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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.
Henry's Farm, run by Henry Brockman, is in central Illinois — some of the richest farming land in the world. There, he and his family — five generations of farmers, including sister Terra, the author — have bucked the traditional agribusiness conventional wisdom by farming in a way that's sensible, sustainable, and focused on producing healthy, nutritious food in ways that doesn't despoil the land. Terra Brockman tells the story of her family and their life on the farm in the form of a year-long memoir (with recipes) that takes readers through each season of life on the farm. Studded with vignettes, digressions, photographs, family stories, and illustrations of the farm's vivid plant life, the book is a one-of-a-kind treasure that will appeal to readers of Michael Pollan, E. B. White, Gretel Ehrlich, and Sandra Steingraber.
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.
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.