Over the past decade, organic products have become the fastest growing sector of agriculture, with an annual increase of at least 20 percent. This book explains why organic production and consumption have seen such phenomenal growth in recent years-and, even more important, why they should. A clear-eyed, close-up look at the compelling reasons for organic farming and the methods that make it work, Good Growing begins with a frank account of the problems with conventional industrial agriculture-the pesticide use, pollution, and corporate control that have undermined public health and devastated rural towns and family farms. In-depth interviews with working organic farmers from across the country bring to life the facts and figures that Leslie Duram sets out in her extensive overview of the realities of organic farming today. Farmers with very different operations in California, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, and upstate New York give us an intimate understanding of the ecological, social, economic, and personal factors that shape their farming experiences. We also learn firsthand about the attractions and pleasures as well as the problems and concerns that accompany organic farming. With its comprehensive view of the status of farming and its compelling portraits of organic farmers, Good Growing is, finally, a work of scientific advocacy describing a course of action, based on the best research available, to improve the health of agriculture in our day.