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Sustainable Market Farming
Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres
Across North America, an agricultural renaissance is unfolding. A growing number of market gardeners are emerging to feed our appetite for organic, regional produce. But most of the available resources on food production are aimed at the backyard or hobby gardener who wants to supplement their family's diet with a few homegrown fruits and vegetables. Targeted at serious growers in every climate zone, Sustainable Market Farming is a comprehensive manual for small-scale farmers raising organic crops sustainably on a few acres.
Informed by the author's extensive experience growing a wide variety of fresh, organic vegetables and fruit to feed the approximately 100 members of Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia, this practical guide provides:
- Detailed profiles of a full range of crops, addressing sowing, cultivation, rotation, succession, common pests and diseases, harvest and storage
- Information about new, efficient techniques, season extension and disease resistant varieties
- Farm-specific business skills to help ensure a successful, profitable enterprise.
Whether you are a beginning market grower or an established enterprise seeking to improve your skills, Sustainable Market Farming is an invaluable resource and a timely book for the maturing local agriculture movement.
Pam Dawling is a contributing editor with Growing For Market magazine. An avid vegetable grower for 38 years, she has been farming as a member of Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia for over 20 years, where she helps grow food for around 100 people on three and a half acres and provides training in sustainable vegetable production. Pam's farming experience includes caring for cows, sheep, goats, pigs, bees, chickens, ducks and geese; growing small acreages of wheat, barley, oats, field beans and hay, using old farm implements, and growing and cooking more than sixty different kinds of vegetables and fruits.
"Sustainable Market Farming is a great book! It is beneficial to those who want to grow a substantial part of their own food supply, in addition to those growing for the markets. Besides knowledge of the soil and the crops, this book has information for managing a crew (even if your crew is only you), trimming and storing for the kitchen, and saving seeds. It is evident that Pam knows what it is like to be in the fields and to truly feed people."
Cindy Conner, permaculture educator, Homeplace Earth.
"A great read full of solid, practical information. This book should be one of the 'must-haves' on the bookshelf of every sustainable market farmer, whether novice or long time grower. Great cultural information on most any crop a market grower might be cultivating or contemplating. She includes outdoor production, season extension, crop rotation, pests and diseases and much more in a friendly easy to read style. Pam will be your best resource for growing information for years to come."
Paul and Alison Wiediger, Au Naturel Farm
"Whether you are new farmer just starting out, an experienced producer looking to move into year-round production on a few acres or a home gardener who is serious about food production this book is for you. Pam has done a fantastic job making the book well organized and easy to read for the beginner but detailed enough to be a useful reference for experienced growers who want to bring a variety of healthy fresh delicious food to market year-round. What really gets me excited about Sustainable Market Farming is finally having the details and examples come from the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Sustainable Market Farming is a book I plan on referring to regularly for years to come."
Ira Wallace, author, Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast and coordinator, variety selection and outreach, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
"Pam Dawling's book is simply the best new cutting-edge resource for small organic producers like us who grow for CSAs and farmers markets. I'll be spending the winter off-season poring over everything from the detailed crop-planning to organic insect control measures and high tunnel cropping, as the information is both relevant and timely for our farm's evolution. A gold mine of practical farming knowledge."
Mark Cain, Dripping Springs Garden, Huntsville, Arkansas
"If you are just getting started growing vegetables, or you are an experienced farmer or homesteader and still have unanswered questions, get this book! Thorough, accurate, and written in accessible language, Sustainable Market Farming covers all aspects of production from planning, planting, crop rotation, soil, and pestmanagement to harvest and storage; and imparts in-depth knowledge of each crop and the care it needs to thrive. I can't wait to get my copy - it will fill a huge gap in my library."
Mark Schonbeck, consultant in sustainable agriculture, Floyd, VA
"After years of reading Pam's columns in Growing for Market, and visiting the Twin Oaks farm in the fall of 2011, I have been looking forward to her book. The integration of soil management, crop planning and production methods with hoophouse and cold cellar recommendations makes this book a valuable addition to the library of both beginning and seasoned vegetable farmers, and a unique text for vegetable production and urban farming classes. Thanks, Pam."
John Biernbaum, Professor of Horticulture, Michigan State University
"Pam Dawling is an experienced market gardener who employs her significant knowledge into feeding members of the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia. For over a decade, Pam has led the Twin Oaks garden crew, providing year-round fresh produce to 100 people in a Community Supported Agriculture program. Pam is a wealth of practical know-how and has compiled her understanding of successful market gardening into this important manual. This is a must-read book for beginning gardeners and small farmers who are serious about market gardening, as well as for experienced market gardeners and students majoring in agricultural sciences."
Reza Rafie, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Horticulture Extension Specialist, Small Fruits and Vegetables, School of Agriculture, Virginia State University
"I've been using this book since receiving it, to plant my winter crops and plan for spring. Dawling explains the hows and whys, while also informing and encouraging the "what ifs". Balanced in depth, usefulness and inspiration; great for anyone wanting to grow (more) food for the table."
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