Renee’s Readings

Suggested Course Readings for STOCKSCH 265 (helpful for your presentations as well). Keep in mind that these links change frequently so might not be working. They are simply suggestions and I encourage you to research on your own as well:

Overview of Sustainable Agriculture

What is Sustainable Agriculture? Please download this SARE document (scroll to Download file)

Agroecology in Action (1996).

Butterfield, Jody, Bingham S, Savoy A. “Holistic Management Handbook: Healthy Land, Healthy Profits.” 117-162. Washington DC, Island Press, 2006.

Please log-in with your ID and you will have full access:

Holmgren, David. Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. Holmgren

Design Services, 2002. (read all principles by following each link around the circle)

Fukuoka, Masanobu. “Four Principles of Natural Farming” in One Straw Revolution. 33-40. New York: New York Review of Books, 1978.

Soil ecology:

Soil Organic Matter (SOM):

Building Soils for Better Crops (Scroll to Download File—310 pages)

(soil management, making compost, soil testing, organic matter, cover crops and crop rotation)


Organic Vegetable Production Basics 

Vegetable Families:

Plant Nutrient Functions and Deficiency Symptoms:

Crop rotation:

Cover Crops:

Companion planting

Intercropping (this slide share is easiest to read if you can zoom-in especially if you have a mouse with a scroll feature)

No-till and reduced tillage:

The Rodale Institute has led the way in the no-till revolution.

Great slide show:

Cover Crop Innovations (SARE webinars)

High Tunnel Winter Cropping Systems

Weed Control

Organic Weed Management: (great overview of relevant methods/terms)

Excellent, albeit long, overview of the Ecological Overview of Weeds (just read the headings that grab your attention):

Weed Ecology: (briefly skim these terms)

Weed Control Methods:

Common Weeds of the Northeastern USA:

Iowa State Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture compared weed populations in conventional and organic grain crops with very interesting results (pg 5-6 in particular)

Weed management:

Video Clips on Organic Weed Management:

Beyond Black Plastic: Cover crops and organic no-till for vegetable production.

Page 12 highlights the results for weed control:

Cultivation Equipment for Weed Control: Pros, Cons and Sources

Top Tips for Mechanical Cultivation

Rodale Part 1: The basics of effective tillage techniques. Knowing just when to use just the right tool for just the right weed is critical to early season weed control:

Rodale Part 2: Blind cultivation.

Get weeds before they become established and the battle is nearly won:

Rodale Part 3: In-row cultivation. It’s as much about the technique—and being able to adapt to fickle weather—as it is about the tools:

Pest & Disease Control

Plant Pathology Introduction PowerPoint (Excellent overview from Iowa State University)

Integrated Pest Management (IPM):

California’s Statewide IPM Program:

IPM resource from Cornell University:

Insect Pest Management for Organic Crops (Covers the basics of cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical controls for pests)

MOFGA’s Pest Reports – Compiled by Eric Sideman (I would recommend signing up for the regular emailed reports. Otherwise, on left side of screen you can read past reports…)

I love this photo gallery (from Washington State University) of common vegetable problems. Have you seen any of these before? When you find a pest/disease of interest, please research organic or IPM solutions (using links provided or from your own research).

Interactive photo gallery of pests from University of Maine (click on the name for further information….)

Extensive list of insects and diseases of vegetables:

Tables beginning on Pages 13-16 outline vegetable management options for insects and Pages 17-18 show management options for diseases:

Natural Enemies in Organic Farming Systems:

Various articles from Extension about Disease Management

Assortment of resources pertaining to Insect Management:

Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management  (2013 publication, 211 pages. Very extensive resource. Check out Table of Contents and read up on specific crops you might have questions about)

Greenhouse production and season extension:

Introduction to Season Extension in Organic Vegetable Production Systems:

Excellent overview of season extension topics from SARE. Please check out the Variety Trials, Fertility Management, Pest Management and Energy links:

Season Extension in Organic Farming Systems:

Taming the floating row cover from Rodale Institute

“Few tools available to organic vegetable farmers are as useful as the floating row cover, and nothing is a better pest control tool…”

Materials of a High Tunnel

Video: overview of tunnel production from University of Kentucky (types of tunnels, common problems, disease management and how to construct a low-cost tunnel around 55min mark)

Introduction to Greenhouse Efficiency and Energy Conservation

USDA NRCS Greenhouse funding:

Ledgewood Farm ( in NH is an approved supplier of greenhouses for the USDA NRCS pilot high tunnel program. Their website provides a great overview


Greenhouse Construction:

Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use

10-minute video about rainwater catchment project:

Planning for profit: How to analyze high tunnel finances

Energy-Efficient Greenhouse Breakthrough

“…a 1000 square foot research greenhouse in Boulder, Colorado that uses only sunlight for heat and illumination…Greenhouse went down to only 50ºF on a night that went to -18º F. A dozen varieties of vegetables were planted from seed on Thanksgiving Day, 2010. Sprouting was immediate, growth was vigorous, and many vegetables were harvested by early spring.”

