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Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

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Overview


Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre—and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and ...
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Overview


Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre—and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more. Because self-suf?ciency is the objective, subjects such as raising backyard chickens and home canning are also covered along with numerous methods for keeping costs down and production high. Materials, tools, and techniques are detailed with photographs, tables, diagrams, and illustrations.
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Editorial Reviews

Carol Haggas - Booklist
“A concept destined to appeal to that intrepid individual whose independent nature finds the idea of abandoning the grocery store alluring.”
Booklist
“A concept destined to appeal to that intrepid individual whose independent nature finds the idea of abandoning the grocery store alluring.”— Carol Haggas
Booklist - Carol Haggas
“A concept destined to appeal to that intrepid individual whose independent nature finds the idea of abandoning the grocery store alluring.”
Library Journal
Intensive growing methods can allow gardeners with small lots to offset seriously the yearly grocery bill. Markham has adapted, through years of experimentation, the techniques developed by such gardener-authors as Mel Bartholomew (Square Foot Gardening) and John Jeavons (How To Grow More Vegetables and Fruits). In this revised and expanded version of his 2006 self-published book, now with almost double the text and with 250 color photographs, Markham suggests that a small family (with one outside income) can come out economically ahead by following his strategies, provided that their overhead is low and that they produce more calorie-dense foods in addition to vegetables and fruits. His instructions for projects show how to spend as little capital as possible in order to keep the operation economical, with plenty of references for more in-depth study. Although he does not cover wine and cheese making, there is plenty on soil minerals. VERDICT While not as hip as other recent books on urban homesteading, such as Carleen Madigan's The Backyard Homestead and Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen's The Urban Homestead, this differs by focusing on practicality and the bottom line. A helpful addition, alongside Bartholomew and Jeavons, for the serious DIY gardener.—Margaret Heller, Dominican Univ. Lib., River Forest, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602399846
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 61,720
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Brett L. Markham is an engineer, third-generation farmer, and polymath. Using the methods explained in his book, he runs a profitable, Certified Naturally Grown mini farm on less than half an acre. Brett works full time as an engineer for a broadband ISP and farms in his spare time. He lives in New Ipswich, New Hampshire.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 10, 2010

    Edible Gardening - A how-to for growing food yourself, instead of buying from the store!

    Dear Fellow Readers,

    I found the structure of the book to be done quite well. Each progressive chapter flows easily from the previous one. The information is clearly written, such that even a novice gardener can grasp concepts and techniques. Seems like all of the bases are covered and one can begin utilizing the information immediately. The images are also done well, giving the reader lots of viusal queues and inspiration. I especially liked the author's inclusion of cost analysis to argue for this type of gardening versus buying from big grocery stores. Showing how an average, but dedicated individual can grow almost everything they need (veggies, fruits, nuts) in a very small space, only about 1/4 of an Acre and save some big $$$. That really motivated me to read all the way through and start to plan my own food garden!

    Even if a reader, like myself, is just starting out and has but a little time and say about 600 sf of space in their backyard/sideyards, the health and financial benefits can be very much worth it. Besides, growing things, especially things that you can EAT, is fun exercise and I find it a meditative activity.

    This is easily the most usable Gardening book I have read so far, and I've read quite a number of them already. I wish I had found this one sooner!

    Respectfully,
    Callileah

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    good book

    There are a LOT of these books out now, but one of the things that sets this one apart is the easy design for a chicken plucker. I really enjoyed the format of this book, it is packed with useful information to help you get started.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Great book

    Gives you a basic understanding of everything you need to start your own mini farm and suggests place for you to find more information on each subject if you desire.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    Good Book!

    This book is good for anyone interested in living a more self sufficent lifestyle. Full of information along with pictures demonstrating diffrent techniques for growing and maintaning your own gardens.

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  • Posted September 19, 2012

    This is a very good book with lots of helpful information for th

    This is a very good book with lots of helpful information for the smaller scale farmer/ large scale gardener. My only complaint is that I bought the Nook version and most of the charts and tables used in it are too small to see on any of my devices, iPad or laptop. I recommend a slight change to make these larger and able to be read if possible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Great reference for beginners and not so beginners, too.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    good book.

    great for the small farmer

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    Posted September 20, 2011

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    Posted November 17, 2013

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    Posted April 9, 2013

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    Posted December 17, 2012

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    Posted August 23, 2010

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    Posted April 5, 2011

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