UPDATED FEBRUARY 2, 2005: Our
primary goal for the New Farm online bookstore is not to sell
you books—it's to help you find the information you
need to farm successfully and sustainably. And although for
the sake of convenience we offer links to Amazon.com for most
of the books listed in our store, many rarer or more specialized
titles are more easily obtained directly from the publisher
or from independent bookshops. What follows is an alphabetical
list of presses and booksellers we've found to be excellent
sources for books (as well as videos, fact sheets and other
materials) about organic and sustainable agriculture. We hope
you find the same.
Know of a great source for sustainable ag books not on this
list? Let us know.
In addition to their monthly newspaper on eco-agriculture,
Acres USA publishes and sells a wide range of books on crop
production, veterinary care, business management, and other
Charles Walters, A Farmer's Guide to the
Bottom Line (2001)
The American Botanist
An Illinois-based bookseller, American Botanist specializes
in rare and out-of-print books on agriculture and horticulture.
They have also issued a few titles under their own imprint.
Sample title: Ward Sinclair, Truckpatch:
A Farmer's Odyssey (2000)
An on-line bookstore of sustainable agriculture, self-sufficiency
and traditional knowledge, run by an ecumenical cooperative
in the Missouri Ozarks.
Sample title: Robert K. Henderson, The
Neighborhood Forager: A Guide for the Wild Food Gourmet.
Biodynamic Farming and Gardening
Based in Oregon, BDFGA has a lengthy publication list of books
and pamphlets relating to biodynamic principles and practices.
Many titles are difficult to find elsewhere.
Sample title: Alex Podolinsky, Biodynamic
Agriculture: Introductory Lectures, Vol. 1 (1985)
British publishing group CABI specializes in technical books
in the plant and animal sciences and in rural economic development.
Sustainable agriculture is one of their subfields.
Sample titles: K. Lind, G. Lafer, et al,
Organic Fruit Growing (2003); N. H. Lampkin and S.
Padel, eds., The Economics of Organic Farming: An International
Canadian Organic Growers
Founded in 1975, non-profit COG has produced a small number
of excellent handbooks for organic farm management, as well
as numerous inexpensive bulletins.
Sample title: Canadian Organic Growers,
Organic Livestock Handbook (2000)
A small publishing house based in Lincolnshire, England, Chalcombe
produces practical, affordable books for farmers and agricultural
Sample title: Jon Newton, Organic Grassland
Chelsea Green Publishing
A small independent publisher based in Vermont; a great source
for both practical and inspirational works.
Sample titles: Robert Hart, Forest Gardening:
Cultivating an Edible Landscape (1996); Joan Gussow,
This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader
The Countryman Press
Now a division of W.W. Norton, Countryman Press publishes
attractive and useful books in gardening, country living,
and regional subjects.
Sample title: Jan Greenberg, Hudson Valley
Harvest: A Food Lover's Guide to Farms, Restaurants, and Open-Air
Originally founded by the International Institute for Environment
and Development and WWF, Earthscan was acquired by the science
publisher James & James last year. They continue to publish
hard-hitting, serious titles on sustainable development and
Sample titles: Erik Millstone and Tim Lang,
The Atlas of Food: Who Eats What, Where, and Why
(2003); Marc Lappé and Britt Bailey, Against the
Grain: The Genetic Transformation of Global Agriculture (1999).
An independent UK bookseller based in lovely Bath, and specializing
in practical books on environmental topics.
Sample title: Nick White, ed., Sustainable
Housing Schemes in the UK.
Also known as The Institute for Food and Development Policy,
Food First is a non-profit think-tank and outreach organization
publishing regular reports on topics such as hunger, food
security, land reform, and biotechnology. They also have an
on-line bookstore and issue a handful of books each year under
their own imprint.
Sample title: Jennifer Willsea, ed., Alternatives
to the Peace Corps: A Directory of Global Volunteer Organizations,
The Globe Pequot Press / The Lyons
Globe Pequot's Lyons Press imprint features a series of practical
farming and rural life handbooks from the early years of the
Sample title: Frank D. Gardner, Traditional
American Farming Techniques (2001; first published 1916).
