A Minimalist No-Till, No-Spray, Selective-Weeding, Grow-Your-Own-Fertilizer System for Organic Agriculture
The breakthrough resource for fruit and vegetable growers at every scale who want to go 'beyond organic' and build higher soil quality and fertility using fewer inputs through a unique ecosystem-balancing approach"e;Atthowe's book takes ecolog...
For forty years, Helen Atthowe has followed a relentless calling to combine her deep understanding of ecological systems with her love of farming. Now, she shares the best of her insights and methods in The Ecological Farm. This classic volume will guide all of us as we learn to farm in harmony with an ecosystem and to become obedient to the whole rather than being distracted by the urge to tinker with the parts. Wes Jackson, cofounder and president emeritus, The Land Institute Helen Atthowes book takes ecological farming to the next level. It is packed with useful, field-tested, innovative techniques for farming more gently without sacrificing productivity. Atthowe effectively makes the case that, with a nature-based and minimalist approach, farmers can achieve more by doingand spendingless. This is the future of farming. I highly recommend this book. Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm and The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables Helen Atthowe has a rare gift: She knows how to listen to scientists, but she speaks farmer. Her knowledge comes from observation and practice as if decades matter, not just seasons. Helen applies her intuitive ideas to complex whole-systems organic agriculture, with a special focus on growing the fertility of the soil. Most importantly Helen engages in her work with a sense of joy and celebration. Shes a born teacher who retains her sense of wonder that there is so much more to learn. Oh, and I think Helen must never sleep. The depth of the material she presents in The Ecological Farm and the citations she offers in support of her work is beyond my own comprehension! Bob Scowcroft, cofounder, Organic Farming Research Foundation; board member, Nell Newman Foundation In The Ecological Farm, Helen Atthowe shares the practical knowledge she acquired over many years through experimentation on her own low-input, high-output ecological farm. Her book makes an exceptional and timely contribution to addressing interconnected global crises for which hands-on solutions are badly needed. Helens work will also be invaluable to smallholder producers who wish to transition to ecologically based, sustainable, and profitable organic production systems, also known as organic Conservation Agriculture. Dr. Amir Kassam, visiting professor, School of Agriculture Policy and Development, University of Reading, UK; former senior technical officer, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; editor, Advances in Conservation Agriculture, volumes 13 The story of Helen Atthowes farming journey has stuck with me for many years, and now being able to hold it, savor it, and dive into the many nerdy details is an absolute gift. The combination of decades of experience and loads of data make her book incomparable: It is well researched, well written, and endlessly idea provoking. There are a thousand Ah-Ha! moments, with each section offering a new applicable insight or concept for improving or understanding soil health. The Ecological Farm will teach you how to rebuild soil, minimize tillage, grow your own garden fertility, improve ecology, and much more. Quite frankly, Helens book belongs on the shelf of every serious grower. Jesse Frost, author of The Living Soil Handbook Helen Atthowe employs her high skill set and shares the full depth and length of her experience in The Ecological Farm. The ecology she describes is beautiful to look at and a powerful tool for maintaining balance on the farm or in a garden. Helen guides readers through many methods, backed up by decades of results. Charles Dowding, author of Charles Dowdings No Dig Gardening Helen Atthowe is a rare, knowledgeable grower of both vegetable and fruit crops, one who also knows insects, plant diseases, and soil science. She is one of those people who never stop searching for better, Earth-friendly ways of growing food. In The Ecological Farm,
Helen Atthowe has worked for 35 years to connect farming, food systems, land stewardship, and conservation. She farmed and conducted research at Woodleaf Farm in eastern Oregon until spring 2023, when she moved to western Montana. She is helping the new owners of the Oregon farm learn her ecological management system as she simultaneously begins a new Woodleaf Farm in Montana, where she has already planted a no-till orchard of thirty fruit trees. Helen and her late husband, Carl Rosato, co-owned and operated a certified organic orchard in California where they pioneered methods for raising apples, peaches, and other tree fruits without the use of any type of pesticides. Her on-farm research includes ecological weed and insect management, organic minimum soil disturbance systems for vegetable and orchard crops, and managing living mulches for soil and habitat building. She is a contributing writer to The Organic Gardeners Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control and other books. She has served as a board member for the Organic Farming Research Foundation and advisor for the Wild Farm Alliance. Atthowe has a masters degree in horticulture from Rutgers University and has worked in education and research at the University of Arkansas, Rutgers University, and Oregon State University, and served as a horticulture extension agent in Montana, where she annually taught an organic master gardener course.