No matter how small a plot of land you have, you can grow good food on it!
There is renewed interest in mini-farming, a return to the kitchen gardens and "urban farms" that were once common across America.
Whatever the reason -- a desire for inexpensive healthy food, wanting to "live green", connecting families to nature -- many people are turning to the library for information on how to:
These old-timey "country skills" have all but disappeared from our urban areas. Fortunately, the library has a wide variety of resources available to help keep these skills alive and take them new places, from time-tested classics to brand-new works aimed at a new generation.
Every piece of land can be farmed. The works below and the links will help you get started.
Overview of intensive agriculture -- How mini-farming works for you -- Raised beds -- Soil composition and maintenance -- Compost -- Plant nutrients in-depth -- Time and yield -- Watering and irrigation -- Crop proportions and sizing -- Pest and disease control -- Seed starting -- Selecting and saving seed -- Season extension -- Fruit trees and vines -- Raising chickens for eggs -- Raising chickens for meat -- The Markham farm chicken plucker -- Public domain thresher designs -- Preserving the harvest -- Selling your produce -- Putting it all together
Put the fruits of your labors front and center! With plentiful sun, open space, and an audience of appreciative passersby, the front yard has all the ingredients for a beautiful and bountiful garden. Let famed blogger and garden designer Ivette Soler show you how to make over all or part of that space -- too often simply unused or purely decorative -- into a gorgeously designed oasis of fruits and vegetables that will be the envy of the neighborhood.
The Edible Front Yard helps you combine the loveliest and tastiest edibles and ornamentals in a garden that is a year-round feast for the eyes. Soler teaches all the tricks, from laying out the design and choosing the best front yard plants, to clear instruction for a bounty of exciting projects like a fragrant carpet of herbs, a trellis privacy screen using runner beans, and an eye-catching raised bed that turns the hellstrip into a little patch of paradise. From the curb right up to your front door, the information in these pages includes everything you need to have a beautiful front yard and eat it too! - from the book jacket
You don't have to live on 50 acres to begin taking control over what you eat. In this comprehensive guide for city-dwellers on how to wean themselves off of commercial supermarkets, the authors map a plan for how to manage a busy, urban family life with home-grown foods, shared community efforts, and easy yet healthful practices.
More than just a few ideas about gardening and raising chickens, THE URBAN FARM HANDBOOK uses stories, charts, grocery lists, recipes, and calendars to inform and instruct. As busy urbanites who have learned how to do everything from making cheese and curing meat to collaborating with neighbors on a food bartering system, the authors share their own food journeys along with those of local producers and consumers who are changing the food systems in the Pacific Northwest. - from the book jacket
The Indispensable Guide to Food Self-Sufficiency!
Put your backyard to work - Enjoy fresher, organic, better-tasting food all the time. The solution is as close as your own backyard. Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves; keep bees; raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. The Backyard Homestead shows you how it's done. And when the harvest is in, you'll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor.
Learn how to: milk a goat -- prune a fruit tree -- dry herbs -- make dandelion wine -- bake whole-grain bread -- make fresh mozzarella -- brew beer -- mill grains for flour -- save seeds for next season -- and a whole lot more
When Spring Warren told her husband and sons that she wanted to grow 75 percent of all the food they consumed for one year - and that she wanted to do it in their yard - they told her she was crazy.
She did it anyway.- from the book jacket
In this indispensable guide, Farm City author Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal share their experience as successful urban farmers and provide practical blueprints-complete with rich visual material-for novice and experienced growers looking to bring the principles of ethical food to the city streets. The Essential Urban Farmer guides readers from day one to market day, advising on how to find the perfect site, design a landscape, and cultivate crops. For anyone who has ever grown herbs on windowsills, or tomatoes on fire escapes, this is an invaluable volume with the potential to change our menus, our health, and our cities forever. -- from the book jacket
As a city dweller, you may have dreamed of one day growing your own vegetables, raising a few egg-laying chickens, and maybe even going off the grid with environmentally friendly forms of energy. Your dream is closer to reality than ever before!
The urban homesteading movement is growing and flourishing in cities large and small all over the country. Even if you're an apartment dweller with little or no outdoor space, this helpful guide gives you everything you need to know to get the taste of the "country life" in the city.
When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a "permaculture paradise" replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa - all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. The garden - intended to function like a natural ecosystem with the plants themselves providing most of the garden's needs for fertility, pest control, and weed suppression - also features an edible water garden, a year-round unheated greenhouse, tropical crops, urban poultry, and even silkworms.In telling the story of Paradise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and, of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process. Packed full of detailed, useful information about designing a highly productive permaculture garden, Paradise Lot is also a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts, they succeed.
