Start a mini farm on a quarter acre or less, provide 85 percent of the food for a family of four and earn an income.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-sufﬁciency 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.
Brett L. Markham
April 1, 2010
File Size: 74 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese
“A concept destined to appeal to that intrepid individual whose independent nature finds the idea of abandoning the grocery store alluring.” (Carol Haggas – Booklist)“A helpful addition, alongside Bartholomew and Jeavons, for the serious DIY gardener.” (Margaret Heller – Library Journal) About the Author Brett L. Markham is an engineer, third-generation farmer, and polymath. The author of the bestselling Mini Farming series, 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. <div id="
I have read maybe fifty books on farming techniques, and had really high expectations for this one. Sadly, it is one of three books I have asked a refund on since I started buying books on Amazon back around 2001. I was dismayed, disgusted and disappointed by the complete lack of respect this writer showed his readers. Instead of illustrating his ideas, and giving us details, each chapter followed the same formula: ” A: here is an idea I stole from someone else. B: this is who I stole it from. C: brief summary of stolen idea. D: want to know more? Read a book from the original author of the idea I stole!” I’m not making this up! Please save yourself the money and buy “Urban Homestead ” by Kelly Coyne or “Gaia’s Garden” by Toby Hemenway or better yet, subscribe to Mother Earth News instead. These are only 3 of the myriad of truly helpful publications you would be better off buying. BTW, Mother Earth News has a wonderful website wth free info. So does Urban Homestead. Forewarned is forearmed. Yards are for food, not chemicals. 🙂
This was quite a disappointment. We have a couple of acres that we’re planning on farming when we retire and we figured that if you can do it on a quarter acre then it should be easy to grow most of what we need on our property so we bought this in print and kindle. We should have saved our money on both.The book completely fails to deliver on the promise, in fact, there’s almost no mention of how to grow intensively and virtually no pictures of the author or anyone else actually doing it. There are a few stock photos of vegetables and then maybe 20 or 30 copies of the same photo of long grass in the book. What’s up with that? I eat grass – once converted to beef – but all those grass pictures could have been replaced with pictures of his own 1/4 acre intensive garden – assuming he actually has one. It’s not clear at all from the book.90% of the content of the book is standard articles easily available in any gardening book, magazine, website, or a dozen other places on how to create compost, how to plant, how to harvest, etc… nothing at all that is unique or special to an intensive garden. Look at urbanhomestead dot org for an example of great pictures of intensive gardening. You’ll find nothing at all like that in this book.
I am so surprised this has such high ratings. Despite the title, this book does not help you get to self-sufficiency on 1/4 acre. While it contains some good information, it is not a great book to help you actually plan and implement a garden. For example, it doesn’t discuss companion planting, which is HUGE. I ended up returning this book and buying a copy of The Backyard Homestead which is way more helpful if you are trying to actually plan a garden.
This is the worst excuse for a book I have seen in a while. I wish I had read the reviews. Buyer beware. it is nothing but pictures and rehashed summaries at best. NOT WORTH THE MONEY and isn’t even produced in the USA. Definitely not local suppliers. RIP OFF! MY rating is a ZERO, but they would not let me choose that. $30.00 down the toilet… At least it can be used for TP!
