A New Agricultural Revolution
Author: Francis Chaboussou
Publisher: Jon Carpenter Publishing
This work powerfully asserts the idea that rather than using pesticides, the key to helping crops resist attacks from pests is to improve their strength through natural processes. Many of industrial agriculture's fundamental principles for fighting disease, in particular the reliance on pesticides and fertilizers, are explained and convincingly challenged and a new set of guiding principles for an ecological agricultural system are presented as a genuine alternative to the widespread use of chemicals.
The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929
Author: Paul Conkin
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
At a time when food is becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world and food prices are skyrocketing, no industry is more important than agriculture. Humans have been farming for thousands of years, and yet agriculture has undergone more fundamental changes in the past 80 years than in the previous several centuries. In 1900, 30 million American farmers tilled the soil or tended livestock; today there are fewer than 4.5 million farmers who feed a population four times larger than it was at the beginning of the century. Fifty years ago, the planet could not have sustained a population of 6.5 billion; now, commercial and industrial agriculture ensure that millions will not die from starvation. Farmers are able to feed an exponentially growing planet because the greatest industrial revolution in history has occurred in agriculture since 1929, with U.S. farmers leading the way. Productivity on American farms has increased tenfold, even as most small farmers and tenants have been forced to find other work. Today, only 300,000 farms produce approximately ninety percent of the total output, and overproduction, largely subsidized by government programs and policies, has become the hallmark of modern agriculture. A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929 charts the profound changes in farming that have occurred during author Paul K. Conkin’s lifetime. His personal experiences growing up on a small Tennessee farm complement compelling statistical data as he explores America’s vast agricultural transformation and considers its social, political, and economic consequences. He examines the history of American agriculture, showing how New Deal innovations evolved into convoluted commodity programs following World War II. Conkin assesses the skills, new technologies, and government policies that helped transform farming in America and suggests how new legislation might affect farming in decades to come. Although the increased production and mechanization of farming has been an economic success story for Americans, the costs are becoming increasingly apparent. Small farmers are put out of business when they cannot compete with giant, non-diversified corporate farms. Caged chickens and hogs in factory-like facilities or confined dairy cattle require massive amounts of chemicals and hormones ultimately ingested by consumers. Fertilizers, new organic chemicals, manure disposal, and genetically modified seeds have introduced environmental problems that are still being discovered. A Revolution Down on the Farm concludes with an evaluation of farming in the twenty-first century and a distinctive meditation on alternatives to our present large scale, mechanized, subsidized, and fossil fuel and chemically dependent system.
essential steps to a healthy, sustainable agriculture
Author: James E. Horne,Maura McDermott
Explore the benefits of and necessity for sustainable agriculture! Here is an easy-to-read, practical introduction to sustainable agriculture: what it means and why it is needed. It is the first book to synthesize the goals of sustainable agriculture into eight comprehensive steps. The Next Green Revolution presents a convincing critique of our current agricultural system and an introduction to an alternative system which gives more consideration to future generations. Interwoven through the book are Dr. Horne's reflections on social justice, quality of life, and how farmers and rural communities are inextricably linked. The Next Green Revolution draws on the unique perspective of Dr. James E. Horne, President of a leading nonprofit agriculture organization, the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture. It is inspired by his experience as a traditional agriculturalist and educator coming to grips with the failings of the conventional system and searching for an alternative. Writing in the first person, he describes growing up in a sharecropper family in Oklahoma, running his own ranch, and consulting with farmers as an agricultural economist. He shares what he learned as the Kerr Center experimented with new "sustainable" approaches to old problems on the Center's ranch/farm, and his experiences working with the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. With The Next Green Revolution, you will explore: the major problems of contemporary industrial agriculture definitions of sustainable agriculture the historical roots of sustainable agriculture the politics of sustainable agriculture sustainable agriculture practices changes needed to encourage a sustainable agriculture and the eight steps to sustainable agriculture, which address: soil health and erosion water quality and use organic waste management crop and livestock adaptation biodiversity environmentally benign pest management energy use farm diversification profitability The Next Green Revolution is a well-researched introduction to the field, written with a minimum of jargon.
