"There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace." - Aldo Leopold
The following resources have aided us on our journey to create a small-scale educational farm. This list will provide incredible amounts of further education on almost all the topics we cover at the McDowell Farm School.
Legacy, Partners in Environmental Education
Amazing program with a strong relationship to McDowell. Legacy is a great resource for workshops, outreach, lesson plans, and grant ideas for classroom teachers.
National Sustainable Agriculture Network
Offering a huge database on almost every subject. Free/ very cheap online publications. Not a completely user friendly website to navigate, but I promise all the information is there!
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
Excellent free publications on compost and cover crops! Click on “Learning Center” and then “Books”.
Alabama Cooperative Extension Service
Planting calendars, events, publications, and local experts to answer all your weird questions about gardening.
Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network
Many free/cheap workshops, lectures, farm tours etc. Get in touch with your local farming community!
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Probably the largest mail order seed company in the US. Also offers high quality hand tools. For educational facilities call and ask about a 25% discount.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Specializing in Heirlooms native to the Southeast. Excellent seeds.
Baker Creek Farm
Heirlooms for every growing region. Many hard to find and extremely rare heirlooms.
REFERENCES & RESOURCE BOOKS
Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast by Ira Wallace
Very relevant planting calendars, excellent all around information. Brandon’s #1 recommendation.
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith
Excellent information on all aspects of gardening with very specific information on almost every vegetable. Andrew’s #1 recommendation.
The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman
More geared towards a small farm but very relevant for any gardener. Brandon’s favorite book on small-scale farming. This has everything!!!!
Recycle with Earthworms
The Red Wiggler Connection by Shelley C. Grossman and Toby Weitzel – Our recommendation for exploring earthworms and vermicomposting.
A guide to home-scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway – Excellent resource focusing on transforming your yard into an edible ecosystem. Lots of detail on space efficiency, companion planting, and landscape architecture.
Carrots love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte
All about companion planting, but laid out as a reference book.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow
This may be the only book on chickens you will ever need.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats by Jerry Belanger
If you are interested in goats this is the book to get you going.
Goat Song by Brad Kessler
This is more a literary work than a how to, but provides a lot of information on goats and the cultural background of humans domesticating goats. A fun and informative read for all goat enthusiasts- recommended by Ali.
Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth
This is the most in depth book on seed saving. Ira Wallace’s book provides more basic information. I would recommend this for someone wanting to delve more deeply into the subject and/or someone striving to preserve heirloom vegetable varieties.
"We had such a wonderful visit at Farm School! The staff was incredible, and kids and adults learned lots that we will hopefully use and share with others. Can't wait to visit again!" #ilovecampmcdowell #farmschoolrocks #sustainabilty - Leslie Sandlin Armstrong, Facebook Review