What better way to celebrate the new look and feel of NW Edible than with a chance to win the best new urban homesteading book on the market?
When Annette Cottrell, co-author with Joshua McNichols of The Urban Farm Handbook and author of the site Sustainable Eats, asked me if I’d like to host a giveaway of her book, I was in the middle of reading it and I jumped at the chance.
But in truth, I have mixed feelings about The Urban Farm Handbook.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the book. On the contrary, it’s wonderful. Annette and Joshua managed to cram planning guides, seasonal recipes, inspirational photos, beginner-to-advanced tips and techniques for all things urban homesteading into an easy-to-read sub-400 page book filled with honest and compelling prose. All this and nothing ever feels rushed or truncated. It’s quite the accomplishment.
No, my reservation about The Urban Farm Handbook is entirely and exclusively personal: this is the book I would have written, and it’s better than I could have written it. It is everything a primer on urban food self-sufficiency should be, written by two authors who know their stuff and have complementary gardening and literary styles. So it’s a little bittersweet for me, knowing I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board for ideas if I want to write my own book one day. And it’s also a little intimidating, because Annette and Joshua have set the bar pretty damn high with this work.
So you want The Urban Farm Handbook? Here’s your chance to get it for free, and signed by Annette to boot! Leave a comment below telling me what your big Urban Homesteading goal is for 2012. Entries will be accepted until Monday, January 16th at 8:oo pm Pacific Standard Time. Winner will be selected by random number drawing and announced on Tuesday, January 17th. Contest only open to residents of the U.S. – sorry international friends!
My goal for 2012 is to actually grow a garden. I’m finally in a house with a yard and this book would definitely help teach me what to do with it.
My big 2012 goal is to:
Plant two gardens: a smaller one close to the house, and a much larger one out in the open.
Preserve as much produce as I can from my gardens.
Get two more hens
Have the meat rabbit operation in full swing
I feel like such a beginner lol!
So many goals for 2012. I think the one I’m most looking forward to try out is making salt. But the most daunting one is actually planning this year’s garden. No more willy nilly hoohah. Here’s hoping.
My top two goals are:
1. Build a better chicken coop
2. A front yard garden
I have about a hundred others, but that should do for now…
Oh it’s so great to see this book on a giveaway! All I’ve heard about it sounds great.
My goals this year are to get bees and figure out how to live peacefully with the gophers and still get food from our garden for us!
jean koch says
this book looks wonderful- i run several community gardens. our big goals for this year are to plant a community pumpkin patch, trellis the raspberry patch, and conquer the meadow voles. they are cute, but man do they destroy the brassicas.
jd collins says
The 2012 goal is to increase yields utilizing vermiculture, horizontal/vertical planting, chickens, rabbits and bees to share with family, friends, and those in need. In other words , I’m planning a very green buffet.
My 2012 goal is two-fold – to build a few raised beds rather than growing only in pots, and to train my young dog that digging in pots (or in the raised beds) is a HUGE NO-NO.
Rick Troxel says
My goal is to spread my enthusiasm for my urban garden to my neighbors and friends, and to gain additional knowledge and ideas to help me in that effort.
Goals for 2012? Grow more veggies in my suburb yard, talk hubs into some chickens (this will be the tough one!) and get more canning done in the summer months. And plant more native plants in my Monarch butterfly garden.
My main goal is to fence off the garden part of my yard to keep the dogs out. Then I want to add some blueberry or raspberry bushes. Would love to add a grapevine, but I need to work on a good sturdy arbor, maybe next year.
Andrea M. says
My goal is to get an herb roof on the chicken coop and teach our son (3) the value of growing and raising your own.
I want to start a Indigenous Food Sovereignty co-op in Vancouver. Using a from seed to feed modality for Urban American Indians to have cultural ties to urban spaces! Making our ancestors proud and self sustaining our future!
Maggie Drake says
My goal is to espalier some fruit trees along the side of the house and grow some hops for brewing.
Divine Destiny Farm says
My main goal here on the homestead for 2012 is to grow enough herb plants to sell at the local farm market along with a brand new chicken coop,and enough fresh vegetables to provide a years worth on food on the farm.
This book looks awesome!!
My goal for this year is to grow some berry bushes (at least blueberry) and fruit trees (potted) and grow several different types of tomatoes, beans, squash, peas, potatoes, herbs, and whatever else I can fit in to a container and find sun space to put it.
Carri Ann says
I have a loooong list of projects this year, but the two biggest would probably be:
1. Building a new chicken coop/covered run.
2. Moving our garden. We had a HUGE backyard tree that had to come down this last fall, which completely changed the sun/shade factor in the backyard. We now have a very large area that will be optimal for a garden, so we’ll no longer have to fight with the old semi-shaded garden site.
