Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham

by Gwen

Mini Farming

This is where I have been for two months.

Last year, I tried veggie gardening for the first time. Sure, I had done tomatoes before and always had fresh herbs, but I carved out a 10 X 12 space and tried pumpkins, watermelons, and cucumbers. It was a success, there are still a few pumpkins left from the harvest.

This year I thought, let’s go big, let’s take over the world with this gardening thing. So, among other books, I grabbed Mini Farming and learned that if I did it just right, I could produce just about everything we need for a year with only 1,400 square feet per person. (Commercial Agribusinesses use 30,000 square feet per person)

That’s AMAZING. I can feed my fam with only 2,800 square feet! (and 1,400 of that is just cover crops for compost) We were ready, I drove everyone (the dog and spouse) crazy with my planning, sketching, seed collecting, little plastic greenhouse creating. Calendars were created with frost dates and planting times and harvest times and who knows what times. There was a whole pad of graph paper involved and a lot of colored pencils.

I also started shopping for chickens and goats. The dog was really on board with that plan, he needs more buddies. The spouse let me go on and on and on with my grand plans, but he drew the line at getting a cow. That was too much, too soon.

You know what? I suck at guesstimating distance and things like just how much 2,800 square feet really is. It’s a lot of space. More than that, it is a lot of flipping digging. A. Lot.

Anywho, while many have been happily blogging away, I have been curbing my enthusiasm to a more manageable level. Mini Farming is an amazing book, it gets you excited, really excited. I was ready to go out there and do it. My suggestion would be just to not go overboard like I did. Going from one successful cucumber and pumpkin year to a full 1/4 acre garden/homestead is a shooting a wee bit high.

I am going to try to get back my reviewing mojo as soon as I can feel my knees and hands again.

Until then, here are some inspiring Gardening books that I have Chewed and Digested so far.


5 Comments to “Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham”

  1. The book looks beautiful! We just planted two raised garden beds at a wildlife refuge for the butterflies. I like in an urban setting though, and recently moved to a place with less garden space. Boo hoo. Whatever you accomplish, it will be more than last year! 🙂 Keep up the fun. (But, it sounds like you’ve done enough digging for one year.)

  2. Not sure why this wont let me log in as Heidi’sbooks. Oh well.

  3. No more digging for me. Butterflies! I would love to be able to grow more things to attract them. 

  4. I have a question I have a rbabit, and he eats herbs. They’re super expensive where I live, so I decided to plant my own for him I planted Basil, Cilantro and parsley in pots in my window seal in our sunroom. It’s been about 4 weeks now and all are sprouting up everywhere, but I put down a thick layer of seeds all around the pot, so they’re sprouting up SUPER thick. Do I HAVE to thin them out? If so, how do I do that? they’re still small. I just don’t want to kill them :/thanks.

  5. Love rabbits, but they can be a challenge with growing things. As to thinning, it kills me to pull out perfectly good growing wee guys too, but your results will be much better if you do thin the seedlings out. Crammed in there like that, they will have to fight over nutrients and space leaving you with a small harvest, if not a sickly one.

    You could pluck them out and spread them around to other places. In the past, I’ve used a butter knife to cut out small sections much like you would sod. (hope you know that sod is grass) You can also rinse off the ones that you thin and throw them in a salad or sandwich. Little basil sprouts give a light pow to them!

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