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Organic Farming Books
Does animal welfare have a place in sustainable farming, or do the demands of a rising human population and the threat of climate change mean that the interests of animals must be put aside? Can we improve the way we keep animals and still feed the world - or is it a choice between ethics and economics? The aim of this book is to challenge the "them-and-us" thinking that sets the interests of humans and farm animals against each other and to show that to be really "sustainable," farming needs to include, not ignore, animal welfare. The authors of this remarkable book come from a diversity of backgrounds: industry, animal welfare organizations, academic institutions, and practical farming. They are united in arguing that farm animals matter and that sustainable farming must have animal welfare at its ethical core, along with the production of healthy, affordable food and care for the environment.
Once patronized primarily by the counterculture and the health food establishment, the organic food industry today is a multi-billion-dollar business driven by ever-growing consumer demand for safe food and greater public awareness of ecological issues. Assumed by many to be a recent phenomenon, that industry owes much to agricultural innovations that go back to the Dust Bowl era. This book explores the roots and branches of alternative agricultural ideas in twentieth-century America, showing how ecological thought has challenged and changed agricultural theory, practice, and policy from the 1930s to the present. It introduces us to the people and institutions who forged alternatives to industrialized agriculture through a deep concern for the enduring fertility of the soil, a passionate commitment to human health, and a strong advocacy of economic justice for farmers. Randal Beeman and James Pritchard show that agricultural issues were central to the rise of the environmental movement in the United States. As family farms failed during the Depression, a new kind of agriculture was championed based on the holistic approach taught by the emerging science of ecology. Ecology influenced the "permanent agriculture" movement that advocated such radical concepts as long-term land use planning, comprehensive soil conservation, and organic farming. Then in the 1970s, "sustainable agriculture" combined many of these ideas with new concerns about misguided technology and an over-consumptive culture to preach a more sensible approach to farming. In chronicling the overlooked history of alternative agriculture, A Green and Permanent Land records the significant contributions of individuals like RexTugwell, Hugh Bennett, Louis Bromfield, Edward Faulkner, Russell and Kate Lord, Scott and Helen Nearing, Robert Rodale, Wes Jackson, and groups like Friends of the Land and the Practical Farmers of Iowa. And by demonstrating how agriculture also remains central to the public interest-especially in the face of climatic crises, genetically altered crops, and questionable uses of pesticides-this book puts these issues in historical perspective and offers readers considerable food for thought.
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.
Worldwide sales of organic products have expanded 10 to 20% per year for the past decade, increasing interest in organic farming as a profitable and more environmentally benign alternative to conventional production. To participate in the current food system, it is imperative that agronomists and horticulturists master the practices, systems design, certification process, and details of the organic farming sector. Combining farmer experience and wisdom with the best that science has to offer can help us better understand organic systems and how to design them to meet human needs and preserve an environment where we would like to live. This book represents a current look at what we know about organic farming practices and systems, primarily from the U.S. and Canadian perspectives. The discussion begins with history and certification, ecological knowledge as the foundation for sustaining food systems, and biodiversity. The next chapters address crop-animal systems; forages, grain, oil seed, and specialty crops; organic cropping and soil nutrient needs; and vegetation and pest management. Readers will next learn about marketing organics, organic foods and food security, and education and research. The book concludes with a survey of the future of organic farming and a perspective on the agricultural industry and the future of the rural sector.The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America are prominent international scientific societies headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. The Societies specialize in peer-reviewed, high-quality science titles for a wide variety of audiences.Some of the many areas we publish in include:-Soils Methods and Management-Crop Development and Improvement-Agrosystem Management and the Global Food Crisis-Environmental Conservation and Climatology
Farmers' Markets: Success, Failure and Management Ecology is the only book presently available that investigates the current phenomenal growth of farmers' markets in the U.S. The research is a reflection of a period marked by growing consumer interest in locally produced foods, a resistance toward a globalizing food system, and seemingly boundless interest in and support for farmers' markets. Using an ecological approach, the book explores historic trends related to growth and decline in market numbers, examines the management organization associated with markets of specific sizes, analyzes the characteristics and issues associated with markets that fail, and offers a model that illustrates how farmers' market organizers successfully adapt to barriers and challenges in their environment. The book engages a node in the food system that has implications for the economic health of small farms and the social and economic life of communities. The book incorporates both the academic and the practical. It will be an important reference to students and researchers across disciplines with interests in food system research, as well as practitioners managing or working with farmers' markets. As an applied study, the book provides information and recommendations to assist markets with decision making and strategic planning. Although the focus of this research is on one area in the United States, the findings have broad application. The foreword to this study is by distinguished scholar and food system analyst, Gail Feenstra of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) at the University of California, Davis.
