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Organic Farming Books
Sir Albert Howard presents a summary of his life's work in this book. Howard states "This law is true for soil, plant, animal, and man: the health of these four is one connected chain. Any weakness or defect in the health of any earlier link in the chain is carried on to the next and succeeding links, until it reaches the last, namely, man." Howard's work, decades ahead of its time, provides an insight into how he realized the value of organic methods though he went to India intending to teach the use of chemical fertilizers and chemical pest control. This text has been published under the title "The Soil and Health" and also under the title "Farming and Gardening for Health or Disease."
The current growth of organic farming is being fuelled by market demand. Nicolas Lampkin's book spells out both the principles underlying organic farming and the practical ways in which farmers can respond. He is particularly concerned with the economics of organic farming - a key point for farmers thinking of converting their land. The first part of his book spells out the principles: soil structure, crop nutrition, management of wastes, rotation design, weed management, pest and disease control, livestock husbandry. In the second part he goes into practical details for livestock systems, grassland and fodder crops, arable and horticultural crops, marketing and processing, physical and financial performance, and the conversion process. Some of the evidence on food quality and environmental impact is also reviewed. This is a guide to a way of farming which aims to be in partnership with the natural world rather than dominating it.
Growing a Garden City: How Farmers, First Graders, Counselors, Troubled Teens, Foodies, a Homeless Shelter Chef, Single Mothers, a
Fifteen people--plus a class of first graders--tell how local food, farms, and gardens changed their lives and their community...and how they can change yours, too. Growing a Garden City includes: Fifteen first-person stories of personal and civic transformation from a range of individuals, including farmers and community garden members, a low-income senior and troubled teen, a foodie, a food bank officer, and many more Seven in-depth "How It Works" sections on student farms, community gardens, community supported agriculture (CSA), community education, farm work therapy, community outreach, and more Detailed information on dozens of additional resources from relevant books and websites to government programs and national non-profit organizations Over 80 full-color photographs showing a diverse local food community at home, work, and play Read Growing a Garden City to: Learn how people like you, with busy lives like yours, can and do enjoy the many benefits of local food without having to become full-time organic farmers Gain the information you need to organize or get involved in your own "growing community" anywhere across the country and around the world
Julius Ruechel covers every aspect of raising grass-fed cattle, including herd selection, breeding, yearly cycles, cultivating and maintaining healthy soil and grass, fencing and pasture rotation, winter grazing, pests and diseases, and necessary equipment. He also provides everything you need to know about marketing your product, from niche market opportunities to scheduling the selling and buying of cattle for the greatest profit, finishing the beef and arranging for slaughter, labeling, marketing, and financial planning and record keeping. He even includes chapters for conventional farmers who are transitioning to natural production, farmers who are considering leasing or buying land, and farmers who want to pursue organic certification. Whether you're running a small backyard hobby farm or a large commercial ranch, this is the information you need to successfully raise and market grass-fed beef.
The politics of food is changing fast. In rich countries, obesity is now a more serious problem than hunger. Consumers once satisfied with cheap and convenient food now want food that is also safe, nutritious, fresh, and grown by local farmers using fewer chemicals. Heavily subsidized and under-regulated commercial farmers are facing stronger push-back from environmentalists and consumer activists, and food companies are under the microscope. Meanwhile in developing countries, agricultural success in Asia has spurred income growth and dietary enrichment, but agricultural failure in Africa has left one third of all citizens undernourished. The international markets that link these diverse regions together are subject to sudden disruption, as noted when an unexpected spike in international food prices in 2008 caused street riots in a dozen or more countries. In an easy-to-navigate, question-and-answer format, Food Politics carefully examines and explains the most important issues on today's global food landscape, including the food crisis of 2008, famines, the politics of chronic hunger, the Malthusian race between food production and population growth, international food aid, controversies surrounding green revolution farming, the politics of obesity, farm subsidies and trade, agriculture and the environment, agribusiness, supermarkets, food safety, fast food, slow food, organic food, local food, and genetically engineered food. Politics in each of these areas has become polarized over the past decade by conflicting claims and accusations from advocates on all sides. Paarlberg's book maps this contested terrain through the eyes of an independent scholar not afraid to unmask myths and name names. More than a few of today's fashionable beliefs about farming and food are brought down a notch under this critical scrutiny. For those ready to have their thinking about food politics informed and also challenged, this is the book to read.
