eBook on sale

Storey let me know that during the month of October Compact Farms made their “Fresh Picks” list you can buy the eBook version for just $2.99 – practically free.

The book has been out for more than 6 months now and I hear that lots of you are buying it and actually reading it! It’s very gratifying to hear from folks who appreciate the information I was able to collect and that Storey was able to put together into such a beautiful book. If you do buy it and like it, please leave a review somewhere on line – it definitely helps more folks to find it.

If you want a paper copy, you can now order from me directly (see the sidebar/footer). I’m out of town until mid-October, “researching” compact farms in Spain, but I’ll be shipping any orders as soon as I get back.

More Events

I’ve listed a few more workshops and books signings over at http://www.slowhandfarm.com/workshops/

Rather than duplicate the info here, you might just head over there where I keep a (slightly) more current list…

Upcoming Events Around the Country

This weekend, May 6-7, I’ll be promoting the book and giving two workshops at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, North Carolina. Head over to their website (and scroll way down – authors are in alphabetical order by last name) for more details.

This will be my first time back in North Carolina in more than two decades! As a little piece of trivia, when I was  a wee lad my family lived in North Carolina so perhaps a bit of a homecoming?

I have a number of other events coming up this summer, and I’ll try to post more specifics as details get settled. If you can’t make it to the fair in Asheville, I’ll also be at their fair here in Oregon later in the summer. In June I’ll be in Southern Oregon for a workshop in conjunction with Rogue Farm Corps.

In July I’m very excited to be helping with a tour of small farms in conjunction with Slow Food Nations which will be in Denver, Colorado this year.

Nothing is solid yet, but I’m also hoping to make it to events in the Midwest and Northeast later this year so I’ll post about those once they’re confirmed.


Press for the book


Josh Volk of Slow Hand Farm - copyright Shawn Linehan
Slow Hand Farm CSA, Sauvie Island, Portland, Oregon. Photo by my good friend Shawn Linehan who took many of the photos featured in the book. Without her I wouldn’t have any photos of myself farming at Slow Hand Farm.


The book has been getting great press, so much I can’t keep up with posting all of it. I’ll work on turning this into its own page eventually but here’s a sample of the podcasts, radio interviews and blogs that have come out in the last few weeks.

This week, Slow Food USA did a really nice blog post on the book and did a great job of explaining on how it relates to the Slow Food movement. I’m so glad they picked up on this – many of the famers in the book are involved in the Slow Food movement and have been delegates at the international movement’s incredible Terra Madre event. I actually met one of the farmers featured in the book at Terra Madre in 2014 so it feels great to have them put the word out, and to informally endorse the book.

One of my personal favorite podcasts is the Farmer to Farmer Podcast. Chris Blanchard has now done over 100 hour long plus interviews of farmers all around the country, profiling their systems and digging into the details of what makes their farms unique. It was a real honor to be featured on the show and I may have been the first part time farmer to talk about how it’s possible to not be at the farm every day, or even every other day, but to still make everything work.

Jennifer Ebeling of the Still Growing Podcast put up a long – almost 2 hour! – interview where she asked me about pretty much every part of the book, and there’s a lot of backstory on the book and how the different farms made it into the book in this interview.

SG560: Turn Compact Spaces into Successful Market Farms with Josh Volk

Greg Peterson of the Urban Farm Podcast did a slightly shorter podcast that gets into my background, how I got into farming, and some more of my thoughts on what I’ve learned from farming.

Kevin Gallagher had me on his radio show, Digging in the Dirt on WPKN Community Radio in Bridgeport, CT, back in February when the book first came out.

Another very short little piece was on Living the Country Life, and their associated radio spot that you can hear there.

Here in Portland, I was recently on Weston Miller’s radio show, Grow PDX, on XRAY.fm. It’s always fun to talk with Weston, we’ve know each other for almost 20 years now and met in my early days of farming down in California. I hear there’s Facebook Live video of this interview somewhere on the Oregonian’s FB page, but I haven’t looked for it yet.