Author: David R. Montgomery
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
A MacArthur Fellow’s impassioned call to make agriculture sustainable by ditching the plow, covering the soil, and diversifying crop rotations. The problem of agriculture is as old as civilization. Throughout history, great societies that abused their land withered into poverty or disappeared entirely. Now we risk repeating this ancient story on a global scale due to ongoing soil degradation, a changing climate, and a rising population. But there is reason for hope. David R. Montgomery introduces us to farmers around the world at the heart of a brewing soil health revolution that could bring humanity’s ailing soil back to life remarkably fast. Growing a Revolution draws on visits to farms in the industrialized world and developing world to show that a new combination of farming practices can deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions to problems farmers face today. Cutting through standard debates about conventional and organic farming, Montgomery explores why practices based on the principles of conservation agriculture help restore soil health and fertility. Farmers he visited found it both possible and profitable to stop plowing up the soil and blanketing fields with chemicals. Montgomery finds that the combination of no-till planting, cover crops, and diverse crop rotations provides the essential recipe to rebuild soil organic matter. Farmers using these unconventional practices cultivate beneficial soil life, smother weeds, and suppress pests while relying on far less, if any, fertilizer and pesticides. These practices are good for farmers and the environment. Using less fossil fuel and agrochemicals while maintaining crop yields helps farmers with their bottom line. Regenerative practices also translate into farms that use less water, generate less pollution, lower carbon emissions—and stash an impressive amount of carbon underground. Combining ancient wisdom with modern science, Growing a Revolution lays out a solid case for an inspiring vision where agriculture becomes the solution to environmental problems, helping feed us all, cool the planet, and restore life to the land.
A New Agriculture, A New Earth
Author: Charles Massy
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Category: Food supply
In Call of the Reed Warbler, Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is the story of how a grassroots revolution--a true underground insurgency--can save the planet, help reduce and reverse climate change, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food. Using his personal experience as a touchstone--from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health--Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. With evocative stories, he shows how other innovative and courageous farmers are finding a new way. At stake is not only a revolution in human health and in our communities, but the very survival of the planet. For farmers, backyard gardeners, food buyers, health workers, policy makers, and public leaders alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward and a powerful and moving paean of hope. It's not too late to regenerate the earth. Call of the Reed Warbler shows the way forward for the future of our food supply, our planet, and our health.
Author: Jeffrey M. Paige
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Social Science
A theory of rural class conflict. World patterns. Peru: Hacienda and plantation. Angola: The migratory labor estate. Vietnam: Sharecropping.
The Transformation of the Agrarian Economy 1500-1850
Author: Mark Overton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Business & Economics
This book is the first available survey of English agriculture between 1500 and 1850. Written specifically for students, it combines new material with an analysis of the existing literature. It describes farming in the sixteenth century, analyzes the reasons for improvements in agricultural output and productivity, and examines changes in the agrarian economy and society. Professor Overton argues that the impact of these related changes in productivity and social and economic structure in the century after 1750 amount to an agricultural revolution.
Author: Andy Clark
Publisher: DIANE Publishing
Cover crops slow erosion, improve soil, smother weeds, enhance nutrient and moisture availability, help control many pests and bring a host of other benefits to your farm. At the same time, they can reduce costs, increase profits and even create new sources of income. You¿ll reap dividends on your cover crop investments for years, since their benefits accumulate over the long term. This book will help you find which ones are right for you. Captures farmer and other research results from the past ten years. The authors verified the info. from the 2nd ed., added new results and updated farmer profiles and research data, and added 2 chap. Includes maps and charts, detailed narratives about individual cover crop species, and chap. about aspects of cover cropping.
Why Did Foragers Become Farmers?
Author: Graeme Barker
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Addressing one of the most debated revolutions in the history of our species, the change from hunting and gathering to farming, this title takes a global view, and integrates an array of information from archaeology and many other disciplines, including anthropology, botany, climatology, genetics, linguistics, and zoology.
Organic Farming in China, Korea, and Japan
Author: F. H. King
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Intriguing glimpses of early 20th century Asian farmers' utilization of waste; methods of irrigation, reforestation, and land reclamation; topics related to waste-free methods of cultivation; plus customs of the common people. 249 illustrations.
How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization
Author: Richard Manning
Publisher: North Point Press
In this provocative, wide-ranging book, Against the Grain, Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution, beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our primate relatives and brought an accompanying increase in our need for nourishment. For 290,000 years, we managed to meet that need as hunter-gatherers, a state in which Manning believes we were at our most human: at our smartest, strongest, most sensually alive. But our reliance on food made a secure supply deeply attractive, and eventually we embarked upon the agricultural experiment that has been the history of our past 10,000 years. The evolutionary road is littered with failed experiments, however, and Manning suggests that agriculture as we have practiced it runs against both our grain and nature's. Drawing on the work of anthropologists, biologists, archaeologists, and philosophers, along with his own travels, he argues that not only our ecological ills-overpopulation, erosion, pollution-but our social and emotional malaise are rooted in the devil's bargain we made in our not-so-distant past. And he offers personal, achievable ways we might re-contour the path we have taken to resurrect what is most sustainable and sustaining in our own nature and the planet's.
A Deep History of the Earliest States
Author: James C. Scott
Publisher: Yale University Press
An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today’s states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family—all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the “barbarians” who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.
