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Alternative Farming Systems Information Center of the National Agricultural Library
Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture


ISSN: 1063-262X

Organic Gardening

Agri-Topics Series

UPDATE NOTICE: This publication includes resources on Organic Gardening published prior to 1989. A revised edition, Organic Gardening: A Guide to Resources: 1989-September 2003, was published in 2003 covering resources published between 1989 and September 2003.

Organic Gardening

The term "organic gardening" is of fairly recent origin. Robert Rodale, son of J. I. Rodale, credits his father with first using the word "organic" to describe the "natural method of gardening and farming". The senior Rodale used it in founding his publication, "Organic Gardening and Farming", in 1942. The term "organic farming" was first used in a 1940 publication, "Look to the Land", by Lord Northbourne (London: Dent). Not just a technique, but a philosophy as well, the components of what we now call organic gardening and farming have been practiced for centuries. Practice of good husbandry of the land was of significant importance to ancient writers such as Cato, Virgil, Pliny and Columella ("The Husbandry of the Ancients", by Adam Dickson. Edinburgh, Scotland: Dickson & Creeca, 1788). The rotation of crops was recommended by Thomas Tusser in his classic and often reprinted work of 1580, "Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry" (Great Britain: n.p.). In this country "green manuring and manures" was discussed in depth by John Wolfinger in the "1864 Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Agriculture" (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1865, pp. 299-328) two years after President Abraham Lincoln established the Department of Agriculture.

Pioneers of organic practices in the United States have acknowledged their debt to these men and to those others whose written works continue to influence us. J. I. Rodale, believed by many to be the father of organic practices in the U.S., called Sir Albert Howard of England the "father of the movement". Howard's classic study on soil fertility, "An Agricultural Testament" (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1940) includes a chapter on the "Agriculture of the Nations Which Have Passed Away" as well as observations of agricultural techniques practiced in both the Orient and the Occident.

There has always been a wide range of variation in organic gardening practices. From the purist view of followers of Masanobu Fukuoka of Japan, who advocates "no tillage, no fertilizer, no pesticides, no weeding, and no pruning" ("The Natural Way of Farming: the Theory and Practice of Green Philosophy", Tokyo, Japan Publications, 1985) to the perspective of those gardeners who seek to combine conventional and organic procedures, the field of opportunity for choice in organic gardening practice is fertile indeed. We hope that this Agri-Topic will assist you in making the choices appropriate to your situation and philosophy. Whether you are landscaping a small city backyard, planning a community garden, protecting the environment and/or your pocketbook, or just endeavoring to grow tastier fruits and vegetables for home or market, we wish you each, "Good Gardening!"

Books:

Abraham, George; Abraham, Katy
"Organic gardening under glass: fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals in the greenhouse." Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1975. viii, 308 pp. : ill.
NAL SB415.A27

Alth, Max
"How to farm your backyard the mulch-organic way."
New York: McGraw-Hill, [1977], x, 272 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.A47

Ball, Jeff; Cresson, Charles O.
"The 60-minute flower garden: have a yard full of dazzling flowers in one hour a week."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1987. xii, 276 pp. : ill. (some col.)
NAL SB405.B2

Basham, Charles W.
"Organic gardening."
Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. Cooperative Extension Service, 1975. Bulletin no. 486A, 15 pp.
NAL 275.29 C71e No.486A

Berg, Donald J.
"The kitchen gardeners' guide."
Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, c1987. 160 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.K58

Blakely, E.; Adams, C.E.; Kroger, M.; Kuhn, G.D.; Molonon, B.R.
"The issues of organic foods and organic gardening."
Farm-Econ. University Park, PA: The Service. Oct 1979. 4 pp. : ill.
NAL 275.28-P38

Bowers, Warner Fremont; Bowers, Lucile
"Common sense organic gardening."
[Harrisburg, PA]: Stackpole Books, [1974], 224 pp. : ill.
NAL SB453.5.B68

Bubel, Nancy
"The seed-starter's handbook."
ill. by Robert Shetterly; photos. by Mike Bubel.
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1978. xviii, 363 pp. : ill.
NAL SB321.B9

Bucaro, Frank; Wallechinsky, David
"Chico's organic gardening and natural living."
Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott, [1972], 154 pp. : ill.
NAL S605.5.B8

Carr, Anna
"Advanced organic gardening."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1982. v, 138 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.C37

Carr, Anna
"Rodale's color handbook of garden insects."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1979. xii, 241 pp. : ill.
NAL SB931.C34

Cocannouer, Joseph A.
"Organic gardening & farming."
New York: Arco, [1971, C1954], 147 pp.
NAL S591.C62