Got a few feet of space in the sun?
That's all you need to grow bowls of gourmet salad, a basket of heirloom tomatoes, an armful of green beans, and a big batch of herbs. Or you could raise two hens for nearly 600 fresh eggs a year. Or keep bee hives and harvest more honey than your family can eat.
Written specifically for city dwellers, this one-of-a-kind, all-in-one resource tells how to grow organic produce, raise livestock including chickens, ducks, rabbits, and goats, and even run a small farm in any urban environment, from a rooftop or window box to a city lot or backyard.
"Homesteading" is earthbound skills in a digital age, and authenticity in a mass-produced world. Meyer reinterprets yesterday's necessities for today's enthusiast, helping you put your lawn, windowsill, or spare closet to work as your own personal homestead in the city, and reap the rewards. - from the book jacket
Not just the "how-to's", but the "why's" of urban homesteading!
In an era when go local, organic food, and sustainability are on the tip of everyone's tongue, Harriet Fasenfest's A Householder's Guide to the Universe takes up the banner of progressive homemaking and urban farming as a way to confront the political, social, and environmental issues facing our world today. While offering grass-roots practical advice on how to shop, garden, run a household, preserve and cook food, and more, Fasenfest also discusses the philosophy of householding. In A Householder's Guide to the Universe, which is organized acccording to season and presented in monthly installments, Fasenfest invites the reader into her home, garden, and kitchen to consider consider concrete tools for change. Streetwise and poetic, fierce and romantic, the book provides not only a way out of our current economic and environmental logjam but also a readable and often funny analysis of how we got here. - from the back cover
The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home is not about extreme, off-the-grid living. It's for city and suburban dwellers with day jobs: people who love to cook, love fresh, natural ingredients, and love old techniques for preservation; people who like doing things themselves with a needle and thread, garden hoe, or manual saw. Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson spread the spirit of antiquated self-sufficiency throughout the household.
Bake bread - Plant an apple tree - Shop locally - Keep chickens - Grow window box herbs - Pick berries - Collect rainwater - Make jam - Raise a pig - Save energy - Design an herb garden - Compost
An award-winning food journalist examines alternative food systems in cities around the globe and chronicles a game-changing movement, a rebellion against the industrial food behemoth, and a reclaiming of communities to grow, distribute, and eat locally.
Including the Five Crops You Need To Survive and Thrive - Potatoes, Corn, Beans, Squash, and Eggs
Gardening and resilience -- The plant-gardener covenant: 33 golden gardening rules -- Gardening in an era of wild weather and climate change -- Diet and food resilience -- Labor and exercise -- Water and watering -- Soil and fertility -- Potatoes -- The laying flock -- Squash and pumpkins -- Beans -- Corn
The classic (originally published 1935) on working a small farm for self-sufficiency. The basics don't change!
However limited the space available, you only need the determination to abandon your space-wasting lawn and flowerbeds in exchange for a program of planned crop rotation for every inch of your garden to become a highly productive unit. You will save money, your end products will be fresh and delicious, and your garden will be a fine example of a dying breed: the cottage garden of yesteryear. - pg. 40
Working the soil - Keeping ducks - Planning the year - Making cheese - Judging the land - Planting an orchard - Curing bacon - Using an anvil - Choosing livestock - Turning compost - Growing grain - Putting up fences - Selecting poultry - Canning - Feeding Geese - Rotating crops - Winemaking - Becoming a shepherd - Harnessing a horse - Shearing sheep - Sharpening tools - Spinning wool - Milking a cow - Raising exotic animals - Harvesting honey - Storing fruit - Maintaining a tractor - Restoring a pond - Helping with lambing - Churning butter - Sowing seeds - Controlling weeds - Harvesting wheat - Grinding flour - Making shelters - Filling sausages - Baking bread - Storing potatoes - Baling hay - Hanging a gate - Plowing - Weaning a piglet - Pressing cider
There is great satisfaction in growing your own food. If you grow enough to preserve, it gives a feeling of security to see food put up for winter and a warm feeling knowing that you grew it yourself.
Even the smallest piece of land can be "homesteaded", a connection with the land in an urban setting.
Guerrilla gardening refers to folks growing food crops in alleyways, empty lots, and otherwise unused spaces.
Many community gardens started as guerrilla gardens.
Click through to search the Library catalog for titles on: