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For a rewarding garden — and experience — think like a farmer and an artist

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Colin McCrate is the co-founder of Seattle Urban Farm Company and a contributor to Pacific NW magazine. His new book, co-authored by Brad Halm, is “Grow More Food: A… (Hilary Dahl)

Anyone can become an artist in the garden.

By Colin McCrate
Special to The Seattle Times
May 13, 2022


“GROW MORE FOOD,” the book I wrote with Brad Halm, is for people who are intent on getting as much food as possible from their gardens, whatever the size of their plot. Our knowledge is drawn from a background in small- and large-acreage farming, as well as in backyard gardening.

After years working on a variety of diversified vegetable farms, we launched a home gardening business. Since 2007, we’ve been running this business, Seattle Urban Farm Company, which helps homeowners, restaurants and communities grow their own food. We’ve taken the systems and practices used by professional growers and adapted them for use at the scale of a home garden.

There are many reasons a home gardener might want to implement the strategies described in this book. It might be that you simply want to be more efficient with your time and resources. Or feed your household from the garden year-round. Perhaps you’d like to set up a miniature farm stand by the mailbox for supplemental income, sell a few vegetables at your local farmers market, coordinate a community garden or prepare for the zombie apocalypse.

No matter what your goals are, the strategies and techniques described in our book will help you approach your garden like a small-scale farm, dramatically increasing its productivity. Focusing on production means that your plot will need more careful planning, record keeping and management than a typical backyard vegetable garden.

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