Resources For Life-Centered Agriculture

Organizations, ideas, books, and websites on life sustaining gardening, agriculture, and food

Advocacy groups

Ecology Action

Ecology Action researches and educates about bio-intensive gardening. Publishes How to Grow More Vegetables, by John Jeavons, Ten Speed Press, 1995.

Contact: 5798 Ridgewood Rd., Willits, CA 95490 tel: 707/459-0150 fax: 707/459-5409

GRACE Factory Farm Project

GRACE helps communities keep out factory farms or close existing ones down. Grace also provides news, testimony, and guest speakers on related issues.

Contact: 15 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010 tel: 212/726-9161

Henry A. Wallace Center for Agricultural and Environmental Policy at Winrock International

A research and education organization established to encourage and facilitate the adoption of low-cost, resource- conserving, and environmentally sound farming systems.

Contact: 38 Winrock Drive, Morrilton, Arkansas  72110   501.727.5435 1621 North Kent Street, Suite 1200, Arlington, Virginia  22209   703.525.9430

Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy

IATP promotes national and international policies that enhance sustainable food security and the right to food.

Contact: 2105 First Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404-2505 tel: 612/870-3400 fax: 612/870-4846

International Society for Ecology and Culture

The ISEC develops relationships between small farmers and rural society internationally, to strengthen local economies, and nurture connections with nature.

The ISEC also campaigns against the global economy and educates about our biological and spiritual connection to the world around us.

Contact: Apple Barn Week, Dartington, Devon TQ6JP England tel: +44-1803-868-650 fax: +44-1803-868-651

Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet

Mothers and Others helps the public support farmers who are using safe and sustainable methods of farming. Provides information on CSAs in your area and which foods are the most important to buy organic.

Contact: 40 West 20th St., New York, NY 10011 tel: 212/242-0010 fax: 212/242-0545

National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides

An excellent source on pesticides, this group also publishes detailed reports and alerts of pending legislation. They are committed to pesticide safety and the adoption of alternative pest management strategies that reduce or eliminate dependencies on toxic chemicals.

Contact: 701 E. St. SE Suite 2000, Washington, DC 20003 tel: 202/543-5450 fax: 202/543-4791,

Sustainable Agriculture Network

Part of the US Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, this network provides scientific and practical information.

Contact: Andy Clark, room 304, National Agricultural Library, 10301 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-2351 tel: 301/504-6425 fax: 301/504-6409

farmers & gardeners

American Community Gardening Association (ACGA)

The American Community Gardening Association links experienced mentors with community gardening organizations. The association holds conferences and community gardening events around the US.

Contact: 100 N. 20th St., 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1495 tel: 215/988-8785

American Farmland Trust

American Farmland Trust works to stop the loss of productive farmland and to promote sustainable farming practices. They also provide news updates and legislative alerts.

Contact: 1200 18th St. NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036 tel: 202/685-5832

Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association

Based on a series of lectures given by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in 1924, Biodynamics is a holistic approach to agriculture.

Contact: Building 1002B, Thoreau Center, The Presidio, PO Box 29135, San Francisco, CA 94129-0135 tel: 888/516-7797

www.biodynamics. com/biodynamics.html

Bioneers – Collective Heritage Institute

The Restorative Development Initiative helps family and indigenous farmers to practice their livelihood and business in an ecologically sound and sustainable way. This year, they are holding workshops on medicinal herbs and urban farming. (see page 61).

Contact: 901 W. San Mateo Rd., Suite L, Santa Fe, NM 87505 tel: 877/246-6337

Cornell Composting

Composting how-to's and programs developed at Cornell University.

Contact: Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Riley Robb Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-5701

Land Stewardship Project

The Land Stewardship Project links farmers who are practicing sustainability with consumers. LSP also has available several case studies, how-to manuals, and videos related to sustainable agriculture practices and good stewardship.

Contact: 2200 4th St., White Bear Lake, MN 55110 tel: 651/653-061

National Family Farm Coalition

NFFC focuses on preserving and strengthening family farms. The organization consists of 33 grassroots farm, resource conservation, and rural advocacy groups.

Contact: 110 Maryland Ave. NE, #307, Washington, D.C. 20002 tel: 202/543-5675 fax: 202/543-0978

San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners

SLUG constructs and maintains community gardens and urban landscapes, offers horticulture education in schools and communities, conducts youth programs that foster confidence and independence, provides job training and supplies SLUG members and city gardeners with materials and support. They also feature a whole line of food products such as jams, vinegar, and honey, as well as gift baskets, made from SLUG-grown produce.

Contact: 2088 Oakdale Ave., San Francisco, CA 94124 tel: 415/285-SLUG


consumers, cooks, & communities

Organic Consumers Association

The OCA helps consumers make informed food choices with information on issues such as cloning, Mad Cow Disease, rBGH, and food irradiation. If you're looking for places to buy organic foods, the OCA has a list, as well as news and political information.

Contact: 6114 Highway 61 Little Marais, MN 55614 tel: 218/726-1443 fax: 218/726-1446

Community Alliance with Family Farmers

Mostly geared towards Californians, CAFF provides information on CSAs and answers your gardening questions. In partnership with Global Exchange, CAFF provides tours of sustainable farms.

Contact: PO Box 363, Davis, CA 95617 tel: 530/756-8518 fax: 530/756-7857

Chefs Collaborative 2000

The Chefs Collaborative, a resource for chefs interested in sustainable cooking, offers annual retreats, newsletters, chefs' guides, and a program in which chefs teach children about clean and healthy food.

EarthSave International

EarthSave can answer your questions about how vegetarianism or veganism would affect your health and the planet's. Learn about factory farms, soy foods, and fish. Take their 60-day Veg Pledge, and get online support and recognition.

