Books & Magazines
This list was compiled by Craig Elevitch based on recommendations by Melanie Bondera, Tane Datta, Diana Duff, Phyl Dwyer, Daniel Gorsich, Robin Gorsich, Una Greenaway, Gerry Herbert, Ken Hufford, Chris Kobayashi, Ken Kottner, Margaret Krimm, Kelly Lange, Barry Levine, Ken Love, Vincent Mina, Mayumi Oda, Geoff Rauch, Nancy Redfeather, Amanda Rieux, Chris Robb, and Virginia von Wellsheim.
A monthly magazine. Acres U.S.A., P.O. Box 91299, Austin, TX 78709.
North America's oldest, largest magazine covering commercial-scale organic and sustainable farming.
An Agricultural Testament
by Sir Albert Howard. 1943. Oxford University Press (1979 reprint).
A classic work on organic agriculture.
The Albrecht Papers, Vol II (Albrecht Papers)
by William A. Albrecht. 1983. Acres U.S.A.
Shows how plant, animal, and ultimately, human health is based in soil fertility.
The Biological Farmer: A complete guide to the sustainable & profitable biological system of farming
by Gary F. Zimmer. 2000. Acres USA.
Practical management guidelines that can increase production and profit.
Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The gardener's & farmer's guide to plant breeding & seed saving
by Carol Deppe. 2000 (revised edition). Chelsea Green.
A scientific as well as practical guide to breeding your own vegetable varieties.
Cornucopia II: A source book of edible plants
by Stephen Facciola. 1998. Kampong Publications.
Comprehensive coverage of the edible plants of the world.
Culture and Horticulture: A philosophy of gardening
by Wolf-Dieter Storl. 1979. Steiner Books.
A biodynamic introduction to natural processes in the garden and how to utilize them to maximum benefit.
Eco-Farm, An Acres U.S.A. Primer: The definitive guide to managing farm and ranch soil fertility, crops, fertilizers, weeds and insects while avoiding dangerous chemicals
by Charles Walters. 2003 (3rd revised edition). Acres USA.
A detailed, authoritative primer for the paradigm shift towards organic and sustainable agriculture.
Farmers of Forty Centuries: Or permanent agriculture in China, Korea and Japan
by F. H. King. 1911. Reprint by Rodale Press (1990) and Dover Publications (2004).
A classic text written during the time of pre-industrial agriculture.
Four-Season Harvest: Organic vegetables from your home garden all year long
by Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch. 1999. Chelsea Green.
Guide to year-round fresh produce, even in temperate climates.
Fruits of Warm Climates
by Julia F. Morton. 1987.
Comprehensive coverage of fruits. Available for free on the Internet.
Grasp the Nettle: Making biodynamic farming and gardening work
by Peter Proctor. 2004. Random House New Zealand Ltd.
Introduction to applying biodynamics by observing the processes of life and growth.
by Neal Kinsey and Charles Walters. 2006 (revised edition). Acres U.S.A.
Comprehensive manual on holistic soil management.
Harvest for Hope: A guide to mindful eating
by Jane Goodall, Gary McAvoy, Gail Hudson. 2006. Wellness Central.
Speaks to the social significance of our food choices.
Herbs (Dorling Kindersley Handbook)
by Lesley Bremness. 2000. DK Adult.
Covers seven hundred species of herbs with brief descriptions and illustrations.
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): A primer on the life-giving sustainable grow biointensive method of organic horticulture
by John Jeavons. 2006 (7th edition). Ten Speed Press.
A classic in the field of sustainable gardening.
How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back: A new method of mulch gardening
by Ruth Stout and Leta Macleod Brunckhorst. 1990. Fireside.
Describes gardening with mulch in a fun, narrative style.
Introduction to Permaculture
by Bill Mollison with Reny Mia Slay. 1997. Tagari Publications, Tyalgum, Australia.
A key reference to site design in harmony with natural processes.
Just Weeds: history, myths and uses
by Pamela Jones and Bob Johnson. 1996. Chapters Pub Ltd.
Gives a historical and ethnobotanical appreciation of 30 common weeds.
The Living soil: Evidence of the importance to human health of soil vitality, with special reference to post-war planning
by Lady Evelyn Barbara Balfour. 1947 (7th edition).
Faber and Faber Ltd. An enduring text on organic agriculture.
Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
by Wilson Popenoe. 1920.
The Macmillan Company. A very useful reference for tropical fruits. Now available for free on the Internet.
Mother Earth News
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265.
The original magazine for sustainable living, including organic gardening.
The New Organic Grower: A master's manual of tools and techniques for the home and market gardener
by Eliot Coleman. 1995. Chelsea Green Publishing Company.
A comprehensive treatment of small-scale, commercial farming and gardening.
The One-straw Revolution: An introduction to natural farming
by Masanobu Fukuoka. 1978. Rodale Press.
A very influential book about a philosophy of natural farming.
The Overstory Book: Cultivating connections with trees, 2nd edition edited
by Craig R. Elevitch. 2004.
Compilation of articles about the role of trees in agriculture, conservation, and environment.
The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy methods for every gardener edited
by Grace Gershuny and Deborah L. Martin. 1992 (revised edition). Rodale Books.
An updated version of Rodale's Complete Book of Composting (1960), this book covers all aspects of composting.
Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener
edited by Fern Marshall Bradley and Barbara W. Ellis. 1993. Rodale Books.
A comprehensive guide to organic gardening and gardening in general.
The Secret Life of Plants
by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. 1989. Harper Paperbacks.
A fascinating perspective on the plant world.
Seed to Seed: Seed saving and growing techniques for vegetable gardeners
by Suzanne Ashworth. 2002. Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, Iowa.
An extensive seed-saving guide with specific techniques.
Sharing the Harvest: A guide to community supported agriculture
by Elizabeth Henderson and Robyn Van En. 2007, revised edition. Chelsea Green Publishing.
Describes how to form partnerships between local farmers and nearby consumers.
edited by Sherry Wildfeuer. 2008 (published yearly). Camphill Village, Kimberton, PA.
Planting charts and thought-provoking essays on the theme of biodynamics.
Tree Crops: A permanent agriculture
by J. Russell Smith. 1950. Island Press.
Promotes the use of tree crops for sustainable food production.
Weeds, Guardians of the Soil
by Joseph A. Cocannouer. 1980. Devin-Adair.
Shows how weeds contribute to garden health and give clues as to soil conditions.
Worms Eat My Garbage: How to set up & maintain a worm composting system
by Mary Appelhof. 1997 (revised edition). Flower Press.
A seminal work in worm husbandry at home