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Top 10 Most Popular Books of 2020

December 29, 2020

As our Acres U.S.A. bookstore continues to grow, with our own published titles as well as amazing educational and retrospective books from other publishers, we appreciate the support you show us! And as it’s the end of the year, we wanted to look back and see which books were the most popular. It’s quite a list, and if you haven’t tried some of these titles yourself, we suggest you check them out!

Top 10 Books of 2020

10. For the Love of Soil by Nicole Masters

Those who attended either our Healthy Soil Summit or Eco-Ag Conference this year will be familiar with Nicole Masters! An agroecologist, she has dedicated herself to studying and understanding soil health. 

With decades of experience in regenerative soil systems and their management, in this book, Nicole Masters delivers solutions to the erosion and degradation of arable land.

9. The Farm as Ecosystem by Jerry Brunetti 

In The Farm as Ecosystem, natural product formulator and farm consultant Jerry Brunetti brings together a wealth of education and uncanny observations in this probing volume on the interconnected dynamics of the farm — geology, biology, and diversity of life. Learn to look at — and manage — your farm very differently by gaining a deeper understanding of the complementary roles of all facets of your farm.

8. The Modern Grower’s Guide to Terra Preta by Caroline Pfützner

This practical book by a world authority on the subject — available in English for the first time — practically guarantees success in production and application of terra preta whether in the garden, raised beds, larger growing operations, or simple balcony boxes. Practical examples from commercial-scale agriculture illustrate the true potential of terra preta.

7. Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown

Gabe Brown gave one of the keynote presentations at the 2020 Eco-Ag Conference, and was also awarded this year’s Eco-Ag Achievement Award.

Dirt to Soil is the story of Gabe Brown’s journey with regenerative agriculture. He dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In so doing, Gabe Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life―starting with the soil and working his way up.

6. Weeds – Control Without Poisons by Charles Walters

This book is a classic, written by Acres U.S.A. founder Charles Walters. It includes specifics on a hundred weeds, why they grow, what soil conditions spur them on or stop them, what they say about your soil, and how to control them without the obscene presence of poisons. All cross-referenced by scientific and various common names, and a pictorial glossary.

5. The Waste Between Our Ears by Gerry Gillespie

In this book, writer, researcher and advocate Gerry Gillespie outlines how we can create a global solution, and it starts between our ears. In order to restore our world ecosystems and our vital soils, he wants to change how we think about our trash. Readers will learn why we all need to change our mind about waste management systems, how to reconnect our organic waste to local soil and food growers, and why this leads to more local jobs.

4. Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard

Restoration Agriculture explains how we can have all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in form and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel and many other needs — in your own backyard, farm or ranch. This book, based on real-world practices, presents an alternative to the agriculture system of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future.

3. Water for Any Farm by Mark Shepard

Written as a companion to the bestseller, Restoration Agriculture, this book will help farmers capture water in areas they want to, and avoid having water flow immediately to the low point. The result? Less water expense, healthier crops and livestock, and less erosion … just to name a few. 

2. Hands-On Agronomy by Neal Kinsey

The soil is more than just a substrate that anchors crops in place. An ecologically balanced soil system is essential for maintaining healthy crops. Hands-On Agronomy is a comprehensive manual on effective soil fertility management providing many on-farm examples to illustrate the various principles and how to use them. The function of micronutrients, earthworms, soil drainage, tilth, soil structure, and organic matter is explained in thorough detail.

1. When Weeds Talk by Jay L. McCaman

This is the 2nd edition of the book formerly titled Weeds and Why They Grow. Acres U.S.A. has long shown that weed control lies in fertility management. Every weed grows in a somewhat narrow window of allowable soil conditions. For the first time, hundreds of weeds of commercial importance are detailed along with the chemical analysis of accompanying soils. For example, burdock grows in soils with very high levels of iron and sulfate, very low levels of calcium and manganese. Balance the soil, lose the weed.