Who is the quintessential back yard farmer? Is it Carleen Sing and her sons, working long and hard on the land, tending their goats, horses and chickens? Absolutely. Is it Fabio Paderno and his family who have swapped the city grind for a life of free-range eggs and fresh air? Yep.
What about Elisabeth Fekonia enjoying the sweet spoils of home bee-keeping? Definitely. And do we include Amadis Lacheta and her neighbours who have transformed their urban yards into a community food forest? We sure do.
How about Sharon Tay who converted her dry, struggling suburban front lawn into a water-wise oasis of herbs, native shrubs, grasses, flowers and vegies. Yes.
What about a busy editor who sometimes thinks the lettuce is greener on the other side of the computer screen but finds time to tend her pots of basil and Kaffir lime tree. I think so.
Many of us grew up in families where nanas and granddads, mums and dads and neighbours had the back yard filled with pumpkins, spuds, corn, plums, peaches, chooks and the odd goat. As evident in these pages, this way of life continues and in the face of rising prices, excessive food miles and harmful chemicals it now seems more important than ever to feed our soils, tend our seedlings and enjoy all the wonders, pleasures and benefits from growing your own.
I invite you to put down your spade, take off your gumboots, put the kettle on and dig into these pages. Be inspired, harvest a few tips and feel secure in the knowledge that there is an ever-growing community of back yard farmers in a suburb, city or country town near you … and then get back out there, dig in that compost and help to make the world a better place.
PS. Back Yard Farmer is here to stay and we need you! If you'd like the opportunity to contribute to a future volume, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea we'd love to hear from you.