Book Review: The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone

Guest Post:

Shelly Burkhardt

Shelly Burkhardt

A former grain, hog, and tree farmer of a family operation in Indiana. A mother of five free ranged children. Hobbies include cooking, wine making, and photography.
Shelly Burkhardt

Latest posts by Shelly Burkhardt


Curtis Stone’s, The Urban Farmer could have easily been titled, “Urban Farming for Dummies”. But there is no such thing as a dumb farmer. It became immediately obvious that urban farming is an extrovert farmers dream, while rural farming is still a haven for the introvert.


Mr. Stone brilliantly gives thorough details on seed prep, equipment recommendations, crop planning, marketing the crop, selling the crop, farming ethics, along with startup essentials.  


In addition to the reason why one would need these fundamentals. His comment about the abundance of land compared to the two percent of North America’s population of farmers, is humbling.  We are the demand. If I was asked to make a suggestion, it would be including the importance of having a good Ag tax accountant or Ag tax lawyer. These folks can do a lot when it compares to the profit of farming.



The one thing I would have changed has nothing to do with the authors book but with a comment made by Mr. Stone’s forward contributor.  “…if you have to work another job in order to be a farmer, it isn’t good and you probably won’t be a farmer for very long.”


I’ve only known a few farmers who didn’t have an off farm job.  They are the ones that inherited land from their Pappy. These farmers tend to start out having unreal expectations of farming. The majority of farmers are workaholics. With that in mind, Mr.  Stone’s comments of not taking on too much and growing slow is good advice for the farmer personality.


This is clearly a textbook for the future or current urban farmer.  Mr. Stone is very generous with his information. He intellectually puts his knowledge in a layman form.   The Urban Farmer is worthy of tabbing and adding to the farmers library. The rural farmer will like reading some of his ideas and innovations.


If I may leave you with Mr. Stones parting words, “…there was never a time I felt totally ready.  In fact, I was so daunted by the whole idea, that I would toss and turn at nights…” Farming is not easy. It’s hard work. But when you have someone who has done some of the leg work, you are just going to have one less night of tossing and turning.   


Amazing book. A farmer must read.



The Urban Farmer: Growing Food for Profit on Leased and Borrowed Land


There are 40 million acres of lawns in North America. In their current form, these unproductive expanses of grass represent a significant financial and environmental cost. However, viewed through a different lens, they can also be seen as a tremendous source of opportunity. Access to land is a major barrier for many people who want to enter the agricultural sector, and urban and suburban yards have huge potential for would-be farmers wanting to become part of this growing movement.


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 (or someone else’s). Major benefits include:

Low capital investment and overhead costs
Reduced need for expensive infrastructure
Easy access to markets.

Growing food in the city means that fresh crops may travel only a few blocks from field to table, making this innovative approach the next logical step in the local food movement. Based on a scalable, easily reproduced business model, The Urban Farmer is your complete guide to minimizing risk and maximizing profit by using intensive production in small leased or borrowed spaces.


  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (December 29, 2015)


We are Big Fans of New Society Publishers at the Small Town Homestead!



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Shelly Burkhardt

Shelly Burkhardt

A former grain, hog, and tree farmer of a family operation in Indiana. A mother of five free ranged children. Hobbies include cooking, wine making, and photography.