The Essential Urban Farmer

This 500 page manual on urban farming by Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal provides tips on how to create a thriving urban farm. Topics in the book include “Raising City Vegetables and Fruits” and “Raising City Animals.” The book illustrates that it makes economic sense to garden if you have more time than money and how low-income individuals can eat organic healthy food that is cost effective.

National Good Food Network

The National Good Food Network (NGFN) includes a network of stakeholders from across the country that are working across the food system to meet the growing demand for healthy, green, fair, affordable food. The NGFN's database includes reports, webinars, case studies, business models, and research dealing with issues related to ‘scaling up’ local food. The website also provides contact information to connect people with regional partners working in the field.

C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Agriculture

The C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University provides research, conference proceedings and presentations on community food systems, farming and production techniques, business plans and resources on food processing and distribution.


WHY Hunger

The WHY Hunger resource page includes reports on hunger, advocacy tools, federal nutrition policy tools, and farm to school program models. Their resource directory is a searchable database of food pantries, health care services, economic development resources and anti poverty organizations. Their Food Security Learning Center page includes information on a wide variety of food access topics such as farm to school, land use planning, local and regional food systems, and climate change.

USDA Community Food Security Projects

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Community Food Project Grants attempt to increase food security in communities across the US through community gardens, youth/school gardening projects, promoting local food purchases, and food access and outreach. The report, “The Activities and Impacts of Community Food Projects 2005-2009” captures broad outcomes from the 307 CFPs funded between 2005 and 2009.

Office of Faith Based Initiatives

The USDA Office of Faith Based Initiatives and the Let's Move Faith and Communities websites provides resources, tools and fact-sheets on  community gardens for faith-based organizations and those working with faith-based groups.


National Agriculture Library Catalogue (NAL)

The NAL resource catalog includes publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture, including animal and veterinary sciences, entomology, plant sciences, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries, farming and farming systems, agricultural economics, extension and education, food and human nutrition, and earth and environmental sciences. Specific resource pages within NAL that are related to food access:

- The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center page provides data, news and reports dealing with sustainable food and farming systems including organic production, education and research, farm energy options, farms and community (see below), grazing systems and livestock breeds, alternative marketing and business practices. 

- This link from the NAL’s Food and Nutrition Information Center includes resources and information on Cultural and Ethnic Food and nutrition education materials for educators. Resources are online and available to borrow from the NAL and cover topics such as minority women’s health, menu planning, food distribution on Native American Reservations, and foreign language resources for educators.

- Farms and Community resources page

- Dietary Guidance for Ethnic/ Cultural Food guide Pyramid


Cornell Greenhouse Horticulture

This website covers issues related to greenhouses such as crops and gardening resources, structures and equipment, pest management, and business planning and marketing. The business and marketing resource page provides examples of a greenhouse enterprise budget and other financial tools.

Food Access Solutions to Create Healthy Counties

This policy brief by the National Association of Counties (NACO) outlines five strategies that county leaders can implement to increase residents’ access to healthy and affordable foods in urban and rural areas.  This provides specific examples of policy and innovations from different areas around the country in regards to the five strategies as well as resources.,%20human%20services%20and%20justice/community%20services%20docs/ib-foodaccess-dec2009.pdf

Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and their Consequences: Report to Congress 2009

This USDA Economic Research Service report presents findings from a one year study used to determine the problems of limited food access, considers the effects of limited access on local populations, and outlines recommendations for how to address the problem.

Accessing Publicly-Owned Land For Urban Agriculture Projects

This document, from the International Rescue Committee in San Diego, covers the basics of how to start an urban agriculture project, including how to build support and partner with local partners and city government, how to choose a site, an overview of how zoning processes work, and additional resources for community gardens.

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