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Sometimes, you just need a helping hand. And other times, you offer someone else a little help or find something cool that you want to share. It might be a new brownie recipe or it might be website with software that helps you design and plan your garden beds.
In that spirit, I offer these organic gardening resources–and some for farming too–that I have found helpful, interesting and worthy of note. It’s a growing list (oops, no pun intended), so feel free to leave a comment below if you know of an organization that you’d like to see added to the list. If any of these have been helpful to you, I’d love to hear about that too.
Associations and Organizations:
Center for Food Safety (CFS) is a national non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization working to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.
Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) was founded in 1994 to educate urban consumers about sustainable agriculture and to create links between urban dwellers and local farmers.
The Cornucopia Institute through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.
The Chefs Collaborative is a network of chefs, restaurateurs and other culinary professionals who promote sustainable cuisine by teaching their children, supporting local farmers, educating each other and inspiring their customers to choose clean, healthy foods.
Environmental Working Group is the nation’s most effective environmental health research and advocacy organization. Our mission is to conduct original, game-changing research that inspires people, businesses and governments to take action to protect human health and the environment.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.
Organic Trade Association is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. OTA’s mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. OTA envisions organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people’s lives and the environment.
Pesticide Action Network works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives.
Slow Food International Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment. For people who care about local farmers, ranchers, fishers; animal welfare; the joy of a shared meal; preserving food culture; protecting the environment or avoiding GMOs
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) works to advance through grants and education and groundbreaking research, the whole of American agriculture with innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life.
PlanetReuse Need reused building materials for your project? Have material to sell or donate? PlanetReuse makes the connection.
The Butterfly Website Extensive list of butterflies in America with their respective caterpillar host plants and nectar source plants for adult butterflies.
Great Green Careers Lists of green careers
The Edible Bus Stop Originating as a guerilla garden project adjacent to a bus stop in South London, The Edible Bus Stop TM aims to transform neglected sites across London’s transport network into valuable community growing spaces.
Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (CROP) Planting heirloom fruits in abandoned lots in Chicago.
American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) Their mission is to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada. You can find established community gardens in your area, learn how to start a new one, and how to overcome obstacles along the way. They provide lots of resources for neighborhood gardens, school gardens, mentorship programs, and can even steer you toward entrepreneurial programs to help young people enter food and gardening-related fields.
Golden Harvest Organics Extensive list of plants with suggested companion plants
Vegan vs Plant Based Diet Helpful article explaining the distinction and motives of these dietary approaches.
Organic Farming Resources
Northeast Organic Farming Association (VT, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ) Each of the seven state chapters comprising the Northeast Organic Farming Association provides educational conferences, workshops, farm tours and printed materials to educate farmers, gardeners, consumers and land care professionals.
Small Farm Works Tools and Resources for Small Farms…Featuring Paper Pot Transplanting Systems.
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service is a nonprofit organization based in Spring Valley, Wisconsin which promotes organic and sustainable agriculture by providing the education, resources and expertise farmers need to succeed.
FarmHack is a community for those who embrace the long-standing farm traditions of tinkering, inventing, fabricating, tweaking, and improving things that break. We are farmers of all ages, but the project has special relevance to young and beginning farmers as a place to learn from their peers’ and their elders’ successes, mistakes and new ideas. We also seek to bring our non-farmer allies on board: engineers, architects, designers, and the like. Together, with an open-source ethic, we can retool our farms for a sustainable future.
Your 2 Cents is an innovative program sponsored by the Rodale Institute that unites producers, consumers, researchers and educators to launch the next generation of organic farmers.
Four season growing
The Year Round Veggie Gardener Niki Jabbour, award winning author, shares in her blog her vast experience of gardening year round in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Fruit growing organizations
North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX) is a network of individuals throughout the United States and Canada devoted to the discovery, cultivation and appreciation of superior varieties of fruits and nuts.
Midwest Fruit Explorers (MidFEx) is a non-profit organization of amateur backyard fruit growing enthusiasts. Most of our members live in the counties surrounding Chicago.
Backyard Fruit Growers The informal association of Backyard Fruit Growers began in 1990 as an exchange of information for amateurs and others who wish to produce excellent fruit for the family, and to respect the backyard environment.
California Rare Fruit Growers Their purpose is to encourage and foster public and scientific interest, research, education in and the preservation of rare fruit plants that have edible seeds, fruits, leaves, stems or roots and are not commonly grown commercially. The furtherance and encouragement of these activities shall be for the benefit of the public rather than commercial interests. (Worldwide membership)
Heritage animal breeds
The Livestock Conservancy works to ensure the future of agriculture through the genetic conservation and promotion of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry. The Livestock Conservancy (formerly The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy) is America’s leading nonprofit organization working to protect nearly 200 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction.
Lawn Care info
Safe Lawns offers online ideas, tips, and resources for organic lawn care.
Local Harvest directory
Local Harvest shows farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and much more.
Eat Wild Map shows pasture-based farms in USA.
Native Plant Information Network U.S. map with lists of native plants recommended for various purposes in each state.
The Organic and Non-GMO Report is a news magazine that provides information you need to respond to the challenges of genetically modified (GM) foods.
Planting Date calculators:
Spring planting calculator Enter you last frost date and it tells you when to plant different plants and seeds.
Fall planting clauculator Enter the date of your first fall frost and it calculates when to plant for fall harvest.
You Grow Girl The Lazy Gardenier’s Seed Starting Chart. You enter last frost date and it calculates planting time.
Pest, disease, and weed control
Resources for identifying and controlling pests, disease, and weeds
Garden bed planning
Gardener’s Supply Design your own garden row or bed. Click the Site Map tab to design a larger plot.
GrowVeg Their software shows how much space plants require and how to group them for maximum success, removing the need to look up planting distances and crop families. (affiliate link)
Mother Earth News Find Frost dates and design garden beds with lots more useful info. 30 day free trial
Consultants for municipalities and business
Organic Green Pros is the nation’s preeminent consulting firm for the sustainable lawn and landscape industry. Our clients in the United States and Canada include municipalities, lawn and landscape companies, the federal government, businesses, homeowners and advocacy organizations who share a common goal of growing and maintaining safe, affordable natural beauty outdoors.
Green Maven is a directory of green sites,
Well preserved is a blog devoted to all aspects of preserving food.
Simply Canning is website focusing on everything you need to know about preserving food.
Seed Savers provides information on when and how to save seeds.
Zone hardiness map
USDA Most recent zone hardiness map. Just click on your region.
These are some of the resources I have found helpful over the years. If you have one you’d like included on the list, just leave a comment below or contact me directly.
Happy Gardening!James Organic Gardening 365 Helping you get more from your garden all year long