Special Collections & University Archives | UMass Amherst Libraries

Abstract

An organizer, consultant, and educator in the alternative agriculture movement, Grace Gershuny has been active in the field since the 1970s when she worked for the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), developing its first organic certification program. As a leader in the movement, Gershuny helped to establish both the Organic Trade Association and the Organic Farmer: The Digest of Sustainable Agriculture. Today she continues to write and teach on the subject, serving as a faculty member at a number of colleges, most recently Green Mountain College.

The collection consists chiefly of printed material from a run of the Organic Farmer to Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) publications and organizational newsletters, such as the Rural Education Center. Amongst these publications are a few small but significant groups of materials including notes from Gershuny's role as the NOFA VT coordinator in 1979 and her drafts and notes for the second editions of The Soul of Soil.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
SCUA: the archive of social change
Grace Gershuny Papers
1977-2007
3 boxes (3.5 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 793
Background on Grace Gershuny
Soul of Soil (book cover)

Born in New York City in 1950, Grace Gershuny's early life took place far away from the agricultural epicenter of northern Vermont, where she thrives today. Her rural career began after her time at Queens College of the City University of New York ended. It was here that she earned a B.A. in Mass Communications. By 1973, Gershuny was a Vermonter and market gardener alongside her husband at the time, Stewart Hoyt, who supplied artistic talent for Gershuny's earliest editions of her book The Soul of Soil. Within two years Gershuny was constructing the Northeast Kingdom Farmers Market as a member of NOFA (Natural Organic Farmers Association). She moved through NOFA's ranks in 1977, earning the title of Certification Coordinator, leading her to the position of Vermont State Coordinator in 1979.

Gershuny sought to continue her education at the age of thirty, this time at the University of Vermont from which she received a Master's degree in Extension Education in 1982. Just one year later, she published the first edition of The Soul of Soil, followed by a second edition in 1986. Both editions received high praise and even garnered international attention because of the work's appeal to farmers from all backgrounds. Gershuny's next book, Start with the Soil, was published in 1993. The Soul of Soil is now in its fourth edition as of 1999.

Grace Gershuny is currently living in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, and serves as an active faculty member at the Institute for Social Ecology, as well as a blogger for Chelsea Green Publishing and a board member of the Highfields Center for Composting.

Contents of Collection

Gershuny's papers contain numerous drafts, reviews, and publicity of both the first and second editions of The Soul of Soil, as well as a large number of magazines and articles submitted for review during her time as the editor of Organic Farmer magazine and chief of Gaia Services. Other materials relate to her work for the Northeast Organic & Sustainable Farmers Network (NOSFaN) including reports and publications on organic and sustainable farming that were collected during the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. Among these are publications by Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), issues of Organic Farmer, and other alternative farming magazines. Audio tapes dating from 1991 to 1993 discuss soil science, sustainable agriculture, the definition of organic quality, and modern changes to the meat industry.

Gershuny's personal writings detail her definition of organic agriculture as well as her efforts to support sustainability in the Northeast. Materials gathered from her time as a coordinator for the Vermont division of NOFA include calendars, development plans, and interactions with other small organizations based around aiding farmers. Finally, the collection contains information on courses held at the Institute for Social Ecology, copies of required texts, and course requirements.

Collection inventory
Americans for Safe Food
1984-1992
Box 1: 1

Kiplinger Agriculture Letter, Rutland Daily Herald, Homeopathy Today, The Rural Education Center (TREC) Quarterly.

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): Converting to Organic Farming
1978-1989
Box 1: 2
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): Farm-scale composting
circa 1987-1989
Box 1: 3
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): Organic Fruit Production
1986-1990
Box 1: 4
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): Organic and Low-Spray Apple Production
1986-1990
Box 1: 5
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): Soils and weeds
1990-1992
Box 1: 6
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): Tools and Techniques for Organic Market Gardening
ca. 1989
Box 1: 7
Biological pest control research
1982-1992
Box 1: 8
Bringing the Food Economy Home (photocopy)
2000
Box 1: 9
Brochures
ca. 1987-1992
Box 1: 10

OFPANA, NOFA, FLO, CCOF, Little Bear Trading Company, Farm Verified Organic, organic farming informational pamphlets; NY Times clippings; Soil Fertility Guide.

Business as NOFA Vermont Coordinator
1979 Mar-Dec
Box 1: 11
Changing Structure of the Meat Industry and its Implications for Agricultural Sustainability (W. Heffernan)
1991
Box 3: 5
Church-Land Grant University Consultation Northeast Region
undated
Box 1: 12
Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC)
ca. 2001-2003
Box 1: 13

Toronto's Food Charter/Policy Council, Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD).

