This collection of Amy’s best tips, tools, and life hacks will have you growing a productive and STRESS FREE garden with the time you have.
Amy's strategies, such as the 15-minutes-a-day garden - which includes coffee or your favorite happy hour beverage, will have you growing a bountiful garden that is fun and rewarding.
In this book you'll learn:
In this world of many books, I'm grateful for your purchase. To show my gratitude, I’ve included FOUR bonus materials that will help you on your micro-farming journey!
If you're quickly overwhelmed by your garden, or you're new to gardening, these simple tools will help you track your progress and reach your goals confidently.
The Seed Starting & Planting Worksheet will answer all of your sowing and planting questions. Just add your frost dates and - voila! - the answers relevant to your location will appear.
The Monthly Calendars will help you easily schedule garden time around your busy life.
Monthly Checklists will help you prioritize your gardening tasks. This resource also includes a great way to record your observations in the garden as well!
Harvest Logs help you keep records that will save you tons of time and help you become a more efficient gardener.
"…this book takes a permaculture approach to starting a micro-farm in the suburbs that speaks not just to a stay-at-home mom or dad, but to all busy people. Indeed, it is one of the few gardening books that is aware that you may not have a lot of time to start a garden, and shows you that it’s still possible anyway.”
Jesse Frost, Hobby Farms
"Bored with the lawn? Learn how to turn your suburban yard into a suburban micro-farm with Amy's concise, detailed and well organized how-to garden manual."
Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne, authors of: The Urban Homestead and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post Consumer World
"Amy Stross has not only written a helpful book, but an important one too. Suburbia is ripe with healthy and delicious food-growing potential. Amy shows us how to tap this potential by sharing practical tips gleaned from her own experience as a micro-farmer on one-tenth of an acre. Get ready to feel both empowered and inspired!"
Roger Doiron, Founding Director of Kitchen Gardeners International
Amy Stross is an avid permaculture gardener, writer, and educator with a varied background in home-scale food production. At age 33, she fell ill with an autoimmune disease, and began exploring healthy lifestyle choices as a way to cope.
The first step in her journey was to join an organic farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program where she collected a weekly share of fresh produce. She thought the program was so cool that she joined the administrative team, and helped to run the program that feeds over 100 families per year.
She went on to work for a professional landscape gardener, who specialized in ecologically friendly and edible landscapes. There, she learned that healthy fruits and vegetables could indeed grow right outside her own kitchen door.
After receiving her permaculture design certificate, she began to design productive, edible landscapes that also regenerate ecological integrity. Her own 0.10-acre home scale micro-farm became a thriving example of a productive yet aesthetically pleasing landscape, with berry bushes, cherry trees, herbs, flowers, and vegetable raised beds.
Amy also led the development of a community garden at her local university, where, with the help of community residents, she transformed a forgotten hillside into a food-producing forest. For this work she was awarded the Urban Bounty Award for ‘building community and changing lives through the harvest of community gardening’.
She reaches hundreds of thousands of people with her adventures and expertise in small-scale permaculture gardening on her popular website, TenthAcreFarm.com
My bookshelf is full of gardening books that have barely been cracked. I was so desperate to learn in my early days of gardening that I bought a bunch of books I didn’t even touch. Sometimes I would buy a book, read chapter one, and get so busy I wouldn’t finished it. I felt like a gardening book junkie, yet my progress as a gardener certainly didn’t reflect the number of books on the shelf.
If you’re wondering why you need another book on your shelf, believe me when I say I’ve been in your shoes!
In my early days I was much better at thinking about gardening (Read: procrastinating) and joining gardening groups on Facebook than actually growing food. I would read a good chapter in one of my books and get started, only to find my motivation fizzle out shortly after.
That’s because none of the books on my shelf could address how I used my time, where I should start, and how to stick with it to maintain my garden throughout an entire season, especially when I got busy and lost focus. There was no road map to help me incorporate a garden into my life.
If you’re like me, then I wrote The Suburban Micro-Farm with you in mind: A road map to create a beautiful, productive landscape that meets your needs, and the life hacks to help you see it through to harvest.
In The Suburban Micro-Farm, I’ll guide you in being fully engaged in the process, so you’ll never have to buy a another book about growing food that ends up as a paperweight! I’ll share tips like how to be your own troubleshooter, so you can push through those moments when you feel like the only way to move forward is with the help of a professional garden consultant.
