General Sustainable Gardening and Farming
Farming and Gardening in Our Region
Philosophies of Agriculture
Gardening With Kids
Other seed links
Read about our anti-GMO lawsuit, and related resources.
The Greenhorns is a national non-profit serving young farmers, best known for the DVD it produced.
Garden Web A great place to look for answers to any gardening question -- info and forums.
I Dig My Garden forums include some about food as well as lots about gardening.
The Cooperative Extension Service of the USDA is a non-credit educational network with offices throughout the US. Some extension offices have significant emphasis on gardening and/or small-scale farming.
The USDA zone map is based on average annual winter temperatures.
Master Gardeners homepage, with links to master gardeners groups around the country.
The Mother Earth News Organic Gardening blog includes posts from our own Ira Wallace.
The American Community Gardening Association has a database of community gardens and a range of other resources.
Tomatoville An extensive forum site about growing tomatoes
Plant Village has a gardening forum and growing information, especially disease-related information, on loads of food crops, including tropical crops.
Acres USA North America's oldest magazine covering commercial-scale organic and sustainable farming
Organic Gardening Magazine Contains interesting information about organic gardening.
Certified Naturally Grown program. For those interested in a more affordable alternative to the USDA Organic Program, we suggest you look into the Certified Naturally Grown program.
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association also has a lot of supporters outside of Maine.
ATTRA -- National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service Videos, great collection of pdfs, including crop-specific pdfs, and databases, including internship listings, soil testing, organic fertilizer, sustainable ag organizations, etc.
Kitchen Gardeners International got started in Maine and inlcludes members in over 100 countries.
The USDA Alternative Farming Systems Information Center is a clearinghouse of information about sustainable and alternative farming.
Growing Power is a national and international urban gardening coalition and training program centered in Milwaukee.
Our friend Alexis Ziegler wrote this booklet on fruit propagation for diverse orchards.
Mushroom Mountain does impressive work with mushrooms for food and for environmental remediation.
Virginia Association for Biological Farming An active, Virginia-based non-profit educational organization dedicated to sustainable food and fiber. Their useful website includes past newsletters and Information Sheets on topics such as "Organic Asparagus Production", "Cover Crops for All Seasons" and "Manually Operated Seeders".
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Working to create a sustainable food system in the Southeast.
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture seeks to help Pennsylvania farmers farm more sustainably and connect with each other and consumers.
The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project helps beginning farmers with networking and whole farm planning.
The Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association works for food freedom and direct farmer-to-consumer trade.
Carolina Gardener A great magazine for gardeners in our region.
Vegetable Growing in the South A site from North Carolina State University, with an approach geared toward Integrated Pest Management.
Pam Dawling's blog on growing food for the 100 residents of Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia
The Permaculture Activist Recommended reading for anybody doing any level of landscaping or land planning.
Permies forums This permaculture forum list starts with agricultural topics, and then covers many, many areas of sustainable living.
The Rodale Institute grew out of the work of J.I. Rodale and Sir Albert Howard, pioneers of the organic movement, and is still committed to working for healthy soil.
The Old Farmers Almanac The original Farmers Almanac, now in a digital medium.
The Grow Biointensive method is about maximizing sustainable food production in small spaces.
The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association educates and networks about the Biodynamic movement that was started by Rudolf Steiner.
The Pfeiffer Center provides training and resources in Biodynamic agriculture.
The Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics provides biodynamic preparations and workshops.
Mother Earth News An excellent magazine and website devoted to all aspects of self-sufficiency and sustainability. Includes forums, fair information, and numerous blogs.
Organic Consumers Association A must read for all consumers wanting to keep up with the organic movement.
The Fellowship for Intentional Community Sharing housing and other resources is a remarkably effective way to reduce our negative environmental impacts. It can also connect us with others interested in having a positive impact, often including sustainable agriculture. Fellowship for Intentional Community resources include a directory of groups doing this.
Pesticide Action Network Advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide.
The Piedmont Environmental Council works on a range of environmental issues and publishes "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" guides.
The Environmental Working Group works on various food-related fronts, as well other ways of reducing our exposure to toxins.
Alt Nature A gallery and guide to medicinal herbs
Equity Trust provides publications and loans related to land tenure, especially preserving affordable farms for farmers.
Living Energy Farm This group in central Virginia aims to live and farm without using any fossil fuels or any non-durable plastics.
Heirloom Veggies Beautiful seedlings from our home state of Virginia, grown using Southern Exposure seeds and nutrient-rich worm castings in plantable peat pots.
Forrest Green Farm, right here in Louisa county, offers classes and sells plants grown from our seeds, as well as other products.
Seven Springs Farm sells innoculants, ammendments, and other farming and gardening supplies. They also have a CSA.
Purple Mountain Organics sells tools for gardening and small-scale farming.