Coleman, Eliot
"The new organic grower."
Chelsea, VT: Chelsea Green, 1989.
NAL SB324.3.C65

Cox, Jeff
"How to grow vegetables organically."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1988. vii, 312 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.C69

Creasy, Rosalind
"The complete book of edible landscaping."
San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, c1982. xiv, 379 pp. : ill.
NAL SB473.C73

Cuthbertson, Tom
"Alan Chadwick's enchanted garden." 1st ed.
New York: Dutton, c1978. xv, 208 pp. : ill.
NAL SB453.5.C87

Doscher, Paul; Fisher, Timothy; Kolb, Kathleen
"Intensive gardening round the year."
Brattleboro, VT: S. Greene Press, c1981. xvi, 144 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.D67

Easey, Ben; Furner, Brian George, ed.
"Practical organic gardening." Rev. ed.
London: Faber and Faber, 1976. 151 pp. : ill.
NAL SB453.5.E3

"Encyclopedia of organic gardening, The."
New rev. ed.
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1978. x, 1236 pp. : ill.
NAL SB45.07-1978

Engelken, Ralph; Engelken, Rita; Slattery, Pat
"The art of natural farming & gardening."
Greeley, IA: Barrington Hall Press, 1981. vi, 225 pp. : ill., map, ports.
NAL S605.5.E53

Fenten, D. X.
"Gardening. . naturally." Line drawings by Howard Berelson.
New York: F. Watts, 1973. 87 pp. : ill.
NAL SB453.5.F45

Evans, Burton R.; Gay, Johnny Dan; Bullock, Fitzroy
"Organic gardening and Pest Control."
Athens, GA: University of Georgia, 1989. Bulletin 1007. 20 pp.
NAL 255.29.G29B

Fogg, Harry George Witham
"Vegetables naturally: an organic-gardening guide.
"Edinburgh: J. Bartholomew, c1976. 168 pp. : ill. (some col.)
NAL SB324.3.F63"

Foster, Lee
"Backyard farming: growing your own fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs in a small space."
San Francisco: Chronicle Books, c1982. 87 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.F67

Franck, Gertrude
"Companion planting: successful gardening the organic way."
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire; New York: Thorsons; Distributed by Sterling Publishing Co., 1983. 128 pp., [16] pp. of plates : ill. (some col.)
NAL SB318.F69

Freeman, John A.
"Survival gardening." Expanded 2nd ed.
Rock Hill, SC: John's Press, 1983. 102, [2] pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.F7-1983

Fryer, Lee; Gresser, Sy
"The bio-gardener's bible."
Radnor, PA: Chilton Book Co., c1982. x, 240 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.F79

Grounds, Roger
"The natural garden."
London: Davis-Poynter, 1976. 168 pp.
NAL SB453.5.G7

Halpin, Anne Moyer
"Rodale's encyclopedia of indoor gardening."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1980. vii, 902 pp. : ill.
NAL SB419.R74

Hamilton, Geoff
"The organic garden book."
New York: Crown Publishers, 1987. 288 pp. : ill. (some col.)
NAL SB453.5.H36

Hart, Harold
"Growing food for health and pleasure: a comprehensive guide to practical organic gardening."
Croydon, Surrey: Gateway Book Co. [1971], 159 pp.
NAL SB322.H32

Harter, Walter
"Organic gardening for city dwellers."
[New York]: Warner Paperback Library, [1973], 191 pp.
NAL SB453.5.H37

Hills, Lawrence Donegan
"Organic gardening."
New York: Penguin Books, 1977. 240 pp. : ill.
NAL SB453.5.H5

"How to grow vegetables and fruits by the organic method."
By the staff of Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine.
Compilation supervised by Dorothy Franz and Jerome Olds.
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books, c1961. 926 pp. : ill.
NAL S605.5.O68

Hunt, Marjorie.
"Basic organic gardening."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1982. v, 161 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.H86

Hunt, Marjorie; Bortz, Brenda.
"High-yield gardening: how to get more from your garden space and more from your gardening season."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1986. xi, 403 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.H863

Hylton, William H.; Coon, Nelson
"The Rodale herb book: how to use, grow, and buy nature's miracle plants."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press Book Division, 1974, 653 pp. : ill.
NAL SB351.H5H94

Jackson, Wes; Berry, Wendell; Colman, Bruce, eds.
"Meeting the expectations of the land: essays in sustainable agriculture and stewardship."
San Francisco, CA: North Point Press, c1984. xvi, 250 pp.
NAL S442.M38

