Archive for the 'Soil' Category

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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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 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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On this episode — the return of Doug Fine. Operating out the Funky Butte Ranch in southern New Mexico, Doug is a hemp farmer by day, journalist by night, entrepreneurial dynamo 24/7. His writing has appeared in places like Washington Post, Wired and Outside Magazine. He’s traveled all over the world, including to places like Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala and Tajikistan. He’s given TED Talks. He’s appeared on late-night talk shows. And he’s written several books, including Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man, Farewell My Subaru, Too High To Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution, and Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution. His latest book, American Hemp Farmer, is a follow-up to Hemp Bound and it celebrates the men and women who are blazing a path in the regenerative, farmer-driven hemp industry. Doug also recently put out a brand new online course on growing and marketing regenerative hemp. For more on that, visit learn.acresusa.com.

This is Doug’s second time on the podcast and we’re grateful to have him back. This interview was recorded last year and it’s our first podcast of 2021. Doug’s a perfect guest to kick off a new season. He’s enthusiastic, he’s optimistic. He has a big vision for the future of regenerative hemp … and he’s in the trenches doing the work to bring it into reality.

Go buy Doug’s new book at the acresusa.com bookstore. Use the coupon code JANPOD for 10 % off on America Hemp Farmer and all other titles. And, if you’re interested in growing hemp yourself, Doug’s new course is a great place to start. Visit learn.acresusa.com to sign up.

1 hour, 40 minutes

 

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On this live edition of Tractor Time — recorded on November 12 — we are joined by Jeff Moyer, CEO of the Rodale Institute. Jeff has a new book out from Acres U.S.A. It’s called Roller/Crimper No-Till: Advancing No-Till Agriculture — Crops, Soil & Equipment.

For nearly 30 years, Jeff has worked at the Rodale Institute in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where he’s designed equipment and techniques for organic no-till farming systems. Just last year, he was named CEO of Rodale. In addition, he has served as the chairman of the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board and was a founding board member of Pennsylvania Certified Organic.

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With us on our first live episode of Tractor Time is agroecologist Nicole Masters. She has a new book out. It's called, "For the Love of Soil," and there's an excerpt of that book in the August edition of Acres U.S.A. magazine. Go to acresusa.com to subscribe. Nicole has 20 years of experience working in Australia and New Zealand, in North America, to create regenerative food systems.

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On this episode of the Tractor Time podcast, we're joined by Chris Smith, author of the James Beard Award-winning book, “The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration.” Chris lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is the founder and executive director of The Utopia Seed Project.

 

It seems like a perfect time of year to talk about okra. And I have to say that okra is one of my favorite vegetables. I grew it back when I lived in Texas, and it is just a stunningly beautiful plant. It loves the heat. It’s drought tolerant. I loved serving it at dinner parties because people were always surprised it could be so good.

 

But, let’s face it. Okra is polarizing. There’s the slime, for one. At the grocery store, you find it in a can, which, no thank you.

 

But beyond all that, it turns out okra is a powerful vehicle for telling stories about genetic diversity, seed to stem eating and even the American slave trade. Chris weaves all that, and much more, into his book.

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