By now most of us are aware of the threats looming in the food world. The best-selling "Fast Food Nation" and other recent books have alerted us to such dangers as genetically modified organisms, food-borne diseases, and industrial farming. Now it is time for answers, and "Slow Food Nation" steps up to the challenge. Here the charismatic leader of the Slow Food movement, Carlo Petrini, outlines many different routes by which we may take back control of our food. The three central principles of the Slow Food plan are these: food must be sustainably produced in ways that are sensitive to the environment, those who produce the food must be fairly treated, and the food must be healthful and delicious. In his travels around the world as ambassador for Slow Food, Petrini has witnessed firsthand the many ways that native peoples are feeding themselves without making use of the harmful methods of the industrial complex. He relates the wisdom to be gleaned from local cultures in such varied places as Mongolia, Chiapas, Sri Lanka, and Puglia. Amidst our crisis, it is critical that Americans look for insight from other cultures around the world and begin to build a new and better way of eating in our communities here.
Written for the transitioning and new organic farmer, Organic Dairy Farming brings together for the first time in a single volume the information to explain everything from organic soil management, calf care and mastitis control to the certification process and marketing for the organic premium. Combining up-to-date advice from 20 experts in a variety of fields, it presents organic concepts and practices in a readable form. The book includes farmer interviews demonstrating how they have successfully applied organic practices on their own farms. Over sixty illustrations, glossary, list of resources and complete index make the book very useable. An essential tool for both the farmer and the agricultural professional.
There is a quiet revolution happening in our time: the emergence of microfarms on tiny acreages that achieve astounding yields of organic produce and provide a better-tasting alternative to the products of big agri-business. Micro eco-farmers across the nation are profiting from small acreages to small-town backyards. Their livelihoods restore the planet while creating an abundance of healthy products produced in very small spaces. Micro Eco-Farming details how the new micro eco-farmers succeed on mini-farms of from one to five acres, how they start with nothing, what traits they share, and what secrets they know. In addition to presenting close-ups of those who are actually earning a full-time income for at least one adult, Micro Eco-Farming also provides a treasury of what you can grow, what farming methods you can use, and how the farmers reach their markets in surprisingly creative, new ways. The book outlines the emerging new sustainable production methods and distills the methods that have increased production on small ground from double to up to 40 times that of conventional growing. Hundreds of real-life examples are presented with ideas, resources and methods for all who aspire to create their own micro eco-farm: from backyard gourmet restaurant gardens, homegrown organic spa products, u-gather nut groves, front-yard cut-flower stands, heritage rose farms, children's and holiday farms, urban greenhouses, farm and cottage industry partnerships, herbs and flowers for healing, connoisseur apple orchards, ethnic personal chef gardens, old-fashioned farm festivals, native and wild edible farms, to mail-order farm crafts and more. Finally, although the new micro eco-farmers usually achieve their dreams of economic independence, there is also the understanding as well that success includes something greater than financial profits. Micro Eco-Farming invites you share the eco-farmers' dream of prosperity and fullfillment, in partnership with the earth, and it gives you the inspiration and practical tools to live the dream.
Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies
The recent decline of the European honey bee and other pollinators in North America poses a serious challenge to maintaining our food supply and ecological health. According to the National Academy of Sciences, close to 75 percent of all flowering plants rely to some degree on pollinators in order to set seed or fruit. From these plants comes one-third of the planet's food, including fruit and vegetable crops, as well as forage seed crops such as alfalfa, which are critical to dairy and meat production. "Attracting Native Pollinators" is a comprehensive guidebook for gardeners, small farmers, orchardists, beekeepers, naturalists, environmentalists, and public land managers on how to protect and encourage the activity of the native pollinators of North America. Written by staff of the Xerces Society, an international nonprofit organization that is leading the way in pollinator conservation, this book presents a thorough overview of the problem along with positive solutions for how to provide bountiful harvests on farms and gardens, maintain healthy plant communinities in wildlands, provide food for wildlife, and beautify the landscape with flowers. Full-color photographs introduce readers to more than 80 species of native pollinators -- including bees, flies, butterflies, wasps, and moths -- noting each one's range and habits. The heart of the book provides detailed garden plans and techniques showing how to create flowering habitat to attract a variety of these pollinators, help expand the pollinator population, and provide pollinators with inviting nesting sites. Readers will also find useful instructions for creating nesting structures, educational activities for involving children, and an extensive list of resources. "Attracting Native Pollinators" is an essential reference book and action guide for anyone who is involved in growing food or is concerned about the future of our food supply. The Xerces Society, a nonprofit conservation organization, is a leader in the effort to conserve North America's native pollinators. Founded in 1971, the society has its headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and sponsors advocacy, education, and applied research projects across the continent aimed at protecting and managing critical habitat for pollinators.
Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive "how-to" guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens—all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics. Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops and storage lockers into commercial-quality sprout and mushroom farms, and their outside nooks and crannies into whatever they can imagine, including sustainable nurseries for honeybees and chickens. Free space for the city gardener might be no more than a cramped patio, balcony, rooftop, windowsill, hanging rafter, dark cabinet, garage, or storage area, but no space is too small or too dark to raise food. With this book as a guide, people living in apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes will be able to grow up to 20 percent of their own fresh food using a combination of traditional gardening methods and space-saving techniques such as reflected lighting and container "terracing." Those with access to yards can produce even more. Author R. J. Ruppenthal worked on an organic vegetable farm in his youth, but his expertise in urban and indoor gardening has been hard-won through years of trial-and-error experience. In the small city homes where he has lived, often with no more than a balcony, windowsill, and countertop for gardening, Ruppenthal and his family have been able to eat at least some homegrown food 365 days per year. In an era of declining resources and environmental disruption, Ruppenthal shows that even urban dwellers can contribute to a rebirth of local, fresh foods.
The work of Douglas Harper has for two decades documented worlds in eclipse. A glimpse into the life of dairy farmers in upstate New York on the cusp of technological change, "Changing Works" is no exception. With photographs and interviews with farmers, Harper brings into view a social world altered by machines and stuns us with gorgeous visions of rural times past. As a member of this community, Harper relates compelling stories about families and their dairies that reveal how the advent of industrialized labor changed the way farmers structure their work and organize their lives. His new book charts the transformation of American farming from small dairies based on animal power and cooperative work to industrialized agriculture. "Changing Works" combines Harper's pictures with classic images by photographers such as Gordon Parks, Sol Libsohn, and Charlotte Brooks-men and women whose work during the 1940s documented the mechanization and automation of agricultural practices. Part social history and part analysis of the drive to mass production, Changing Works examines how we farmed a half century ago versus how we do today through pictures new and old and through discussions with elderly farmers who witnessed the makeover. Ultimately, Harper challenges timely ecological and social questions about contemporary agriculture. He shows us how the dissolution of cooperative dairy farming has diminished the safety of the practice, degraded the way we relate to our natural environment, and splintered the once tight-knit communities of rural farmers. Mindful, then, of the advantages of preindustrial agriculture, and heeding the alarming spread of mad cow and foot-and-mouth disease, "Changing Works" harks back to the benefits of an older system.
Organic Gardening For Dummies, 2nd Edition shows readers the way to ensure a healthy harvest from their environmentally friendly garden. It covers information on the newest and safest natural fertilizers and pest control methods, composting, cultivation without chemicals, and how to battle plant diseases. It also has information on updated equipment and resources. It helps readers plant organically year-round, using herbs, fruits, vegetables, lawn care, trees and shrubs, and flowers. The tips and techniques included in Organic Gardening For Dummies, 2nd Edition are intended to reduce a garden's impact on both the environment and the wallet.
The bestselling author of "The Botany of Desire" explores the ecology of eating to unveil why we consume what we consume in the twenty-first century "What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't-which mushrooms should be avoided, for example, and which berries we can enjoy. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance. The cornucopia of the modern American supermarket and fast-food outlet has thrown us back on a bewildering landscape where we once again have to worry about which of those tasty-looking morsels might kill us. At the same time we're realizing that our food choices also have profound implications for the health of our environment. "The Omnivore's Dilemma" is bestselling author Michael Pollan's brilliant and eye-opening exploration of these little-known but vitally important dimensions of eating in America. Pollan has divided "The Omnivore's Dilemma" into three parts, one for each of the food chains that sustain us: industrialized food, alternative or "organic" food, and food people obtain by dint of their own hunting, gathering, or gardening. Pollan follows each food chain literally from the ground up to the table, emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the species we depend on. He concludes each section by sitting down to a meal--at McDonald's, at home with his family sharing a dinner from Whole Foods, and in a revolutionary "beyond organic" farm in Virginia. For each meal he traces the provenance of everything consumed, revealing the hidden components we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods reflects our environmental and biological inheritance. We are indeed what we eat-and what we eat remakes the world. A society of voracious and increasingly confused omnivores, we are just beginning to recognize the profound consequences of the simplest everyday food choices, both for ourselves and for the natural world. "The Omnivore's Dilemma" is a long-overdue book and one that will become known for bringing a completely fresh perspective to a question as ordinary and yet momentous as What shall we have for dinner?
