Book Review: Minifarming

So, in my tag line at the top of this site I claim to be a few things, one of which is a philosopher farmer.

Now, you may be wondering: “That is an odd mix. Software engineer (high tech) and a farmer(low tech)?” or something like that…

Well, the short of it is that I don’t like living in a city – like to have some space – and I believe life is too short to have bad food; so I want to know where my food comes from -> therefore I should grow it if I want to know for sure!

That answers the why portion. But, as to the how

As an engineer, I like to study the problem before me (whatever problem that is) before making a decision if it a complex one or one that I do not know much about. I did not know how to wire a house until recently, but I picked up a book on the topic and rewired a large portion of our home. Same with plumbing and tiling.

So, when it comes to the food production issue I realized it was a deceptively simple problem: I’ll need a book for this! I thought. So, off to Amazon!

That’s where I stumbled upon Minifarming, by Brett Markham

This is an outstanding guide, reference manual, and it was a great read to boot.

It covers everything enough to get you going and leads you to more specific resources if you need it, but for the most part I believe the depth and details provided in Minifarming were sufficient and clear enough to help me out and cover all the bases I needed. I have read other books similar to this, but none came close to getting ALL THE THINGS necessary to prepare one for self-sufficiency on a 1/4 acre.

I have read the book cover to cover but I will still go back for the reference points and tables as they are exactly what an Software Farmer like myself needs. Condensed, crystallized information in a single spot for easy retrieval.

Putting it to use

We own 7.5 acres 50% wooded 50% clear 70% hill. There is an established orchard of apple, peach, pear, and chestnut trees as well as black walnut. So that’s a bonus.

My hope is that after the home repairs wrap up we will be able to focus more time and energy on the land and put it to work for us. I plan to fully implement all the teaching and information from Minifarming and similar books (more reviews coming) and put them to good use to supply not just my family with excellent, fresh, and healthy produce, but my neighbors and extended family as well.

Updates on that endeavor will be posted under the Gardening category or Farming tag. Photos, and how I did it will be included.