ATTRA – A National Sustainable Agriculture Assistance Program – developed and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology – (NCAT) Now that food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food SafetyModernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. ATTRA’s On-Farm Food Safety and FSMA site has a trove of information and resources concerning the new regulations. Information includes a farm based food safety video series.
Brackett’s Farm – In Central Virginia dates from the late 18th century and lies in the heart of the Green Springs National Historic Landmark District. Run by the Elisabeth Aiken Nolting Charitable Foundation, the goal is to encourage sustainable and responsible stewardship of land in a deep historical tradition.
Case Studies of (mostly) Successful Niche Meat Processor Facilities
With a focus on sustainable, grass-fed, organic meat processing, this site shares case studies of mostly, but not all, successful niche meat processor facilities.
Certified Naturally Grown
A grassroots alternative to certified organic for direct-market farmers and beekeepers. CNG farms adhere to the same production standards as organic farms, but the certification model is based on peer-inspections and strong farming networks. Map of Certified Naturally Grown farms in Virginia.
Cornell Organic Guides
Organic production guides for a diverse mix of fruits and vegetables.
Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture
Anetwork of farmers, agricultural professionals, landowners and consumers living and working in the Chesapeake region, which includes Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington DC. Future Harvest CASA promotes profitable, environmentally sound and socially acceptable food and farming systems that work to sustain communities.
Short videos that are technical in nature and specific to organic farming in Georgia. The videos were produced for Georgia Organics by Anthony-Masterson Productions and made possible with grant funds from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Growing Farm Profits Online Course
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group presents this free online course developed for farmers and for those who help farmers develop more sustainable farming enterprises.
The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
(JAFSCD: ISSN 2152-0801) is an online, international, peer-reviewed publication focused on the practice and applied research interests of agriculture and food systems development professionals and scholars.
Maine Organic Price Reports
The Maine Organic Farming & Gardening Association compiles monthly reports of retail and wholesale prices of organic produce, herbs, flowers, dairy, meat, and eggs.
Meet the Farmer TV – Virginia show seeking the deeper values and hidden benefits of local food. Shows you how you can support local food systems and benefit personally as well as enhancing your community and our environment. Examines the special relationships that develop between the growers and the chefs and the consumers.
The National Organic Coalition
A national alliance of organizations working to provide a “Washington voice” for farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, consumers and progressive industry members involved in organic agriculture.
National Organic Program
From the USDA Website: “Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used. Consumer Information.”
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
An alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
New Entry, an initiative of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and additional partners, works locally, regionally, and across the country to strengthen local food systems by supporting new farmers. We serve and collaborate with the people, communities, and organizations in Massachusetts, the Northeast, and beyond! Click below to learn how you can get involved with New Entry.
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Commonly known as Southern SAWG, was founded in 1991 to foster a movement towards a more sustainable farming and food system – one that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
SARE seeks out innovation in sustainable agriculture, and rewards grant applicants who offer up interesting, potentially workable ideas. The SARE program also emphasizes outreach and the dissemination of project results so that the grant program will have the widest possible benefits. SARE’s national outreach office is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
USDA Strikeforce Program in Virginia
Learn more about this program aimed at connecting farmers with needed resources in multiple states, including Virginia.
Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project
The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project is a collaborative effort that reaches across Virginia to improve educational opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations.
Virginia Food System Council
Working to advance a nutrient-rich and safe food system for Virginians at all income levels, with an emphasis on access to local food, successful linkages between food producers and consumers, and a healthy, viable future for Virginia’s farmers and farmland.
General Sustainable Gardening and Farming
A national grassroots non-profit supporting new and young farmers. Website includes a blog updated daily with educational opportunities, conference announcements, and news pieces, as well as the trailer for the The Greenhorns documentary about up-and-coming sustainable farmers.
An online community for gardeners featuring forums, FAQ’s, and The Garden Exchange to help gardeners trade seeds, plants, and other garden-related items.