A host of books and films in recent years have documented the dangers of our current food system, from chemical runoff to soaring rates of diet-related illness to inhumane treatment of workers and animals. But advice on what to do about it largely begins and ends with the admonition to "eat local or "eat organic." "Fair Food" is an enlightening and inspiring guide to changing not only what we eat, but how food is grown, packaged, delivered, marketed, and sold. Oran B. Hesterman shows how our system's dysfunctions are unintended consequences of our emphasis on efficiency, centralization, higher yields, profit, and convenience--and defines the new principles, as well as the concrete steps, necessary to restructuring it. Along the way, he introduces people and organizations across the country who are already doing this work in a number of creative ways, from bringing fresh food to inner cities to fighting for farm workers' rights to putting cows back on the pastures where they belong. He provides a wealth of practical information for readers who want to get more involved.
The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that’s taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Grower published 20 years ago. He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.Now, with his long-awaited new book, The Winter Harvest Handbook, anyone can have access to his hard-won experience. Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.Building on the techniques that hundreds of thousands of farmers and gardeners adopted from The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest, this new book focuses on growing produce of unparalleled freshness and quality in customized unheated or, in some cases, minimally heated, movable plastic greenhouses.Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods in this complete, meticulous, and illustrated guide. Readers have access to all the techniques that have proven to produce higher-quality crops on Coleman’s own farm.His painstaking research and experimentation with more than 30 different crops will be valuable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production seasons.A passionate advocate for the revival of small-scale sustainable farming, Coleman provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it “just can’t be done.”
The Complete Guide to Organic Livestock Farming: Everything You Need to Know about Natural Farming on a Small Scale (Back-To-Basics Farming)
Small scale farming has grown greatly in popularity during the last two decades, with a greater turn in public awareness toward locally grown, organic, grass fed products that have not been modified, chemically altered, or poorly fed. For that reason, those looking to start a small scale farm and raise livestock have a greater chance than ever before to take advantage of the new market for small scale goods. This book will show any potential small scale farmer how to start raising their livestock and marketing it to the organic, natural lifestyle community that so fervently seeks out these products. You will learn how to start the basic outline for your new small farm, including which livestock to raise, how to build their pens and habitat, and what you will be feeding them to maintain a healthy, organic farm. You will learn the basics of animal husbandry, from genetics and breeding to feeding, building locations, and proper health and reproduction care. You will learn how to find yourself in the right niche for selling your products and what legalities you must see to as well as the butchering and processing phase Hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews have been conducted for this book with top experts in farm management to provide you with details about farm planning, financial planning, and proper livestock planning. A complete appendix will detail the various breeds and needs of cattle, chickens, goats, horses, pigs, and sheep to help you select the right livestock for your farm. In addition, you will learn the basic composition of most feeds, different grasses and legumes you can use, and find a plethora of outside resources to utilize. For anyone with dreams of a small farm and raising livestock in their future, this is a book for you.
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers
The most comprehensive guide to date on raising all-natural poultry for the small-scale farmer, homesteader, and professional grower. The Small-Scale Poultry Flock offers a practical and integrative model for working with chickens and other domestic fowl, based entirely on natural systems. Readers will find information on growing (and sourcing) feed on a small scale, brooding (and breeding) at home, and using poultry as insect and weed managers in the garden and orchard. Ussery's model presents an entirely sustainable system that can be adapted and utilized in a variety of scales, and will prove invaluable for beginner homesteaders, growers looking to incorporate poultry into their farm, or poultry farmers seeking to close their loop. Ussery offers extensive information on: The definition of an integrated poultry flock (imitation of natural systems, integrating patterns, and closing the circle) Everything you need to know about your basic chicken (including distinctive points about anatomy and behavior that are critical to management) Extended information on poultry health and holistic health care, with a focus on prevention Planning your flock (flock size, choosing breeds, fowl useful for egg vs. meat production, sourcing stock) How to breed and brood the flock (including breeding for genetic conservation), including the most complete guide to working with broody hens available anywhere Making and mixing your own feed (with tips on equipment, storage, basic ingredients, technique, grinding and mixing) Providing more of the flock's feed from sources grown or self-foraged on the homestead or farm, including production of live protein feeds using earthworms and soldier grubs Using poultry to increase soil fertility, control crop damaging insects, and to make compost-including systems for pasturing and for tillage of cover crops and weeds Recipes for great egg and poultry dishes (including Ussery's famous chicken stock!) And one of the best step-by-step poultry butchering guides available, complete with extensive illustrative photos. No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems approach, or discusses producing homegrown feed and breeding in such detail. This is a truly invaluable guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.
Make the break, realise the dream and start living 'The Good Life!' Packed with comprehensive information on all the practicals, from ploughing fields to milking cows, as well as new information on how to create an urban organic garden and harness natural energy. This new and revised full-colour edition of the illustrated classic is an engrossing read and a wonderful handbook for realists and dreamers alike.