Guides, Manuals, and Other Tools

Because we like to be so helpful, on this page we provide free and easy access to some great guides, manuals, and other tools that have been produced mainly by Canadian Organic Growers chapters from across Canada.

COG-PWW obtained support from several organizations including COG-Ottawa to produce these two online search tools:
Organic Seed Finder
Organic Price Tracker

One of the easiest ways to know where your food comes from and how it’s grown, is to grow it yourself. It can also be a cost effective way to feed you and your family.
Backyard Gardening

COG-Toronto has a knack for producing 2-page fact-sheets in brochure format that answer all the common questions in a straightforward way:
What is Organic? – an introductory brochure
12 Reasons to Buy Organic – makes the reasons simply clear
7 Steps to Organic Eating – helpful advice about how organic can be affordable
Are You Eating GMO’s? – the basic facts about Genetically Modified Organisms
Organic Certification: Your Guarantee – why certification matters and how to know if something is certified organic

COG-Toronto have a whole series of fact sheets to support organic gardeners, with loads of handy tips to make it easy:
Starting an Organic Vegetable Garden – 5 steps for the beginner
Companion Plants to Deter Pests – a practical list
Protecting Plants using Other Plants
Fast and Slow Composting
The Golden Rules of Organic Lawn Care

General Information

Keith R. Baldwin. 2005. Crop Rotations on Organic Farms. Center for Environmental Farming Systems, North Carolina. Farmers in ancient cultures as diverse as those of China, Greece, and Rome knew the importance of crop rotations. Mixed cropping, or planting different crops sequentially was also a widespread practice in North America until the middle of the 20th century, but modern ‘conventional’ farming methods have altered the way most farmers practice crop rotations today. Organic farmers, on the other hand, know the fundamental importance of crop rotation. They work toward a key goal: to improve soil quality and structure. Rotations are most effective when combined with such practices as manuring, composting, cover cropping, green manuring, and short pasturing cycles, an effective combination to increase soil quality and fertility. Crop rotation is also a strategic tool the organic farmer can use for insect, disease and weed control. Read the full report by clicking here.  The CEFS offers other reports about organic practices – you can access their publications by clicking here.

Garden Organic. 2010. Organic Gardening Guidelines. Updated version. Organic Gardening Guidelines are prepared by Garden Organic, the U.K.’s leading organic growing charity, dedicated to researching and promoting organic gardening, farming and food. These guidelines are based on the principles and practices of organic agriculture, as defined by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and they have been interpreted and adapted by Garden Organic to apply to garden scale growing in the U.K.  Guidelines are presented for 7 different topics, from soil care to energy use, with recommendations at 4 different levels: Best organic practice – the first choice; Acceptable organic practice; Acceptable but not for regular use; and, Never acceptable in an organic garden.