Susan Trickett says
I have a lot of goals for 2012. I’m hoping to move to a more rural home on an acre, plant lots of fruit seeds and put in a small aquaponics system.
My goal list seems to be growing exponentially – Firstly, I am going to make an attempt at prioritizing & focusing:-) This year, I will be tearing out/transplanting bushes and flower bulbs that are taking up prime vegetable garden space – planning and planting the family favorites… enough to enable us to freeze/can for the winter months. I am also going to have the kids build a potato condo, attempt to grow garlic and onions… I could go on… and on… 😉
Laura bernatek says
This time last year I had no garden. Now I have 4 beds. Hoping for a few more in 2012. I have picked this book up several times at sky nursery but haven’t purchased it yet because my start up costs have been so great. Would love a copy.
To actually find the property I’ve been longing for so that I can actually finish some projects I’ve already started and begin the one’s that I’ve been dreaming of.
My goal is to be more productive in the space I have and to get real about what I need to grow. Instead of using space for 6 slicing tomato plants…grow one or two and give more space to plum tomatoes for sauce. I would also love some chickens but not sure how my husband and dog would do with them! I want to ferment more things too. Once you start fermenting it gets addictive and there is so much to try!
Michelle Smith says
What we are planning to do this year is to start herbs plants and sell them. Last year we had only 2 tomato plants and a few herbs. This year we will be growing organic green beans, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, thyme, sage, lavender, and whatever else we can squeeze into our planting space … we also want to start an organic strawberry patch.
Tom Gibson says
Get the grape arbors pruned and repaired. Finish the walking area under the grapes, plant another 30 native fruiting plants, move some running bamboo to create a fence on the north property line, raise ducks from our own eggs, get the greenhouse finished so we can enjoy year round greens production.
Peg Osborn says
My goal is to grow my own herbs. I have attempted several years with no real luck. This year I will research and ask which ones do best in my area. Growing my own will help me save money and enjoy herbs fresh. I now live in townhouse with no grass- so I’ll have to do it container method. I’m excited to get started.
Lina Kaiser says
As a very soon to be homeowner, my 2012 goals are to convert what I have learned small scale gardening on my apartment balcony to a sustainable, organic mini farm on my property. I am so excited to figure out the ins and outs of eventually feeding my family completely from our yard!
Deborah Aldridge says
My goal is not to “do” but to “teach.” I’m trying to get a niche beat on Yahoo! Gardening about urban homesteading, and if I don’t get that, I’ll do it on my blog. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do any urban homesteading myself, but I can sure teach people what I know about it.
Denise in Washington says
Just bought 6+ acres in NW Washington, so my goals this year are to have it all (or at least the beginnings of it all….) — chickens, vegetable garden, hoophouse, perennial garden, compost system, rain collection system, and anything else I can manage to get accomplished!
My goal for 2012 is to start my backyard garden… get a couple of raised beds put together and off I go! This book sounds like it could really point me in the right direction!
The goals for 2012 include 20 additional varieties of vegetables to the current cast of 30, debuting 7 new raised beds, and relying solely on our own composting bins and pen for organic planting matter. 2011 was our first foray into winter gardening. While it has worked perfectly, it consists of mostly greens. I’m looking forward to adding the brassicas and root crops to next year’s over-wintering beds this year.
My goal is to have a better backyard garden than I did last year… we started from scratch and I need to plan better… we also want to plant some apple trees 🙂
Micki Samson says
our goal for this year is to get the garden to yield something! This will be our third year and we have not gotten too many good results for hard work in the last two years. I am beginning to think there is something wrong with our dirt!
Ellen Peavey says
My goal is to build a fence around our garden area down in the woods, also to take out two tree’s that are shading this area. We had a very good garden there last year but the deer and a lack of sun light ruined half of the garden. The soil in this area is really good in this location, we are also going to make the area for the garden twice what it was last year. We have another garden spot with raised beds in a red clay rock area that does really good because of the raised beds and the compost. My donkey Buford has made many deposits to the big compost piles that we have in the raised bed area. This will be our second year here and will be the best year for our new and improved garden area. Ellen from Georgia
My goal is to bring hens and rabbits into the mix, to take it to the next level in terms of being more self-sufficient with how I get protein. I have lots of other hopes too, like actually producing a good loaf of artisanal sourdough and getting my dogs all set with homemade flea repellant.
I don’t have huge goals for this year, but I’ll be increasing from one beehive to two, increasing planting of the veggies I use and love the most (tomatoes, kale, basil, etc), and trying to finally have a successful potato crop. Hoping third time is a charm on potatoes. My main homesteading goal for ’12, though, is to start saving every penny so that I can buy a place with more space and then be a non-urban homesteader! 🙂
Rachel Kaplan says
My goal is to keep homesteading in all the ways I do, teach homesteading skills to more people, keep distributing our book Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living, and start the next one Tiny Town Farm: Towards an Ecology of Belonging. Oh yeah, and figure out a way to really earn a living doing the things I love.