Edible Landscaping in Afton, VA sells fruit trees and other perennials.
Grain Maker mills can be powered by hand, bicycle, or motor.
The National Green Pages cover a broad array of environmentally friendly items.
Eco Business Links The first green directory that is 100% solar energy hosted.
Mushroom People Spawn and supplies for growing mushrooms
Discover other cooperatively run businesses supporting local communities! Check out our neighboring worker-owned cooperatives: Twin Oaks Tofu (local, organic, non-GMO soybeans) and Twin Oaks Hammocks (the last handcrafted hammocks made in the US).
The Edible Schoolyard Project offers lots of videos and other resources. This network got started in Berkley and has spread around the country and world.
Real School Gardens, based in Texas, offers a range of resources for teachers.
KidsGardening has fun gardening projects for schools and families.
The Edible Schoolyard New Orleans serves FirstLine public charter schools in New Orleans.
The Medomak Valley High School heirloom seed catalog, in Maine, is the country's largest school-based seed-saving project and also provides information about how to save seeds. They said in the 2012 Seed Savers' Exchange yearbook that they “appreciate any correspondence from other schools and organizations studying the history of heirloom seeds.”
Slow Food USA is part of a global movement working for food that is good for the people who grow it, the people who eat it, and the planet.
The Wild Fermentation website has lots of stuff about fermenting vegetables on its support forum. It also has several impressive lists of links.
Local Harvest is a great resource for finding good food grown near you.
Foodshed magazine champions sustainable farmers and encourages us to eat where we live.
Virginia Grown includes listings of CSAs and famers' markets as well as marketing services.
Buy Fresh, Buy Local also helps Virginians find sources of local food.
Plant-a-Row for the Hungry is a national program that encourages gardeners to plant an extra row of produce to donate.
Oldways teaches about the value of traditional diets from various parts of the world.
The Keystone Center is William Woys Weaver's organization dedicated to Pennsylvania food history
> = organizations we’ve donated seeds to
* = organizations that have seed-saving information on their websites.
* Seed Savers' Exchange is a national network of people who save and exchange seed. They print a text-only yearbook listing who's offering what, with a staggering number of varieties. If you're looking for a particular variety that your family once grew but has now lost, the SSE yearbook is probably the best single place to look. The listed member section of the yearbook is a good source of introductory information about various people's seed-saving work. Their website lists basic seed-saving information for a huge range of plants.
The Grassroots Seed Network is a new organization creating a nationwide democratic network for the preservation and exchange of open-pollinated varieties of seeds.
The Organic Seed Alliance educates and conducts research with farmers and seed professionals. They have a Farmer Seed Stewardship Initiative where you can register as a steward if you produce, save, or improve at least one variety of seed on your farm.
* Saving Our Seeds "provides information, resources, and publications for gardeners, farmers, seed savers, and seed growers" to "promote sustainable, ecological, organic vegetable seed production in the Mid-Atlantic and South."
The Southern Seed Legacy moved to Texas from Georgia but still "strives to reverse the erosion of genetic diversity and cultural knowledge" in crops of the American South, mostly by working with seed-savers, but also through their own small collection.
Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) is a Christian organization providing education, networking, and seeds of underutilized crops to those working internationally with the poor.
> Oberon Associates is a varietal preservation initiative in Maryland.
> The Traditional Native American Farmers’ Association gives workshops on topics including seed-saving, with a goal of revitalizing traditional agriculture.
The Center for Cherokee Plants has a seed bank, seed exchange program, and nursery, but, as far as we can tell, not its own website.
> Hawai’i Public Seed Initiative gives workshops on seed production
The Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, run by Monticello, focuses on historic ornamentals.
The Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center focuses mostly on family heirloom beans of the Appalachian mountains.
United Plant Savers initiates programs to help preserve wild medicinal plants.
The Hudson Valley Seed Library started by letting gardeners check out seeds for free with the agreement that they will save seed and return some of it. Now it has expanded to also sell seeds in artsy packets.
* Native Seeds/ SEARCH works primarily with native peoples in Northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. Its projects include a gene bank, a cultural memory bank, and a conservation farm, as well as seed sales.
Seed Dreams is Tessa Gowans's seed-saving project on the West coast.The West County Community Seed Exchange is "a grassroots community seed bank" in Sonoma County, CA
> Santa Cruz Lending Library has a seed lending library.
> The Bay Area Seed Interchange Library allows local gardeners and farmers to "'check out' seeds with the agreement that they attempt to grow them out and 'return' some seeds of the next generation." They hope to " bring together a wide variety of gardeners to lay the foundation for a local seed growers' network"
One Garden and The Ozark Seed Bank host events, coordinate variety trials, and maintain a seed collection.
