Although organic farming is one of the most ancient forms of agriculture, it is a lost art. Before artificial agricultural methods came into being, this is what people used to practice. People made the switch because these practices yielded better results. Moreover, since pests were a big problem then, they also didn’t hesitate from using pesticides. However, with time all this became a tradition, and people even forgot why they started using these artificial practices. Nevertheless, now that people are also seeing the adverse effects of modern agricultural practices, they are beginning to realize that it might be better if they switch again to organic farming again.
Why choose organic farming?
There are more advanced ways to engage in agriculture which yield huge profits in the short term. But these methods, although potent in the short term, can cause harm to the soil as well as the environment. The past half a century has seen the usage for these indiscriminate farming practices. However, farmers have now begun to realize the adverse effects of modern farming practices. Now they are slowly shifting towards sustainable agriculture. But for this reason, research should be done very thoroughly to understand the different processes being implemented. Hence, we have compiled a reading list of organic gardening books for being the complete guide to organic farming methods. These would help you not only with organic farming but with organic gardening as well. These would tell you all that you might want to know while implementing eco-friendly farming practices.
Best books on organic farming and gardening include:
1. ‘Working with Nature – Shifting Paradigms’ by Heide Hermary
This book provides an insight into the existing mind-sets of the present-day farmers who feel the need to fight nature. In order to indulge in organic farming practices we have to stop fighting Mother Nature. Different ideas about spraying artificial pesticides and introducing GMO crops to boost yields are challenged by the book. The modern farmer needs to change his entire mind-set before he starts getting involved in organic farming practices.
The book also provides interesting insights into facts related to farming practices. This includes easy composting methods to enrich soil fertility and boosting productivity. It also includes farming practices that are more interested in organic weeding than weeding using chemicals. The book is 200 pages long and provides a vision of the ideal life of an organic farmer.
2. ‘The Organic Method Primer’ by Dr Bargyla Rateaver
This is one of the best books on organic farming and gardening which provides a complete overview of organic agriculture. This book is probably the first textbook and the complete guide to organic farming to ever be written. The author implemented the methods of organic farming in California and was the organiser of the 1st organic conference. Hence, the book is quite rich in facts related to organic farming.
It also provides tips which might sound bizarre but are scientifically quite sound. The only downside is that the book might be quite overwhelming for a gardener or a casual reader. But if you are planning to make a switch to organic farming, this book is definitely for you. It is designed to make people understand the importance of shifting to organic farming methods.
3. ‘The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food’ by Tanya Denckla Cobb
Being an organic farmer is quite different from being an organic gardener. For people who don’t own a farm but are seeking to engage in organic gardening, this book is perfect. This book is meant for readers who are seeking methods for growing plants in their backyards, in an organic way. It provides insightful information about cultivating more than 750 different types of vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs.
As an organic gardener, it is important to know which kinds of crops that will suit your climate. This book provides a lot of help to people in order to decide which crops to cultivate. It also provides information about particular farming and watering procedures related to the crops. In addition, you would find natural recipes for fending off diseases, animals and insects from the plants.
4. ‘The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries’ by Michael Phillips
This book is the ultimate guide to sustainable practices related to cultivating orchards. Organic fruits are highly demanded items in farmer’s markets as people become more health-conscious. The presence of a proper space to create and maintain such an orchard is also necessary. This book contains key information regarding designing the ultimate planting strategy and connecting with nature. It also provides information regarding sustainable agriculture practices related to advanced techniques such as grafting different varieties together. Moreover, in the book you would find the most suitable trees to be cultivated and also the kinds to be avoided, and facts about biodiversity and pollination procedures which support organic farming.
5. ‘Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual’ by Bill Mollison
This is one of the most complex books among the best books on organic farming and gardening. This is not one of the books that are meant for beginners in the agricultural industry. But this is quite a good book for farmers to maintain and design their farms.
Permanent agriculture or permaculture is the study of how farms contribute to the ecosystem. This book is packed with complex case studies and diagrams about sustainable agriculture. It also talks about the repercussions of farming that is non-sustainable. It shows us that the key is to understand the world as a group of interconnected systems, which are modifying themselves to fit into the larger whole.
6. ‘The Rodale Book of Composting’ by Grace Gershuny
Plants require food and if artificial fertilizers are not being used, then natural fertilizers need to be implemented. Natural fertilizers can be generated by using compost which can be made on the farm itself. But not everything bio-degradable can be put into a compost pile. Hence this book gives a clear-cut idea about the things that can be put into compost. It also speaks about the use of latest techniques and tools in order to make mulch. It gives us a number of recipes to make non-traditional compost in apartments for city-dwellers. This makes it a very versatile read among the best books on organic farming and gardening.
7. ‘The Non-Toxic Farming Handbook’ by Philip A. Wheeler
The final book on the reading list for organic gardening is one related to damage control. This is one of the best books for organic farming and gardening when it comes to problems faced while farming. This can be in terms of pest eradication, plant diseases or problems related to planning. The book is quite approachable when it comes to entry-level organic farmers. It contains insights from research regarding soil recovery and weed control which is essential to any organic farmer.