Contact: 444 NE Ravenna Blvd., Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98105 tel: 800/362-3648

Center for Ethics and Toxics

Read about the ethics of organics, agriculture chemicals, and biotechnology. Cetos champions small farmers, the disenfranchised, and the poor in their battles against chemical pollution and pesticides.

Contact: PO Box 673, Gualala, CA 95445 tel: 707/884-1700 fax: 707/884-1846

Center for Food Safety

Part of the International Center for Technology Assessment, CFS provides information about factory farming, rBGH, and genetically engineered foods. CFS has sued the FDA seeking mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and has sued the EPA seeking a moratorium on the approval of genetically engineered Bt plants. CFS is also petitioning the FDA to revoke approval of bovine growth hormone (BGH).

Contact: 310 D St., NE, Washington, DC 20002 tel: 202/547-9359 fax: 202/547-9429


American Journal of Alternative Agriculture

A monthly journal that reports on alternative agriculture and the developments in this arena.

Contact: 9200 Edmonston Rd., Suite 117, Greenbelt, MD 20770 tel: 301/441-8777

The Ecologist

With international coverage, identifies root causes of such crises as global climate change, pollution, and deforestation. Published a special issue on biotechnology.

Contact: Cissbury House, Furze View, Five Oaks Road, Slinfold, W. Sussex RH13 7RH, UK tel: 44 1403 786 726

Food & Water

Discusses food safety, food irradiation, genetic engineering, and sustainable agriculture.

Contact: RR1, Box 68D, Walden, VT 05873 tel: 802/563-3300

The Land Report

The Land Report is a collection of essays, photos, and technical information on sustainable farming and agrarianism.

Contact: The Land Institute, 2440 E. Water Well Rd., Salina, KS 67401 tel: 785-823-5376 fax: 785-823-8728

Permaculture Activist

A magazine with a whole-system approach to life-sustaining ways of raising food and fiber.

Contact: PO Box 1209W, Black Mountain, NC 28711 tel: 828/298-2812

A weekly newsletter on toxins and the environment. Frequently discusses biotechnology and food safety.

Contact: Environmental Research Foundation, PO Box 5036, Annapolis, MD 21403 tel: 410/263-1584


  • Gardening for the Future of the Earth
    by Howard Yana-Shapiro & John Harrison. NY, Bantam Books, 2000.
    A how-to on backyard organic gardening.
  • On Good Land
    by Michael Ableman. San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 1998.
    An autobiography of an urban farm.
  • Gift of Good Land
    by Wendell Berry. San Francisco, North Point Press, 1981.
    Culture and agriculture. A follow-up to the Unsettling of America.
  • The Unsettling of America
    by Wendell Berry. San Francisco, Sierra Club, 1977.
    An all time classic, Berry eloquently describes the history of America through agriculture and calls for an agrarian revival where culture, ecology, and agriculture are intertwined.
  • Eating with Conscience
    by Michael Fox. Troutdale, Oregon, New Sage Press. 1997.
    Fox looks at our insatiable demand for meat and how this affects the animals we raise in factory farms.
  • Farms of Tomorrow: Community Supported Farms, Farm Supported Communities
    by T.Groh & S. McFadden. Kimberton, Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, 1990. A book about CSA systems with case studies of farms that have created close links with nearby communities.
  • Food, Energy, and Society
    edited by David Pimentel & Marcia Pimentel. University Press of Colorado, 1996.
    A succinct examination of the systems involved in agriculture, from history to economics, to society, to environment.
  • A People's Ecology Explorations in Sustainable Living
    edited by Gregory Cajete. Santa Fe, Clear Light Publishers, 1999.
    A view of sustainable living as practiced by Native Americans of the Southwest, describing ecology, food systems, health, and broader ideas involved in sustainability.
  • Farming in Nature's Image: An Ecological Approach to Agriculture
    by Judith D. Soule & Jon K. Piper. Washington, DC, Island Press, 1992.
    Examines the problems of industrial agriculture and suggests a new form of agriculture in which native ecosystems are mimicked.
  • The Paradox of Plenty: Hunger in a Bountiful World
    edited by Douglas H. Boucher. Oakland, Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1999.
    Excerpts from Food First publications about the world food system, global policies, and alternatives.
  • Make No Small Plans: A Cooperative Revival for Rural America
    by Lee Egerstrom. Rochester, Minnesota, Lone Oak Press Ltd., 1994.
    A documentation of the change in agriculture from a way of livelihood to a way of business. Egerstrom focuses on the need for farmers to act cooperatively in directing this change.
  • Our Land, Ourselves: Readings on People and Place
    edited by Peter Forbes, Ann Armbrecht Forbes, & Helen Whybrow. San Francisco, The Trust for Public Land, 1999.
    A collection of essays exploring people's relationship to place.
  • Invisible Giant: Cargill and its Transnational Strategies
    by Brewster Kneen. East Haven, Connecticut, Pluto Press, 1995.
    A critique of agribusiness, using Cargill as an example.
  • From Land to Mouth Understanding the Food System
    by Brewster Kneen. Toronto, NC Press Limited, 1993.
    The global food system and visions of alternative systems.
  • Taste Life! The Organic Choice
    edited by David Richard and Dorie Byers. Bloomingdale, Illinois, Vital Health Publishing, 1998.
    Why organic foods are healthier for you and for the food system as a whole.
  • Agrarian Reform and Social Transformation: Preconditions for Development
    by Rehman Sobhan. New Jersey, Zed Books, 1993.
    Sobhan discusses examples from Latin America and Africa to demonstrate the central role played by land reform in transforming formerly poverty-stricken areas.


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