EPISODE 7: Faith Lands

In this episode we explore the works and service of farm-based Catholic worker communities in the upper Midwest. Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic workers, was highly devout and profoundly independent: she emphasized direct action for peace and justice, and direct service for the poor. This radical ministry has always lain outside the institution of the church, and the formal wealth of the Catholic orthodoxy. But this is changing, inspired by the energetic commitment of Catholic […]

EPISODE 6: The Crown O’ Maine

It all started in a family van hauling organic potatoes to Boston from the very northernmost point of New England, Aroostook County, known as the Crown O’ Maine. Marada and Leah Cook grew up taking turns in the passenger seat beside their dad, who recognized that the commodity game was unsustainable for both farmers and the land and had set out to build an alternative path to market for the diverse crops of his region. […]

EPISODE 5: Dry Land

Music credit in this video to Jeremy Robert Harris: jeremyrobertharris.com We just keep paving. Urbanization and suburban sprawl means tarmac and concrete, convenient for drivers and cyclists, but it doesn’t absorb the rain. We lose an acre of farmland every minute, according to the American Farmland Trust, much of it to car-centric urban development. Looking across a landscape laid bare by bulldozers it’s hard not to cringe, especially when the over-paving creates the conditions for flash […]

EPISODE 4: Access to Grazing

Market demand continues to swell for ethically raised, pasture-based livestock, poultry, eggs and milk. These products fetch a major price premium over the conventional, confinement raised alternative, and present the possibility for small scale producers to make a livelihood. Young graziers are joining the fray to meet that market appetite, inspired by Joel Salatin, Jim Gerrish and the incredible soil-building potential of grass-fed animal husbandry. For farmers who build their own low-cost infrastructure: hen houses, […]

EPISODE 3: Adaptive Seeds

The industrialization of agriculture has resulted in a staggering loss in the variety of crops raised to feed and clothe our population. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that between 1900 and 2010, 75% of the world’s crop biodiversity was lost. This includes both plant varieties and domesticated animal breeds – both the result of thousands of years of thoughtful stewardship by farmers and pastoralists. A loss of diversity in any ecological […]

EPISODE 2: Distribution

We hear it all the time: “If you bought it, a truck brought it.” The average bite of food in America traveled more than 1,500 miles to your plate, which usually means across multiple state lines. The other day I met a trucker hauling eggs from Iowa to Maine, he’d just run his 18 wheeler up onto a barricade to avoid a collision. I shared some of my chocolate with him as he was quite […]

EPISODE 1: The Solution to Pollution is Life

Urban farming is a dynamic opportunity for food security in poor inner city areas, especially since the cost of shipping food from elsewhere increases as oil becomes more expensive. Access to local food is possible by farming on urban lots. Sadly, much of the urban soil has been contaminated by industrial uses. To overcome this problem, Soil Kitchen, a collaborative art project funded by the City of Philadelphia to coincide with the National Brownfield Conference, […]