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Organic Farming Books
Drawing on findings from leading health researchers as well as conversations with both chemical and organic farmers from coast to coast, Maria Rodale irrefutably outlines the unacceptably high cost of chemical farming on our health and our environment. She traces the genesis of chemical farming and the rise of the immense companies that profit from it, bringing to light the government’s role in allowing such practices to flourish. She further explains that modern organic farming would not only help reverse climate change by reducing harmful carbon emissions and soil depletion, but would also improve the quality of the food we eat, reduce diseases from asthma to cancer, and ensure a better quality of life in farming communities nationwide. For every parent wondering how best to safeguard the health and safety of her children; for every environmentalist in search of a solution to the worsening crisis that afflicts our land, air, and waters; for every shopper who questions whether it is worth it to pay more for organic, Maria Rodale offers straightforward answers and a single, definitive course of action: We must demand organic now.
This challenging but accessible book critically examines the dominant food regime on its own terms, by seriously asking whether we can afford cheap food and exploring what exactly cheap food affords us. Detailing the numerous ways that food has become reduced to a state, such as a price per ounce, combination of nutrients, yield per acre, or calories, the book argues for a more contextual understanding of food when debating its affordability. The author makes a compelling case for why today's global food system produces just the opposite of what it promises. The food produced under this regime is in fact exceedingly expensive. Thus meat production and consumption are inefficient uses of resources and contribute to climate change; the use of pesticides in industrial-scale agriculture may produce cheap food, but there are hidden costs to environmental protection, human health and biodiversity conservation. Many of these costs will be paid for by future generations cheap food today may mean expensive food tomorrow. By systematically assessing these costs the book delves into issues related, but not limited, to international development, national security, health care, industrial meat production, organic farming, corporate responsibility, government subsidies, food aid and global commodity markets. The book concludes by suggesting ways forward, going beyond the usual solutions such as farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and community gardens. Exploding the myth of cheap food requires we have at our disposal a host of practices and policies. Some of those proposed and explored include microloans, subsidies for consumers, vertical agriculture, and the democratization of subsidies for producers.
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.
When a small company dedicated to doing things differently decided some twenty years ago to make as natural a tobacco product as possible, they turned to America's tobacco farmers and proposed an unheard of proposition: How about growing organic tobacco? Today, demand for organic tobacco leaf is doubling each year. But when it was first proposed, there were more than a few skeptics. Now, many are looking at the growing practices and sustainable farming techniques developed by this small group of pioneers. Here's the colorful history behind this new old way of farming. Organic Tobacco Growing in America is a quintessential American story of applying vision and values to innovation. More than just a practical guide on how and why to embrace organic growing, this is a story that stretches from its American Indian-inspired beginnings in the windswept high desert of northern New Mexico to the fabled tobacco roads of the southeast. Along the way, meet the growers who learned how organic farming of not just tobacco, but vegetables and other produce as well, is returning the principles of nature back to the family farm. This is a story about the rebirth of a lifestyle--a way of life that once was and now is meant to be again--for a world that yearns for sustainable, earth-friendly farming.
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.
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.
Turn your hobby farm into a successful business No experience in farming? No problem "The Profitable Hobby Farm" gives you all the tools you need to launch a thriving hobby farm business. Based on the author's expert guidance and the motivating experiences of other small farmers, it shows you how to blend strategy, marketing, and money management in order to prosper. "The Profitable Hobby Farm "provides sound, friendly start-up advice on a variety of topics essential to making an initial foray into a local foods venture. A must-read book for raising and selling local, sustainable foods Includes sample business plan, grant application, marketing and advertising plan, and other forms Lengthy resources section directs you to additional reading Also by Aubrey: "Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm Business "Whether it's growing heirloom tomatoes, raising free-range chickens for their eggs, or making organic wine or cheese, this book shows you how to turn your hobby into a profit.
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."
Eating locally grown seasonal food is the solution to so many of the social and environmental problems raised by modern intensive food production methods. In From Seed to Table, organic gardener Janette Haase offers a month-by-month guide to growing a significant amount of food in a home garden. From the earliest salad leaves to the autumn's sweetest root vegetables, this book will show anyone with a small plot of earth and willing hands how to eat a healthier, more environmentally responsible diet--one with a smaller impact on both the environment and household food bills. The book's introductory chapter explains the importance of eating locally and seasonally and offers some practical considerations before beginning a garden of one's own. The rest of the book is divided into chapters covering each months. Haase takes the home gardener through the tasks of the gardening year, giving clear and helpful instructions for the work to be done at each time, from planning and planting to harvesting and storage. She also offers delicious seasonal recipes and menu ideas. From Seed to Table concludes with a thoughtful essay on food-related environmental issues, from greenhouse gasses to the genetic modification of seeds. Janette Haase was born in Montreal and was raised there and in Newfoundland. She holds a degree in geology from Queen's University. Haase started farming on fifty acres near Kingston, Ontario, and ran a large organic market garden. In 1998, as a single parent with a tiny front garden and no backyard in a village near Kingston, Haase planted vegetables and realized she could feed her family with what she could grow in a very small space.
