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Organic Seed Catalogs, Books, References

Sustainable Agriculture Agriculture History Sustainable Standards Direct Marketing and Business Model Schedules Tools and Equipment Organic Seed Catalogs Fruit, nut, and legume trees and vines References Agriculture Links Gardening Community Links

Sustainable Agriculture:

Trees Forever - non profit helps farmers switch to permaculture in Midwest
Allan Savory at Tufts University
Quivira Coalition Conference - Dr. Miguel Altieri
Cornell University - excellent series showing integrated farming practices
Joel Salatin - one of the most profitable farmers per acre
eOrganic - agricultural trends
Homestead and Farm Resiliency
Permaculture in Practice
Australian Organic Farms Tour
Isreali Agriculture
Land Institute
Perennial grains
Univ Chicago - Climate change yield affect
RUAF - very good discussion of urban agriculture
Eliot Coleman - European origins
Curtis Stone - urban ag example
Toby Hemenway - the horticultural society

Agriculture History:

Michael Pollan - Deep Agriculture at Long Now Foundation
Sumarian description of the origins of agriculture
Evolution of agriculture - grains domesticated us
Mysterious origins of corn
Mysterious origins of spelt

Sustainable Standards:

Many organic standards today are designed to protect against the kinds of disease situations that come with industrial agriculture. The effect of these standards is to help drive animals off the farm which reduces fertility efficiency. These standards are not designed to take advantage of the natural disease suppression that comes with diversified organic agriculture. We need a new standard that can evolve with our growing understanding which is more of a cross between organic, certified natural, biodynamics, grassfed, and sustainable certifications.

Certified Naturally Grown - organic for small local farmers
Demeter - animals in biodynamics
SCS - sustainable certification
American Grass Fed
Food Alliance - sustainable certification
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
UN - call for more environmentally friendly agriculture

Direct Marketing and Business Model:

Agriculture today is being driven by the profits on the middleman and retail side of the equation. This translates to a push for higher yields on the farmer side so there will be greater profits on the retail side. But that means lower profits on the farmer side. In the long run, farmers must take over the retail side in order to concentrate on greater profits on the farm. Greater profits on the farm often does mean lower yields. But in the long run, it may be the only way the farmer can stay in business.

Each of these sites has excellant comparisons of advantages and disadvantages of each direct marketing type. This is extremely useful since most farms use a little of each of the different types.

Univ Tennessee
Florida State

These sites look at the business side of the model more closely. This is very useful because it can help farmers recognize which efforts are likely to yield the greatest return.

Colorado State
Univ Missouri
UC Davis

Below are some of the better discussions on legal liability for farmers.

Penn State - law
National Ag Law Center

Factors for success and failure of Community Supported Agriculture.

Farm and Info

Cooperatives are a great way for small farmers to achieve the volume and verticle integration necessary to compete with big business. As long as farmers maintain financial control, the focus can be kept on farmers profits, land health, and community health. As with all business ventures, strong management is the key to success or failure. Internal and external review of management twice a year may be ideal. Below are some good links to management discussions.

Grassroots Economic Organizing
University of Kentucky
University of Missouri
USDA - Farmer Cooperative Theory

The only advice not mentioned much in the above discussions is that farmers may need to structure their marketing and business model with a greater focus on how to deal with extreme climate swings. The crops that require the most inputs to overcome mother nature also tend have the thinest margins and the highest risk. The most profitable small farmers tend to stay away from thin margin crops. Always pursue maximum profit instead of maximum yield. Permaculture is one of the best ways to grow crops and keep costs and risk low in the face of growing climate extremes.

Do not select crops based on flavor alone. Those types of crops tend to be less reliable. Instead, grow crops that are the most reliable and nutritious. Then improve the flavor with value added processing. Processed foods tend to store longer which can also allow you to stretch out the sales across multiple seasons and even sell produce that is visibly less than perfect and cannot be sold fresh.



Planting Dates and Schedules:

Planting date is more important for cold weather crops than soil temperature because these crops must get ahead of weeds and diseases that come with warm weather. For cold weather crops, once you reach the planting date and soil temperature minimum, it is time to plant.

