Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
This is a list of links to information resources related to sustainable agriculture, organic farming and gardening, and growing and buying good, safe food.
These resources are organized into the following general categories (though some are relevant to more than one category): Organizations, Educational Programs, Funding & Investing, Permaculture, Urban Farms, Agri-Tourism/Farm Tours, International/Non-U.S. Initiatives, Films and Books. This listing is not comprehensive. Please add a Comment to mention any other relevant resources that you would recommend.
At the end of the post, you will find a few suggestions of simple ways that almost everyone can get involved in the good food movement.
- American Community Gardening Association
- ATTRA/NCAT National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
- Beyond Pesticides
- CCOF Certified Organic
- California FarmLink
- California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
- Center for Food Safety
- Center for a Livable Future (Johns Hopkins)
- EcoFarm (Ecological Farming Association)
- Environmental Working Group
- Fair Food Network
- Farm Aid
- Farmer Veteran Coalition
- Food Democracy Now
- Food First: Institute for Food & Development Policy
- Food & Water Watch
- Food Routes Network (Buy Fresh Buy Local)
- The Food Trust
- Just Label It
- The Land Institute
- Land Stewardship Project
- Local Harvest
- Millions Against Monsanto
- National Farm to School Network
- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
- Non-GMO Project
- Organic Consumers Association
- Organic Farming Research Foundation
- Organic Seed Alliance
- Pesticide Action Network
- Rodale Institute
- Roots of Change
- Resilience.org: Food & Water section
- Seed Savers Exchange
- Slow Food USA
- Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program
- Union of Concerned Scientists: Food & Agriculture program
- United Farm Workers (UFW)
- Nourish: Food + Community
- Leave it Better
- The Lexicon of Sustainability
- Farm-Based Education Network
- Center for Land-Based Learning
- UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
- UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Funding and Investing
- Farmland LP
- Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation
- Root Capital
- Slow Money
[Partial list; please mention other groups in the Comments.]
- Grow Permaculture (formerly called the Permaculture Guild)
- Permaculture Institute
- Regenerative Design Institute
- Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco
[This is just a small selection; there are many, many more. Please mention other urban farms you are familiar with in the Comments.]
- Earthworks Urban Farm (Detroit)
- The Food Project (Massachusetts)
- Growing Power (Milwaukee)
- Homeless Garden Project (Santa Cruz)
- L.A. Green Grounds (Los Angeles)
- Petaluma Bounty (Petaluma, CA)
- Farm Stay U.S.
- Rural Bounty
- California Agricultural Tourism Directory
- Bay Area Green Tours: Sustainable Agriculture Tour
- Marin Organic tours and events
- Also see Food Sovereignty Tours below.
- Food Sovereignty Tours
- Groundswell International
- International Food Policy Research Institute
- La Via Campesina: International Peasants Movement
- Navdanya (India)
- Root Capital
- Seed Freedom
- Slow Food International
- Sustain: Alliance for Better Food & Farming (UK)
- Via Organica (Mexico)
Films and Books
There are also many good books on these topics. One new one is called Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing, by Daphne Miller, MD.
The Mother Earth News bookstore offers many books on farming and gardening topics.
You don’t have to be a farmer to be involved in sustainable agriculture and the good food movement. Here are just a few of the steps that almost anyone can take, to create a healthier family, healthier community, and a healthier planet:
- Choose organic, non-GMO, and locally grown foods whenever possible (from the grocery, a farmer’s market, local farms, a CSA, etc.) To find local farms, farmer’s markets, or food providers, go to LocalHarvest.org. (And if you happen to live in California or New York, check out Farmigo.com, which is basically an online Farmer’s Market or CSA for small or large groups.)
- If/when you buy meat (from stores or at restaurants), avoid getting factory-farmed meats. Look for and ask for meats from grass-fed and grass-finished animals, that are free of antibiotics and added hormones, and that ideally also have third-party certifications (such as Animal Welfare Approved) verifying that the animals were humanely raised. Boosting the demand for such products will help shift the industry away from factory farming.
- Choose organic, non-GMO seeds and organically grown plants, and plant them in a kitchen garden, window boxes, porch pots, raised beds, a greenhouse, a community garden, or wherever you can. Use organic/natural rather than toxic chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. It’s fun and satisfying to swap your surplus harvest with friends and neighbors.
- Replace water-intensive, conventional grass lawns with a garden, or no-mow native grasses or groundcovers. Choose low-water (drought-tolerant), native or adapted (climate-appropriate) plants and flowers, including those that attract and feed pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Miriam Landman is an accomplished writer, editor, and sustainability advisor with expertise in green living, green building, and sustainable communities. For daily links to sustainable solutions and success stories, connect to her Facebook page for The Green Spotlight. To receive concise, quarterly email updates from The Green Spotlight, sign up here.