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More Food from Small Spaces
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More Food from Small Spaces

Bigger Vegetable Yields with Less Work

A vegetable garden with inset of different kinds of vegetables

More Food from Small Spaces, explains and illustrates all my gardening strategies with clear and simple instructions— including how to build two different kinds of inexpensive portable greenhouses.

Greenhouse covered in plastic sheeting

I’ve been vegetable gardening for over 40 years in different spaces, mostly suburban yards, and once in a rural 18 acre property where I made a 30 x 30 foot vegetable plot. Later, I moved to a house in a city about a mile from downtown with a very small back yard. So, I reinvented gardening for myself and came up with a completely new system. I made a great discovery. I actually grew more vegetables in my 8 x 24 foot plot than I did in my 30 x 30 foot garden. How did I do this?

A section of a vegetable garden showing peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, zucchini and okra

I played with space. I decided I could place one working space in the middle of every 8 x 8 foot square section where I could stand or kneel and that I could reach every spot in the bed from either that center square or from outside the vegetable patch. So, I loaded the bed with plants spaced closely together and It worked! The plants thrived being so densely planted. And the harvesting was staggered that way too. Instead of having eight cabbages ready at once, the ones with slightly more favorable conditions grew a little faster and once they were picked, the ones left in the ground could grow in improved conditions going forward. The dense plant spacing also shaded the soil more, so the beds needed a little less water. And air borne weed seeds couldn’t get to the soil as easily either.

I also figured out how to create simple structures made from PVC plumbing pipes and their connectors to train plants upward for vertical growth, so I could space plants closer to one another. The book is full of simple plans for the tallest tomato supports, cucumber supports, pea supports, winter squash supports. And I didn’t need to take out a hammer or nail to build them, I just cut the pipes and bought the PVC joining connectors. I’m able to grow a crop of peas in the spring on a 3 x 7 foot trellis support and use that same trellis support and patch of soil to grow a crop of winter squashes after the peas die back. I routinely harvest 18 or so butternut squashes every year.

So you see, in a way I played with time too by getting more than one crop out of the same patches of soil. . . and I played with time in a very big way by figuring out how to make a simple greenhouse (actually the book shows how to make 2 different kinds) from those good old PVC pipes and plastic sheeting. The greenhouse lets me start sowing cooler weather seeds in winter, so we’re eating greens in March or April. And within the green house I do double cropping too, including a Fall crop of greens too. I came up with other ideas too about warming plants in the winter and cooling them in the summer.

A section of a vegetable garden with cucumbers, swiss chard, parsnips, kale and beets

All of this awesome harvesting power depends on good soil fertility. More Food from Small Spaces shows how to do composting in a small space too. You don’t need a big compost pile. My composting is all plant based and happens in sealable buckets with the aid of special microorganisms. I show how to make all of this and how when to bury the compost and what kinds of natural minerals you can add so the garden is completely organic and very, very fertile.

A five gallon composting bucket with a spigot

And that’s not all. I show planting bed layouts and crop rotation plans and ideal seed spacing guides. I also show how to save seeds for most of the vegetable plants. I’ve even added a guide to canning, drying and freezing vegetables to extend the months you’ll be eating your own food.

If you don’t follow a plan, you’ll have lost an opportunity and you’ll have to wait another year to get it right. So, maybe, do yourself a favor and get this $8.99 book and start out with a good plan that will start paying you with fresh, organic vegetables in two or three months from planting.

More Food From Small Spaces is clearly written, well organized, and chock-full of photographs and step-by-step instructions that make implementing Park’s techniques a snap.” – ForeWord Book Review

“Highly recommended” – Midwest Book Review

Results may vary.




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Grow your own Compact High-Yield Vegetable Garden

A small space is No obstacle to growing big yields of delicious, nutritious vegetables.

But . . . you have to break the age-old rules that waste too much space. Instead, push boundaries by spacing plants densely, growing them vertically, and for a longer season.

Get 30% more planting beds in a given area by minimizing the space for walking and working in the garden.

