VABF

Virginia Association for Biological Farming

Crops

Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: a Planning Manual, edited by Charles L. Mohler and Sue Ellen Johnson.  2009.  USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE, http://www.sare.org), and Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service (NRAES).  156 pp.Based on input from over a dozen expert farmers in the Northeast, this manual provides a framework within which a producer can develop a crop rotation for her/his climate, soils, crop mix, prevailing pests and diseases, equipment resources, and market needs.  Extensive tables give research based information on benefits and drawbacks of specific crop sequences.Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd edition.  2009.  USDA Sustainable Agriculture research and Education (SARE, http://www.sare.org), Handbook No. 9.  244 pp.

Cover crops play a vital role in sustainable cropping systems, and this SARE manual belongs in every farmer’s library.  It provides a wealth of information on cover crops, their benefits, and their use and management in row crops, vegetables, and other horticultural crops.  Chapters include cover cropping for soil fertility and tilth, pest and weed management; crop rotation; conservation tillage (both organic and conventional systems); a set of charts giving excellent guidance on selection, planting, and management; and in-depth information on about 20 individual crops.

How to Grow More Vegetables (and fruits, nuts, berries, grains, and other crops) than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine, 7th edition, by John Jeavons with a foreword by Alice Waters.  2006.  Ten speed press, Berkeley, CA. 268 pp.    Available through Ecology Action, http://www.growbiointensive.org.

This is the latest edition of the complete manual on the Biointensive Minifarming method of sustainable and organic horticulture, originally brought to this country under the moniker “biodynamic French-intensive,” and further developed by John Jeavons to maximize on-farm sourcing of organic matter and fertility.  Packed with good basic horticultural information as well as Jeavons’ systems for  developing a deep, living soil profile that supports high yield intensive production.  NOTE:  some of the more disease prone crops (e.g., tomato) may not perform optimally in our humid climate at the close plant spacings recommended in this manual.

Four Season Harvest – By Eliot Coleman

The BackYard Berry Book – Stella Otto

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