Organic Roots is an electronic collection of historic documents published before 1942 – a time before synthetic chemicals became widely used. These publications contain state-of-the-art information and data that is still very pertinent for today's organic and sustainable agriculture.
This work is done by the National Agricultural Library’s Alternative Farming Systems Information Service (AFSIC) and supported by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program as well as the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP).
About the Organic Roots Collection
Good information is a critical part of successful and sustainable agricultural production. The National Agricultural Library (NAL) possesses thousands of publications printed before synthetic fertilizer and pesticides became commercially available (around 1942) when farmers used methods that we would now call organic. Many of these publications contain state-of-the-art information and data that is still valuable to today’s organic and sustainable farmers. Digitization of these publications allows us to make this information available to those who do not possess the time or geographic proximity to search the library’s collection. In addition, digitization of this information ensures it will be preserved and available for generations. This project is being done in a series of phases covering a variety of topics including crop production, livestock production, and seed breeding, production and preservation.
The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) focuses on topics related to sustainable and alternative agricultural systems, crops and livestock. We work to implement the NAL mission of "advancing access to global information for agriculture."
AFSIC specializes in library services - locating, accessing, organizing and distributing information - related to many aspects of alternative agriculture. Including: sustainable crop and livestock production, ecological pest management, renewable energy, direct marketing and local food systems, organic production and certification, small farm issues, women and minority farmer issues, and crop and livestock diversification using alternative livestock and livestock breeds, specialty crops, and value added enterprises.