And space plants as closely as their natures allow so that you increase yields per area. Plants always crowd together in nature’s fields, why not in the backyard vegetable garden?

The plant spacing ideas you’ll find here make this method different from many other growing guides.

The old rules for plant spacing are based on farming techniques. It makes sense for the farmer to have an entire crop of uniform-sized vegetables ready to be picked at the same time. But in the backyard garden, a longer season for harvesting each kind of vegetable is better. So if some plants lag behind in growth and need more time to develop, that’s a good thing. With good soil fertility, vegetables can be planted very densely to increase the yield in a given area. For instance, you can harvest more than 50 beets from a two-foot square area of soil. They won’t all be ready at the same time. Some beets will grow faster or be better positioned, and as you harvest these faster growers, conditions improve for the remaining plants. You’ll be able to pick beets for months — or carrots or —cabbages.

PVC pipe supports for tomato plants

Accelerate your own compost production using very few resources and very little space.

To succeed with such intensive gardening, fertile soil is a must. If we think of the vegetable garden as a food chain with the gardener at the top, we see that each level depends on the nourishment of the level below. We can add the microorganisms that the plants eat and the minerals that the microorganisms eat. There are naturally-occurring crushed rock products that are loaded with the minerals and trace minerals that microorganisms consume and turn into more bio-available forms for the plants. Microorganisms can be added to the soil via compost tea and other composting methods. For those with little space, bucket composting is a great way to add friendly microbes by recycling kitchen and yard waste into great compost fast, inexpensively and tidily without the need for bins or drums or space-hogging, vermin-haunting compost piles.

Use your vertical space. Build our simple Grow-towers without hammering a single nail.

Plants with a vining nature can be trained to grow higher on trellises and other supports instead of bushier ground-level growth. Pvc pipes and their fittings are excellent for constructing simple, snap-together trellis structures that are inexpensive, sturdy, durable, and space-saving. And they can be taken apart easily for storage or for reconfiguring. You can harvest a crop of peas in June and use the same bed and same Grow-tower for winter squashes or melons. Harvest 18 or so butternut squashes in a 3 x 7 foot area.

Grow year-round! Build our plastic hoop house or the gabled greenhouse in less than a day.

Lengthen the growing season. Successive planting will keep the garden productive throughout most of the year. Building a simple and portable greenhouse can add three or four months of harvest. Cooling strategies in hot weather and warming strategies in cold weather can also extend the harvest. Put together a simple shade canopy to cool off your tomatoes in the heat of summer.

Harvest your own seeds for next year’s crop.

Our simple, illustrated seed saving guide includes all the instructions you’ll need to successfully collect plentiful seeds for yourself or to share with friends.

Make Food Last

With our handy guide to canning, freezing, and dehydrating your own home produce, including instructions for making a quick and easy solar food drying box.

There are so many reasons to grow vegetables at home. You can assure the purity and mineral content of your food, pick your vegetables at peak flavor and ripeness and save money, as well. You can choose heirloom seed varieties and harvest seeds for the next crop to save even more money. With the newer methods, small spaces are no longer a disadvantage. In fact, less space means less wasted water on walkways and paths and less time spent weeding a large garden area.

Margaret Park has grown vegetable gardens for more than forty years in three different regions. She continues to use the unique methods in her book every year to grow a lot of her family’s food. 





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“With plenty of photography and good designs throughout, More Food From Small Spaces is a strong addition to gardening collections looking on alternative methods to garden.  Highly recommended.”             —Small Press Bookwatch, www.midwestbookreview.com

“Popular ads tell us that ‘small is the new big.’ If that saying is true, then More Food is huge. Gardeners who believe they don’t need another book on the horticulture shelf may want to reconsider, as Park’s high-yield techniques are worth far more than the purchase price of her book.”                                — Nancy Walker, ForeWord Reviews

Media coverage of  More Food From Small Spaces

Vegetable Gardener.com

The Edge Magazine

Excerpted in Capper’s Farmer

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