The Huffington Post kicked off a lot of the media with a nice little interview back just before the book was officially released in the beginning of February. It was a positively titled piece –The Local Food Movement Is Flourishing And Shows No Signs Of Stopping – at an uncertain time  just after the inauguration and from what I heard folks appreciated the little bit of good news it brought.

I really appreciate all of the folks who have wanted to hear more about the book and who have taken the time to interview me and allowed me to get my thoughts more widely heard. I’m starting to loose track of all of the interviews I’ve done recently so I hope I didn’t leave any out. I’ll be posting links to all of these on social media as well and I hope there’ll be more to help get the word out more widely.





Want to hear what I sound like?

I’ve been getting lots of radio and podcast interviews recently. Today at 5pm (February 13, 2017) I’ll be on WPKN in Connecticut with Kevin Galleher’s Digging in the Dirt show, also available on Soundcloud.

I’ll also be at the Oregon Small Farm Conference this Friday, talking about weed control (not a radio interview, but still me speaking).

On last Friday I had a short little bit on Living the Country Life – sorry for the late notice there but I think you can still access that one if you like.

As much as I hate listening to myself talk, I kind of assume maybe other people might want to and that’s why people have me on their show? Seems like I ought to help them spread the word and I really do appreciate them getting the word out about my book to new audiences so I’m doing my best here.

This book was such a huge collaboration by so many people and I’m really glad to be promoting their good work and getting more people to see it. I wrote it but it wouldn’t have happened with out scores of folks at Storey Publishing, all of the farmers profiled in the book and more who I talked to in the process, and the good people around me every day that help me to work on projects like this.

There are more interviews coming up, so I’ll let you know when those are available.  Always interesting to see what all of the different outlets focus in on.

How I met JM Fortier

JM Fortier with his farm's namesake, the broad fork.
JM Fortier with his farm’s namesake, the broad fork.

One of the things I want to do with this blog is to give some back story on how I met the farmers that are profiled in the book. JM just sent me a really lovely endorsement for the book so I posted that over on the About page and I’ll kick off the blog with the short story of how I “met” him.

I used to be a very regular contributor to Growing For Market and I guess folks were reading my articles there because I got a lot of nice feedback over the years. I also had this farmer up in Canada send me a manuscript for his book telling me he appreciated my articles and asking if I’d be willing to read the manuscript and write an endorsement for the cover. I have to admit that my initial impression was that this guy had just rewritten Eliot Coleman’s New Organic Grower, but then I thought about it a little more and realized a couple of important differences. Most obviously it was his story, not Eliot’s. He had obviously been influenced by Eliot, but the book was more of an homage to the New Organic Grower than a cheap imitation, and more than anything his example demonstrated clearly that Eliot’s techniques could be applied by others, with great success. The examples in the book were from actual experience on his farm, things that worked for him, not theoretical ideas taken from reading about farming or from imagining a better way. On close reading he also had a number of refinements to Eliot’s systems that worked for him in his conditions and were likely useful to many other small farms.

So, after initial healthy skepticism, I sent him back an appreciative note and a strong endorsement for his book. I was pleasantly surprised when the print version came out to find my endorsement on the back cover, right under Eliot Coleman’s endorsement!

In the past few years JM’s “The Market Gardener” has been an incredibly influential book, in no small part due to his generous touring around the country to give more details on the techniques (something I’ve taken note of and am considering for my own book). It’s also because his techniques are excellent and well presented, and indeed, build on the techniques that Eliot presented in his book and and in turn that Eliot borrowed from visiting market gardeners in Europe when he was getting his start. In other words, time tested and slowly refined techniques that work.

I’ve had the good fortune to cross paths, in person, with JM a number of times in the intervening years and he’s a great guy, full of energy and enthusiasm for promoting small farming, spreading good and useful information and having a little fun at the same time. I’m so happy he was willing to be a part of my book and I think his farm not only is a great example of how to be successful on a very small scale, but provides a good reference point for the other farms profiled in the book.