Ben Hartman grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Indiana and graduated college with degrees in English and philosophy. Ben and his wife, Rachel Hershberger, own and operate Clay Bottom Farm in Goshen, Indiana, where they make their living growing and selling specialty crops on less than one acre. Their food is sold locally to restaurants and cafeterias, at a farmers market, and through a community-supported-agriculture (CSA) program. The farm has twice won Edible Michiana's Reader's Choice award. The Lean Farm, Ben's first book, won the Shingo Institute's prestigious Research and Professional Publication Award. In 2017, Ben was named one of fifty emerging green leaders in the United States by Grist.
"If you liked The Lean Farm, you'll love The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables. Ben's first book was the big picture of what lean principles are and how they can be used to make farms more efficient. This book focuses in for the close-up, with specific examples of how to apply lean principles to vegetable farming and case studies from the author's own farm experience. Ben's discussion of kaizen, the practice of continuous improvement, reminds us we can all be more efficient. Read this book with last season in mind and you'll be inspired with ideas of how to streamline next season. After reading this I have more than a few lean ideas I'm going to apply on my own farm."--Andrew Mefferd, author of The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook "I'm an impatient reader but always make time for Ben's writings. Every time I found myself wondering about a nugget of detail in The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables it would appear within the next paragraph or two. This book fully explores production details that most authors skim over, and in vegetable production--as in any craft--details matter."--Pete Johnson, founder, Pete's Greens, Craftsbury, Vermont "Applications of lean principles to a new arena are often confusing and shallow. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables is clear and deep. This book is based on real-world experience, drawing on lean principles to develop a radically new approach to farming that gets you more for less."--Jeffrey Liker, author of The Toyota Way "Another gem from Ben Hartman. The Lean Farm introduced a dynamic new way of thinking about small farm businesses, pointing us in the right direction. Now, The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables gives us the detail, specifics, and tricks of the trade that show us how to execute lean strategies on a small farm. Ben is a key entrepreneur in diverse, sustainable, small farm agriculture, and is emerging as the Midwest's heir apparent to Eliot Coleman. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables is an indispensable resource for all small farmers, new or experienced, young or old."--Steve Hallett, professor of horticulture, Purdue University; author of The Efficiency Trap; coauthor of Life without Oil "This is a great book on the methods that make Clay Bottom Farm a successful compact farm, explaining the thinking behind those methods. Ben gives clear, detailed descriptions of the day-to-day systems, and further illustrates the concepts he first laid out in The Lean Farm. This companion, The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables, reveals a refined system that makes a great jumping off point for any aspiring grower, and gives seasoned growers ideas for how to improve their own systems."--Josh Volk, author of Compact Farms "Ben Hartman clearly illustrates how the continual process of lean thinking can benefit every farm. From targeted market planning driven by what customers truly value, to effective and efficient production from planning through harvest, and ultimately to putting money into your bank account, this book is full of practical and inventive ideas that will help your farm prosper."--Richard Wiswall, author of The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook "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 "Everyone strives for efficiency in vegetable farming, but Ben Hartman has actually achieved it. In his lean farming books, he provides a clear-headed approach to achieving efficiency of space, time, and resources. Every vegetable farmer who wants to be profitable and enjoy the farming life would do well to read these books closely."--Lynn Byczynski, author of Market Farming Success and The Flower Farmer "This manual of growing follows the lean principles of Ben and Rachel's farm, its pages are jam-packed with useful advice for efficient organic growing. 'Lean' is a great paradigm for directing your time and energy into a fully effective approach, whether in a large garden or small farm. I was fascinated to read all the examples of seeding, planting, and harvesting, and the gorgeous photos show the high productiveness of these methods."--Charles Dowding, coauthor of No Dig Organic Home & Garden "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 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