What is City Farming about?

City Farming is both the personal story of The Micro Farm Project and a compilation of anecdotes from a variety of urban farms around the country.  It contains some of the best urban farming solutions in practice today and is the guidebook for starting or improving a city farm.   Its pages illustrate the basics of how backyard farms produce food in the city.  It also dives deeper, exploring ways that urban farmers are overcoming challenges, both big and small, to feed themselves and their communities, to nurture their neighborhoods and enhance the environment.

Who is the author?

Kari Spencer is an urban farming author and instructor.  Growing food, homestead permaculture and backyard livestock are her way of life, and teaching is her passion.  She is the author of City Farming:  How-to Guide to Growing Food and Raising Livestock in Urban Spaces.   Kari takes a decidedly different view of what it means to grow and eat healthy, delicious food, born of experience and extensive knowledge as a master gardener, master farmer and agriculture instructor.  Her practical, cheerful tutorials and tips for urban farmers (and aspiring gardeners,) can be found at CityFarmingBook.com, karispencer.com and themicrofarmproject.com.

What makes City Farming different from other urban farm and garden books?

  1. Real world examples that highlight the creative ways that individual farmers and groups are overcoming issues relevant to growing food in cities.
  2. Step-by-step instructions and photos along with supplementary material online, to help aspiring urban farmers emulate the featured techniques.
  3. Techniques and tips from various climates and regions, organized in a manner that aspiring urban farmers can easily find information that is relevant to their personal situations.

What are the main themes of City Farming?

The content is organized by themes of importance to urban farmers – sun and heat, water usage, seasonal production, spatial planning, soil quality and usage, propagation and breeding, pests and diseases, farming under time constraints, sustainability and community initiatives. These are all discussed within the context of urban farming and include common issues and strategies like microclimates in built-up areas, natural and organic approaches, water harvesting, toxic land, roof gardening, converting ornamental gardens to productive edible gardens, municipal regulations, vertical gardening, aquaponics, composting methods, livestock suitability in limited space, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) schemes, permaculture in small spaces, community gardens and trade & barter schemes.

Why is City Farming important?

Interest in urban farming is on the rise, and it holds promise for solving some of the world’s most pressing issues surrounding food and the environment.  For urban farming to fulfill this promise, it is essential that new urban farms are equipped with knowledge and the experience of farmers who have led the way to grow and raise food successfully in the city.  New urban farmers want and need resources that will help them to accomplish their dreams and goals of producing their own healthy, delicious and economical foods. This book tells the story of an experienced urban farmer, offering basic training, as well as advanced techniques to guide city farmers to greater production and simpler systems that work in urban environments.

How can I get a copy of City Farming?

City Farming:  A How-to Guide to Growing Crops and Raising Livestock will be available fall 2017.  You can purchase it on Amazon and all major book outlets, as well as at 5mbooks.com.