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Garden Book Review: "Backyard Market Gardening"

About "Backyard Market Gardening"

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backyard market gardening book review

This classic gardening book is essential for those who are interested in earning an income from the garden. It explains how to grow and sell vegetables, herbs, fruit, flowers, and even small livestock from your garden.

Review: "Backyard Market Gardening"

Backyard Market Gardening informs prospective market gardeners about the ins and outs of using their garden to generate income. From selecting a niche, to gardening basics and tools of the trade, as well as marketing and business basics, this book is just bursting with information.

The introduction by George DeVault is inspiring, and he shares his own backyard market gardening story. It's a great start to the book, and the following chapters don't disappoint, providing a combination of inspiration and information that makes this an enjoyable read. Chapters included in the book include:

  • How I Started a $36,000 Business in My Backyard
  • Sites and Soils
  • Tools of the Trade
  • Marketing Is Fun
  • The New Gold Rush
  • The Game of Business
  • Small is Beautiful And Profitable
  • Weed, Disease, and Pest Control
  • A Plea for the Earth
  • Eco-Farming

The chapter, "Marketing is Fun," is the real meat of the book. Not only is it (by far) the longest chapter, but it provides ideas for where to sell your produce, how to set up a CSA or farm stand, how to sell at farmer's markets, and even how to simply sell from a card table in your front yard. If you don't read anything else in this book (which would be a shame!) this chapter is definitely a must-read.

There are also stories sprinkled throughout the book telling about the experiences of other successful backyard market gardeners. These are especially useful in illustrating the diversity and possibilities available to prospective backyard market gardeners.

My one bit of hesitation regarding this book is that it all seems too good to be true. Could I really earn a decent income in my limited amount of space, in my area of the country, in this economy? If nothing else, this book prompts us to just try it and see. Why not?

Quotes from "Backyard Market Gardening"

"It is the small, private farmers...who will cure much of what is wrong with agriculture today...Of that I have no doubt."

"Making the switch from home gardening to market gardening isn't all that difficult. It is mostly a frame of mind, combined with a management and technical shift to a larger garden."

"Sure there is competition between food growers and marketers in any given area, but for the most part it's healthy for the industry. It can be fun to be challenged by your peers."

"Think of market gardening as a system that has three major components: business planning, operations planning, and marketing planning. Your choice of a marketing system will affect how your business and operations planning will shape up."

"Each of us has a profitable market niche in our local or regional community that we can fill. If we can fill it properly, it will be profitable."

"Always remember that the business you are really in is that of building and maintaining relationships. By forming a loyal core group the small scale farmer can expand his or her business through the simple expedient word of mouth advertising."

"From a viewpoint of maximum profitability, my first choice in marketing systems would be a market garden with its own farm stand. "

Recommendation

I highly recommend Backyard Market Gardening to anyone who is looking at ideas for making a little extra income. Why not earn that income doing something you love?

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