Acres U.S.A.: Tractor Time

2021-07

Episodes

Friday Jul 30, 2021

On this episode we welcome Brother Coyote himself, Gary Paul Nabhan. An agricultural ecologist, an ethnobotanist, a MacArthus “genius grant” winner, a professor and an Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, Nabhan is a true polymath. He’s a pioneering figure in the local food movement as well as the modern heirloom seed saving movement. He’s also the author of an almost countless number of books, including The Nature of Desert Nature, Food from the Radical Center: Healing Our Land and Communities, and Mesquite: An Arboreal Love Affair. His most recent book is called Jesus for Farmers and Fishers: Justice for All Those Marginalized by Our Food System. The book is a challenging, poetic and hopeful exploration of what the teachings of Jesus have to tell us about our modern food system and our relationship to the natural world. Even if you’re not religious, or even spiritual, I think this interview is still well worth your time — Nabhan has tapped into a deep and universal store of wisdom just when we need it most. I’ve been a long-time admirer — of his endless curiosity, of his versatility as a writer and of his rare insight when it comes to ethics, agriculture and science. He isn’t someone who spends much time raging at powerful institutions. He’s not always shaking his fists at corrupt corporations. Instead, he offers us pathways of hope, healing, purpose, abundance and justice. Nabhan’s spent much of his life working, often in the fields, to preserve both cultural folkways and biological diversity, two things he see’s as being inextricably linked. And his biography is so full of milestones that it’s impossible to fit all but a fraction of them here. Born in the early 1950s, Nabhan is a first-generation Lebanese American who was raised in Gary, Indiana. He has a B.A. in environmental biology from Prescott College in Arizona, an M.S. in plant sciences from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary arid lands resource sciences, also from the University of Arizona. He’s served as director of conservation, research and collections at both the Desert Botanical Garden and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, where he did the research to help create the Ironwood Forest National Monument. He was the founding director of the Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. He’s on the University of Arizona faculty as a research social scientist with the Southwest Center, where he now serves as the Kellogg Endowed Chair in Southwestern Borderlands Food and Water Security. He and his wife currently live in Patagonia, Arizona on a five-acre spread near Tucson. I could go on, but I’m eager to share this interview with you today. I hope you find as much inspiration as I did in this conversation with Gary Paul Nabhan. For more information, visit garynabhan.com.

Monday Jul 19, 2021

On this episode we’re talking about bringing a higher standard to cannabis production. With the federal legalization of hemp and the continuing state-by-state rollout of recreational cannabis, the industry is just picking up steam in the U.S. A California-based nonprofit started by David Bronner is aiming to lead the way on setting regenerative and socially responsible standards that empower farmers and farm workers in a rapidly expanding agricultural sector. In this episode we’re joined by Andrew Black, the executive director of Sun+Earth Certified, a beyond-organic standard for cannabis and hemp, and Josh Gulliver, a regenerative hemp and herb farmer based in Oregon, to talk about the challenges and opportunities on the horizon for cannabis growers. This episode is particularly relevant right now, as three U.S. Senate Democrats have just presented a plan to end the federal prohibition on cannabis. This interview was recorded back in April, so that’s not part of the conversation, but what we do talk about is the increasing need for cannabis producers to lead the way on what it means to be truly regenerative. Right now we are at a crossroads. Does cannabis become just another commodity crop or can we use it as a vehicle to transform agriculture? In this episode, we go deep into Sun+Earth Certified standards and what that means for the future of cannabis. Sun+Earth, if you don’t already know, is the non-profit started by David Bronner, who is the head of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps as well as an outspoken cannabis activist. The non-profit has set ambitious standards for cannabis production that include earth care, human empowerment and community engagement. To find out more about Sun+Earth Certified go to sunandearth.org. If you’re interested in learning more about how Dr. Bronner’s is creating regenerative supply chains for its products go buy Honor Thy Label: Dr. Bronner’s Unconventional Journey to a Clean, Green, and Ethical Supply Chain. That book is available in the acresusa.com bookstore. Use the coupon code JULYPOD, that’s J-U-L-Y-P-O-D for 10 % off on all titles. Tractor Time is brought to you by Acres U.S.A. and Barn2Door. Subscribe to our channel on YouTube, iTunes or anywhere podcasts are available. Also, find us on acresusa.com, ecofarmingdaily.com, and don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly magazine.  

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