If theirs only one thing I can recommend to a new farmer or grower it would be to never stop learning. Technology is always changing and plant needs are always being re-evaluated. It’s inevitable that a grower will come across an unexpected issue and the best way to deal with those situations is to be armed with knowledge, and learning doesn’t have to be boring!
The current self-sufficiency movement is blended with the sustainability movement and I’m all about it. For example, chemical fertilizers can be completely removed from your arsenal if you know how to test and amend your soil, and/or you can increase your profit year over year if you know what to grow and when. The internet is a wonderful place for information but nothing will ever replace a tangible book that contains information in a less crowded space. Believe it or not, sometimes an answer is found easier in a book than by hitting that search button in your internet browser!
These books have been my go-to for consistent resources throughout this farming adventure. Whether you’re a casual grower or are involved in an industrial farming operation, the information you can learn from these books is invaluable!
This post contains affiliate links. Please see disclosure for more information.
A composition of true stories, Silent Spring revealed the impact of chemical pesticides on wildlife, birds, bees, agriculture animals, domestic pets, and humans. Rachel Carson utilized her professional resources in federal research agencies and private research institutions to document her analysis of these pesticides. After years of research, Silent Spring was released and gave way to the modern environmental movement.
The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming
Growing on just 1.5 acres, Jean-Martin and Maude-Helene feed more than 200 families through their thriving CSA and seasonal market stands. The secret of their success is the low-tech, high-yield production methods they have developed by focusing on growing better rather than growing bigger, making their operation more lucrative and viable in the process.
Dirt to Soil – One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture
Written by Gabe Brown, Dirt to Soil follows his journey of transitioning a family farm into a regenerative agriculture operation. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown has grown several inches of new topsoil in twenty years by eliminating the use of most herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers.
The Urban Farmer: Growing Food for Profit on Leased and Borrowed Land
The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard.
RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
With expert advice from the RHS, this best-selling book features a photographic catalog of plants and flowers, all organized by color, size, and type, to help you select the right varieties for your outdoor space. Explore and discover perennials, bulbs, shrubs, and trees, succulents, and ornamental shrubs, all showcased in mesmerizing, full-color photography.
Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl by Geobiologist Hope Jahren is a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. She invites us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.
Floret Farm’s a Year in Flowers: Designing Gorgeous Arrangements for Every Season
With sections on tools, flower care, and design techniques, Floret Farm’s A Year in Flowers presents all the secrets to arranging garden-fresh bouquets. This is a gorgeous and comprehensive guide to everything you need to make your own incredible arrangements all year long, whether harvesting flowers from the backyard or shopping for blooms at the market.
Farming on the Wild Side – The Evolution of a Regenerative Organic Farm and Nursery
Vermont’s Nancy and John Hayden spent the last 25 years transforming their draft horse-powered, organic vegetable and livestock operation into an agroecological, regenerative, biodiverse, organic farm. In Farming on the Wild Side, they explain the principles that influenced them to turn their property into a semi-wild state and adapt their marketing and sales strategies to the new century.
The Seed Garden – The Art and Practice of Seed Saving
Filled with advice for the home gardener and the more seasoned horticulturist alike, The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving provide straightforward instruction on collecting seed for sowing in next year’s garden. In this comprehensive book, decades of knowledge are brought together to demystify the tradition of saving seed of coveted vegetable, herb crops, and grains.
The Flower Farmer
The Flower Farmer provides a comprehensive guide to small-scale commercial production. Learn the best and most profitable flowers to grow for your region while getting advice on ecological pest management, weed control, and how to harvest and care for cut flowers. You will also gain an understanding of potential markets for your flowers and where to focus your efforts.
Expert flower farmer Lisa Mason Ziegler introduces 30 of the long-blooming stars of the spring garden: hardy annuals – those flowers that thrive when they are planted during cool. With the author’s simple planting how-to’s, you’ll have a low-maintenance, vibrant spring flower garden that keeps on blooming…and blooming… long before the “tender annuals” get started!