Jeavons, John
"How to grow more vegetables than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine, a primer on the life-giving biodynamic/French intensive method of organic horticulture."
[Rev.] Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, c1982. xv, 159 pp. : ill.
NAL SB320.6.J43-1982

Johns, Glenn F.
"Best ideas for organic vegetable growing."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books, [C1969], 197 pp. : ill.
NAL SB321.J6

Johns, Glenn F.
"Lawn beauty the organic way."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books, [C1970], 411 pp. : ill.
NAL SB433.L35

Kourik, Robert; Kane, Mark
"Designing and maintaining your edible landscape naturally."
Santa Rosa, CA: Metamorphic Press; Emmaus, PA: Distribution, Rodale Press, c1986. xxi, 370 pp., 8 pp. of plates : ill. (some col.)
NAL SB473.K64

Kreuter, Marie-Luise
"The Macmillan book of organic gardening."
New York: Macmillan, 1985, 128 pp. : ill.
NAL SB453.5.K74

Lacey, Roy
"Organic gardening."
London: David & Charles, 1988, 184 pp. : ill.
NAL SB453.5.L3

"Let's take a look at organic gardening; health foods, composting, pest management, research, food additives, plant nutrition."
Minn Univ Ext Bull, 1973. #377-1973. 20 pp.
NAL 275.29-M66S

Logsdon, Gene
"The gardener's guide to better soil. By Gene Logsdon and the editors of Organic gardening and farming."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1975. ix, 246 pp. : ill.
NAL S591.L57

Logsdon, Gene
"Organic orcharding: a grove of trees to live in."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1982. xiii, 415 pp. : ill.
NAL SB357.24.L63

Logsdon, Gene
"Two acre Eden." Rev. ed.
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1980. x, 237 pp.
NAL SB455.L58

Main, Jody; Portugal, Nancy
"Potted plant organic care." 3d ed.
Palo Alto, CA: Wild Horses Potted Plant, 1980. 78 pp. : ill.
NAL SB419.M263

Mather, Jim
"Soil care for gardeners: a practical guide."
Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire: Crowood, 1988. viii, 87 pp. : ill.
NAL S591.M37

Mintz, Lorelie Miller
"Vegetables in patches and pots: a child's guide to organic vegetable gardening. " ill. by the author."
"New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, [1976], [1], 115 pp. : ill.
NAL jSB324.M55"

"Natural gardening handbook."
Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Handbook #77, 1975, 73 pp. : ill.
NAL 450-P694

Nearing, Helen; Nearing, Scott
"Building and using our sun-heated greenhouse: grow vegetables all year-round." photos. by Richard Garrett.
Charlotte, VT: Garden Way Pub., c1977. 148 pp. : ill.
NAL SB415.N36

Ogden, Samuel R.
"Step-by-step to organic vegetable growing."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, [C1971], 182 pp. : ill.
NAL SB321.O4

Olkowski, Helga; Olkowski, William
"The city people's book of raising food."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1975, xi, 228 pp. : ill.
NAL SB321.O43

"Organic gardener's complete guide to vegetables and fruits."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1982. xviii, 510 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.O37

"Organic gardening's soil first aid manual."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1982. 92 pp. : ill.
NAL S633.O7

"Organic way to mulching, The."
By the editors of "Organic gardening and farming," Robert Rodale, editor. Compilation supervised by Glenn F. Johns
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, [1972, C1971], x, 192 pp. : ill.
NAL S605.5.O73

Overdahl, C. J.; Turnquist, O. C.; Miller, G. R.; Pfleger, F. L.; Ascerno, M. E.; Packard, V. S.
"Organic gardening: an integrated approach."
Bull Agric Ext Serv Univ Minn, 1977, #377-1977, 18 pp.
NAL 275.29.M66S

Pendergast, Chuck
"Introduction to organic gardening."
New York: Paperback Library, [1972, C1971], 190 pp.
NAL S605.5.P4

Pfeiffer, Ehrenfried
"Soil fertility, renewal & preservation: bio-dynamic farming and gardening."
East Grinstead, Sussex: Lanthorn, 1983. v, 199 pp., [5] pp. of plates : ill.
NAL S605.5.P5

Philbrick, John; Philbrick, Helen; Steiner, Rudolf
"Gardening for health and nutrition: an introduction to the method of bio-dynamic gardening inaugurated by Rudolf Steiner."
Blauvelt, NY: Rudolf Steiner Publications, [C1971], 93 pp. : ill.
NAL SB321.P5-1971

Powell, Thomas; Powell, Betty
"Your garden homestead on inches, yards, or acres."
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977. xii, 272 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.P67

