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Organic Farming Books
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.
It doesn't take a farm to have the heart of a farmer. Now, due to a burgeoning sustainable-living movement, you don't have to own acreage to fulfill your dream of raising your own food. Hobby Farms Urban Farming, from Hobby Farm Press and the same people who bring you Hobby Farms and Hobby Farm Home magazine, will walk every city and suburban dweller down the path of self sustainability. Urban Farming will introduce readers to the concepts of gardening and farming from a high-rise apartment, participating in a community garden, vertical farming, and converting terraces and other small city spaces into fruitful, vegetableful real estate. This comprehensive volume will answer every up and coming urban farmer's questions about how, what, where and why--a new green book for the dedicated citizen seeking to reduce his carbon footprint and grocery bill.Winner of the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award in Home & Garden from the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore the benefits of and necessity for sustainable agriculture Here is an easy-to-read, practical introduction to sustainable agriculture: what it means and why it is needed. It is the first book to synthesize the goals of sustainable agriculture into eight comprehensive steps. The Next Green Revolution presents a convincing critique of our current agricultural system and an introduction to an alternative system which gives more consideration to future generations. Interwoven through the book are Dr. Horne's reflections on social justice, quality of life, and how farmers and rural communities are inextricably linked.The Next Green Revolution draws on the unique perspective of Dr. James E. Horne, President of a leading nonprofit agriculture organization, the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture. It is inspired by his experience as a traditional agriculturalist and educator coming to grips with the failings of the conventional system and searching for an alternative. Writing in the first person, he describes growing up in a sharecropper family in Oklahoma, running his own ranch, and consulting with farmers as an agricultural economist. He shares what he learned as the Kerr Center experimented with new "sustainable" approaches to old problems on the Center's ranch/farm, and his experiences working with the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. With The Next Green Revolution, you will explore: the major problems of contemporary industrial agriculture definitions of sustainable agriculture the historical roots of sustainable agriculture the politics of sustainable agriculture sustainable agriculture practices changes needed to encourage a sustainable agricultureand the eight steps to sustainable agriculture, which address: soil health and erosion water quality and use organic waste management crop and livestock adaptation biodiversity environmentally benign pest management energy use farm diversification profitabilityThe Next Green Revolution is a well-researched introduction to the field, written with a minimum of jargon.
Turn your hobby farm into a successful businessNo 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 foodsIncludes sample business plan, grant application, marketing and advertising plan, and other formsLengthy resources section directs you to additional readingAlso by Aubrey: Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm BusinessWhether 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.