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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.
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.
As the organic food market continues to expand, so too do the opportunities for small farmers. For the farmer, the benefits of running an organic operation are great. Organic farms conserve nonrenewable resources, offer better conditions for farm animals, produce high-demand goods, and boost farm income. As the organic food market continues to expand, so do the opportunities for small farmers. "The Organic Farming Manual" is a comprehensive guide to growing, certifying, and marketing organic produce, grains, meat, and dairy. Beginning farmers committed to launching an organic operation and experienced farmers hoping to transition from traditional farming techniques will find all the information they need. The organic certification process is lengthy and demanding, but author Ann Larkin Hansen clarifies every USDA requirement and offers complete advice on selecting equipment, tending the land, caring for animals, and marketing farm products. Readers will also find profiles of successful organic farmers throughout the book. Their experiences provide inspiration and valuable tips for first-time farmers looking for real success stories. Hansen's thorough coverage of the subject and the positive words of established growers will set countless farmers on a healthful, organic path.
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.