Subject Guide: Urban Farming

Urban farming or homesteading has become increasingly popular. Some families have begun producing their own food to save money. Others enjoy the control over what goes into their food, and therefore, their bodies. Whatever your reason for raising chickens, keeping bees, or growing fruits and vegetables, we hope the resources below will help your urban farm thrive. Many related books, DVDs or audiobooks in the Library are in the 630-640 call number range of the nonfiction section.

Last updated: September 22, 2015

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  • All New Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space
    by Mel Bartholomew

    Rapidly increasing in popularity, square foot gardening is the most practical, foolproof way to grow a home garden. That explains why author and gardening innovator Mel Bartholomew has sold more than two million books describing how to become a successful DIY square foot gardener. [eBook edition also available.]

  • Beekeeping for Dummies
    by Howland Blackiston

    The 2015 edition of Beekeeping For Dummies gives you the most trusted information on safely keeping your own bees, including complete instructions for assembling and maintaining bee hives, handling all phases of honey production, using the latest tools and equipment,and much more.

  • The Book of Kale & Friends: 14 Easy-to-Grow Superfoods
    by Sharon Hanna and Carol Pope

    Kale, available in so many gorgeous varieties, grows well in pots, and anyone with a balcony, back porch or limited outdoor space can access fresh, tender leaves year-round.

  • Chick Days
    by Jenna Woginrich

    There’s nothing more local than an egg freshly laid right in your own yard. But what should you expect when you’re adopting a couple of day-old chicks? This title offers an entertaining and informative photographic guide for today’s fledgling chick parent.

  • The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds: 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, Trees, and Shrubs
    by Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough

    Learn how to collect, save, and cultivate the seeds from more than 300 vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, trees, and shrubs. It's easy, and it's fun! Gardeners of any experience level will find all the information they need to extend the life of their favorite plants to the next generation and beyond.

  • The Dairy Goat Handbook: For Backyard, Homestead, and Small Farm
    by Ann Starbard

    The handbook explains everything goat keepers need to know about their animals, from the best ways to keep them healthy to methods for making delicious goat cheese.

  • Grow All You Can Eat in 3 Square Feet
    by Kate Johnsen, editor

    Want to grow your own vegetables and food, but don't have enough space for a garden? Don't let lack of space get in the way of growing healthy, organic foods at home.

  • Keeping Chickens with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Care for a Happy, Healthy Flock
    by JAshley English

    Have you heard the news: Chickens have left the farm and made themselves at home in neighborhoods everywhere! For anyone ready to put their eggs in this basket, here is the perfect beginner's guide to raising chickens, with information on choosing a breed, acquiring the chicks, and housing, feeding, and caring for them.

  • Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard Farming and Home Skills for Self-Sufficient Living
    by Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskin

    Self-Sufficiency in the Suburbs! Gardens, goats and chickens in the suburbs? Absolutely! The easy-to-follow advice in this book will show you everything you need to know to enjoy an abundant, independent life on food and products grown in your own back yard. [eBook edition also available.]

  • Saving Vegetable Seeds: Harvest, Clean, Store, and Plant Seeds from Your Garden
    by Fern Marshall Bradley

    Become more self-sufficient by saving your own seed from one year to the next. Bradley clarifies how to select the best plants, make seed saving a part of your garden plan, save both wet and dry seed, and much more. Includes a crop-by-crop guide with more specific suggestions.

  • The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving
    by Micaela Colley and Jared Zystro

    Filled with advice for the home gardener and the more seasoned horticulturist alike, The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving provides straightforward instruction on collecting seed that is true-to-type and ready for sowing in next year's garden.

  • The Vegetable Gardener's Guide to Permaculture: Creating an Edible Ecosystem
    by Christopher Shein with Julie Thompson

    Permaculture teacher Christopher Shein highlights everything you need to know to start living off the land lightly, including how to create rich, healthy, and low-cost soil, blend a functional food garden and decorative landscape, share the bounty with others, and much more.

  • Your Farm in the City: An Urban Dweller's Guide to Growing Food and Raising Livestock
    by Lisa Taylor, and the gardeners of Seattle Tilth

    This book on urban farming covers everything from growing organic produce and raising chickens, to running a small farm on a city lot or in a suburban backyard. 

  • The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Food in Harmony with Nature
    by Tammi Hartung

    Tammi Hartung explains how to start with a hardy and healthy garden, create beneficial relationships through smart planting, attract helpful insects and pollinators, intentionally create habitats for wildlife, and much more.

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