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Mini Farming Guide to Vegetable Gardening: Self-Sufficiency from Asparagus to Zucchini (Mini Farming Guides) Paperback – June 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brett L. Markham is an engineer, third-generation farmer, and polymath. Using the methods explained in his book, he runs a profitable, Certified Naturally Grown mini farm on less than half an acre. Brett works full time as an engineer for a broadband ISP and farms in his spare time. He lives in New Ipswich, New Hampshire.

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Product Details

  • Series: Mini Farming Guides
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616086157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616086152
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi! I'm Brett, your friendly mini-farming guru! I really have no idea what to say about myself that others might find useful or interesting, but I'll give it a try.

I'm interested in almost everything. I play lots of instruments and compose music, design custom embedded microcontrollers, have a ham radio license etc. etc. etc. But along with being a "thing" person I am a people person in that I care a lot about people and their wellbeing in the world around us.

That is what led me to write books. I have published other material under various pseudonyms; but the central idea is that these books, in some way, are intended to either help people help themselves or make sense of a world that can seem very chaotic.

I live on a mini-farm in New Hampshire where I grow a ton of food for purposes of self sufficiency plus raise some livestock. I shovel chicken manure about once a month, and believe (or hope) it is good for my character.

I do a lot of experimentation and research, and when I hit on something that will help people, I write about it.

I'm an intrinsically helpful guy; so feel free to send me inquiries about gardening via my website at www.markhamfarm.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Ken H on August 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My purpose for writing this review is mainly to warn you that this book is the first 18 chapters of the Maximizing Your Mini Farm book. Word for word it's the same! However it does have a chapter 19 that is not in the bigger book. You don't need both books, just buy Maximizing Your Mini Farm since it has an additional 8 chapters not found in this smaller book. I bought both books and feel ripped off. I'm going to see if I can return this one.

Having said that, this is an excellent book with many great tips for growing veggies. Unlike the first 2 Mini Farming books, it's also the size of a typical book. While the pictures are beautiful, they're not particularly enlightening, with a few exceptions.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Brett Markham begins this book with some excellent reasons for growing your own vegetables. He goes beyond most authors' reasoning. He states that medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. so eat your vegetables to prevent as much contact with the medical community as possible; and "vegetables that are available for you to purchase at the supermarket are overwhelmingly horrible." It is true that vegetables today and fruit do not taste as good as they used to; so with this book, one has the power to grow some more favorable vegetables, although I still cringe at the claim of self-sufficiency, which really requires more than vegetable gardening.

There are chapters covering: soil and fertility, asparagus, beans, beets and chard, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, carrots and parsnips, corn, cucumbers, greens, herbs, melons, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, turnips, rutabagas and radishes and permaculture with perennial vegetables.

There are many good suggestions in here, such as using raised beds for growing your vegetables, although he misses one reason for them - they lend themselves to easier harvesting. The importance of composting is emphasized. There are many instances when the author's cynicism shows through..."asparagus in stores is sold by the pound, so it is sometimes sold when old and the stems are woody (so it weighs more)." He also believes in the importance of keeping asparagus plants away from anything arsenic such as pressure treated wood, since they suck up arsenic..."it is entirely possible for someone who disregards this advice to munch an asparagus stalk and then quite often flop over dead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My problem with this book is that it is nearly entirely a page for page copy from his other book "Maximizing Your Minifarm". I was expecting it to contain more info than this previous book that I already owned. The fact that I purchased this book under a different title makes me feel cheated. The content is good, but there should be some disclaimer out there that this material isn't new, despite it having a different title.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian on June 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you ever wondered what type of vegetable garden to plant, and when best or how best to do it, then "The Mini Farming Guide to Vegetable Gardening" is the book for you. Brett Markham takes you through the ins and outs of everything you ever wanted to know about vegetable gardening, from seed and soil and season to table. This book is essential for anybody who's got a small plot of garden space on a city rooftop or a suburban backyard, and even for larger rural farming ambitions. Beyond just the practicalities of growing your own vegetables, you'll find from the Forward alone a compelling narrative by the author, touching upon both health and moral reasons for growing your own micronutrient rich vegetables.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rylee and Gage on August 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Very helpful book well written. My garden has never been more plentiful than this year. The books advice helped me solve a lot of last seasons problems.
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By J Kartzinel on February 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
First - the information in this book is phenomenal. If you are only going to buy one of Markham's books, this isn't a bad choice. But there are better choices. His other book, "Maximizing Your Mini Farm," is (in my opinion) a better option. It contains everything this book does, except for a chapter on perennial veggies (Chapter 19), but it also has a lot more information. For about $5 more, you get at least twice the information, and you don't have to buy both!

Recap: Buy "Maximizing Your Mini Farm." It has all the information in this book and a whole lot more too.
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By Marilyn Breed on August 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mini Farming Guide to Vegetable Gardening: Self-Sufficiency from Asparagus to Zucchini (Mini Farming Guides)Great book with information on planting and harvesting. A very big help to a first time gardener such as myself. The book was well written with great details. BIG HELP!!
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