Let's face it:
When you're trying to understand anything new, you may actually want to read a detailed and thorough through book on the subject.
Ernest Hemingway once said:
"There is no friend as loyal as a book"
So you've gotta be wondering...
What are the best urban farming books?
In this article, a will quickly breakdown 11 highly informative books about urban farming.
Even reading the front cover of any of the books will instantly teach you a tiny bit more about urban farming.
These books hold the keys to becoming a successful urban farmer.
What are they?
Keep on reading!
According to author Curtis Stone, there are over 20 million acres of unused lawn space across the United States alone that could be used for urban agriculture.
In this book, Stone explains:
- Basic urban farming techniques
- Business strategies for urban farmers
- How to minimize risk by borrowing or leasing spaces
Amazon link to The Urban Farmer: Growing Food For Profit On Leased and Borrowed Land (not an affiliate link)
The goal of this book is to "change our menus, our health, and our cities forever".
Written by experienced urban farmers Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal, this book focuses on:
- Rich visual materials to help complete beginners understand concepts easily
- Transition from "growing on windowsills" to "market day"
- How to find the perfect urban farming growing site
- How to incorporate landscape design into urban farming
Amazon Link to The Essential Urban Farmer (Not an affiliate link)
The mission of this book by Thomas Ward is focused on sustainability and eco-friendliness:
"A new green book for the dedicated citizen seeking to reduce his carbon footprint and grocery bill,"
The book specifically covers:
- how to farm from a high rise apartment
- converting terraces and other similar real estate into food producing areas
- How to incorporate sustainable living into your urban farm
Amazon Link to Urban Farming: Sustainable Living in Your Backyard, in Your Community, and in the World (Not an affiliate Link)
The self stated objective of Mini Farming is to allow the reader to earn up to $10,000 dollars per year farming on a quarter acre (approximately 1/4 of a football field), while spending 20 hours per week.
This book covers:
- buying and saving seeds
- starting seedlings
- establishing raised beds
- disease and pest management
- crop rotation and more!
Amazon Link to Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency On 1/4 Acre (Not an affiliate link)
The Backyard Homestead is notable because it doesn't just cover small scale farming.
Author Carleen Madigan also discusses:
- sustainable growing of grains
- raising animals for meet
- creating honey with honeybees
- how to can, dry, and pickle foods
Amazon Link to The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre (Not an affiliate link)
The Market Gardener is based off Les Jardins de la Grelinette, a micro-farm in Quebec that feeds 200 families from 1.5 acres of farmland.
The book specifically covers:
- how to set up a micro farm with "biologically intensive cropping systems"
- Farming without a tractor and minimum fossil fuel use, relying on manual tools
- Growing mixed vegetables systematically and how to price the vegetables
Amazon Link to The Market Gardner: A Successful Grower's Handbook for small-scale organic farming (Not an affiliate link)
Still a foundational book on urban farming, despite being published over 7 years ago, Farm City was listed as one of the Top 10 Books of the year by the New York Times in 2009.
Famous food writer Michael Pollan said of the book "Captivating... By turns edgy, moving, and hilarious, Farm City marks the debut of a striking new voice in American writing."
The book covers the author, Novella Carpenter, and her journey turning urban land in Oakland into a thriving urban farm.
This book is more of a story than some of the others on this list, which read more like guides.
Amazon Link to Farm City: The Education of Urban Farmer (Not an affiliate link)
This book focuses on the core of homesteading, being totally reliant on the production from your own home area.
The book covers:
- Homesteading projects (organized by months of the year) that can be completed in only a few hours of spare time, as well as more time consuming tasks
- Farming tactics for both 40 acre plots, "small lawns in suburbia", and even high rises
- Converting waste into high value compost and mulch
Amazon Link to The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve Month Guide To Self-Sufficiency
The vertical farm by Dickson Despommier is one of the foundational books in the urban farming niche of vertical farming.
- America's food, water, and energy crises
- How to transform our modern cityscapes and incorporate vertical farming
- How vertical farming works
Amazon Link to The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century
This book by Ben Hartman covers:
- Why modern commercial farm's are no different than factories
- How urban farming will become a viable career for young entrepreneurs
- Specific tips on how to maximize profits from experience operating a 1-acre micro-farm in Indiana
Amazon Link to The Lean Farm: How To Minimize Waste, Increase Efficiency, and Maximize Value and Profits with Less Work
Jennifer Cockrall-King, an award winning food journalist, travels the world to uncover innovation in local food and urban farming.
Specifically, Food and the City discusses Cockrall-King's first-hand findings on:
- "alternative food systems" across the globe
- How the "supermarket model" is being disrupted across the largest cities in the world like New York and Paris
- How modern restaurants are being supplied by community orchards and CSA's instead of traditional vendors
Amazon Link to Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution
If you read any of these books...you will learn TONS about urban farming.
If you made it to this part of the article, you may like our other articles.
To access our other articles, visit www.urbanvine.co/blog or sign up for our email list below or in the sidebar!
All sources linked in within article!