Your Chance to Win ‘The Urban Farm Handbook’

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!

Good luck!

Big Upcoming Changes On NW Edible
Photo Tour Of The Winter Garden


  1. Our goal is to expand our plots and get potatoes to grow well- both russett and sweet taters. Finish our solar dehydrator and build a solar oven. Would also like to get sone kind of functioning irrigation system going, update our rainwater collection system and finally plant the medicinal herb plot :)

  2. Since I’m getting married this year, my goal is to make sure my fiance’s and my future home is a place where we can grow some of our own food.

  3. My big plan for 2012 is to rip out our front lawn, and in place of the grass, find a way to include edibles in the new landscape. We have a homeowners association, so this is going to be challenging! Wish me luck! :-)

  4. queen of string says:

    My word for this year is “ACTION”. Last year was our first in this house. This year is the year of chickens, raised beds and pressure canning! Oh, and the rest of the ornamental plants are leaving, anything not useful is out. The neighbours appeared not to notice the 1/2 vegetable front yard to this year it’s 100% and we’ll see what happens :-).

  5. Amy Baranski says:

    My UH goals for this year are:
    1. Install that vertical pallet veggie garden somewhere against my apartment building.
    2. Forage rose hips in late summer for rose hip jam! Same for Oregon Grape
    3. Make lip balm and other body stuff from beeswax from my husbands beehives.
    4. Ask my neighbor if he’s cool sharing a potato tower on his parking strip.

  6. I’ve had a summer garden for many years, but this year I want to keep my garden going for as much of the year as possible and grow lots more stuff! This book (along with your awesome site) would be the perfect primer for doing that.

  7. While I have planted a garden the last 2 years, this year I WILL maintain it. Eating more local is my New Year’s resolution – to me there is no better way than to grow it myself.

  8. Three goals for this year:
    Better egg production (adding light to the coop for shorter days?)

    Actually plan out the garden this spring. Last year we just threw everything into the ground with no sort of plan.

    Continue gardening as much as possible through the fall/winter months.

  9. My blog partner and I spent a month (September) last year exploring Urban Homesteading. I loved it, and found some of it exhausting. My goals this year are to do some canning again with local harvests of wild berries and the like. To replant my veggie plot in the parking strip in front of my apartment building. And to continue to strive for less waste and more whole foods in my kitchen.
    Thanks! and Cheers!

  10. Our urban farming goals for year 2 at our new home:

    1. Protect the apples and pears! Last year (our first year at the house) we got a huge plum harvest (250 pounds) but did not know to put nylons on our apples and pears. The result: one delicious apple and 40 maggot-filled apples. We’ll be investing in L’eggs!
    2. Make more of our tomatoes. last year, we overlook the canning potential of our tomatoes. We ate tons off the plants, but froze few and canned none. This year, we vow to buy not one single jar of canned tomatoes because we’ve used all of ours.
    3. Even better staggering. We had beans, carrots, onions and greens from early Spring until Fall (Winter for the carrots) but could have done more to promote a year-round harvest in the temperate NW. This year, we’ll stay on top of the staggering of crops so that we are less dependent on our farm box come Fall and Winter.

    Also, we are doubling our berry crops this year, and starting all our own starts instead of depending on the Tilth sale.


  11. We have transitioned to a “single-income” stream and are expanding our urban homestead to include chickens, ducks and wool rabbits. The orchard will be two years old and our nursery will include resale. We’ve also expanded our community workshops!

  12. One of my goals is to increase my garden size this year and start all my veggies from seed in my greenhouse. I’m also planning to make my own laundry detergent. As I’m currently reading ‘The Non-Toxic Avenger’, I’m ridding my household of poisons and contaminants and getting as green as possible!

  13. Oh my, giveaways do reel them in. How am I supposed to win that fine book with all these damn commenters clogging the way?
    My homesteading goal for 2012 isn’t very urban, and certainly isn’t covered in the book. Can I apply anyway? I am hoping to buy a skiff when we get back to Alaska and come deer season invite my strangely good Internet friend Erica, who once mentioned the desire, to go hunting with me. You haven’t eaten until you’ve eaten well aged black-tail backstrap my dear.

  14. Dusti Mosher says:

    My big Urban Homesteading goal for 2012 is to learn about it and start! I am in the middle of moving to a house with a yard, so I’m pretty excited about it! Would love to have a copy of this wonderful book and put it to good use!!!
    Thank you for the opportunity!

  15. Sadie @allnaturalme says:

    To dig up more of our yard!! And with a Rototiller, not by hand this time!!

    I would also like to grow more things that we will actually eat –

    And, plant an extra row of things for the food bank!

    Lots of green love to ya!!

  16. Mary Pendergast says:

    My goal for my condo farm this year is to grow a containerized elderberry bush, find a way to compost that is compact and out of sight, and harvest my herbs throughout the season and not just at the end. I now have many more ideas for how to use them from skincare to medicinals to vinegars and teas. Also I learned to can this holiday so want to explore that through the seasons.