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 thatas 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 Colemanas 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 ajust canat be done.a
Small-Scale Grain Raising: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains for Home Gardeners and Local
First published in 1977, this bookafrom one of Americaas most famous and prolific agricultural writersabecame an almost instant classic among homestead gardeners and small farmers. Now fully updated and available once more, "Small-Scale Grain Raising" offers an entirely new generation of readers the best introduction to a wide range of both common and lesser-known specialty grains and related field crops, from corn, wheat, and rye to buckwheat, millet, rice, spelt, flax, and even beans and sunflowers.More and more Americans are seeking out locally grown foods, yet one of the real stumbling blocks to their efforts has been finding local sources for grains, which are grown mainly on large, distant corporate farms. At the same time, commodity prices for grainsaand the products made from themahave skyrocketed due to rising energy costs and increased demand. In this book, Gene Logsdon proves that anyone who has access to a large garden or small farm can (and should) think outside the agribusiness box and learn to grow healthy whole grains or beansathe base of our culinary food pyramidaalongside their fruits and vegetables.Starting from the simple but revolutionary concept of the garden apancake patch, a Logsdon opens up our eyes to a whole world of plants that we wrongly assume only the agricultural abig boysa can grow. He succinctly covers all the basics, from planting and dealing with pests, weeds, and diseases to harvesting, processing, storing, and using whole grains. There are even a few recipes sprinkled throughout, along with more than a little wit and wisdom.Never has there been a better time, or a more receptive audience, for this book. Localvores, serious home gardeners, CSA farmers, and whole-foods advocatesain fact, all people who value fresh, high-quality foodsawill find a field full of information and ideas in this once and future classic.
Organic food is the best food possible. It’s synonymous with premium quality, delicious flavor, conscientious farming, and optimum health. It’s what we need to feed our kids, it’s what we deserve to feed ourselves. And thanks in part to Myra Goodman, co-owner and cofounder of Earthbound Farm with her husband, Drew, organic food is now available just about anywhere fresh food is sold, becoming more mainstream every day. Not only has Myra been growing organic food for over twenty years, she has been cooking with it, too. In Food to Live By she combines her twin food passions, serving up hundreds of recipes, ideas, shopping and cooking tips, health notes, and more. Illustrating the book are full-color photographs throughout that bring readers right into the breathtaking California sunshine. This is perfect cooking for friends and family, packed with irresistible dishes for weeknight dinners and casual entertaining, festive breakfasts and fall picnics. Recipes are all about the ingredients and their intrinsic qualities, not fancy techniques or time-consuming steps. Marry chicken with three simple accompaniments— rosemary, lemons, and garlic—and it’s transformed. Heighten the flavor of a springtime fava bean and orzo salad with an unexpected fava bean “pesto.” Combine Meyer lemon juice and soy sauce to create a marinade, tenderizer, and sauce that results in a perfect grilled flank steak. Food to Live By also includes a wealth of information about organic farming and how to make the wisest food choices; there are full-color Field Guides—to gourmet greens, apples, heirloom tomatoes, winter squash—and Farm Fresh ingredient guides to sorrel, corn, melons, avocados, organic poultry, asparagus, artichokes, ginger, and more, featuring what to look for plus care and handling. The book is a boon to food lovers.
Organic Management for the Professional: The Natural Way for Landscape Architects and Contractors, Commercial Growers, Golf Course Managers, Park ... Turf Managers, and Other Stewards of the Land
Can you manage the landscape of a golf course, city park, or corporate campus without synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides? Absolutely! Organic landscaping is not only possible on a large scale, but it also makes sense both economically and environmentally. It promotes healthy soils and plants, which require less water and sequester more carbon—a winning combination for both your bottom line and the planet’s fight against resource depletion and global warming. Organic programs on a commercial scale have enormous potential to make a difference in the quality of our environment, our use of fuels, and our climate. And as those who have already converted to organics have discovered, they also cost a lot less over the long term. Organic Management for the Professional is the first comprehensive guide to “going green” in large-scale landscaping. Nationally recognized organic gardening expert Howard Garrett, with associates John Ferguson and Mike Amaranthus, not only explains in detail how to manage projects with natural organic techniques, but also presents the material in clear, simple terms so that commercial and institutional property owners can understand what to ask of their landscape architects, contractors, growers, and maintenance people. They give detailed, proven instructions for the key components of organic landscaping—soil building, correct planting techniques, fertilizing, pest control, compost, and mulch. Then they show how to apply these organic methods in large-scale landscaping, commercial growing (orchards, tree farms, nurseries, and greenhouse operations), and recreational properties (golf courses, parks, and sports fields).
