Organic Sustainable Farming in the United States



 

Jean-Martin Fortier (JM) is a farmer, educator and author specializing in organic and biologically intensive cropping practices. His award-winning book,The Market Gardener, has inspired thousands of readers worldwide to reimagine human-scale food systems. His message is one of empowerment in order to educate, encourage and inspire people into pursuing a farming career and lifestyle.


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Market Gardening
Market gardening is the commercial production of vegetables, fruits, fl owers and other plants on a scale larger than a home garden, yet small enough that many of the principles of gardening are applicable.
The goal, as with all farm enterprises, is to run the operation as a business and to make a profi t. Market gardening is often oriented toward local markets, although production for shipping to more distant markets is also possible.
Market Gardening Getting Started.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.1 MB

 

For regular inspiration, we highly recommend that all new and existing organic farmers make time to regularly watch two fine films,

 


  • MOA - Life in the Soil (Mokichi Okada Association, Honolulu, Hawaii).

  • These films eloquently and beautifully remind us why we are doing this and why organic farming is indeed the most important movement in agriculture today.

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New Farm Start-Up Guide
The guide begins by exploring the passion, interest, skills and resources you bring to your farm enterprise. You may be keen to jump right to the section on "developing a farm enterprise plan" but are encouraged to take the time to first assess your passions related to farming and what assets you bring to the farm business.
New farm Start-up guide.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 3.3 MB

  • Rodale InstituteThe Rodale Institute has long been a leader in defining and developing organic agriculture and has inspired and educated countless organic farmers and gardeners around the world.

Rodale Institute was founded in 1947 by organic pioneer J.I. Rodale to study the link between healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people. He moved from New York City to rural Pennsylvania in the late 1930′s where he was able to realize his keen personal interest in farming.

 

 

We have learned much from many other sources, including the outstanding but challenging writings of Dr. William Albrecht, books by Neal Kinsey, Charles Walters, Joseph Cocannouer, Donald Schriefer, Sir Albert Howard, Rudolph Steiner and Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, and old agricultural texts and weed management research by Dr. Bernard Rademacher and Dr. Walter Muenscher.

Our old college soil science, plant pathology, seed technology, and entomology texts are still frequently consulted.


recently there has been a growing desire of many urbanites to reconnect with our rural countrysides.  Where can we wake to the sounds of farm life, feed a bottle to a lamb, or brush a horse …even see the stars without city lights dimming their glow?   We need to find our small family farms and ranches.

The term is 'farm stay'.


  • Natick Community Organic Farm -

    Committed to farming methods that are ecologically healthy and sustainable, the Farm places special emphasis on service to youth through year-round classes, work-experience programs and volunteer opportunities for working the land.


    With your help, we can continue our work of fostering community goodwill through the love of the land.


  • ACRES USAa fine monthly newspaper full of articles on alternative agriculture, economics and health.

 

A number of our articles on organic grain harvest and storage quality, GMO management strategies, the audit trail and organic grain marketing are posted there.

Acres also maintains an extremely extensive mail-order catalog bookstore with wide-ranging books on alternative agriculture, health, economics and lifestyle — also accessible through its website.


The SARE Network is also funded through the USDA and provides bulletins, books, and research grants. SARE publishes a valuable 30-page booklet entitled

SARE also sponsors the long-running electronic forum Sanet, which provides an arena for information sharing and debate with many organic enthusiasts worldwide.


  • USDA NOPWhile your certifier will supply a copy of the National Organic Program’s standards, it is a good idea to become familiar with the NOP website yourself for the regular updates and news.

 


The group’s website is packed with articles, resources and workbooks, and specialists are on-hand to answer specific questions from users. Best of all, it is all free!


Canadian Organic GrowersFor a straightforward description of organic farming principles, the COG has produced two books,

Each presents a reasonable overview of concepts in a clear format.

Videos also accompany these books.

The phone number for COG is 613-231-9047.


Any good organic farmer should have a detailed weed-identification guide.

For the Northeast, the best one we’ve found is “Weeds of the Northeast,” by Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal, Joseph M. Ditomaso (Cornell Univ Press, 1997), with excellent pictures and detailed descriptions.

No doubt there are weed guides of equal quality for other geographical areas. You will find several extensive collections of weed pictures on the Internet. 


  • Rutgers University maintains a smaller collection of weed pictures and information that is more applicable for the Northeast.