  17. Melissa Mohr says:

    One of my goals for this year is to get a crop of plums from my plum tree. I’ve had the goal for the past two years, but so far I’ve only got ONE mature plum from that tree. I’ve pruned harder, watered and fertilized more, spent a lot of money and effort on organic aphid control, bought a bird net… but this year I’ve got a new tactic to try: mason bees! My current theory is the blooms haven’t been getting fertilized because the last two springs were so cold and wet, but mason bees come out a few weeks earlier than honey bees, and fruit trees are their favorite blossom to visit. I won’t get any honey, but if I can get some plums it’ll be worth it!

  18. I have a lot of goals for 2012, so in an attempt to increase my chances of winning the book, I will list them by categories:

    1. Chickens –
    – Increase our flock from the current 6 to at least an even dozen (add some more productive egg layers and not just aim for a colorful flock)
    – Build a poultry house (this crosses into other goals, but I would like to build a poultry house to have a safe, secure and larger home for the chickens, add some turkeys and a safe zone for the guinea hens)
    – Increase my guinea hens from the current 1 (7 died this past year) to at least a dozen.

  19. 2. Build a Wood Shed –
    – We installed a wood burning stove insert in our basement fireplace last year, and thanks to hurricane Irene this past year, we have a lot of nice hardwood that finally got split. Now it just needs to sit and season for next year. I would like a place to allow it to ventilate and stay dry until I need it.

  20. I would love to own this book. Our Homesteading goal for 2012 is to better our plan our garden so we can harvest cold weather veggies in the early winter; apply some of Eliot Coleman’s ideas. It just seems so overwhelming. *sighs* Baby steps.

  21. 3. Build a detached garage –
    – We moved from a 3.5 car garage house in Phoenix to a 2 car garage in VA. It is colder here and the Good Wife wants her car IN the garage, not outside of it. That means I need another spot to be able to work on projects and such, and to store seasonal items when not in use.

  22. How exciting! My homesteading/urban gardening goals for this year are 1) create a living indoor gardens for my apartment using burlap bags, clay pots, compost and creativity 2) join in on the honey bee CSA in my city 3) do more canning and fermenting!

  23. Stacy silva says:

    My big goal for 2012 is to scale it back and start over! I had several new beds put in last year in a very limited space and I was so over excited that I tried way to much! As a result I didn’t get much of anything. This year I’m going to focus on a) amending my soil (i didn’t quite get the mix I thought I was last year, so it needs quite a bit of compost!) and b) planting two or three of my daughters favorite crops such as sugar snaps and green beans and maybe cherry tomatoes.

  24. My big goal is to grow enough to have more dried, frozen, and canned options throughout the winter. This past year we started having chickens and composting and have been gardening for years but its an ongoing process. I also would like more fruits growing. Hopefully berries and fruit trees will begin producing this year.

  25. 4. Expand the bee hives
    – I currently have 3 hives and am finishing up my first year. I would not only like to get some honey this year from my hives as this is the main reason for raising the bees, but also expand to about 6 or so hives.
    – Add a hive at the house now that I know how docile they are and they won’t bother the Good Wife or the Youngest Son with the allergies. They will also help our garden and fruit trees.

  26. We just bought land last Spring and spend the Summer/Fall fixing up the house, which I documented about on our blog. Now I need to work on the land. We also will still have our house in the city for quite awhile, so I’ll be gardening, hopefully, in two places this year.

    Keep up the good work, love your blog!

  27. 5. Homegrown meat
    – I want a cow but the Good Wife says not now! So meat chickens it is. I want to raise at least one group of meat chickens in the spring and one in the fall. My BIL wants to join in and another friend, so we may try 50. This will require me to learn how to process them myself so it stays economical. Tune in.

  28. Oooh! I have been wanting this book so bad! Goals for this year? Duck enclosure and get ducklings. Plant more fruit trees. Plant a bigger garden with enough produce to feed our family and 3 other couples. Preserve!

  29. 6. Become a better hunter
    – Tried deer hunting this year and didn’t even see one in my scope. The true free-range meat with no hormones or antibiotics.

  30. 7. Pigs –
    I would like to try and raise 1-2 pigs for more hormone free, antibiotic free meat. And pigs just fascinate me. This one has to get past the Good Wife too. Hmmm. I think I need to get her more on board at this point.

  31. 8. Increase our garden
    – Try hanging tomatoes so the chickens don’t eat them
    – Increase our strawberry patch
    – Grow more foods our family likes to eat
    – Utilize growing for all seasons

  32. 9. More proactive composting
    – We have a small composter that we didn’t really take care of, and it got too dry, then too wet, then… We need to watch it and work with it.
    – Build a larger composting pile for all the extra stuff around the house and property to get a good natural pile going.

  33. My big goal for 2012 is Fruit. More specifically fruit trees which mean I must hurry up in the next few months and map out my master garden dream plan so I will know where to plant them.

