Hi Folks! I'm R.J. Ruppenthal, the guy who wrote the book (or booklet) you're viewing.
Long story short: I never planned to become a gardening and food author. But I couldn't find the book I wanted, so I sat down and wrote what I thought people should know. That book did really well. Since then, readers have encouraged me to continue writing. I hope my books and articles can help you grow a little more of your own food.
Full story: When I lived in an apartment, it took me a long time to find any useful gardening information for small space gardeners with balconies, rooftops, decks, small backyards, and the like. At that time, nobody had written a good book on small space food growing. Every gardening book I ever read told me I needed many acres and full blast sunlight all day (neither of which I had).
Even so, I worked hard to create a garden on that first balcony. Some things I tried worked well while other ones failed miserably. I found out which vegetables grew best in partial shade and how to get the most production from this small balcony garden. I wanted to save other people some time and show them what was possible, so I ended up writing the Fresh Food From Small Spaces book in 2008. With the economic crisis and growth of interest in local food, that book became a bestseller.
Soon after, I was asked to serve as a columnist for a new magazine called Urban Farm, which is published by the great folks who produce Hobby Farms. I have written many columns and crop profile articles for Urban Farm, which is available online and at finer news stands.
Today, my first garden has expanded to a small yard that includes vegetables and fruit trees wherever I can fit them. We also have a chicken coop and a chicken run, which gives the chickens free range access to part of the yard but keeps them away from the veggies and blueberries. We feed the chickens with kitchen scraps and they peck up the bugs and weed seeds in the garden (OK, we give them a little organic chicken feed also). In return, we are rewarded with almost two dozen fresh eggs each week.
It's really easy to keep backyard chickens and I urge everyone to consider it. If you'd like to learn more, please check out my e-book called Backyard Chickens for Beginners. You can read it on a Kindle, iPad, iPhone, PC, or Mac with the Kindle app or on Amazon's online Cloud Reader.
Recently, I've written several other "e-booklet" titles that you can find by clicking on my name at the top. I'm particularly proud of the Blueberries in Your Backyard book, which shows people how simple it can be to grow this very tasty, healthy, yet expensive fruit. Also, I plan to stay active with the new blog here, so please bookmark this page and come visit me often. Contact me at freshfoodbook @ gmail.com (remove the spaces in that address if you e-mail me; I included them here so I don't get automatic spam).
In other news, I live in Northern California with my family, where I teach at a college and have a law license I rarely use. Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy my books and articles. Drop me a line if you have some comments and I'll see you in the garden!