The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables: More In-Depth Lean Techniques for Efficient Organic Production
by Ben Hartman, 227 pages, 7x10, softcover. In his new volume, Hartman starts with the principles offered in The Lean Farm and dives deep into the nitty-gritties of how to apply those principles in the organic market garden. Planning for the season? Aim for “pull production,” using contracts, communication and record-keeping to produce according to what you know the market will bear. Seed-starting time? Use a germination chamber to germinate nearly every single seed, reducing waste of seed, space, and medium. Want efficient weed control? Follow the “June 1 Rule”: aim to have zero weeds on the farm on June 1, so that crops, not weeds, take advantage of the prime growing month. Tired of scattered sales spreading you thin? Establish metrics to help you choose your crops and market. Hartman shows how he applies lean principles to seven of his market crops while cautioning that, in the words of Toyota production system expert Shingeo Shingo, “lean is a way of thinking, not a list of things to do.” The procedures that work well on his farm might not work well on yours, but the principles will stand! -Alice Coyle
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