The Urban farm handbook
So, Annette Cottrell and Joshua McNichols are kind of my heroes. I totally aspire to do what Annette has done with her life, her website is intoxicating, I get lost there for hours.
This book is the book is the book I give out like a free sample/gateway drug to urban farming. Many of my friends now own a copy. It is the easiest to understand and most accessible book on urban farming in my library. It is set up in manageable bites, delicious recipes (the Power Pancakes recipe in the What’s Cooking Page comes from here and is a family favorite) and projects to make tackling a whole new lifestyle manageable. The different topics are broken down by how much of a commitment you have to each project (they call it levels of crazy, as in Joshua is a one crazy so he has a small vegi garden and fruit trees, whereas Annette is a three crazy, she ripped out her entire yard and planted a massive garden, learned to butcher her own meat and milks a friends goat for milk), this is great because it doesn’t feel like it’s all or nothing. You can make changes and reap the benefits based on how they fit in your life. They’re real people who want to live a healthier lifestyle for themselves, their families and the planet. I can’t say enough how much I love this book.
The only downside for me is that they’re based in the Pacific Northwest (aka land of water) so some of the things, like gardening, need to be adapted to what’s regionally appropriate. That is really a very small complaint.
If you are interested in urban farming, this book is a key component in your library. I can’t recommend it enough.
If you are interested in urban farming, Annette Cotrell has a wonderful website and started a homesteading challenge in 2012. It’s still worth combing through her posts to find the suggested steps and apply them to your life.