The educational materials listed on this page are about Organic Agriculture.
Organic agriculture integrates “cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” Organic and sustainable agriculture often include the use of cover crops, crop rotation, use of tools and machinery for weed and pest management, and conservation tillage. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering may not be used for food to be certified and labelled USDA organic. Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be “fed 100 percent certified organic feed, managed without antibiotics, added growth hormones, mammalian or avian byproducts, or other prohibited feed ingredients.” SARE has many helpful reads including Transitioning to Organic Production, which addresses conversion strategies, organic farming production practices, marketing approaches and federal organic standards for certified organic crop and livestock. SARE’s Crop Rotation on Organic Farms reviews how rotating crops improve soil quality and health and help manage pests, diseases, and weeds.
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How Alive is My Soil?
This guide presents soil testing methods that can be performed in the field by farmers, gardeners, or anyone who desires to understand and appreciate soil from a different perspective. While these tests aren’t intended to be a replacement for sending soil to a lab, they can be considered complementary to annual or biannual lab analysis.
Managing Staph aureus on the Organic Dairy
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that causes mastitis in dairy cattle. Staph aureus mastitis is highly contagious and can easily spread among the herd. Organic dairy farmer Katie Webb Clark conducted a Northeast SARE Farmer Grant project to test milking hygiene and preventative management protocols used in the U.S. and New Zealand, trialed Manuka honey […]
Predatory Mites for Organic Thrips Control in High Tunnel Cucumbers
A presentation of grant-funded research on biological control methods in New York, including cultural practices, plant resistance, grafting, rotations, sprays and beneficials.
Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management
Crop management for insects and disease control, photos, fact sheets, and extensive appendices addressing plant resistance, habitats for beneficial insects, trap cropping, and more.
Vegetable Bedding Plants Pest Management
This University of Massachusetts web page has information on integrated pest management (IPM) and organic controls, two practical ways to effectively manage pests on vegetable bedding plants. Vegetable bedding plants are commonly grown in the Northeast as part of the spring sales mix. Although vegetable bedding plants may only be in the greenhouse for a […]
Horn Farm and Restaurant
Horn and Farm Restaurant is a diversified organic operation in Bedford, Pennsylvania.
Organic parasite control
Signs of parasites, prevention, National Organic Program standards, and more.
Beyond Black Plastic
This publication explores sustainable, organic mulches such as cover crops and no-till and reduced tillage systems as alternatives to black plastic mulch for weed control. The booklet includes a discussion of the impact of organic mulches on soil quality and fertility, weed control, yields and waste production, and profitability for small to mid-size vegetable operations.
Backpack Sprayers for Small-Scale Farms
Backpack sprayers are a boon to farmers on small acreage, but not all sprayers are created equal. Video series.
New weed control tools for smaller farms
Weed control is an important issue on vegetable farms, and it can be particularly challenging on smaller farms that lack effective mechanization. This Partnership Grant addressed that issue and also leveraged a variety of other resources to study innovative tools that could have wide applicability to the many small vegetable farms in our region. The […]
Tackling the Thorny Issues, Linking Practitioners
As the ranks of organic farmers swell in America, so does the need for answers to tough problems in organic agriculture. For example, how can weeds be controlled without soil-eroding tillage? How can risk be minimized? How can farmers learn from one another? Thanks to researcher/educators like Anu Rangarajan of Cornell University, new and transitioning […]
Whole-Farm Nutrient Planning for Organic Farms
A 16-page booklet that helps organic farmers understand their soil test results and use these results wisely and compliantly, within the USDA National Organic Program standards.
A series of eight handbooks for new farmers or established producers seeking to transition to organic or improve their current practices. Print only; order from Chelsea Green.