Review – Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

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My brother bought me the book Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre a while back. He knows my passion for gardening as well as a desire to learn everything “homesteading” that I can. I live in a typical suburban community – so I am maximizing my property within confines of the Rules and Regulations of the community Homeowners Association.

I have been gardening for 10 years and every year has been filled with successes and failures. Also, every year that has gone by my successes have increased while my failures have decreased. I am learning. If I had this book 10 years ago – it would have helped tremendously.

I’ll give you a few examples of some things I have found in this book that it took me time to learn. Some may seem ridiculously obvious to you – but when I started off I knew absolutely nothing.

  • The importance of open-pollinated seeds – especially if you are going to save and harvest your own seeds
  • Compost and preserving soil fertility
  • Growing vegetables with raised beds
  • How to use horse manure in a garden
  • Crop rotation

Above are just a few examples of things that would have really helped me if I had access to this book when I first started gardening. The information is complete and thorough. This past year I built my first raised bed and it did great. I now plan to do at least two more.

The information on Mini Farming on raised beds is just superb. In addition to gardening there are chapters that I hope to utilize one day – including those on Raising Chickens for Eggs and Raising Chickens for Meat.

This book is well illustrated with crystal clear, glossy, full-color photographs.

Unless you are a Master Gardener this book is bound to have some useful information to helping you become a better gardener.


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10 thoughts on “Review – Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre”

  1. I am in no way affiliated with the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., but I would still like to give them a little boost to your readers Rourke. My orders from are filled and inspected by a single person who then gives a note of thanks on my order forms.

    All of the seeds raised (on the Baker Creek Farm) and sold are heirloom and some are very old and/or rare varieties. I’ve yet to find a bad batch of seeds.

    In addition to raising the seeds they embrace the self sufficent lifestyle on the farm.

  2. First time here…You cant go wrong learning how to feed yourself! I have been learning how for over 40 years and I will never know it all,but I raise the bigger share of what I and my family eat and continue to work and learn how to do better each year…good luck in your gardening!

  3. Just began intensive gardening and I’ll definitely give this book a glance. I don’t have 1/4 acre… more like an 1/8, but it should still be somewhat useful? Anyways, thanks for sharing.

  4. Rourke-YES this is an exc. book which I also read awhile ago and I am a Master gardener and still learn as much as I can. Arlene

  5. I have this a few years ago. My folks put us into gardening since I was 6 years old and am 54 now. Given the current events in California and national and global politics, now more than ever before get really serious about gardening. I am always learning that’s the fun of it

  6. Mmmm…yeah. I think I will be getting this book. 🙂 I didn’t know that about Baker Creek, but I buy all my seeds from them. They have had the best prices I can find and they have different pre-packed tins just for your region. I really like them.

  7. Amazon has a book on Straw Bale Gardening. I thought square foot gardening in raised beds was innovative, but this idea blows me away! Check it out if you have the time. Worth it!

  8. We started our gardening with 3 raised beds. They are great for people who have bad soil. The first year was the biggest learning curve, but we got better over the years, We’ve had them now for 5-6 years. We rotate our crops because tomatoes need a different spot every year. The first couple of years we had to supplement from the Farmer’s Market, but now have enough to can enough to last through the winter. We acquired the piece of property next to ours from our local land bank, and really went to town. It’s not the greatest dirt, but we tilled in as much good stuff as wel could. We have tomatoes and peppers up the ying-yang. In retropect, our beds could have been higher, but we started out using the “Square Foot Gardening Guide.” He says that gardens grow in 6 inches of dirt, so we made our beds 8′ x 4′ x 6″ We should have made them 8 x 4 x 12. They’re also good for people with health problems. We love our raised beds.


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