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Friday, April 2, 2010

Big Backyard? You Could Raise All Your Own Food, New Book Says

Posted By on Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 11:25 AM

The apocalypse is coming ― stock up on chickens.
  • The apocalypse is coming ― stock up on chickens.
Feed a family of four on a quarter- acre plot! Earn thousands in half the time a normal job would require!

But wait ― there's more, as the late Billy Mays might have said. Never farmed before? Don't know an udder from a ukulele? Can't tell compost from a camera? Fear not! Just buy a copy of Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre, the brand-new book by Brett L. Markham, self-described advocate of a holistic approach to farming on a small, sustainable scale.

Pitchman tone aside, this book could be a brilliant resource for San Francisco's ever-swelling ranks of newbies hopping on the bale-strewn urban farming bandwagon. Even if your only prior experience is a field trip you took as an environmental science major at some leafy liberal arts institution back East, Markham's volume covers such key aspects of food production as starting seedlings, soil fertility practices, chicken-rearing, and canning.

We especially dig how Markham's promotional Web site hints darkly at the impending apocalypse:

Let's be honest. The economy is a mess and likely to remain so for some time. The GAO has reported that Peak Oil is a real and proximate phenomenon that will make things even worse. Wages, even in high tech industries, have been stagnant for several years. We have no idea what challenges the future might bring. The time to start raising your own food is not when people are already starving.
We're convinced. Either grow some frisee or plan on holing up, pellet gun at the ready, barricaded within the frantically fortified walls of an abandoned Trader Joe's.

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Andrew Simmons

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