Welcome back to The Survival Gardener Book of the Week!
Last week we covered Herrick Kimball’s inspiring garden ideas book… and this week, we’re continuing the series with a very popular gardening book.
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett Markham is a non-stop seller.
And there’s a reason for that: it’s a dream of many to become self-sufficient; however, they think it takes a lot of space.
Markham’s ideas are based on everything from permaculture to Square Foot Gardening and you’re certain to be impressed by the small amount of space in which he manages to grow tons of food (literally).
Markham also covers chickens and has a section on how to build a simple homemade chicken plucker.
For those of us who are deep into theory and have read widely across the gardening spectrum, Mini Farming reads more as a synthesis of ideas and methods into a successful backyard farming operation.
Brett writes on his website:
“Mini Farming is not a hobby. It is undertaken with a specific economic objective. Unlike a garden, even if the food is produced only for your household, it is run like a business. By that I mean that conscientious efforts are made to adopt methods and materials that minimize costs and labor while maximizing productivity.
Unlike industrial agriculture, the focus in a Mini Farm is sustainability. The whole idea is to move food production local; so outside inputs are minimized. An industrial farm might adopt a labor-intensive method that makes economic sense only because of the ability to import immigrant labor at $2/hour; or it might adopt a fertilizer-intensive approach that only makes sense with a specific variety of a given crop. Mini farming focuses on building and then maintaining long-term soil fertility using natural processes. By doing this, even if there is no fertilizer to be had or a specific plant variety becomes unavailable, your food output isn’t compromised.
The idea, too, is self-sufficiency. The future holds economic turmoil from a lot of different directions and the impacts and timing are unpredictable. You want to be able to supply a vital necessity for yourself and your family without being inordinately dependent on materials being trucked in from 1500 miles away or shipped on a slow boat from China. The more you can do yourself, the better.”
I like that approach.
As the book description reads:
“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.”
It really is a cool system. Get the book on Amazon here.