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Most Americans visualize farms as giant swathes of land, covered in corn or wheat, and managed with tractors and combines, but the global average size for a subsistence farm is 1 to 3 acres. With good soil and sun exposure, a typical backyard can easily feed a family. A one-acre suburban lot can feed a family, support a flock of chickens, and yield enough extra to sell or barter.

Backyard farming is a wonderful way to ‘eat local’, and there are many books, periodicals, websites and other resources to help a new farmer get started and an old-timer stay current with changing practices and technology. The selection on display is from Western Libraries and the library of Seven Trees Farm, a 1.25 acre diversified subsistence farm in near Everson, WA.

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Joanna Bailey