Growing Specific Crops Within High Tunnels

High Tunnel Tomato Trellising

High Tunnel Melon and Watermelon Production

High Tunnel Pepper Production

Growing Greens in High Tunnels

High Tunnel Specialty Potato Production

Growing Beets and Carrots Within High Tunnels

Vegetable transplant production:

Check out Growing Media, Seeding and Transplanting, Plant Culture and Height Management, and Disease, Weed and Insect Management

Growing Media for Greenhouse Production: (first two links under Unit 4 are good, but read as many as interest you!)

Organic certification:

USDA National Organic Program (outlines regulation for certification): (incredible list of articles in relation to certification for various farming systems; dairy, vegetables, livetock, etc)

Specific links related to organic vegetable production:

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey. Interesting data starts on Pg.


Overview of flood, drip and spray irrigation methods

Details for center-pivot spray irrigation system

General Irrigation Guidelines, Trickle or Drip Irrigation and Running the System

Understanding Irrigation Management Factors (Type of Soil, Water-Holding Capacity, Evapotranspiration, Rooting Depth, Irrigation, Tools to Evaluate Soil Moisture)

Overview of Furrow Irrigation

Designing a Basic PVC Home Garden Drip Irrigation System

Drip-irrigation systems for small conventional and organic vegetable farms (Excellent overview of the disadvantages of drip irrigation starting on Page 2)

Maintaining Drip Irrigation for Vegetables

Fertigation in Organic Vegetable Production Systems

How to Reduce Clogging Problems in Fertigation

Examples of drip irrigation supplies and their associated costs from Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, NH


USDA Irrigation & Drainage: National Research Plan to Meet Competing Demands and Protect the Environment

Facts about irrigation in the USA (pg 3), Precision Irrigation (pg 8), review water conservation, importance of good drainage, energy conservation, salinity in soil

An Economic Comparison of Subsurface Drip and Center Pivot Sprinkler Irrigation Systems (Table 1 &2 interesting initial investment costs and Table 5)

Agronomic and economic evaluation of various furrow irrigation strategies for corn production under limited water supply (Skim article for methods and conclusions if it’s too scientific)

Evaluation of a Drip vs. Furrow Irrigated Cotton Production System

Using rainwater for irrigation in a high tunnel (Iowa State University Extension video and also select the “Associated Fact Sheet” link for detailed PDF)

SARE Irrigation Energy Webinar Series

These three videos are more in-depth than is necessary for this course. However, parts of the Irrigation Scheduling presentation would be relevant and informative. It primarily discusses how to reduce energy use through implementing irrigation scheduling tools and evaluating water application efficiency.

Harvest & Post-Harvest

Quality in relation to marketability of vegetables (important to keep in mind)

Influence of Pre-harvest Factors on Post-harvest Quality

Post-harvest Handling For Organic Crops

Respiration and Ethylene and their Relationship to Post-harvest Handling

Approved Chemicals for Use in Organic Post-harvest Systems

Pre-cooling and Storage Facilities

Respiratory Metabolism (more complex than you need to know, but skim the Factors Affecting Respiration and the Significance)

Specialty Crops for Cold Climates (please select PDF link to download)

Marketing Vegetables

USDA Economic Research Service Organic Sales and Market Overview

Conducting Market Research Using Primary Data

Organic Price Report (online tool to assist farmers with pricing-choose a market and category and compare different state’s prices)

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (MOFGA) Price Report (scroll down to find several months from 2013):

Plan for Marketing Your Organic Products (Slideshow)

OR Video of same presentation (50mins)

Find Buyers, Sell Online, Source and Buy Product (business called Local Dirt—

Marketing in Organic Production

Direct Marketing with Value-Added Products (lengthy so please just choose which topics from Table of Contents interest you)

Overview of Options for Marketing Produce (CSA, farmers markets, wholesale, restaurants, internet sales, etc).

Please watch all eight videos (each approx. 6mins long)

The Farm to School Network

Farm-To-Cafeteria Connections

This handbook is a resource for farmers, food service professionals and community members in developing Farm-to-Cafeteria programs in Washington (great examples!)

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