Growing for Market
Lynn Byczynski's monthly newsletter Growing for Market is
cherished by truck farmers and market gardeners nationwide.
The GFM bookstore features the indispensable titles of market
Sample title: Frank and Pamela Arnosky, We're
Gonna Be Rich: Growing Specialty Cut Flowers for Market: A
collection of the Arnoskys' cut-flower columns for Growing
for Market, 1995-1998.
Island Press / Shearwater Books
Since 1984, non-profit Island Press has been publishing a
wide range of high-quality books on global environmental issues,
sustainable development, and ecological design. Their Conservation
Classics series includes historic sustainable ag titles like
Edward Faulkner's Plowman's Folly and A Second Look.
Sample titles: Allan Nation, Holistic Management
(1999); Jeffrey A. McNeely and Sara J. Scherr, Ecoagriculture:
Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity
Journey to Forever
An annotated bibliography of sustainable ag titles; also includes
many electronic full-text editions.
Sample title: J. Russell Smith, Tree
Crops: A Permanent Agriculture (1929).
Motorbooks.com is your source for illustrated books on tractors,
farm implements, and their history.
Sample title: Ronald Stokes Barlow, Three
Hundred Years of Farm Implements and Machinery, 1630-1930.
Missouri Alternatives Center
An on-line catalog of alternative ag books, booklets, videos,
and more. (Because libraries will get you through times without
money better than money will get you through times without
Sample title: Nic Lampkin and Mark Measures,
eds., 2001 Organic Farm Management Handbook.
Natural Resource, Agriculture, and
Engineering Service (NRAES)
A joint project of cooperate extension and 14 member land-grant
universities, NRAES specializes in practical titles on agriculture,
horticulture, farm construction, waste management, and more.
Sample titles: Thom J. McEvoy, Introduction
to Forest Ecology and Silviculture, 2nd edn (2000); Mark
Dougherty, ed., The Field Guide to On-Farm Composting
Vermont booksellers (with shops in Brandon and Rochester)
who are also organic farmers. Through their stores and website
they offer titles on sustainable agriculture and homestead/farmstead
skills. New, used, antiquarian and publisher overstock books.
Sample titles: George Waterman, The Practical
Stock Doctor: Stock Breeding for Farmers and Stock Owners
(1926), Eric Freyfogle, ed., The New Agrarianism: Land,
Culture and the Community of Life (2001).
A Canadian site offering free downloads of a small but growing
number of books for individual use. Several works by the pioneering
plant breeder Raoul Robinson are available here in both English
Sample titles: Raoul A. Robinson, Return
to Resistance and El Retorno al Resistencia
Soil and Health Library
This remarkable site is the work of American vegetable grower
and writer Steve Solomon, now living in Tasmania, Australia.
It is a dynamic collection of electronic, full-text editions
of out-of-print classics of sustainable agriculture.
Sample title: Robert Elliot, The Clifton
Park System of Farming (1943).
New England-based Storey Publishing has been turning out appealing,
down-to-earth books on gardening, homesteading, and the rural
arts since 1983.
Sample titles: Dirk van Loon, The Family
Cow; John J. Mettler, Jr., Basic Butchering of Livestock
Sustainable Agriculture Network
The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) is the Sustainable
Agriculture Research & Education program's publications
arm, part of the USDA's support for sustainable ag. SAN has
a short but growing list of affordable, practical titles,
many available in CD-ROM as well as print formats.
Sample title: Fred Magdoff and Harold van
Es, Building Soils for Better Crops, 2nd edn (2000).
University of Nebraska Press
Many university presses publish regional titles relevant to
agricultural history or food politics, but UNP deserves special
notice for its Our Sustainable Future Series, co-edited by
sustainable ag pioneer Chuck Francis.
Sample titles: John Opie, Ogallala: Water
for a Dry Land (2000); M. Brett Callaway and Charles
A. Francis, eds., Crop Improvement for Sustainable Agriculture