SCUA

Gershuny, Grace

Grace Gershuny Papers, 1975-1997.

2 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 793
Soul of Soil
Soul of Soil

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.

Background on Grace Gershuny

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.

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Inventory of Collection
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
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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.

Subjects

  • Farming--United States
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association
  • Organic farmers
  • Organic farming

Contributors

  • Gershuny, Grace
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