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Organic Farming Works

by Atina Diffley

Pub Date: April 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8166-7771-9
Publisher: Univ. of Minnesota

One family’s quest to build, maintain and protect their organic farm.

"When people ask what I most cherish about farming, what comes is the depth of intimacy—with plants and nature, with coworkers in the field and at the stand, with produce buyers and customers," writes Diffley, an organic vegetable farmer who founded, with her husband, the consulting business Organic Farming Works. Beginning with her work on her family’s farm, the author expresses a love for the soil and all that grows in it; she knows in her heart she is, and always will be, a farmer. She did a stint as a migrant farmer before settling down with her husband, raising children and creating an organic farm of their own. The journey has been rewarding but rarely easy or without complications. Diffley expresses the heartbreak and anguish of losing land to development and fighting to keep her Minnesota farm, Gardens of Eagan, from being overrun by a pipeline. She explains the importance of seeds, their roots and cultivating the soil to best nurture them. "I still think God can be in the form of raindrops, and it is fascinating to me that I can pray for or curse the same drops," she writes, expressing the terror and benefits of a single storm. Through it all, the support of other organic farmers, neighbors and the people and co-ops that relied on her harvests kept Diffley and her family going and growing.

An education on organic farming and its importance, as well as a heartfelt love letter to the land.