One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture
Author: Gabe Brown
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Category: Integrated agricultural systems
Gabe Brown didn't set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. Brown--in an effort to simply survive--began experimenting with new practices he'd learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture. Brown dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In so doing Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life--starting with the soil and working his way up, one plant and one animal at a time. In Dirt to Soil Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge--restoring the soil. The Brown's Ranch model, developed over twenty years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown's Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only twenty years! The 5,000-acre ranch profitably produces a wide variety of cash crops and cover crops as well as grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured laying hens, broilers, and pastured pork, all marketed directly to consumers. The key is how we think, Brown says. In the industrial agricultural model, all thoughts are focused on killing things. But that mindset was also killing diversity, soil, and profit, Brown realized. Now he channels his creative thinking toward how he can get more life on the land--more plants, animals, and beneficial insects. "The greatest roadblock to solving a problem," Brown says, "is the human mind."
Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution
Author: Doug Fine
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Category: Social Science
The stat sheet on hemp sounds almost too good to be true: its fibers are among the planet’s strongest, its seed oil the most nutritious, and its potential as an energy source vast and untapped. Its one downside? For nearly a century, it’s been illegal to grow industrial cannabis in the United States–even though Betsy Ross wove the nation’s first flag out of hemp fabric, Thomas Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence on it, and colonists could pay their taxes with it. But as the prohibition on hemp’s psychoactive cousin winds down, one of humanity’s longest-utilized plants is about to be reincorporated into the American economy. Get ready for the newest billion-dollar industry. In Hemp Bound:Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution, bestselling author Doug Fine embarks on a humorous yet rigorous journey to meet the men and women who are testing, researching, and pioneering hemp’s applications for the twenty-first century. From Denver, where Fine hitches a ride in a hemp-powered limo; to Asheville, North Carolina, where carbon-negative hempcrete-insulated houses are sparking a mini housing boom; to Manitoba where he raps his knuckles on the hood of a hemp tractor; and finally to the fields of east Colorado, where practical farmers are looking toward hemp to restore their agricultural economy—Fine learns how eminently possible it is for this misunderstood plant to help us end dependence on fossil fuels, heal farm soils damaged after a century of growing monocultures, and bring even more taxable revenue into the economy than its smokable relative. Fine’s journey will not only leave you wondering why we ever stopped cultivating this miracle crop, it will fire you up to sow a field of it for yourself, for the nation’s economy, and for the planet.
Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities
Author: Will Allen,Charles Wilson
Category: Biography & Autobiography
"A MacArthur ""Genius Award"" recipient and co-launcher of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! program describes his early experiences as a sharecropper's son and a KFC executive before building a preeminent urban farm to feed, educate and employ thousands of at-risk youths."
Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America
Author: Liz Carlisle
Category: Agricultural development projects
For the past four decades, third-generation Montana farmer David Oien has been seeding a revolution against corporate agribusiness in the belly of the beast, the American grain belt. They have replaced their wheat and barley with a seemingly odd new crop, the lentil, a legume that has been part of the human diet since Neolithic times, but, until Oien's work, was never grown on Montana farms. In this eye-opening narrative, journalist and food scientist Liz Carlisle chronicles Oien's unlikely emergence as the leader of this agricultural upheaval.
A Study of Organic Agriculture
Author: Albert Howard
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
During his years as a scientist working for the British government in India, Sir Albert Howard conceived of and refined the principles of organic agriculture. Howard’s The Soil and Health became a seminal and inspirational text in the organic movement soon after its publication in 1945. The Soil and Health argues that industrial agriculture, emergent in Howard’s era and dominant today, disrupts the delicate balance of nature and irrevocably robs the soil of its fertility. Howard’s classic treatise links the burgeoning health crises facing crops, livestock, and humanity to this radical degradation of the Earth’s soil. His message—that we must respect and restore the health of the soil for the benefit of future generations—still resonates among those who are concerned about the effects of chemically enhanced agriculture.
A Brief History of Humankind
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Harper Collins
New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.
Author: Jeffrey Moyer
Publisher: Acres USA
Category: Technology & Engineering
Organic No-Till Farming offers a map to the Holy Grail of organic farming - a system that limits tillage, reduces labor, and improves soil structure. Based on the latest research by pioneering agriculturalists, this book arms you with new technologies and tools based on sound biological principles, making it possible to reduce and even eliminate tillage. Jeff Moyer's clear and comprehensive guided tour of organic no-till is based on using soil biology to power the system. Field-tested over many seasons, these methods make cover crops into a source of fertility as well as a tool for weed management. As traditional tillage turns into rotational tillage, natural soil biology is maximized and synthetic inputs are minimized. Combining the best aspects of no-till and satisfying the requirements of USDA organic regulations, the system laid out in this book "provides great potential for agricultural change," Moyer writes, "through the use of cover crops and reduction of synthetic herbicides, while giving organic farmers what they need in terms of weed management and soil building practices." For organic farmers who want to refine their practices and conventional farmers interested in new ideas, Organic No-Till Farming is indispensable.