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A woman, her husband, cats, chickens, rabbits and honeybees taking a stab at urban farming one weekend at a time-now you can join her!
Anna Hess dreamed about moving back to the land ever since her parents dragged her off their family farm at the age of eight. She worked as a field biologist and nonprofit organizer before acquiring fifty-eight acres and a husband, then quit her job to homestead full time. She admits that real farm life involves a lot more hard work than her childhood memories entailed, but the reality is much more fulfilling and she loves pigging out on sun-warmed strawberries and experimenting with no-till gardening, mushroom propagation, and chicken pasturing. Visit her at www.WaldenEffect.org.
As food self-sufficiency awareness grows, books appear to support such efforts. Hess is unique in her recognition of the practicality of weekend-only attention to these pursuits. A 12-month structure helps a variety of readers, from multiacre farm dwellers to suburbanites and high-rise residents, start with short projects. Springtime planning includes acreage, backyard and urban container plantings, rooftop and community gardens via mapping, record-keeping, and planting tips (okra, squash). Hess segues to summer and fall plantings (leaf lettuce, turnips, carrots), advising on seed and food preservation and season-extension using hoop-supported protection. Colder weather means planning crop rotation, soil testing, and planting fruit trees and berries, and March allows the planting of cold-tolerant veggies (beets, onions). Hess provides a list of goals, costs, times, levels of difficulty, and kid-friendliness for each project, and illustrations, photos, charts, and diagrams throughout. --Booklist