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Garden Book Review: "Micro Eco-Farming"

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review of Barbara Berst Adams' Micro Eco-Farming

In Micro Eco-Farming: Prospering from Backyard to Small Acreage in Partnership with the Earth, Barbara Berst-Adams explains the concept of micro farming and gives tips for how to start a micro farm of your own, whether you're starting with an urban back yard or a few acres. Providing examples of different micro farm operations, this book will enable you to look at your back yard in a new way.

Review: "Micro Eco-Farming"

As people show more interest in locally-grown foods, back yard gardeners have an opportunity to turn their hobby into income. This can be done, successfully, while maintaining a healthy eco-system and growing less-common varieties of vegetables, no matter how much, or how little, space you have.

Barbara Berst Adams provides a good amount of information to get you going if you decide that microfarming is for you. The book begins with Berst Adams' own story of micro farming, and a quick look at others who are using their back yards to feed their communities while earning an income. Subsequent chapters include information on growing heirloom vegetables and other specialty crops, animals for a micro farm, working in tandem with nature, methods for micro eco-farming, how to get started, and how families and micro farming work together. One of the most useful parts of the book is the appendix, in which Berst Adams lists 25 unique micro eco-farm themes. These include a u-milk dairy, a picnic farm, farmer's snack stand, fruit delivery service, houseplant farm, a farm that caters to chefs, a small goat dairy, and others. Themed farms, such as potato-only, or grape-only farms are also discussed. Even if none of the ideas suit your situation, they are sure to get you thinking about the possibilities.

While the book was definitely inspiring, those serious about wanting to get into micro farming will need to seek out other resources. Here are some books I'd recommend:

Quotes from "Micro Eco-Farming"

"No, we don't need corporate agribusiness to save us from starvation. Food is our excuse to co-create with nature instead of being passive recipients; to reach across species; to mingle with other humans; and to listen to an earthly rhythm."

"There is a change among those who farm in this century. They are not different than what they used to be. They are more of what they always were. Some come from generations of farmers or gardeners. Some have just joined those who earn a living from the earth. Regardless, they seem to have taken a long-lost power back. Are you one of them?"

"Fueling this new entity -- the micro eco-farm -- are several supporting changes in human values. These include the environmental and health movement, the delicious 'Slow Food Movement,' the push to strengthen local economies and the parents wanting their kids to connect to nature and their food source again."

"It often doesn't feel so much like a business separate from leisure and hobby time, and it gets less and less important to distinguish 'work' from 'play.'"

Recommendation

I would definitely recommend Micro Eco-Farming to anyone who has wondered whether they could really make money from their garden. The ideas and encouragement in the book make it a useful starting place in any journey toward micro farming.

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