Conference on Food Policy for Religious Leaders and Concerned Laity
1978
Box 1: 14
Earth's Best Baby Food & Organically Grown in Vermont
ca. 1989
Box 1: 15
Eco-Farm 1993: Biological Management of Soil & Plant Pathogens
1993
Box 3: 1
Eco-Farm 1993: Holistic Resource Management
1993
Box 3: 2
Eco-Farm 1993: Scientific Evidence Validates Organic Nutritional Quality
1993
Box 3: 3
Eco-Farm 1993: Sustainable Ag Labor: Field with RALPH PAIGE
1993
Box 3: 4
Environmental Effects of Conventional and Organic/Biological Farming Systems
1988 June
Box 1: 16
Farm Case Studies
1980-1991
Box 1: 17
Gershuny, Grace: Articles and notes
ca. 1984-1991
Box 1: 18
Greenhouse Information
1980-1982
Box 1: 19
Harbinger
2003 Spring
Box 1: 20
Homegrown Vegetarian draft
August 1979
Box 1: 21
iFOAM, CCOF, OGBA: Farm inspection manuals/guides
1983-1989
Box 1: 22
Impact of Decision by GATT, CODEX and Other International Trade Entities (L. Thrupp)
1992
Box 3: 6
LISA: General publicity
1989-1991
Box 1: 23
LISA/NOSFaN presenters and advisors for in-service training
1989 January-1990 March
Box 1: 24
Maine Organic Farmer: Bees
1986 May-1987 June
Box 1: 25
Main Organic Farmer: Berries
1985 July-August
Box 1: 26
Media coverage
ca. 1982-1991
Box 1: 27

New York Times, Boston Globe, misc.

Miscellaneous
ca. 1991-1996
Box 1: 28

Includes World Sustainable Agricultue Association, Consep, & NOSFaN.

National Science Foundation (NSF) & Northern Organic Farmers' Association (NOFA)
ca. 1979-1981
Box 1: 29
New England Farmer: forage crops
1987-1988
Box 1: 30
NOFA/NOSFaN "Farming for the Future" Seminar
1987-1991
Box 1: 31
NOFA/NRAES (Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service) Manual: Organic and Low Input Farming Systems in the Northeast
ca. 1992
Box 1: 32
Nonconventional soil additives (NCR-103)
1992 Oct
Box 1: 33
Northeast Organic & Sustainable Farmers Network (NOSFaN) Farm Field Days & Farmer Profiles
1989-1990
Box 1: 34
NOSFaN "Farming for the Future" Evaluations
1990-1991
Box 1: 35
NOSFaN "Farming for the Future" Seminar
1990
Box 1: 36
NOSFaN/LISA (Low Input Sustainble Agriculture) Budget proposals & addendums
1989-1990
Box 1: 37
NOSFaN Production Manual
ca. 1990
Box 1: 38
NOSFaN Production Manual Chapter revisions
1990 Nov-1991 May
Box 1: 39
Notes on cultivation workshop
undated
Box 1: 40
Notes and publications: ethnobotany
ca. 1992
Box 1: 41
OFPANA Guidelines for the Organic Foods Industry
1986
Box 1: 42
Organic farming, soil, and pesticide publications
1993
Box 1: 43
Organic/Sustainable Agriculture: The Global Challenge
1991
Box 3: 7
Pamphlets
1988-1990
Box 1: 44
Restrictions on access:

NOFA, NOSFaN, OFPANA, LISA, & others journals/publications on sustainable agriculture, alternative farming, livestock care, chemical usage.

