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For twelve consecutive months, author Brian Bender lived a nomadic life on small organic farms across the United States. Leaving behind a teaching career, he hopped from farm to farm through an organization called WWOOF: World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Farming Around the Country reveals the humor and hardship of life dominated by a revolving door of farm animals, injuries, eccentric farmers, and unexpected wisdom. The heart of this story lies with the unusual people and tasks on each farm. Bender entered his year of transformation as a high school science teacher and came out educated in the ways of sustainable living and human happiness.
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
Put your backyard to work! Enjoy fresher, organic, better-tasting food all the time. The solution is as close as your own backyard. Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves; keep bees; raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. The Backyard Homestead shows you how it's done. And when the harvest is in, you'll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor.From a quarter of an acre, you can harvest 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, 75 pounds of nuts.
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.