Links to Organic Resources
Organic Explained and Definitions
Sustainable agriculture, like any field, has a vocabulary all its own. Learn - or teach - more about sustainable farming by focusing on terminology using the following resources.
If you're just beginning to farm sustainably, or you're getting ready to start, you're looking for answers. And there are many resources online that have been built especially for new farmers. The resources below offer checklists, planning materials, FAQs and other great tools for those who have just begun a sustainable agriculture operation and those who are still in the planning stage.
Many sustainable farming operations depend on family involvement to succeed - and many farming families find that involving everyone in the business is vital to their family's success. How to best integrate the family and the farm can be a difficult decision to make - how can everyone find success, maintain interest and have fun?
Information is great, but sometimes we just want to hear the story. The ups, downs and emotions of a sustainable farm make for great storytelling - and they're all gathered here!
Especially for Educators
Are you learning about sustainable agriculture? Are you responsible for helping others learn? There are lots of great resources on the web on Education material on agriculture. The links on this page were chosen because they are especially well suited to help students, farmers and others to learn both inside and outside the classroom.
Not all agriculture is out in the country! A rich collection of opportunities exist for sustainable farming in non-rural environments, from a barge off of New York City to a rooftop garden supplying a downtown Chicago restaurant, to an entrepreneur contracting with suburban homeowners to farm in their front yards. The following resources tell the stories of non-traditional sustainable farming in cities and towns, and will broaden your horizons about your own farming possibilities.
- Prairie Fire Article: Growing Food and Community
Soil Fertility is the foundation of a sustainable agriculture system, and farmers who focus on soil fertility need good solid information on which to base their decisions.
Organic Pest Management
Every sustainable agriculture practictioner asks at some time: "How can I control pests without conventional pesticides?" Strong methods and systems approaches depicted in these resources will help farmers succeed in the ongoing battle between farmers and pests.
Farmers are concerned about how to control weeds on their farms; sustainably farming producers, perhaps even more so. When many conventional weed control methods are not viable choices, what other options exist? The following resources answer that question and many more about weed control on sustainable agricultural operations.
Crops and Cultivars
Farmers are always looking for the best crops and cultivars for their unique situations and goals. Sustainable agriculture is no different. Farmers and other researchers investigate what crops and varieties works best with sustainable agricultural practices.
What is No-Till? Can No-Till and organic farming go together? On this page is a collection of sites that address these fundamental questions that intrigue so many practitioner of sustainable farming. The resources below provide information about this important agriculture and conservation concept.
Crop Rotation and Cover Crops
Why should crops be rotated? What benefits can be derived from cover crops? These and many more questions can be answered from the online resources below. Resources related to nitrogen fixing, soil structure development, erosion control, and many more benefits of crop rotation and cover crops are provided.
Just as in conventional agriculture, the right tools and equipment can make the difference in successfully farming sustainably. The following includes resources in which experienced farmers and researchers describe great equipment and how it helps makes the most of their farming operations.
Raising livestock sustainably takes planning, reflection and problem-solving skills. What are the best feeding methods? How can animals be protected from disease and pests? How can livestock help sustain a healthy farm environment, rather than stressing the plants, land and water?
Marketing & Selling Many sustainable producers use forms of marketing and selling that are quite different from those used in conventional farming. They often find that they must take a more proactive and interpersonal role in getting their product sold and promoting their business.
"Organic" is a philosophy and a method - and it's also a set of public policy that can seem huge and incomprehensible. But good resources can help!
The resources below provide information for you and your students about organic policy. Government groups, certifiers and other experts will give you the information you need to fully understand the ongoing development of organic policy in the U.S.