Baker Creek - guide by frost date
Old Farmers Almanac - planting dates
Montana State - aggressive guide by frost date
The Vegetable Garden - Planting Schedules - check long term forecast before planting

Average Frost Dates and Tolerance:

Victory Seeds - average frost dates
Farmers Almanac  - average frost dates
Southern Exposure - cold tolerance guide
FAO - cold tolerance guide

Soil temperature - especially important for warm weather crops:


Tools and Equipment:

Market garden scale equipment
Market garden scale equipment discussed by Joel DuFour at Earth Tools.

Earth Tools BCS roller crimper
A roller crimper for the market size garden.

Jang Seeder JP-1
The Jang JP-1 is an excellant choice for small seeds. 
The Jang TD-1 is good if you are planting larger seeds. 
A disc opener is available for high residue planting 
but this seeder will not plant through a lot of residue.
Johnny's Seeds - double disc opener

Knapik web site
Knapik design
The Knapik is slightly better for high residue in certain situations, but hard to get.

Univ of Missouri - no-till planting systems
Univ of Missouri - no-till manual
Virginia No-till - equipment modifications
Univ of Maryland - Monosem vs Knapik - Knapik is great for high residue
Push seeder comparison
Seeder comparison
No-till vegetable examples
eOrganic - tools for planting  into mulch

Johnny's - Jab-type Planter
Growing Nations - rotary punch planter
Impatient Optimists

Punch planters or rolling jab planters can be used to plant seed 
or transplants through mulch. 
They are cheaper and work better than the current small scale drills.
But they are very hard to obtain. 
Hand jab planters may have to suffice until the rolling jab planters 
become available.

USDA - transplanter with shank
A shank leaves exposed soil for weeds to grow.

No-till equipment
Weed Em and Reap video of no-till equipment.

FAO - harvesting equipment for full size trees
Fruit and nut catching net

Full size trees provide additional disease resistance and longer life. But harvesting can be difficult.


Grinders and Mills

C.S. Bell Co. - hammermills
Make your own hammermill
C.S. Bell Co. - wet grain and meat grinders
Lehman's - wet grain and meat grinder
eOrganic - grain dehullers

Organic Seed Catalogs:

Everyone must decide whether to use open pollinated or hybrid varieties. During adverse weather, hybrids have enough extra vigor to compensate and be more productive. However, open pollinated varieties will often have more flavor and nutrients. Since most people do not pay close attention to nutrient levels or even flavor, farmers tend to use more hybrids, especially during adverse weather periods. But if you are selling to the niche market of people who do pay close attention to nutrient levels, the open pollinated varieties may give you a marketing advantage. If you are gardening for nutrition, using mostly open pollinated varieties to insure high nutrient levels and a small balance of hybrids to insure high yields during adverse weather may be the best choice. Open pollinated seeds are also a good insurance policy against less reliable hybrid seed supplies.

Open Pollinating Vegetable Seed Catalogs:

Fedco Seeds
Cold hardy organic hard to find selections.

Bountiful Gardens
Seed company focused on sustainability.

Good description of genetic heritage of each vegetable 
    and it's adaptation

Johnny's Selected Seeds
Both hybrid and open pollinated varieties.

Seeds of Change
Seed company focused on sustainability.
Best at testing varieties for nutrients.

J. L. Hudson, Seedsman
Seed company focused on open pollinated heirlooms.

Baker Creek
Wide selection of organic seeds.

Both hybrid and open pollinated varieties.

Both hybrid and open pollinated varieties for commercial growers.

Both hybrid and open pollinated varieties.

Southern Exposure
Heirloom and open pollinated varieties.

Vermont Bean Co.
Great selection of beans for northern climates.

St. Clare Seeds
Heirloom and open pollinated varieties.

Real Seeds
Open pollinated varieties.

Siskiyou Seeds
Seed company focused on open pollinated heirlooms.

High Mowing Seeds 
Organically grown selections.

Hume Seeds
Both hybrid and open pollinated varieties.

Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Savers Exchange - taken over by Monsanto
Seed company focused on open pollinated heirlooms.

