Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Book Review- Backyard Market Gardening

Backyard Market Gardening: The Entrepeneur's Guide to Selling What You Grow
By Andy Lee and Patricia Foreman

I begin this review by prefacing it with a valuable concept gleaned from another book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.  Many people consider their house to be their biggest investment.  An investment is something, however, that is supposed to ultimately earn you income.  If you buy rental income property and become a landlord, then it makes sense to call the house an investment.  However, if your home is not drawing an income of its own, but is instead consuming your funds through utilities, taxes, repairs, and a mortgage, then it is more of a money pit than a sound investment. 

Don't ever let anyone sell you on the lie that buying a house is an investment unless they can demonstrate that the property has a clear potential of drawing an income.   Considering that any appreciation of property value over time will be completely overshadowed by the amount of interest paid on the mortgage, how many people can really say that their house is working for them?  An interesting side note: the roots of the word mortgage mean "death grip".  That sounds about right.

And now, back to the book review at hand!

If you have ever wondered how to make your house (or, in this case, your yard) work for you, instead of the other way around, you need to get this book!  While this book will not teach you how to grow a garden, it teaches you the most effective ways to sell what you grow. 

The authors present several business models that work for a wide variety of individual growers ranging from those who have a couple of acres to less than one eigth of an acre.  The how-to's of farmers' markets, membership and subscriber gardens, road-side stands, as well as home deliveries are explained in detail.  Also presented are sample budgets, and oodles of marketing ideas that you can mix and match to meet your own unique circumstances.  The book is very readable, providing solid information without being dry or tedious. 

Once upon a time, being a land owner was supposed to free you by being a source of both sustenance and income.  Owning property was not supposed to chain you to a job, fearful of whether or not you can make the mortgage payments.  Why not reclaim that old sense of being a property owner by making your land, however small, work for you?

This is a gem of a book. 

Live better, a little every day.

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