Proulx, Annie
"The gourmet gardener: growing choice fruits and vegetables with spectacular results."
1st ed.
New York: Fawcett Columbine, c1987. viii, 197 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.P7-1987

Rateaver, Bargyla and Gylver
"The organic method primer."
Pauma Valley, CA: Rateaver, 1973, 257 pp.
NAL S605.5.R37

Riemer, Jan
"The beginner's kitchen garden." drawings by Lauren Jarrett.
New York: Morrow, 1975. 132 pp. : ill.
NAL SB321.R54

Rodale, Jerome Irving
"The organic front."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, l948. 198 pp.
NAL 56.6 R610

Rodale, Robert; Johns, Glenn F.
"The basic book of organic gardening."
New York: Ballantine, [C1971], 377 pp.
NAL S605.5.R6

Sanzone, Susan J.; Burman, Jenny; Hage, Mary Agnes
"Healthy harvest III: a directory of sustainable agriculture and horticulture organizations, 1989-1990." 1989-1990 ed.
Washington, DC: Potomac Valley Press c1989. 159 pp. : ill.
NAL S605.5.H425-1989

"Sense of humus, A." (Motion picture)
Oley, PA: Bullfrog Films, 1976, 28 min. sd. color. 16 mm.
NAL S633.S4-F&N-AV

Shewell-Cooper, W. E. (Wilfred Edward)
"Basic book of natural gardening."
London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1978. 159 pp., 2 leaves of plates : ill.
NAL SB453.5.S55

Shewell-Cooper, W. E. (Wilfred Edward)
"Dr. Shewell-Cooper's basic book of fruit growing."
London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1978. 176 pp., 2 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.)
NAL SB357.24.S53

Smith, Marny
"Gardening with conscience: the organic-intensive method."
New York: Seabury Press, 1981. ix, 86 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.S63

Smith, Miranda
"Greenhouse gardening."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1985. x, 278 pp. : ill.
NAL SB415.S657

Solomon, Steve
"The complete guide to organic gardening west of the Cascades."
Seattle, WA: Pacific Search Press, c1981. 172 pp. : ill.
NAL SB324.3.S67

Stickland, Sue
"Planning the organic herb garden: from pots on patios to larger layouts."
Wellingborough, England; New York: Thorsons, 1986. 127 pp., [8] pp. of plates : ill. (some col.)
NAL SB351.H5S76

Strandberg, Meta
"Food growing without poisons."
London: Turnstone Press Ltd., c1976. 96 pp. : ill. (some col.)
NAL SB453.5.S8

Tyler, Hamilton A.
"Organic gardening without poisons."
New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, [C1970], 111 pp. : ill.
NAL S605.5.T8

Wallechinsky, David
"Chico's organic gardening and natural living."
Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, [1972], 154 pp. : ill.
NAL S605.5.B8

Wickenden, Leonard
"Gardening with nature: how to grow your own vegetables, fruits and flowers by natural methods."
New York: Devin-Adair, 1954. 396 pp.
NAL 90 W632

Winter, Jean
"The organic network."
Clinton, Michigan: Eden Acres, Inc., 1984. ca. 300 pp.
NAL SB453.5.W5

Yepsen, Roger B.
"The encyclopedia of natural insect & disease control: the most comprehensive guide to protecting plants--vegetables, fruit, flowers, trees, and lawns--without toxic chemicals."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, c1984. 490 pp. : ill. (some col.)
NAL SB974.O73-1984

Periodicals

"Acres, U.S.A."
Kansas City, MO
NAL S601.A1.A25

"IPM practitioner."
Berkeley, CA: Bio Integral Resource Center
NAL SB950.A1I66

"Natural food and farming."
Atlanta, TX: Natural Food Associates
NAL 389.8.N218

"New farm, The."
Emmaus, PA: Regenerative Agriculture Organization
NAL S2.N32

"Organic gardening."
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press
NAL S605.5.O74

And also these references:

Rodale's Organic Gardening 33 E. Minor Street, Emmaus, PA ph. 610-967-5171.

Backyard Fruits and Berries by Bilderback & Patent

Bilderback, D.E. and Patent, D.H., Backyard Fruits and Berries, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1984

Page, S., and Smillie, J., The Orchard Almanac, Spraysaver Publications, 1986

The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Rodale Press, 1978

Hall-Beyer, B., and Richard J., Ecological Fruit Production in the North, RR #3, Quebec, 1983.

The Publications listed in the Agri-Topic are available through your local public library.

Prepared by:
Jane Potter Gates
Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
Telephone (30l) 504-6559
October, 1989


See also: Organic Gardening: A Guide to Resources: 1989-September 2003 by Stephanie Boehmer. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, 2003.


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