I’ll also show you how to turn your brown thumb into a green thumb. There’s actually no such thing as a brown thumb; only ‘beginner’ thumbs. No more using the color of your thumb as an excuse to quit! :-)
The Suburban Micro-Farm will empower you to move forward!
"For new gardeners, the biggest problem is often simple overwhelm. In The Suburban Micro-Farm, Amy Stross breaks the giant topic of ‘gardening’ into bite-sized tasks to help readers, no matter their experience level or space limitations. The information and guidance offered in this book will put you well on your way to a productive backyard oasis."
Kris Bordessa @ Attainable-Sustainable.net
"What a valuable resource! The Suburban Micro-Farm is full of practical information from an experienced gardener. Not only will you learn how to build soil and grow fruits, vegetables and herbs, you’ll learn how to do it efficiently with Amy's time-saving tips. And she will keep you organized, too. This author has thought of it all!"
Susan Vinskofski @ LearningAndYearning.com
"Amy Stross digs deep into restorative gardening techniques such as permaculture, showing how to develop healthy soils, edible landscapes and food forests. A must-read for suburban growers, The Suburban Micro-Farm will inspire you to make the most of your small yard and empower you to grow more food than you thought possible!"
Teri Page @ Homestead-Honey.com
"The Suburban Micro-Farm should be the go-to resource for the time-crunched suburbanite foodie. This is the book that will turn any yard no matter how large or small into a homegrown food oasis all while allowing you to have a life too. Loaded with practical advice - The Suburban Micro-Farm covers it all in down-to-earth, easy to apply fashion."
Kathie Lapcevic @ HomespunSeasonalLiving.com
Is this book for beginners or more advanced micro-farmers? While this book has everything a beginner needs to get started, there are plenty of tips and nuances to help experienced growers take their gardens to the next level. Part 3 of the book is dedicated to “Advanced Micro-Farming Techniques”, including chapters on edible landscaping, permaculture, and making money on the micro-farm.
I don’t live in the suburbs. Can I still use this book? In this book, the word ‘suburban’ is used loosely. The techniques and strategies could be used in any small space, whether urban, suburban, or rural. Even those with large properties may wish to design a compact micro-farm that is easily manageable.
My yard is too small or I don’t have a yard. Is this book for me? Amy shares what she learned from her adventures in community gardening, as well as recommendations for container gardening.
My yard is too shady/sloping/wet/dry. Is this book for me? Most homeowners didn’t purchase their property based solely on its farming prospects, and therefore must make do with challenging land. You won’t be disappointed with Amy’s recommendations for working around these problems from garden design to crop selection.
The deer/rabbits are relentless. Is this book for me? Oh, boy. Talk about a gardening challenge! Amy shares strategies for dealing with these animals so you can reap a harvest.
My soil is too clayey. Is this book for me? You’ll find tips for breaking up clay, building soil tilth, and ideal watering tips for crops grown in clay soil.
Farm crops are ugly and I don’t want them ruining my view or making the neighbors mad. Is this book for me? Amy got her start in the world of professional landscaping, and has a soft spot in her heart for beautiful and tidy landscapes. A beautiful herb spiral or container garden may be just the thing you need, or find her favorite tips for a beautiful edible landscape.
I have a full-time job and kids to chauffeur. Is this book for me? This book was written with you in mind! You’ll enjoy “Life Hacks for the Busy Micro-Farmer”, low maintenance crop suggestions, and tips for ensuring the size of your garden is commensurate with your level of time and experience.
I’m retired and don’t want to work myself into the ground. Is this book for me? You may not have the biggest garden on the block, but doggone it, your garden is still going to be fun and productive. You’ll enjoy the sections on “Perennial Crops” and “Annual Crops with a Long Season” for crops that are easy to take care of. See the chapter on “Micro-Farming Fruit” and imagine the joy on your grandkids’ faces as they bite into those fresh, juicy strawberries and raspberries.
I’m a dude. Do I have to talk about my feelings and pink, frilly things to use this book? Amy’s writing at TenthAcreFarm.com has a strong male readership because of her no-nonsense, no-frills style. While she has an eye for aesthetics, she also firmly believes that a garden should first and foremost be engineered to be highly functioning and efficient. She thinks you might enjoy the “manly” chapters on “Developing Healthy Soil” and “Digging Deeper: Permaculture & Micro-Farming”.