Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture


Small-Scale Farmers in Urban Areas

Urban farmers include both gardeners, who have a small space next to their homes for growing food for themselves and small-scale farmers, who produce crops for sale. Both types of growers can learn from each other because both are interested in growing the finest crops possible.

Here you will find market gardeners, metrofarmers, bio-intensive farmers and others who sell their produce.

The New Farmers' Market
"People are often loathe to buy "weird" veggies at first, so we give away a lot of free samples, plus recipes or suggestions for use. We are building a steadily growing clientele of "addicts." "Why you WERE right! That crazy fuzzy tomato / red okra / guinea bean / (or whatever!) tasted great! Can I get three pounds"
Posted October 15, 2001

UBC South Campus Farm
"The UBC South Campus Farm is a 40 hectare student-driven, model farm located on the University of British Columbia's Campus in Vancouver, Canada. The UBC Farm has begun the development of a program that integrates sustainable land management and food production practices with basic and applied research, innovation, education and community outreach."
Posted June 23, 2001

Small Farmer's Journal publishes 1902 reprint
Directions For The Farm Culture Of Vegetables And Fruits
"There are tens of thousands of farmers adjacent to the smaller towns and villages, hotels, watering places and summer boarding houses, where the want at the table, of fresh vegetables and small fruits, is most conspicuous. In many such places it is unquestionable that, if the farmer would devote a few acres to the cultivation of fruits or vegetables, or both, the chances are more than equal that they would be found much more profitable than ten times the amount of land cultivated in ordinary farm crops."
Posted May 18, 2001

ATTRA - Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas -
is a leading information source for farmers and Extension agents thinking about sustainable farming practices. Each year, ATTRA specialists prepare thousands of resource packets on alternative agriculture topics like:
  • Sustainable Farming
  • Organic Farming
  • Permaculture
  • Holistic Resource Management
  • Diversified Crop and Livestock Enterprises
  • Natural Pest Controls
  • Biological Pest Controls
  • Non-Chemical Weed Control
  • Cover Crops, Green Manures, Crop Rotations
  • Composts, Organic Fertilizers, Novel Soil Amendments
  • Organic Vegetable Production
  • Low-Spray Fruit Production
  • Sustainable Livestock and Poultry Enterprises
  • Complementary Animal Health
  • Sustainable Pasture Management
  • Rotational Grazing
  • Innovative Marketing

Solviva - How to Grow $500,000 on One Acre and Peace on Earth
By Anna Edey 1998
Solviva Trailblazer Press
RFD 1 Box 582, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 USA
Tel/Fax: 508-693-3341
224 pages $35, plus $5 ship.

"Learning the art of living, with solar-dynamic, bio-benign design. Revealing the truth about how we can provide electricity, heating, cooling, transportation, food, solid waste and waste-water management in ways that reduce pollution and depletion of resources by 80% or more, and that at the same time reduce cost of living and improve quality of life."

Rebirth of the Small Family Farm
"A Handbook For Starting a Successful Organic Farm Based on the Community Supported Agriculture Concept" 1996
IMF Associates
P.O. Box 2542
Vashon Island, WA 98070
$9.95 (U.S.) prepaid, which includes postage and handling

"Many are amazed to discover that we two middle-aged novice farmers are making a decent living on less than two acres of land. Our hope is to see all urban areas once again surrounded by these farms: many thousands of tiny oases reestablishing the "knowing link" between society and the land that nurtures it. Large acreage farmland in the path of urban development cannot economically withstand the onslaught of that development. But our very intensive, diverse crop type of farm can economically compete, and simultaneously create a mutually-beneficial relationship with the nearby urban world."

From 1/10 Acre to 100 Acres!
The Guide to Growing for Big Profit on a Small Parcel of Land
by Michael Olson

"According to a recent Census of Agriculture, the most productive farmland in the United States is in the Borough of the Bronx! The second most productive farmland is in the City of San Francisco! You can earn up to eight times the average personal income on as little as one acre of land. You can be male or female, old or young, married or single. You can lease, own, or rent. You can succeed with small fruits on prairie beach lands, house plants in costal valleys, flowers on steep wooded hillsides, vegetables in city greenbelts and ornamentals in neighborhoods of million dollar homes."

Grow BiointensiveSM Workshops Taught by John Jeavons
Biointensive: A Sustainable Solution To Growing Food

Ecology Action publishes many books and reports for the small-scale farmer.
"Grow Biointensive" Books
Ecology Action
5798 Ridgewood Road
Willits CA 95490 USA

They also sell organic seeds at
Bountiful Gardens
18001 Shafer Ranch Road
Willits CA 95490 - 9626 USA

"The implications of this approach for home gardeners are impressive: a gardener may be able to grow his or her own 322 pounds of vegetables and soft fruits in a four-to-six month growing season on as little as 100 square feet-- half the area of a small-to-average sized kitchen. The savings during the growing season can be substantial - as high as $400 per growing bed, and $1,600 for a family of 4 with 400 square feet under Biointensive cultivation."

Sustainable Vegetable Production From Start-Up to Market
by Vernon P. Grubinger
280 pages, 1999
$42.00 plus S&H, sales tax

Openair-Market Net
The World Wide Guide to Farmers' Markets, Street Markets, Flea Markets and Street Vendors

"Because open air markets help small farmers, require little infrastructure, and recycle goods and materials, they promote sustainable development. This contributes to making the world a safer and saner place. Open air markets are an alternative form of retailing in the industrialized world but are the main source of retailing in the less developed areas. It is an arena where the industrialized countries can learn much from the less developed world."

Dynamic Farmers' Marketing: A Guide to Successfully Selling Your Farmers' Market Products
by Jeff W. Ishee
Published July 1, 1997
Softbound, 129 pages
Published by Bittersweet Farmstead
To order, call 1-800-311-2263 (visa, mc accepted)
List price: $14.95 + $2.50 shipping

This new non-fiction work from market gardener and farm radio broadcaster Jeff Ishee addresses the explosive growth of public farmers' markets in the United States and how family-scale farmers can capitalize on this trend. Step-by-step procedures for vendors, market management and new market organizers.

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Revised November 27, 2001

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture