Farming is one of those things where there is no substitute for hands on experience and first hand learning. Even pasture walks and farm tours are a great way to see what other farmers are doing and how they handle problems and challenges. The bad news is that it isn’t always possible to learn first hand from an expert. Books can often help fill in some of the gaps and give you ideas and starting points for things to try on your own farm. Winter often leaves a slow season when outside work diminishes and there is plenty of time for researching and learning by the wood stove with a hot drink at hand.
I really cannot follow a recipe to save myself. I always have to change something and sometimes the end result only vaguely resembles the original recipe, in that it was inspired by it. A lot of the recipes I create end up being the result of contemplating what is in the fridge and how ambitious I feel that night.