Salt Spring Seeds
Seed company focused on open pollinated heirlooms.

Green Haven
Open pollinated varieties.

Sustainable Seed Co.
Heirloom and open pollinated varieties.

Sandhill Preservation Center
Heirloom and open pollinated varieties.

Seed For Security 
Seeds for survivalists.

Victory Seeds
Heirloom and open pollinated varieties.

Heirloom and open pollinated varieties.

Heirloom Seeds
Seed company focused on open pollinated heirlooms.

Prairie Garden
Cold climate varieties.


Hybrid Vegetable Seed Catalogs:

Thompson & Morgan
Mostly hybrid varieties.

Organic Seed Supplier Lists:

Iowa State University Organic Agriculture website

List of organic seed suppliers.

New grain sources:

New legume sources:
USDA Legumes

List of companies that carry herbs:

Richter's Herbs
Goodwood, Ontario
Loc 1ao


Fruit, nut, and legume trees and vines:

Double A Vineyards 10277 Christy Road Fredonia, NY 14063 Double A Vineyards St. Lawrence Nurseries Rt 5, box 324 Potsdam, NY 13676 St. Lawrence Nurseries - zone 3-6 plants Raintree Nursery 391 Butts Road Morton, WA 98356 Raintree Nursery All three of these nurseries specialize in exotic wild fruits and legumes for cold regions. They are especially disease and pest resistant. SV Nursery Hidden Springs Nursery - honey locust Stark Bro's Louisiana, MO 63353 Stark Bro's Nursery Cummins Nursery 1408 Trumansburg Rd Ithaca NY 14456 Cummins Nursery Grimo Nut Nursery 979 Lakeshore RD,. R.R. 3, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario Canada LOS 1JO Grimo Nut Adams County Nursery 26 Nursery Road Aspers, PA 17304 Adams County Nursery Adams County Nursery - ripening dates Honey Tree Nursery Norboro, Canada Honey Tree Nursery - Winterbloom Rhora's Nut Farm Wainfleet, Ontario Rhora's Nut Farm One Green World Nursery 28696 S. Cramer Rd. Molalla, Oregon 97038-8576 One Green World Nursery Southmeadow Fruit Gardens P.O. Box 211 Baroda, MI 49101 South Meadow Fruit Gardens Forest Agriculture Enterprises P.O. Box 24 Viola, WI 54664 Forest Agriculture Enterprises



USGS - groundwater
USGS - Karst groundwater
MIT - groundwater resources overdrawn

Crop Diseases

Cornell University - disease lists

Seed Saving

Seed Storage Times


Beginner Books:

The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening by Rodale
The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener by Burpee
Taylor's Guide to Fruits and Berries
American Horticultural Society, Pests & Diseases 
          by Pippa Greenwood

Advanced Books and Links:
Plant Propagation - excellent section on root grafting
Root grafting
Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth Biological Control of Weeds and Plant Diseases by Elroy L. Rice Roots Demystified by Robert Kourik Lessons in Nature by Malcolm Beck **********************************************************************

Agriculture Links:

ATTRA publications master index

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

SARE Provides Grants and Information to Improve Profitability, Stewardship and Quality of Life

Purdue Crop Index

Index of crops with detailed descriptions.


plant index

Cornell University

vegetable variety comparisons

Utah State

Variety test results

Weston A. Price

Combination agriculture and nutrition site

Organic Farming Research Foundation

OFRF’s integrated strategy of grantmaking, policy, education and networking initiatives supports organic farmers immediate information needs while moving the public and policymakers toward greater investment in organic farming systems.

CIAS is a sustainable agriculture research center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Gardening Community Links:

Resource Centres Urban Agriculture and Food Security

Gardening forum with supplier ratings.

Community Supported Agriculture:

Community Supported Agricultural directory.

Intentional Communities:

Intentional Communities

Intentional Community Directory.

Similar Links:

University of Missouri Extension

University of Missouri Extension: Missouri Alternatives Center - North Central Initiative for Small Farm Profitability.

DMOZ Homesteading directory

DMOZ Homesteading directory

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