Start a mini farm on a quarter acre or less, provide 85 percent of the food for a family of four and earn an income. Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre—and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more. Because self-sufﬁciency is the objective, subjects such as raising backyard chickens and home canning are also covered along with numerous methods for keeping costs down and production high. Materials, tools, and techniques are detailed with photographs, tables, diagrams, and illustrations.
When Spring Warren told her husband and two teenage boys that she wanted to grow 75 percent of all the food they consumed for one yearand that she wanted to do it in their yardthey told her she was crazy.She did it anyway.The Quarter-Acre Farm is Warren’s account of decidingdespite all resistanceto take control of her family’s food choices, get her hands dirty, and create a garden in her suburban yard. It’s a story of bugs, worms, rot, and failure; of learning, replanting, harvesting, and eating. The road is long and riddled with mistakes, but by the end of her yearlong experiment, Warren’s sons and husband have become her biggest fansin fact, they’re even eager to help harvest (and eat) the beautiful bounty she brings in.Full of tips and recipes to help anyone interested in growing and preparing at least a small part of their diet at home, The Quarter-Acre Farm is a warm, witty tale about family, food, and the incredible gratification that accompanies self-sufficiency.
Leading animal rights activist Gene Baur examines the real cost of the meat on our plates -- for both humans and animals alike -- in this provocative and thorough examination of the modern farm industry. Many people picture cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens as friendly creatures who live happily within the confines of a peaceful family farm, arriving as food for humans only at the end of their sun-drenched lives. That's what Gene Baur had been told -- but when he first visited a stockyard he realized that this rosy depiction couldn't be more inaccurate. Amid the stench, noise, and filth, his attention was drawn in particular to one sheep who had been cast aside for dead. But as Baur walked by, the sheep raised her head and looked right at him. She was still alive, and the one thing Baur knew for sure that day was that he had to get her to safety. Hilda, as she was later named, was nursed back to health and soon became the first resident of Farm Sanctuary -- an organization dedicated to the rescue, care, and protection of farm animals. The truth is that farm production does not depend on the family farmer with a small herd of animals but instead resembles a large, assembly-line factory. Animals raised for human consumption are confined for the entirety of their lives and often live without companionship, fresh air, or even adequate food and water.Viewed as production units rather than living beings with feelings, ten billion farm animals are exploited specifically for food in the United States every year. In "Farm Sanctuary," Baur provides a thoughtprovoking investigation of the ethical questions involved in the production of beef, poultry, pork, milk, and eggs -- and what each of us can do to stop the mistreatment of farm animals and promote compassion. He details the triumphs and the disappointments of more than twenty years on the front lines of the animal protection movement. And he introduces sanctuary. us to some of the special creatures who live at Farm Sanctuary -- from Maya the cow to Marmalade the chicken -- all of whom escaped horrible circumstances to live happier, more peaceful lives. "Farm Sanctuary" shows how all of us have an opportunity and a responsibility to consume a kinder plate, making a better life for ourselves and animals as well. You will certainly never think of a hamburger or chicken breast the same way after reading this book.
In this book readers will discover how to grow the tastiest vegetables, most glorious flowers, improve their landscape to boost their property values and have gardens that are they envy of the neighborhood. The book is an easy-to-follow compilation of gardening know-how in one convenient volume by a nationally-recognized and acclaimed veteran garden writer. Top arborists, horticulturalists, plant breeders and other experts shared their knowledge and advice which Swenson has assembled in this fact-filled book. Great Growing at Home will answer all your gardening questions on such disparate subjects as container gardening and field layering, pruning and raised beds, compost bins and crop rotation, to name just a few. Written with a bias toward organic gardening as a result of his studies at the famous Rodale Farm in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Swenson presents natural, organic gardening as a practical, productive and wholesome approach to producing an abundant, nourishing, and flavorful food supply. The book not only reflects his 40+ years as a garden writer, but also the first time he has been able to assemble his accumulated knowledge of gardening in one convenient place, including the latest information on new vegetable hybrids that resist disease and repel insects. Whether it's how to attract birds and butterflies to your garden or planting on slopes, Great Growing at Home will be your indispensable source of all you need to know about gardening.
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.