I Dig My Garden
Forums dedicated to discussing both the practical and political sides of organic, natural gardening and issues surrounding our “horticultural heritage.”
Cooperative Extension Service
This service of the USDA is a non-credit educational network. Some extension offices have significant emphasis on gardening and/or small-scale farming. Use this site to find the extension system office nearest you.
USDA zone map
An interactive map of the plant hardiness zones in the US based on average annual winter temperatures.
This site links to master gardeners groups around the country.
Mother Earth News Organic Gardening blog
A blog with practical, seasonal information about organic gardening with personal anecdotes from authors.
American Community Gardening Association
Includes a database of community gardens, tools for campaigns to protect community gardens, and a range of other resources.
A forum mainly about growing tomatoes, as well as some other fruits and vegetables.
A gardening forum with plant-specific discussions on pests, diseases, and other growing information.
Website where you can subscribe to “Acres U.S.A.,” a magazine devoted to commercial-scale organic and sustainable farming.
Organic Gardening Magazine
Includes “Living,” “Cook,” and “Learn and Grow” sections in addition to articles about organic growing.
Certified Naturally Grown
This site breaks down the Certified Naturally Grown Program, an alternative to the USDA Organic Program, and offers a list of certified farms and other resources.
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Focused on farming in Maine, this website has many resources useful to non-Mainers.
ATTRA — National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service
This service offers everything from web videos to an “Ask An Ag Expert” feature to searchable databases featuring organize seed, energy alternatives, pest management, and much more.
Kitchen Gardeners International
KGI supports people who want to grow their own food, connecting members from over 100 nations around the world. This site also offers an interactive garden planner.
USDA Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
A clearinghouse of information relating to sustainable and alternative food systems and farming.
Centered in Milwaukee, Growing Power is a national and international urban gardening coalition and training program.
Alexis Ziegler’s booklet on fruit propagation for diverse orchards in pdf form.
Works with mushrooms for food and for environmental remediation. Their site includes information about cultivating mushrooms, experiments, and mushroom hunting.
The magazine of food, farms and resource use, is the principal outreach vehicle of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association, AAEA. In 1986, AAEA announced the launch of Choices, which began as a print magazine and has evolved into a free, online-only publication. Choices provides peer-reviewed articles exploring the economic implications of current food, farm, resource or rural community issues directed toward a broad audience. At least one issue has been dedicated to resources for young farmers entering into farming.
Trainer’s Resource Guide
The Trainers’ Resource Guide was created for those who train beginning farmers and ranchers (BFRs). The typical training program usually has a good foundation in farm production skills, but overlooks financial literacy and business planning skills. This guide will help you add these vital skills to your training program, leading to sustainable success for your trainees’ ventures.
Farming and Gardening in Our Region
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
This North Carolina-based group works to create a sustainable food system in the Southeast through education and advocacy.
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
Helps Pennsylvania farmers farm more sustainably and build relationships within the sustainable farmer community and with consumers seeking sustainable products.
Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project
This project out of Virginia Tech helps beginning farmers with networking and whole farm planning.
Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association
Works to “promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade that fosters availability of locally grown or home-produced food products.”
A magazine for Mid-Atlantic gardeners.
NC State University’s Horticulture Extension Service
This site includes resources for growers and consumers including specifics on fruit and vegetable gardening, weed management, and floriculture.
Sustainable Market Farming
Pam Dawling’s blog on growing food for the 100 residents of Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia.
Philosophies of Agriculture
The Permaculture Activist
A magazine focused on helping people landscape in a way that efficiently and sustainably integrates their needs with respect for nature.
A permaculture forum covering many aspects of sustainable living, from plants and animals to buildings and energy, and much more.
Pionneering the organic movement for over 60 years through research and outreach. Site includes Rodale’s research as well as online resources for learning about and transitioning to organic farming.
The Old Farmers Almanac
The original Farmers Almanac, with weather forecasts, gardening dates, recipes and more, now in a digital medium.
