Resources for Women in Agriculture
A community garden is an excellent option for communities whose constituents
do not own their own land. The American
Community Gardening Association's guide to starting
a community garden is designed to give many different groups the
basic information they need to get their gardening project off the ground.
A step-by-step fact sheet, this outline offers a briefing in the fundamentals
needed to head in the right direction. For an example of a successful
community garden, visit the Idaho
Falls Community Garden Website.
Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an alternative agriculture
movement that originally began among Japanese women in the 1960s. CSA
allows people who do not own their own land to purchase a share of a
farmer's yield. Both farmer and consumer share the risks and benefits
in a cooperative relationship.
Farming and Gardening Association provides information on the organizational
and budgetary guidelines for starting CSA.
Farming Systems Information Center has compiled a nationwide searchable
database of the country's CSAs.
For further information on CSA, see our interview with MSU faculty
member Dr. Laura
Farmers' markets are where farmers come together to sell their produce
and goods to the general public. Farmers' markets benefit both the farmer
and the consumer as they provide a place where farmers can sell without
paying a vendor to sell for them. This keeps the price of the goods
relatively low and allows farmers and consumers to interact face-to-face.
Locate some of the United States' many seasonal and year-long farmers'
markets by searching on the USDA's nationwide
database of farmers' markets.
The Agricultural Marketing Service and the USDA have compiled a description
of the procedures involved in establishing
a farmers' market on federal property.
Grass-based farmers allow their animals to graze on open pasture.
Farmers develop various strategies to protect their animals from predators,
while also allowing them to graze on fresh grass. Grassfarmer.com
provides information on how to get into grass-based agriculture. Included
in this site are virtual tours of grass-based operations, grazing strategies
for raising pigs on pasture, internship opportunities in Pennsylvania
for beginning farmers, and tips from grass-based agriculturalists.
Also, see our interview with Julie
Slezak of Slezak Farms for a discussion of her farm located in Clarksville,
Canada and Manitoba
Agriculture have compiled information on how to make the transition
Farming Systems Information Center has an extensive compilation
marketing and trade resources. Included is information on laws and
regulations, marketing, and support.
The Department of Community,
Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies at Michigan State
University has compiled a listing of organic farms located in Michigan.
Please see our biosketch of Jane
Bush of AppleSchram Orchards located in Charlotte, Michigan.
Small farms are an excellent alternative to large-scale corporate
farming. Many small-scale farms invest in specialty goods such as herbs,
organic produce, goat milk, etc. What information and funding resources
are available to assist small
farms? The Rural
Information Center offers an extensive listing of the resources
available for small farms, including traditional and alternative funding
sources and programs, disaster assistance, and various publications.
There are many different ways to become involved in agriculture if
you do not own land. Urban gardening ranges from growing your own tomatoes
and herbs in plant pots to establishing small gardens inside your home
or on your block. Urban gardens provide communities with healthy food
and garden scenery. It improves the condition of the air and soil in
or outside of the house. It also connects individuals to the food that
they eat. Detroit has many urban garden projects, including the Urban
Edible Forest. Their locations can be found on Adamah's
Community Gardening Association lists some basic tips for
successful urban farming.
Did you know that you can compost in your kitchen without having a
compost pile outside? Here is an interesting article from City
Farmer on how to compost
in your kitchen with worms.