Archive for the 'farmers' Category

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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On this episode we welcome the No-Till Titan himself, Jesse Frost. Frost owns and operates Rough Draft Farmstead with his wife, Hannah Crabtree. The farm is an organic, no-till market garden based in Lawrenceburg Kentucky. It sells at area farmers’ markets and offers a CSA service. Frost is also the host of the No-Till Market Garden podcast. And for Frost, the show grew out of a sense of service and necessity. He saw that there was a dearth of information on how to make no-till practices work for small-scale vegetable farmers and he decided to do something about it. In the process, he’s built up a thriving community of farmers who are eager to share ideas and best practices. In addition to his essential podcast, Frost also has an incredible new book out from Chelsea Green Publishing called The Living Soil Handbook: The No-Till Grower’s Guide to Ecological Market Gardening.

This episode also features an interview with investigative journalist Carey Gillam on an environmental disaster at an ethanol plant in Nebraska and an ongoing lawsuit over dicamba drift in Texas.

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On this episode we welcome back investigative journalist Carey Gillam. For regular listeners, Carey is a familiar name. This year, she’s been joining us each month for a segment we call Industrial Ag Watch, where she keeps us updated on the fearless reporting she does on our industrialized food system.

On this episode, we’re setting aside more time to really dig into her latest book — The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man's Search for Justice. That book is out now and you can find it at the acresusa.com bookstore.

Carey is also the author of the 2017 book Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science. Whitewash won the coveted Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. And you can also go back in the archives and listen to a 2019 podcast we did with Carey about that book.

Carey also works as a reporter and director of research for U.S. Right to Know. Her work frequently appears in The Guardian and she has more than 30 years of experience covering food and agricultural policies and practices. She also serves on the Freedom of Information Task Force for the Society of Environmental Journalists.

 

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For 30-plus years, Mark Bittman has been, hands-down, the most influential food writer in America. He worked as a star food columnist at the New York Times. He’s written 16 best-selling books and cookbooks, including How to Cook Everything, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and The Minimalist Cooks at Home.

His latest book is Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal. It isn’t a cookbook. You won’t find any recipes in it. Instead, it’s an ambitious and clear-eyed survey of the past, present and future of agriculture. From the advent of farming over 10,000 years ago to the rise of industrial agriculture and hyper-processed junk food, Bittman somehow manages to synthesize thousands of years of history into a thoughtful and convincing argument for radical change within our modern food system.

And although it isn’t a cookbook, I wouldn’t say the book is a departure from his past work — it’s the culmination and the crowning achievement to a life dedicated to teaching people how to cook, and eat, ethically, healthfully and with pleasure.

Buy the book at the acresusa.com bookstore. Use the coupon code MAYPOD for 10% off on all titles.

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Doug Bierend is the author of a new book called In Search of Mycotopia: Citizen Science, Fungi Fanatics, and the Untapped Potential of Mushrooms.

Doug is a freelance journalist who writes about science and technology, food, and education. His byline has appeared in WiredThe AtlanticViceMotherboardThe CounterOutside Magazine and Civil Eats.

Investigative journalist Carey Gillam also joins us on this episode to talk about her recent story, publish in the Guardian, about paraquat, a potent and deadly herbicide. Carey’s the author of 2017 book Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science. Her new book is called The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man's Search for Justice

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On this our 53rd episode we welcome the head of Special Operations at Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Gero Leson. He has a new book out called Honor Thy Label: Dr. Bronner’s Unconventional Journey to a Clean, Green, and Ethical Supply Chain.

Gero is not officially a member of the Bronner family, but he has been instrumental in helping the company realize its ambitious vision for a company that’s both environmentally and socially responsible. They’re not just buying organic ingredients and calling it a day. They’re creating their own supply chains from scratch. Today, they work with over 5,000 farmers in places like India, Sri Lanka and Ghana, and those farmers are using regenerative organic practices as well as getting paid a fair price for what they produce.

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Ann Armbrecht is the director of the Sustainable Herbs Program under the auspices of the American Botanical Council. She is also a writer and anthropologist (PhD, Harvard 1995) whose work explores the relationships between humans and the earth, most recently through her work with plants and plant medicine. She is the co-producer of the documentary Numen: The Nature of Plants and author of Thin Places: A Pilgrimage Home. Her latest book is The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing Promise of Plant Medicines in a Global Industry (Chelsea Green Publishing, February 2021). She lives with her family in central Vermont.

Also featured on this episode is investigative journalist Carey Gillam. She joined us to talk about a recent study looking into the health effects of glyphosate.

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Tom Philpott is the food and ag correspondent for Mother Jones. Before that, he covered the food system for Grist. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek and the Guardian. He’s worked as a bona fide farmer and now splits his time between Austin, Texas, and North Carolina. He has a new book out from Bloomsbury Publishing. It’s called Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It. The book is the culmination of an impressive career spent holding industry and government accountable. Perilous Journey tells the story of two U.S. farming powerhouses — California’s Central Valley and the Corn Belt of the Midwest. Through this lens, Philpott makes the case that current agricultural practices and policies are leading us down the road to environmental ruin. And yet, there’s still hope on the horizon.

To find out more about Tom Philpott visit www.tomphilpott.net/

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 at acresusa.com, ecofarmingdaily.com, and don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly magazine.

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On this our 50th episode we welcome Dr. Vandana Shiva. A fearless advocate for peasant farmers throughout the world, Dr. Shiva is one of the most outspoken critics of industrial agriculture and its dire environmental and spiritual consequences. She is the founder of Navdanya, an India based organization that advocates for biodiversity, seed sovereignty and food independence. Navdanya runs an organic farm in the foothills of the Himalays and counts among its members millions of farmers across India, where the group has set up more than 100 seed banks. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Right Livelihood Award and the Sydney Peace Prize. She is also the author of several groundbreaking books, including Making Peace with the Earth, Soil Not Oil and Who Really Feeds the World?. Her latest book is called Oneness vs the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom. In an age of growing economic inequality, globalization and relentless corporate propaganda, we need people like Dr. Shiva who are willing to stand up and speak the truth. Buy her books at acresusa.com. Use the coupon code FEBPOD for 10% off on all sales.

1 hour, 10 minutes

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On this episode we travel to the future — A Small Farm Future. That’s the title of a new book from farmer and social scientist Chris Smaje.

Let’s be honest, the future doesn’t look great. Our climate is changing rapidly, our soils are being depleted through industrial farming methods and deforestation, the global population is surging, our health is falling apart and despite some progress with renewable energy sources we’re still very much addicted to cheap fossil fuels.

It’s a bleak picture that Smaje paints in his new book. And while he doesn’t offer an optimistic Pollyanna vision for our future, Smaje does believe that humans can continue to thrive — if only we’re willing to radically reshape the way we think about communities and economies.

For the last 15 years, Smaje has run a small farm in Sommerset, England. Before that, he worked as a social scientist at University of Surrey and Goldsmiths College. His focus is the practice — and politics — of agroecology, and he’s written about that subject for publications such as The LandDark MountainPermaculture Magazine, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and the Journal of Consumer Culture. Smaje writes the Small Farm Future blog and is a featured author at resilience.org. He has a new book out with Chelsea Green Publishing. It’s called A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity and a Shared Earth. I was really impressed by the amount of thought Smaje has put into actually working out some of the ideas we in the regenerative agriculture world take for granted.

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