Personal notes
undated
Box 1: 45
Principles of Social Ecology at The Institute for Social Ecology
2000
Box 1: 46
Principles of Social Ecology: required texts
ca. 2000
Box 1: 47
Principles of Social Ecology: required texts
ca. 2000
Box 1: 48
Promoting the Marketing of Locally Grown Food
1991
Box 3: 8
Publications
1991-1992
Box 1: 49
Publications: apples
1989-1990
Box 1: 50
Publications: aquaculture
1988-1991
Box 1: 51
Publications: botanicals
1983-1990
Box 1: 52
Publications: California Agriculture
1986-1989
Box 1: 53
Publications: CCOF Newsletter
1993-1997
Box 1: 54
Publications: cover crops
1977-1991
Box 1: 55
Publications: Farmings, misc.
ca. 1981-1983
Box 1: 56
Publications: fertilizers
1984-1989
Box 2: 1
Publications: food/recipes
ca. 1984-1993
Box 2: 2
Publications: fruits & vegetables
1985-1990
Box 2: 3
Publications: GMO, & Organic
2004-2007
Box 2: 4
Publications: grassroots, revolution
1992-1994
Box 2: 5
Publications: Growing for Market
undated
Box 2: 6
Publications: health, spirituality, preservation
1987-2003
Box 2: 7
Publications: horticulture
1975-1985
Box 2: 8
Publications: HortIdeas
1993 Apr-July
Box 2: 9
Publications: Institute for Social Ecology
1987-2003
Box 2: 10
Publications: IPM Practitioner
1993-1995
Box 2: 11
Publications: Kick It Over
1993-1994
Box 2: 12
Publications on lawns and landscapes
1987-1991
Box 2: 13
Publications: livestock health
1986-1991
Box 2: 14
Publications: Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
1989-1997
Box 2: 15
Publications: medicinal herbs
ca. 1987-1991
Box 2: 16
Publications: miscellaneous
1983-1997
Box 2: 17
Publications: miscellaneous
1990-1995
Box 2: 18
Publications: miscellaneous
1983-1992
Box 2: 19
Publications: Multinational Monitor
1992-1994
Box 2: 20
Publications: mushrooms
undated
Box 2: 21
Publications: NOFA
1999-2011
Box 2: 22
Publications: OFPANA
1986-1988
Box 2: 23
Publications: organic
ca. 1989
Box 2: 24
Publications: Organic Farmer
1990
Box 2: 25
Publications: Organic Farmer
1991
Box 2: 26
Publications: Organic Farmer
1992
Box 2: 27
Publications: Organic Farmer
1993
Box 2: 28
Publications: Organic Farmer
1994
Box 2: 29
Publications: Organic Farming Research Foundation
1996-1997
Box 2: 30
Publications: Permaculture Activist
1991-1993
Box 2: 31
Publications: Pest Control
1985-1991
Box 2: 32
Publications: plant pathology
undated
Box 2: 33
Publications: post-harvest
circa 1991
Box 2: 34
Publications: poultry
circa 1985
Box 2: 35
Publications: rabbits
circa 1985
Box 2: 36
Publications: reports on organic farming and agriculture
1980-2004
Box 2: 37
Publications: Rural Vermont Report
1996-2004
Box 2: 38
Publications: seeds
1984-1989
Box 2: 39
Publications: solar aquatics
1988-1991
Box 2: 40
Publications: Suzanne Vaupel
1988-1990
Box 2: 41
Publications: tools
circa 1987
Box 2: 42
Publications: TRANET & NODPA
1993-2004
Box 2: 43
Publications: tree crops
1985-1988
Box 2: 44
Publications: United Nations
1976-1992
Box 2: 45
Publications: weed control
1984-1992
Box 2: 46
Publications: Worm Digest
1994-1996
Box 2: 47
Radical Agriculture at Institute for Social Ecology
2000
Box 2: 48

Course description and texts.

Return to the Land, Community, and Self
2004
Box 2: 49
Stonyfield Farm: "Moos from the Farm"
1992
Box 2: 50
Soul of Soil,(1st edition)
1983 July
Box 2: 51
Soul of Soil, (2nd edition)
1986
Box 2: 52
Soul of Soil: 1st edition promotions and reviews
1983 Fall-1985
Box 2: 53
Soul of Soil: 2nd edition letters, drafts, proposals, book orders, figures
1984-1986
Box 2: 54
Soul of Soil: 2nd edition production assistance
1985
Box 2: 55
Soul of Soil: 2nd edition promotions
ca. 1985-1988
Box 2: 56
Soul of Soil: 2nd edition reviews
1986-1988
Box 2: 57
Task Force for Food and Farm Policy: Central New York Region
1976-1979
Box 2: 58
Title XXI: Organic Certification, Organic Field Crop Production
1990
Box 2: 59
TREC: Stirring and Perspectives
1982-1984
Box 2: 60
UVM Extension Services: Water systems
undated
Box 2: 61
Vermont Rural Church Project & Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF)
1981-1987
Box 2: 62
Western Organic Laboratories, Inc.
undated
Box 2: 63
Administrative information
Provenance

Acquired from Grace Gershuny, 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Haley Chauvin, December 2013.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Grace Gershuny Papers (MS 793). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • Farming--United States
  • Organic farmers
  • Organic farming
  • Tetrahymena--Genetics.
Names
  • Gershuny, Grace
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association