“My advice is as old as the plow.” So says author, Karl Schwenke of his guide to making a full- or part-time living on the land, a book for anyone who plans to own a small farm. With sections on soil management, farm practices, cash crop selections, machinery, and many other topics, as well as comprehensive series of appendices, the author touches upon the basics of getting started with one’s own small-scale farm. Schwenke, himself a small farm owner, has provided a great practical resource for the beginning cash crop grower. Get started on acquiring “the hodgepodge of knowledge blended with a plethora of skills” necessary to becoming a successful organic farmer.
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.
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
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.”
Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California (California Studies in Critical Human Geography)
In an era of escalating food politics, many believe organic farming to be the agrarian answer. In this first comprehensive study of organic farming in California, Julie Guthman casts doubt on the current wisdom about organic food and agriculture, at least as it has evolved in the Golden State. Refuting popular portrayals of organic agriculture as a small-scale family farm endeavor in opposition to "industrial" agriculture, Guthman explains how organic farming has replicated what it set out to oppose.
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.
Discussing the science, technology, and philosophy of organic agriculture, this book addresses relevant issues and concepts along with practical applications. Chapters cover soil fertility and plant nutrition; individual plant requirements; liming; farm manures, green manures, and composts; mulching and tillage; and weed, insect, and disease control, as well as companion planting and storage. Accessible to undergraduate students in organic farming and gardening, and sustainable agriculture, the text includes a glossary with common technical and scientific terms used in conventional and organic agriculture and provides an accompanying CD-ROM with full-color illustrations and additional ancillary material for students.
Archeologists have always considered the beginnings of Andean civilization from ca. 13,000 to 6,000 years ago to be important in terms of the appearance of domesticated plants and animals, social differentiation, and a sedentary lifestyle, but there is more to this period than just these developments. During this period, the spread of crop production and other technologies, kinship-based labor projects, mound-building, and population aggregation formed ever-changing conditions across the Andes. From Foraging to Farming in the Andes proposes a new and more complex model for understanding the transition from hunting and gathering to cultivation. It argues that such developments evolved regionally, were fluid and uneven, and were subject to reversal. This book develops these arguments from a large body of archaeological evidence, collected over 30 years in two valleys in northern Peru, and then places the valleys in the context of recent scholarship studying similar developments around world.
When the hail starts to fall, Atina Diffley doesn’t compare it to golf balls. She’s a farmer. It’s “as big as a B-size potato.” As her bombarded land turns white, she and her husband Martin huddle under a blanket and reminisce: the one-hundred-mile-per-hour winds; the eleven-inch rainfall (“that broccoli turned out gorgeous”); the hail disaster of 1977. The romance of farming washed away a long time ago, but the love? Never. In telling her story of working the land, coaxing good food from the fertile soil, Atina Diffley reminds us of an ultimate truth: we live in relationships—with the earth, plants and animals, families and communities.A memoir of making these essential relationships work in the face of challenges as natural as weather and as unnatural as corporate politics, her book is a firsthand history of getting in at the “ground level” of organic farming. One of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest, the Diffleys’ Gardens of Eagan helped to usher in a new kind of green revolution in the heart of America’s farmland, supplying their roadside stand and a growing number of local food co-ops. This is a story of a world transformed—and reclaimed—one square acre at a time.And yet, after surviving punishing storms and the devastating loss of fifth-generation Diffley family land to suburban development, the Diffleys faced the ultimate challenge: the threat of eminent domain for a crude oil pipeline proposed by one of the largest privately owned companies in the world, notorious polluters Koch Industries. As Atina Diffley tells her David-versus-Goliath tale, she gives readers everything from expert instruction in organic farming to an entrepreneur’s manual on how to grow a business to a legal thriller about battling corporate arrogance to a love story about a single mother falling for a good, big-hearted man.
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.