Organic Agriculture

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 cropscrop rotationuse 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.

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. 

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 […]

NOFA Handbooks

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.