While I’ve maintained small gardens and potted plants for years, for a good 5 years I’ve casually kept a 1,000 square foot garden. I’ve mostly winged it, sometimes with surprisingly good results, other times with dismal harvests. But, in any event, never consistent year over year results.I picked up this book to take my gardening to the next level and broaden my horizons a bit. And, in short, I’m very satisfied with the insights and guidance I’ve gleaned from this book. I’d go so far as to say that while you don’t need a background in gardening to benefit from this book, I think this book is a perfect fit for people in my situation. Here’s pros and cons from my perspective.Pros:- The content of each chapter is very well organized, with concepts building onto one another very neatly.- And for that matter, the broader subject matters of the chapters takes one through the process of planning, preparing, selecting, timing, managing, etc. most everything one would need to successfully grow a garden.- This book strikes a good balance between giving you the key information you need for any one aspect of self sufficient gardening, but not inundating you with to much detail. In other words, this book threads the needle on delivering a lot of helpful information, while still feeling like an easy read.- I’ve seen other reviews for this book that complain that the author pretty much rips off others ideas and re-packages them for profit. I read quite a bit, and have over the years seen serious examples of what these other reviewers are talking about. But, in the case of this book, while the author informs on alternative (and even competing models) for gardening, the author always informs the user on what in his experience has or has NOT worked from various models, how he has modified some of those ideas to work in his growing climate, and where he completely parts ways from others’ techniques and espouses his own approach (including very clear instruction on how to use his modified or totally unique processes).- Finally, where possible, the author provides the equivalent of ‘modified workouts’ for those less fit (my words, not his) in their gardening abilities. In other words, the author provides sufficient detail on what might be the most efficient and beneficial approach to say irrigation or composting, but then across those and other subjects covered in the book, he provides a less expensive/quicker/initially easier alternative for those lacking the time, resources, space, skills, etc. to fully implement the best possible approach for one aspect or another of gardening. For example, as I’ll be looking to expand my garden this next spring, I fully intend to utilize some of the quicker soil prep techniques offered up in this book for use in a pinch while I build up my long-term composting and soil amendment routines.Cons:- While some of the chapters really cover all the bases for the targeted subject matter (i.e. plant spacing, soil prep, etc.). Others give you just enough to run with, but definitely leave you wanting more. A good example of this would be Chapter 7 (“Time and Yield”). While the author definitely gives a good broad overview of timing techniques (i.e. succession planting, timed planting, interplanting etc.), for such an important subject matter, I was surprised (in a disappointed kind of way) by just how short this chapter was. I live in Michigan, with a relatively short growing season. I see this topic as critical for people in shorter growing zones like me, and apart from a quick overview of each of the techniques used to maximize productivity, and a handful of real-world examples of plant groups that work well for things like succession planting (taking into consideration their hardiness in colder climates), this chapter really leaves readers wanting.- While this book is beautifully illustrated, there’s no doubting that the abundance of pretty pictures of garden produce, chickens, tools, etc. just serves as fill to make the book feel a bit more substantial in size than it need be. I don’t want to over play this point, as A LOT of the illustrations (pictures/graphics/tables) are pertinent to the content of the book (and in any event, some amount of artwork is always nice to have), I think you could still produce this book, with many beautiful illustrations, and reduce it from its current 227 pages (including the index and notes pages) down to maybe 175 pages.
If you actually want a real book about acre farming, this is NOT the book. It is filled with meaningless color photos and large print. Very little substance. I am not sure how it got so many good reviews. I even went back to the book after I saw all the good reviews and still, it is not a very helpful book. You need something that is going to help you plan out your yard and walk you through all the items needed. I found The Backyard homestead to have some good information, especially with plantings and garden planning.
So much information in this book! My wife and I were new to gardening and this book is now our go to reference for anything garden related!
Really disappointed with the book as it is written for an American smallholder and most of the content isn’t relevant for anyone in the UK. Didn’t feel there was much I could take from this book at all.
There were some useful bits of information in this book but obviously its intended for people who want to operate on a larger scale than an allotment. Also, it’s a US book so all if the website and store recommendations are useless for the UK, certain other things like measurements and US pests etc.
This book is a thoroughly good read to introduce you to the idea of efficient food production on a small plot, and effectively bypasses the more traditional folklore-based practices of traditional home veg growers. Various named theories of intensive growing are explained and appraised.There is good science here, explained clearly, and with sufficient information and references to explore further. Although the writer’s experience is in New England, the book makes it very simple to convert everything to a place with different climate.I read the book through in a couple of days. It was something of a page turner! I am now using it as a reference for development of my own far-from-perfect plot.
The book is comprehensive, covering all sorts of details on the subject, a really good read overall. Obviously it’s a USA based text so for us in the UK we need to substitute the appropriate English word…! Mike
Just getting started in gardening and did not find this book to be very helpful. Covers a lot of different topics but doesn’t really go into enough detail to allow you to get started, have had to supplement with other books and youtube videos. Quick read – took about 1 hour to read through the entire book. Further revisions should include more details about exactly how to go about doing things. It’s too broad and vague for my purposes.
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