The Backyard Beans and Grains Project focuses on staple crop varieties suited to to Western Washington State, with a goal of rounding out the range of seed for growing local foods.
The Long Island Seed Project produces farmer-bred seed, including many blends and crosses with diverse gene pools.
* The Seed Ambassadors Project in Oregon has a range of resources related to seed-saving.
Will Bonsall's Scatterseed Project in Maine has a collection of over 700 varieties of potatoes and a wide range of other crops.
The Heritage Grain Conservancy works with heirloom wheats.
* = organizations that have seed-saving information on their websites.
* The International Seed-Saving Institute is primarily an educational organization that also sends seeds to projects in developing countries.
Asia/ Pacific/ Australia
Navdanya, led by Vandana Shiva and based in north India, has initiated a range of movements, helped set up over 100 community seed banks across India, and in 2012, published Seed Freedom: A Global Citizens' Report
Annadana is a seed-saving network based in Auroville, South India.
Basudha focuses on conservation of traditional rice varieties of India.
North India's Beej Bachao Andolan, or Save the Seeds movement, has roots in the Chipko movement, and strives to uphold local seed diversity and forests, and to defend small farmers and traditional agriculture.
Pun Pun in Thailand teaches and practices seed-saving, natural building, and community building, and organic gardening.
* Australia's Seed Savers' network includes many small local networks and has roots in the permaculture movement.
Australia’s Heritage Fruits Society aims to conserve heirloom food-bearing trees
The Solomon Islands Planting Materials Network uses its collections of seed and vegetatively reproduced plants to increase the self-reliance of Solomon Island farmers.* The Koanga Institute in New Zealand is a seed-saving, research and educational organization that also offers a Permaculture Course.
Ecuador's Red de Guardianes de Semillas, or Seed Savers' Network (site in Spanish) promotes agricultural biodiversity and sustainability, with a focus on traditional crops and methods.
The Seed and Plant Sanctuary for Canada has a living seed bank and helps other seed banks in Canada get started.
The Populuxe Seed Bank in British Colombia also helps other start their own seed banks.
Semillas de Identidad, or Seeds of Identity (site in Spanish), operates in Colombia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua
Qachuu Aloom, is a native seed bank run for and by Mayan families in Rabindal, Guatemala
Seeds of Diversity is a Canadian volunteer organization
Mexico's Semillas de Vida (site in Spanish) focuses on heirloom Mexican corn varieties, especially protecting them from GMO contamination.
The Red de Semillas Libres, or Network of Unrestrained Seeds (site in Spanish) lists, under the "nosotros" heading, several loosely affiliated organizations working on issues related to seed in Latin America
Association Kokopelli, though based in France, has an English version of their website (less thorough than the French version) and has a truly impressive collection of heirloom seeds. The Association formed an American branch, the Kokopelli Seed Foundation, but that website seems to have been inactive for several years.
* The Heritage Seed Library of Britain’s Garden Organic collects heirloom seeds, makes them available to its members, and encourages them to volunteer as Seed Guardians.
Seedy Sunday is a huge annual community seed swap in England.
The Irish Seed Savers’ Association works to conserve native apples, potatoes, grains, and bees as well as rare vegetable seed.
Switzerland's Pro Specie Rara (site in 3 languages, but not English) works to preserve Swiss farm animal breeds as well as traditional crops.
Germany's Verein zur Erhaltung der Nutzpflanzenvielfalt (site in German) is made up of people who steward the organization's seeds and study the varieties.
Arche Noah, and its members cultivate endangered varieties in central Europe.
Spain's Red de Semillas, or Seed Network, (site in Spanish) works in various ways to promote conservation and use of agrobiodiversity.
The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) is "committed to protecting, promoting, and developing the organic seed trade and it’s growers, thereby assuring that the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed." OSGATA is also lead plaintiff in the lawsuit to prohibit Monsanto from suing farmers whose crops get contaminated with GMO seeds.
The Organic Seed Finder database is an initiative to make it easier to find the certified organic seeds that are available for sale.
The Family Farmers’ Seed Cooperative is a cooperative of farmers who grow open pollinated seeds for bulk purchase.
Seed Programs International sends seeds to humanitarian organizations worldwide.
Garden Medicinals and Culinaries was, like Southern Exposure, started by Jeff McCormack. It offers a wide range of hard-to-find herb seeds, as well as many common types.
* Salt Spring Seeds in Canada offers lots of rare seeds, but can no longer ship to the U.S. We link to them because of their website's great page on seed-saving.
Seed-saving and Seedsavers' Resources If you want even more seed-saving links, go here. But be forewarned, the page is old and many of its links are broken.
In October 2012 the first Encuentro Internacional de Guardianes de Semillas, or International Meeting of Seed-savers, happened Venezuela.
The Dwarf Tomato Project is breeding varieties suited to growing in containers.