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Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre Paperback – April 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602399840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602399846
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (330 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A concept destined to appeal to that intrepid individual whose independent nature finds the idea of abandoning the grocery store alluring.” (Carol Haggas - Booklist)

“A helpful addition, alongside Bartholomew and Jeavons, for the serious DIY gardener.” (Margaret Heller - Library Journal)

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.

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

It is easy to read, easy to understand and very informative.
PHOUGHTON
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to get the most from your land and your garden.
Old Wilderness
Very detailed information and gives reference to other great books.
Chris Davis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

491 of 503 people found the following review helpful By MYOB on April 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just read this book and I am very impressed. It compares favorably both to classics of intensive gardening and to classics on self sufficiency. Less complicated than How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits: (And Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) (How to Grow More Vegetables: (And Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains,), less expensive and resource-hogging (in terms of peat moss, vermiculite, and grids) than All New Square Foot Gardening (which is still well worth buying for the beginning gardener; the charts on planting for a continuous three-season harvest alone are probably worth the price of the book). More focused and with more current (though perhaps still debatable) numbers than One Acre and Security: How to Live Off the Earth Without Ruining It, and written for an even smaller (and tractor-free) scale than Successful Small-Scale Farming: An Organic Approach (Down-To-Earth Book).

This book contains the simplest and most understandble description of double-digging that I have ever read, and the simplest way of placing seeds at the correct spacing in intensive gardening.
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456 of 473 people found the following review helpful By John McNamara on September 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been gardening for 40 years and have read hundreds of articles and books on gardening. This one is "hands down" the
best one I have read. Markham takes complex topics and explains them in plain english. For example, I now know exactly how to modify soil Ph with specific products in specific measure. I understand how each element influences the equation and why using a variety of soil amendments is advisable. I finally understand the value of Boron in plant physiology with smart ways to apply it. I now "get it" about what bio-char is, how to make it, and why it is important to my soil. I finally understand exactly why deep roto-tilling actually hurts the soil even though it "looks good" in the garden. Thank you Brett!
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89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By A. Gift For You on October 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
This was just a really well done book. I liked they way Markham wrote and he explained things well. I had started a few years ago with the Square Foot Gardening and we had good success with it. But I wanted to expand it and in reality couldn't POSSIBLE afford the expense of the planting mixture Bartholomew suggest so came up with my own. So I also started to consider expanding the 4x4 squares to a wide 32" row and the length of the garden area, but still keep the intense planting for the benefits. And low and behold here's Markham writing about it and giving tips on accomplishing it. He doesn't hide behind the fact hat it's work to get those rows started. Double digging rows SUCKS! And he expresses that as well. It makes me feel better doing it when I read others agree it's hard work but needs to be done.

Having the background he does Markham is VERY anal and exact on his numbers for what's needed and the amounts. He has done FANTASTIC job of researching articles and books and brings them together. So this book is actually a wealth of knowledge from other sources. The Bibliography in the back is a GREAT resource as well.

I had considered the soil blocks from my seedlings in the past but never thought the expense was worth it. But he brings to light the whole world of it and also a link to an article on the Internet that will then lead you to other areas on the Internet for research of this subject. My point being: You learning doesn't have to stop with JUST reading this book. He shows you a path to follow that will lead you on your own research.

Markham incorporates a lot of other known farmer/writers works into his daily workings. It's something (with all the reading I've done of those others) being work towards. But he's actually DONE it and IS doing it.
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415 of 460 people found the following review helpful By Burgundy Damsel VINE VOICE on August 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
I felt like this book was more of a coffee table picture book than a helpful guide to getting started on self sufficiency. There is plenty of information in the pages, but it's all in block paragraphs that run together. I'd have to go through with highlighter and sticky notes to mark it if I wanted to find anything again.

I much preferred The Backyard Homestead. It had much more easily referenced information and more user-friendly instructions, both written and illustrated. Definitely check Mini Farming out of your library to make sure its the choice for you before you invest in it.
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107 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Modern Dayhippy on August 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw this book and knew I had to have it. Not only does this book contain in depth details about gardening, food preservation, raising chickens, and a plethora of recipes and other topics, it also contains oodles of full color beautiful pictures that show step by step instructions for some things, as well as pictures to admire. A very gorgeous and well put together book that I will use as a reference for years and years to come. A must have!
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