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Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production On A Few Acres

Across North America, an agricultural renaissance is unfolding. A growing number of market gardeners are emerging to feed our appetite for organic, regional produce. But most of the available resources on food production are aimed at the backyard or hobby gardener who wants to supplement their family's diet with a few homegrown fruits and vegetables. Targeted at serious growers in every climate zone, Sustainable Market Farming is a comprehensive manual for small-scale farmers raising organic crops sustainably on a few acres. Informed by the author's extensive experience growing a wide variety of fresh, organic vegetables and fruit to feed the approximately one hundred members of Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia, this practical guide provides: Detailed profiles of a full range of crops, addressing sowing, cultivation, rotation, succession, common pests and diseases, and harvest and storage Information about new, efficient techniques, season extension, and disease resistant varieties Farm-specific business skills to help ensure a successful, profitable enterprise Whether you are a beginning market grower or an established enterprise seeking to improve your skills, Sustainable Market Farming is an invaluable resource and a timely book for the maturing local agriculture movement. Pam Dawling is a contributing editor with Growing for Market magazine. An avid vegetable grower, she has been farming as a member of Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia for over twenty years, where she helps grow food for around one hundred people on three and a half acres, and provides training in sustainable vegetable production.

Paperback: 456 pages

Publisher: New Society Publishers (February 23, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0865717168

ISBN-13: 978-0865717169

Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8 x 9.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #203,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #140 in Books > Science & Math > Agricultural Sciences > Sustainable Agriculture #178 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Technique > Organic #187 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Gardening

I've been market farming a few years and own a LOT of books on farming - Eliot Coleman, Joel Salatin, etc., but this is by far the most useful book for me and my operation. Reading the book is like touring the author's farm, with details about what tools the farm uses, varieties of seeds, specifics about succession planting, seed starting, etc. I dragged my feet a few weeks on buying this book as I didn't want another book gathering dust on the bookshelf, but I use this all the time. It's well organized and indexed, and I find it very easy to find what I'm looking for. I highly recommend it.

The specific information on each crop (soil preferences, germination to temperature ratios, succession planting schedules, etc) could have been more efficiently streamlined for quick reference. I appreciate being able to read more deeply into these details, but as I need to revisit the material multiple times, it would be nice to see this information in a chart rather than buried in text.That being said, I am impressed by the amount and clarity of the information available in the book regardless. This text is broken into two sections. The first really is well honed towards the individual who needs clear advice on building a long-term sustainable model. The second half goes into detail on how to grow a basic variety of staple crops. Other books I've looked into either don't address address the foundational material as well, or they are bogged down by pronouncements and proselytizing about sustainability. Of course sustainability is important, but the preaching to the choir seems to be a particularly problematic when it bloats a text. Thankfully this manual is focused solidly on the HOW rather than the WHY. I'm looking forward to experimenting with her advice into this year.

We purchased this to add to our library inventory and it has been popular, even with those who have been working on farms all their lives. Besides the acres of crops, many times the family sets aside one-half to one acre for personal "gardening" and this book was perfect for this!

My only regret is that I can't recall who recommended this... I owe them a thanks. As already mentioned in another review, the author avoids the choir preaching that seems to handicap so many of this genre. No real fluff, just functional substance. My first time through was a labor, although not due to the style or any deficiency of information, quite the opposite. Initially I was dog earring pages of interest. Then, once realizing the futility of my acts (nearly every other page was bent over) I resorted to highlighting. Well then I had to wait for the pages to dry before I could turn them. Not quite but almost the literal truth. Lots of good and unique information not found somewhere else. Wish I had had this 30 years ago.I'd have a hard time thinking of a gardener or market grower that wouldn't find this a worthy tome. Not to overstate it but I would consider it one of my top shelf references, right up there with Eliot Coleman, Booker T. Whatley, and Rodale's Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. Since I share the same Virginia latitude as the author I also particularly appreciated that it wasn't written for New England growers (as it seems most on the subject are). Although I've already worked through the process of developing my own methods of record keeping, I'm sure that Pam's suggested method would have proven a lot less painful to adopt.Whether you're growing for a hundred, or just for yourself, there's bound to be a lot of usable information in here to help you be more successful and less stressful in your endeavor.

This book is just what my friend and I needed to begin producing more vegetables in small places. This book is very informative and an easy read. It includes charts and many ideas. If you want to garden, you must have this book!

This book is comprehensive in every way. Pam shares every trick of the trade and does so in an easy to read manner. This is a must read for both home gardeners as well as those of us who are trying to make a living in the vegetable business. She is a great speaker as well and really knows her stuff. This is a book that you will bring out to the garden with you!

Best overall book on the topic I have found. Comprehensive, sensible advice. Methods are flexible and fairly conventional. Ordinary tillage equipment is used, though it is used appropriately. Use of propane flamers instead of herbicides. No recommendations to do extremely laborious and impractical things like double digging every bed, etc. Author definitely has a sense of efficiency and the cost of labor. Lots of information. The author is from a moderate-high moisture region in zone 7 in Virginia with fairly good soil, so this book may seem odd for someone with a Northern or Southern climate, but there is still a lot of applicable information. Great index, lots of species specific information. Definitely worth purchasing!

Very detailed. Best on subject I have seen so far.will use lile a blueprint in our own farm market efforts. Big thanks to author.

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