Ecology Action: Grow Biointensive
Through teaching biointensive farming techniques, Ecology Action “teaches people worldwide to better feed themselves while building and preserving the soil and conserving resources.”
Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association
Educates and networks across the US about the Biodynamic movement started by Rudolf Steiner. Membership in the Association includes access to Biodynamics Journal.
Based in New York, the Center researches and teaches biodynamic farming to adults and children alike through hands-on workshops, trainings, and apprenticeships.
Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics
Provides books, biodynamic preparations, and workshops for people interested in working with the “life forces that increase the physical health of your soil, plants and animals.”
Mother Earth News
Magazine and website devoted to all aspects of “living wisely” through self-sufficiency and sustainability. Includes forums, fair information, and numerous blogs.
Organic Consumers Association
A non-profit campaigning to promote the interests of organic and socially responsible consumers. Site offers news related to organic issues and a weekly newsletter.
Pesticide Action Network
Dedicated to “Advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide,” PAN’s website helps visitors get involved in fighting pesticide use, learn about the issues, and take steps to protect self and family.
Piedmont Environmental Council
Focuses on a range of environmental issues and publishes “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” guides for the Virginia Piedmont region.
Environmental Working Group
A national “environmental health research and advocacy organization” working on various food-related fronts, as well other ways of reducing our exposure to toxins.
A gallery and guide to identifying, using, and growing medicinal herbs.
Provides publications and offers loans related to land tenure. Focuses especially on preserving affordable farms for farmers.
Living Energy Farm
Located in Central Virginia, this farm strives to serve as an example of the possibility of living a fulfilling life without the use of fossil fuels.
Organic products to make your backyard/ market/ family/ homestead/ grass farming better.
Beautiful seedlings from Virginia, grown using Southern Exposure seeds and nutrient-rich worm castings in plantable peat pots.
Forrest Green Farm
Offers classes and sells plants grown from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange’s seeds, as well as other products in Louisa County.
Seven Springs Farm
Sells innoculants, ammendments, and other farming and gardening supplies. They also have a CSA.
Purple Mountain Organics
Sells tools for gardening and small-scale farming.
Sells fruit trees and other perennials out of Afton, VA.
Makes mills that can be powered by hand, bicycle, or motor.
National Green Pages
Covers a broad array of environmentally friendly items.
Eco Business Links
The first green directory that is 100% solar energy hosted.
Spawn and supplies for growing mushrooms
Discover other cooperatively run businesses supporting local communities! Check out our neighboring worker-owned cooperatives: Twin Oaks Tofu (local, organic, non-GMO soybeans) and Twin Oaks Hammocks (the last handcrafted hammocks made in the US).
Gardening With Kids
The Edible Schoolyard Project
Offers lots of videos and other resources. This network got started in Berkley and has spread around the country and world.
Real School Gardens
Based in Texas, offers a range of resources for teachers.
Has fun gardening projects for schools and families.
Edible Schoolyard New Orleans
Serves FirstLine public charter schools in New Orleans.
Medomak Valley High School heirloom seed catalog
The country’s largest school-based seed-saving project and also provides information about how to save seeds. They said in the 2012 Seed Savers’ Exchange yearbook that they “appreciate any correspondence from other schools and organizations studying the history of heirloom seeds.”
Slow Food USA
Part of a global movement working for food that is good for the people who grow it, the people who eat it, and the planet.
This website has lots of stuff about fermenting vegetables on its support forum. It also has several impressive lists of links.
A great resource for finding good food grown near you.
Champions sustainable farmers and encourages us to eat where we live.
Includes listings of CSAs and famers’ markets as well as marketing services.
Buy Fresh, Buy Local
Helps Virginians find sources of local food.
Plant-a-Row for the Hungry
A national program that encourages gardeners to plant an extra row of produce to donate.
Teaches about the value of traditional diets from various parts of the world.
The Keystone Center
William Woys Weaver’s organization dedicated to Pennsylvania food history