This is a recommended list of reading. Some are suggested while others are highly recommended. Some are for the serious gardener while others are for the basic backyard gardener.
Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long, by Eliot Coleman. A very inspiring and enjoyable read from our favorite gardening expert.
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, by Edward C. Smith. Other than the title, this is a great book. Especially good for those who learn best by looking at pictures and charts.
The Garden Primer, by Barbara Damrosch. If you want just one book that covers every facet of gardening, this is it. Vegetables, fruits, lawns, wildflowers, houseplants…it’s all here. She also happens to be Eliot Coleman’s wife.
Seed to Seed, by Suzanne Ashworth. The book for seed-saving techniques. Also good cultural information on growing every imaginable vegetable variety.
The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener. by Eliot Coleman. The textbook we use for our Agricultural Training Program. Should be required reading for anyone considering gardening on a large scale.
The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses. by Eliot Coleman. The manual for winter growing from the country’s undisputed leader. He does it in Maine with unheated greenhouses! The pictures of his farm are worth the price of the book.
Sustainable Market Farming by Pam Dawling. This is a very comprehensive (over 400 pages) year-round guide for the small-scale farmer in every climate zone. Divided into two main sections, part 1 is “Techniques,” and part 2 is “Crops,” with an in-depth look at how to grow all major vegetable varieties. Great reference book!
The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier. One of the most exciting new books to come out in the last few years! Jean-Martin is “standing on the shoulders” of Eliot Coleman and details how he is making a comfortable living on 1 ½ acres of intensively grown vegetables – without tractors and other large equipment or investment.
Market Farming Success by Lynn Byczynski. Lynn is the editor of “Growing for Market” magazine and has written an easily readable book on how to succeed in market farming. Newly revised and better than ever!
Sell What You Sow! by Eric Gibson. The Grower’s guide to successful produce marketing. Mostly a compilation of articles featuring successful small farms.
Website Resources Reading
www.attra.ncat.org – An incredible information resource for all things in sustainable and organic agriculture. Has publications on almost every crop and activity associated with agriculture.
www.growingformarket.com – Not only the best monthly magazine for market gardeners, but also a good resource for books and information particularly relevant to small farmers.
www.Rodaleinstitute.org – Rodale led the way in the return to organic agriculture and their website has good information for farmers or anyone interested in organic issues.
http://georgiaorganics.org/about-us/resources/ – Georgia Organics is a member supported, non-profit organization connecting organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. We believe food should be community-based, not commodity-based.
http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/ – We are a non-profit, membership-based organization that advocates for fair farm and food policies, builds the systems that organic family farms need to thrive, and educates communities about local, organic farming.