In 2011, one of our CSA customers approached us with the idea of applying the lean methods that he uses in his trailer factory to our farm. The result: we've cut our growing area from three acres to one, gotten rid of half the tools we used to own, and work far fewer hours. Every year that we've gotten "smaller," we've grown more profitable. The Lean Farm describes the lean system in plain terms for any size and type of farm. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables shows in detail how we grow our crops with lean thinking. Together the books make the case that small scale farming can still be a viable career for young people wanting to farm.  


The Lean Farm and The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables are available anywhere books are sold, including through the following links:

Chelsea Green
Barnes and Noble

Praise for The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables

Ben Hartman and I share similar approaches to growing vegetables; we both run highly productive farms using efficient techniques and well-designed space and procedures. With this book, however, I believe Ben has taken our craft to new levels with fresh ideas and different strategies. The information here provides incredible value for any small-scale farmer seeking a compact, yet profitable farm model. I highly recommend this book.
— Jean-Martin Fortier, author of The Market Gardener
All revolutions require a leap in consciousness plus a set of daily practices to sustain and gain the full benefits of the new consciousness. Ben Hartman is that rare person who could describe the lean farming revolution (in The Lean Farm) and then provide proven practices from his own farm in his new book, The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables, to help fellow revolutionaries grow good food in a lean way for the long term. Together these volumes describe all you need to know for a sustainable lean revolution on your farm. The rest is up to you.
— Jim Womack, founder and senior advisor, Lean Enterprise Institute
Ben Hartman is a true innovator for the small farm. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables takes the lean techniques from his first book even further with new innovations and greater detail. I have been eagerly awaiting this addendum so that I can start trying these practices on my farm. This book is a must for any market grower who wants to push the boundaries of profitability while finding life balance at the same time.
— Curtis Stone, author of The Urban Farmer

Praise for The Lean Farm

If you want to see, right now, what food farming will look like in the coming years, this is the book for you. Using the kind of super-efficiency that new-age manufacturing has perfected, author Ben Hartman describes, in great detail and with superb illustrations, how he and his wife reduced their farm size from three acres to one and still make a decent living on it.
— Gene Logsdon, author, The Contrary Farmer
Anyone who thinks lean is only for a factory should read this book. Ben Hartman, with simple but eloquent prose and delightful figures and photos, demonstrates how all aspects of lean can apply to farming, a process of growing and selling living things.
— Jeffrey Liker, author of The Toyota Way
Farmers are good at farming―it is what they enjoy doing! At the same time, planning, organizing, and working out everything most efficiently is often not done as easily. The Lean Farm will help us all easily increase flow, production, and income. It is a treasure trove of possibilities without the need for increased investment!
— John Jeavons, author of How to Grow More Vegetables
His writing, like his farm, is clean, well organized, and easy to follow―but his ideas are revolutionary. The Lean Farm is one of the most original and innovative books on food and farming to come out in the last decade.
— Steve Hallett, Professor of Horticulture, Purdue University, and author of Life without Oil