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The Suburban Micro-Farm

Modern Solutions for Busy People

Amy Stross


List Price: 24.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/19/2018)


According to the US Census Bureau, half of all Americans now live in the suburbs. Traditionally, rural areas are well known for their gardens and farms. Yet as the quality and integrity of long-distance food supplies are called into question, there is a rising wave of people who are looking to their suburban yards as an ideal place to grow healthy food for their tables right outside their door.

Despite this trend, there are few agricultural resources that address the challenges of the typical suburbanite; namely how to tackle the challenges of growing food in a residential space, how to manage a garden on a busy schedule, and how to ensure that it meets the aesthetic requirements of the neighborhood.

Many people shy away from gardening because they assume their yard is too small, too shady, too sloped, or some other less-than-ideal condition. The author had the same thoughts about her own yard, and originally rented land outside of her own property on which to garden. She later discovered ways to be successful even in the worst of yards, and went on to grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables in her tiny, shady, sloped yard each year. No perfect yard required She shares simple tricks for gardening in challenging conditions and choosing crops to meet the needs of the homeowners.

Most people would agree that their lives are busy, so they wonder how in the world they could have time for a garden, too. Few books about growing food elaborate on how to fit the practice into a limited schedule. This book shares tips and life hacks that teach you how to be successful with as little as 15 minutes a day, and how to have fun doing it. The suggestions in The Suburban Micro-Farm prove that you can have a garden with the time you have.

Does the backyard garden have to look like a micro-sized farm field, with rows of crops? Not according to the author. She notes that many suburbanites will want or need to conform to aesthetic standards of their neighborhood. This book shares tips on how to blend crops into a traditional landscape and the surrounding scenery to create an edible yard that is as beautiful as it is productive.

Before the idea of growing food in the suburbs began to resurface in recent years, environmentally responsible folks were petitioning for lawns to be transformed into native plant havens to improve biodiversity. But that idea is shifting as we learn more ways to grow food with ecological integrity. One such way is to use permaculture--a design science that allows for restoring biodiversity while yielding food for humans at the same time. This book teaches simple permaculture tools for achieving a productive, yet ecologically friendly yard.

Author Amy Stross wants to give suburbanites every chance to be successful at growing food in their backyards. As such, this book is a gold mine of guides and tools to help gardeners track their progress and reach their goals without being overwhelmed. From seed to harvest, this book will keep gardeners on track so they feel a sense of accomplishment for their efforts.

Gardeners will also learn tricks that are essential to success, like how to deal with a 'brown thumb', how to develop and nurture healthy soil, and how to manage garden pests.

After reading this book, you'll feel empowered and inspired to start your own beautiful, edible, suburban micro-farm.

Praise For The Suburban Micro-Farm: Modern Solutions for Busy People

Bored with the lawn? Learn how to turn your suburban yard into a suburban farm with Amy Stross' concise, detailed and well organized how-to garden manual. Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne, authors of: The Urban Homestead and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post Consumer World

Amy Stross has not only written a helpful book, but an important one too. Suburbia is ripe with healthy and delicious food-growing potential. Amy shows us how to tap this potential by sharing practical tips gleaned from her own experience as a micro-farmer on one-tenth of an acre. Get ready to feel both empowered and inspired! Roger Doiron, Founding Director of Kitchen Gardeners International

Twisted Creek Press, 9780997520804, 356pp.

Publication Date: December 14, 2016

About the Author

After helping to manage an organic farm project and working as a professional landscape gardener, Amy Stross transformed her suburban yard into an edible landscape. Her training in permaculture design led her to develop a community food forest at her local university, for which she won the Urban Bounty Award for ‘building community and changing lives through the harvest of community gardening’. Amy has reached hundreds of thousands of people with her expertise and adventures in permaculture gardening on her website,