  34. Jamie Brown says:

    My goal this year is to try my hand at sewing again. I tried last year and found that I did not have a knack for it, at all! I spent the year researching it more and looking for new ways to inspire me to try again and hopefully this year I will get it right!

  35. My goal is to share all this fun with my 1 year old daughter. And eat a single peach off the peach tree. Just one would be a huge success.

  36. My goal for 2012 is to finally get the upperhand on the weeds at my community garden plot! And to grow popcorn that pops well, I grew plenty of it the last 2 years but it simply does not pop up so well.

  37. 10 – Assist the Good Wife in doing canning
    – This goes with #8, where we have to grown more if we are going to can some. Although we can also buy from local producers during the season when it is cheaper than during the off season in the grocery stores.

  38. Have fresh, homegrown tomatoes from the 4th of July through Christmas (ripening inside on the kitchen counter from Halloween to Christmas, natch).

  39. I’d love to plant a garden large enough that I’ll be able to can for winter!

  40. I’d like to grow SOMETHING, even if it’s just one tomato plant. Have to start somewhere.

  41. oh that book looks awesome!

    My 2012 Urban Homesteading goal is to expand my little garden so I can continue to eat what I grow, but also have enough to possibly preserve in some form or fashion!

  42. I am planning to “re-border” the flower beds in the front of our rental house. It is my sneaky way of creating raised beds in the front yard without our landlord having kittens. Also I am working out a way to utilize the vast concrete patio that is 2/3 of out backyard. Containers galore, seems to be the go-to suggestion. Yay book!

  43. sweet dick D says:

    year round harvest that incorporates andean crops and compost crops a la grow bio-intensive.

  44. Goals:
    1) adding raised beds
    2) learn how to, and slaughter our older chickens
    3) skirt 3 more large trees for more sun and longer garden hours!

  45. Count me in, too. Been reading you for a few days now, found you through Crunchy Chicken!

    My goals for 2012 are many. We are moving to a new town, so new house, new planting beds to be made (I do lasagna gardening). If we are able, chickens (will depend on zoning), fruit trees in pots (we will be renting), a deep freeze, and more canning supplies.

    Thanks for all you do!


  46. I’m a new reader too. I’ve spent all the free minutes I could find the past two days reading every post you’ve written! ; ) This year I will continue my efforts in self-sufficiency. Last year I made some great progress (raised chickens for the first time, grew the biggest garden I’ve had in years, canned and preserved everything I could get my hands on, re-learned to sew…though still a work in progress, started making herbal remedies and beauty products, etc.) and am excited to dive in deeper this year. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  47. tornadogrrrl says:

    It is really fun to see the range of experiences present in these comments.
    My roommate is getting set up to introduce bees this year. And we are talking about chickens.
    My personal goals are:
    Weed and re-mulch all garden paths.
    More summer squash and lemon cucumbers.
    Provide better climbing opportunities for our peas and beans.
    Put in a persimmon tree.
    Dry all laundry on the line for the months it doesn’t rain here in the Pacific NW.
    Shop from the pantry first in meal planning.

    It is super inspiring for me to see all that you do. I’m at home with a 10 month old (and taking 5 credits) and still feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle to get anything at all on the todo list done.

  48. I, too found you through Crunchy Chicken. We lived in the city until about 6 months ago when we moved to our own little Appalachian Utopia! We are so excited to get the homestead going. My first blog ever was about our goals and resolutions for 2012 and can be found here
    So our number one goal is to restore a 100 year old farmhouse that is on the property. We currently rent a house a few miles away. Being able to live on our 5.5 acres will allow us to intensively farm the property and make our way towards being more sustainable. So hopefully by the end of the year the family and the chickens will be moved on to the farm where we belong!

  49. Homestead Goals for this year (I couldn’t do just one so you get a top 3):
    #1 Learn from last year’s mistakes in order to this year have most beds reasonably productive of things we actually eat and foods to preserve
    #2 Prepare for the future with long-term plantings such as fruit trees, berry bushes, asparagus bed, grapes
    #3 Add a new farmhand to the family and further train the toddler in actually helping instead of “helping”

  50. 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.

  51. 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!

  52. 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.

  53. 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…

  54. vegangoddess says:

    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!

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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!

  63. Maggie Drake says:

    My goal is to espalier some fruit trees along the side of the house and grow some hops for brewing.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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… ;-)

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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!

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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!

  76. 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.

  77. 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!

  78. 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!

  79. 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.

  80. 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 :)

  81. 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!

  82. 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

  83. 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.

  84. 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! :)

  85. 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.

  86. 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!

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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 :)

  90. 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!!!

  91. 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.

  92. 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!

  93. Definitely raised garden beds and rain water barrel. Also going to look into local ordinances for raising chickens.

  94. 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!

  95. 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!

  96. 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.

  97. 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:

  98. Catherine says:

    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!

  99. Entries for this contest are now closed. Winner will be announced tomorrow, Tuesday Jan 17th. Thank you and good luck.