I’d love to see this book because I’m like you – maybe it’s like what I write, or like what I should have written in our urban homesteading book.
Michelle Teeter says
My goal this year is to find the investors I need to purchase my urban farm! Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful sounding book!
Elaine Sokoloff says
My Urban Homesteading goal is to take Earthbag building classes at Cal Earth in Hesperia, find a beautiful piece of land in Joshua Tree with water rights, and build myself a spectacular complex of dome homes and a great garden and begin teaching classes in earth architecture.
My goal is to grow 90% of my veggies, and this year, to extend to year round gardening. I have just built a 24 ft long and 3 ft deep cold frame out of timbers and sliding glass doors, some bungie cords, home fabricated ironwork for swivels, including board slats every 4 ft to lean on while gardening in there. It’s decomposting now, and the 55 gal. barrel is steeping the manure tea for it. In addition – the 100 x 150 ft garden plot, some with perennials and berry bushes, will be going again. And as soon as the patio windbreaks are done, I will be doing patio containers ala greenhouse, along with hanging containers.
I retired. And I need to eat. So this is for REAL now!!! Such are my goals for this year.
Jeanine Carlson says
We just bought a little cottage with a septic drain-field in the front, south facing yard on Whidbey Island. It’s a button of a house on a button of a lot which only means to get to be *really* creative! It comes with a couple apple trees (pretty sure those are stock in PNW) and fortunately a large, slightly elevated easement from the street… SO raised, box garden beds galore! Fence climbers from pots, window boxes chocked full of herbs, rain water catchment, grey water from the laundry, and our only pets are to be chickens. Almost everything inside reused or repurposed, organic textiles and non-voc paints. It is small, smart and beaming with life 🙂
Oh my goodness. This year we have put an offer on a house on 1/4 acre in town. We will be starting from scratch. I desperately need this book!!!
I am a newbie, just ordered chicks to arrive in a few weeks. My main goal is to care for them well, after that I want to try and grow a good portion of my family’s food. We’ve recently taken out a portion of our lawn in the front and created an edible landscape that we are very excited about, I hope to do more of the same around the rest of our yard in years to come.
Hi, I would love a copy of this book! My goals this year are numerous. My husband and father in law built me raised gardening beds at christmas and I plan to garden. I would love to work towards being more sustainable, including composting, gardening, etc. Part of this desire is to eat more organically because I have an autoimmune disorder and also to role model for my young children. I would also like to can foods. So much to learn. I’m sure this book can be a big help to a psychologist turned home maker/keeper. Thanks for all the great info you continue to provide! Love it!
Definitely raised garden beds and rain water barrel. Also going to look into local ordinances for raising chickens.
My big homesteading goal for 2012 is to buy a home to stead! My partner and I have been renting a little house with a big(ish) garden and flock of chickens for the past 7 years, but now we’re finally able to make the leap to home ownership. We’re in the preliminary stages, but we’ve been looking at homes on 1/4 to 1/2 acre-lots in the city. I’m planning so many projects for my future urban farm! I can’t wait!
More raised garden beds and container gardening. Making broth, learning how to slaughter a chicken and pig, making my own cheese and lip balm. It shall be done!
My 2012 goal is to “return” to urban farming. About six years ago my husband and I had a home on nearly two acres on Vashon, that supported a nice veggie garden (just for us, I didn’t sell), separate herb garden, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and sheep. Since then, we’ve experienced a couple moves, a couple losses, and now don’t have so much space…that’s OK because I aim to return to that way of life and use this small amount for the most gain. Apparently several years ago, the people at this house had a good garden plot, so plan to reinstitute that and intend to finally build the chicken tractor I’ve been wanting for several years.
I was going to write a long, involved post about what I have and how this book would help me but I think simple honesty is the best. In truth, this book would be a wonderful home library addition to my little urban/small town farm help. I want to add Quail and rabbits to my little farm and locate my potted fruit orchard in the best possible way as well as assist me in “best plantings” for my 2 6×6 raised beds. As well, it would help me to savor and save my wonderful produce.
Thank you for your time, I enjoy your blog immensely. Jennifer
Here are some photos of my small space in July of 2011: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2192448486948.2129953.1119211423&type=3&l=88138a1810
My goal for 2012 is to make out backyard useable. The previous owner created raised beds using treated wood, and it is my hope to get rid of it this year so that we can start planting our vegetable garden and some berries!
Entries for this contest are now closed. Winner will be announced tomorrow, Tuesday Jan 17th. Thank you and good luck.