1. The Difficulties Which the Young Farmer Has to Encounter at the Outset of Learning Practical Husbandry

2. The Means of Overcoming Those Difficulties

3. The Kind of Information to Be Found in Existent Works on Agriculture

4. The Construction of “the Book of the Farm”

5. The Existing Methods of Learning Practical Husbandry

6. The Establishment of Scientific Institutions of Practical Agriculture

7. The Evils Attendant on Landowners Neglecting to Learn Practical Agriculture

8. Experimental Farms as Places for Instruction in Farming

9. A Few Words to Young Farmers Who Intend Emigrating as Agricultural Settlers to the Colonies

10. The Kind of Education Best Suited to Young Farmers

11. The Different Kinds of Farming

12. Choosing the Kind of Farming

13. Selecting a Tutor Farmer for Teaching Farming

14. The Pupilage

15. Dealing with the Details of Farming

16. The Steading or Farmstead

17. The Farm-House

18. The Persons Who Labour the Farm

19. The Weather in Winter

20. Climate

21. Observing and Recording Facts

22. Soils and Subsoils

23. Enclosures and Shelters

24. The Planting of Thorn Hedges

25. The Plough

26. The Various Modes of Ploughing Ridges

27. Draining

28. Yoking and Harnessing the Plough, and of Swing-Trees

29. Ploughing Stubble and Lea-Ground

30. Trench and Subsoil Ploughing, and Moor-Band Pan


Volume II

31. Drawing and Stowing Turnips, Mangel-Wurzel, Cabbage, Carrots, and Parsnips

32. The Feeding of Sheep on Turnips in Winter

33. Driving and Slaughtering Sheep

34. Rearing and Feeding Cattle on Turnips in Winter

35. Driving and Slaughtering Cattle

36. The Treatment of Farm-Horses in Winter

37. Fattening, Driving, and Slaughtering Swine

38. The Treatment of Fowls in Winter

39. Thrashing and Winnowing Grain, and of the Thrashing-Machine

40. The Wages of Farm-Servants

41. Corn Markets

42. The Farm Smith, Joiner, and Saddler

43. The Forming of Dunghills, and of Liquid Manure Tanks

44. Winter Irrigation


45. Cows, Calving, and Calves

46. The Advantages of Having Field-Work in a Foward State

47. Cross-Ploughing, Drilling, and Ribbing Land

48. Sowing Spring Wheat and Grass Seeds

49. Sowing Beans, Pease, Tares, Lucern, Saintfoin, Flax, and Hemp

50. Switching, Pruning, and Water-Tabling Thorn Hedges

51. Hiring Farm-Servants

52. Sowing Oat Seed

53. The Lambing of Ewes

54. The Training and Working The Shepherd’s Dog

55. Sowing Barley Seed

56. Turning Dunghills and Composts

57. Planting Potatoes

58. Breaking in Young Draught Horses

59. Sows Farrowing or Littering

60. The Hatching of Fowls


Volume III


61. The Sowing of Turnips, Mangel-Wurzel, Rape, Carrots, and Parsnips

62. Repairing the Fences of Grass-Fields, and the Proper Construction of Field-Gates

63. The Weaning of Calves, Bulls, and the Grazing of Cattle Till Winter

64. Mares Foaling, Stallons, and Horses at Grass

65. Sheep-Washing, Sheep-Shearing, and Weaning of Lambs

66. Rolling the Fleece, and the Qualities of Wool

67. The Making of Butter and Cheese

68. Weeding Corn, Green Crops, Pastures, and Hedges, and of Casualties to Plants

69. Hay-Making

70. Summer-Fallowing, and Liming the Soil

71. Building Stone-Dykes

72. Embankments Against Rivulets

73. Forming Water-Meadows

74. Breaking-In Young Saddle-Horses


75. Pulling Flax and Hemp, and of the Hop

76. Reaping Rye, Wheat, Barley, Oats, Beans, and Pease

77. Carrying in, and Stacking Wheat, Barley, Oats, Beans, and Pease

78. Drafting Ewes and Gimmers, Tupping Ewes, and Bathing and Smearing Sheep

79. Lifting and Pitting Potatoes

80. Sowing Autumn Wheat, and the Construction and Principles of Agricultural Wheel-Carriages

81. Eggs


82. Rotation of Crops

83. Fertilizing the Soil by Means of Manures

84. The Points Possessed by the Domesticated Animals Most Desirable for the Farmer to Cultivate

85. Making Experiments on Farms

86. Destroying and Scaring Vermin on Farms

87. Looking at a Farm – Its Rent – Its Lease – Its Stocking – the Capital Required for It

88. Improving Waste Land

89. Farm Book-Keeping

90. The Conveniences of the Cottages of Farm-Servants

91. The Care to be Bestowed on the Preservation of Implements



Read The Book of the Farm Volume 1

Download The Book of the Farm Volume 1



Read The Book of the Farm Volume 2

Download The Book of the Farm Volume 2



Read The Book of the Farm Volume 3

Download The Book of the Farm Volume 3


My name is Casey and I'm the creator of I created this site so I could share with you everything I know about farming and hopefully help you become a better farmer in the process.

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