Unusually Clever People

Urban Farm Magazine is Awesome

Urban farm

The people at Urban Farm magazine sent me a stack of recent issues to check out, much to my delight.  I've always loved Hobby Farms, the magazine that is sort of the parent of Urban Farm, and of course I adore their Chickens magazine.  A whole magazine about chickens?  Hell, yes!

What's so great about these magazines is that they do not assume that you are a trembling, fearful beginner who needs to be talked down to and reassured and lulled into a stupor with pretty pictures and useless little lists and sidebars.  No, they assume that you intend to roll up your sleeves and actually go outside and build a chicken coop or birth a calf or put up enough turnips to see you through the winter. They assume, in other words, that you are a competent adults, engaged in the business of amateur farming, and that you're well past the stage of wanting to lounge about reading a teaser or an overview that won't let you do anything but dream about maybe someday getting a flock of turkeys or planting an apple orchard, if only someone would actually tell you how.

No.  Hobby Farms, and Urban Farm, and Chicken magazine, will actually tell you how. You will find brilliantly specific articles on, say, moulting.  That's right, moulting.  It's not a bullet point in a sidebar, but the subject of an entire article in the Sept/Oct issue of Urban Farm. In that same issue, you're also going to read about goat bedding.  Not about goats in general and how cute they are and how maybe you might get some someday.  No, this is an entire article on the subject of bedding.

And so on.  How to graft an apple tree, how to stock a root cellar, how to tap a maple tree, how to make kaffir cheese, how to make a table out of an old door.  Sure, there are profiles of community gardens, product reviews, interviews with the rock stars of the urban farming world, and other such bits and pieces. But mostly, every magazine these people put out is devoted to hardcore, nuts-and-bolts, meat-and-potatoes GETTING STUFF DONE.

And they're nicely photographed and well-written and all that. And subscriptions are something like $15, which is less than the price of a pizza. And I promise that you'll get more pleasure–and more good food–out of this subscription than you would from the pizza.  So do get over there and check them out.  They're awesome.

Posted by on October 5, 2011 at 4:56 am, in the category Unusually Clever People.
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9 Responses to “Urban Farm Magazine is Awesome”

  1. The word in the vegetable rows is that two of the urban farms on the recent West Asheville Garden Stroll will be in an upcoming issue of Urban Farm.

    Turnips you say. If I’m going to store enough of something for the winter in my root cellar, let’s do potatoes and parsnips.

  2. Tara Dillard says:

    Historic LANDSCAPE DESIGN increases urban crop yield by 50%-80%.

    How? Increasing quantity of pollinators throughout the year. A single vegetable flowering turns into 2 or more on many types of veggies. More pounds produce/plant.

    Honey production is increased also.

    Odd, never seeing ornamental horticulture paired with agriculture.

    Entire articles, magazines, symposia dedicated to veggies and zero mention how historic LANDSCAPE DESIGN with ornamentals increases vegetable yields.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  3. I love these magazines too, thanks for giving them a post.
    Tara–great idea! I’ve seen short “asides” about planting flowers, herbs, etc. in with the vegetables, but nothing solid on what a difference it makes in production.

  4. Laura Bell says:

    I just discovered “Urban Farmer” and it’s made me long even more for a bit more room, more accepting neighbors … or an empty lot nearby. I want bees. I want chickens. I want not to just garden. I want to farm.

  5. Genevieve says:

    Yeah, it’s one of my favorite magazines for sure. The most recent issue, with the cocktails, was totally rad.

  6. I should let some friends know about Chickens.

    Erm. ‘Kaffir’ is a lime used in Asian & Indian cooking, and it has unusual leaves: what looks like two leaves, end to end, per sub-branch.

    Kefir, a fermented dairy drink that can be runny (and fruit-flavored!), about the consistency of a lassi, is usually a yogurt product. I understand that there is a firmer version. I drank kefir as a young adult, but haven’t touched it in years–I’d rather have lassi, esp. the sweeter kind with rosewater, or with mango.

    As to your CA to MA tour, I can’t make anything until next year ;-(( as I have a dance rehearsal every Thursday at 9pm, and our troupe has a performance that weekend. I expect your new book won’t be available until sometime in 2013.

  7. Lisa Winters says:

    I could not agree more. I’ve cancelled most of my garden magazine subscriptions but Urban Farm is one I’m addicted to.

  8. Katie E-P says:

    I love this magazine. Not sure how I found it–I think I went to the bookstore and bought all of their gardening magazines one day. It is awesome. I subscribed immediately. I’ve tried several projects, including cucumbers in buckets. Lots of fun!

  9. Teri says:

    Ah Impulse bought a subscription! I’m not normally a magazine kind of person but this one sounds exactly like the type of one I’ve been looking for. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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