Farm to Table journeys are not just stories of this century. Early in the last century a young, poor girl in New York dreamed big and ultimately launched an American tomato industry that surpassed the traditional global dominance of Italy. From modest beginnings in the big city Tillie Lewis achieved wealth and respect around the world as a female captain of industry, in a misogynistic male environment. Along the way tomato farms were established in California, thousands of minorities were employed, global trade was shifted and consumers were given a new source of their favorite cupboard staple, tomatoes. Farm To Table Talk explores this story of a remarkable pioneering woman, with Kyle Elizabeth Wood, the author of “Tillie Lewis, The Tomato Queen”.
The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsible. Awards are granted to outstanding American food producers and the farmers who provide their ingredients. Recipients push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing the agricultural landscape and building strong communities. At the 2018 Awards held in San Francisco, we visit with one of the winners, Samantha Genke co-owner of BoxCarr Handmade Cheese from Cedar Grove, North Carolina. First we’re visiting with the Founder of Good Foods, Sarah Weiner. Sarah tell us about the Good Foods Awards and how they promote the delicious and the responsible, all over America. www.goodfoodawards.org boxcarrhandmadecheese.com
Hope for farming and climate comes from regenerating our soils. Agronomist, Ray Archuletta “Ray-the Soil-Guy” says it’s not just about cover crops, it’s about changing minds and health. Ray was a keynote at a rousing EcoFarm panel moderated by Dr.Tim LaSalle of Chico State who make sense of legitimately decelerating climate change with a carbon-farming revolution that is spreading across millions of U.S. acres. They share a story of hope, encouragement and empowering call to action for EcoFarmers and EcoConsumers. “Humbled by what the Earth wants to teach us if we can payt attention, with proper soil ecology we can feed a world of 9 billion people easily. A few years ago few seemed to care but a recent check of Google shoed that there have been over 790 million hits on “soil health”. In this Farm To Table Talk podcast Ray Archuletta and Tim LaSalle introduce each other and then introduce listeners to progress and a future that matters to the Earth. www.eco-farm.org
Is it Farm to Fork or Farm to Table? Sacramento Chef/Owner Patrick Mulvaney probably votes for the former since he is a leader of the Movement in California. Patrick and Bobbin’s restaurant, surprisingly named Mulvaney’s Building & Loan (inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life) represents everything we love about Farm to Table, er Fork: delicious food, wine, atmosphere, farmer connections, friendly staff and a place to connect for great table talk. Our table talk was accompanied by great wine (Schafer Vineyards & Goldeneye Winery), crusty bread (Manresa) and wonderful cheese (Boxcarr Hand Made Cheese). Listeners will have to add their own refreshments, but this conversation walks through the dream, the farmers, happy consumers and the launch of a true food movement. Bon Appetit! www.mulvaneysbl.com
What’s with all of the talk about “Regeneration”? We all can probably use some regenerating, but why should we be regenerating our soil? How do you do that and what does it mean for farmers, consumers and the future hungry population of the Earth? David Johnson has the answer to those questions. Dr. Johnson says that everything in our life is dependent on micro-organisms. He is the Director of Sustainable Agriculture at New Mexico State University and he joins Farm To Table Talk to explore a world of biological opportunity right under our feet–ultimately producing more food with less or Zero inputs when we manage for the microbes and fungi in a Bio-enhanced Agriculture.
For more information: Soil Carbon Cowboys – (12 minutes) https://vimeo.com/80518559;
One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts – (15 minutes) https://vimeo.com/170413226;
For interest on the composting process:Johnson Su Bioreactor PDF
and Composting Bioreactor https://youtu.be/DxUGk161Ly8
David Johnson is on the EcoFarm panel January 25, entitled “Regenerating our Soils Hope For Farming & Climate.”
People are interested in knowing how their food is produced and sometimes dream of being a farmer themselves. Many want their food from happy animals and they just assume the farmers are happy too. Maybe they could be happier themselves if they could just farm. That vision is crushed by the depressing news that farmers can be depressed and shockingly have much higher rates of suicide than any other occupation–more than double that of returning veterans. Why? What should be done? Farm to Table Talk sheds light on this sad situation in this conversation with Dr. Michael Rosmann, a psychologist and Iowa farmer. His life’s work involves improving the behavioral healthcare of the agricultural population. He’s been widely featured in media and the New York Times said “he speaks the language of men and women on the verge of losing their place on the land”. Beyond the turmoil some farmers face, farm life can also provide “excellent joy”.
It is being said that livestock production for meat and dairy consumption is a major threat to our Environment. While these claims are based on a wide range of often questionable data, it is leading to anti-animal agriculture calls to eliminate or at least substantially limit meat consumption. Recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests that blaming animal agriculture for climate change may be misplaced. In the middle of these controversies about climate change and livestock production for protein consumption is Dr.Frank Mitloehner, a Professor and Air Quality Specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences at UC Davis. He traces much of the public confusion over meat and milk’s role in climate change to mistakes in a 10-year old United Nations report, titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” The language was immediately challenged and corrected by the authors, but the original language still lives on line. Since over 70% of the world’s agricultural land is marginal and cannot be used for growing crops, the UN says that the only way to feed the world is through “sustainable intensification”. That means intensifying production systems throughout the world so that we satisfy the global demand for animal protein without depleting our natural resources. Dr. Mitloehner believes “If you improve efficiency in whatever food production system, then you reduce the environmental foot print” (or hoof print). Questions arising from points raised in this podcast can go directly to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wendell Berry says, “We don’t have the right to ask whether we are going to succeed or not; the only question we have the right to ask is what’s the right thing to do? What does this Earth require of us if we want to continue to live on it?” Ideas and beliefs like these in over 40 books, essays, poems and other expressions have established Wendall Berry as a legendary advocate for farmers, land-conserving communities and healthy regional economies. No one articulates the problems with industrialization of all types better than Wendell Berry. He isn’t doing interviews anymore, but fortunately there was a classic interview he did with Bill Moyers in October 2013 that we have permission to share with you on Farm To Table Talk. Bill Moyers is a legend himself for matchless, thoughtful interviews. This interview was produced by the Schumann Media Center and Mannes Productions. For more information about Wendell Berry and the activities of the Berry Center, visit www.berrycenter.org. The people who produced the original show are acknowledged below.
Produced & Directed by ELENA MANNES; Editor DONNA MARINO; Director of Photography PETER NELSON; Art Direction DALE ROBBINS; Sound ROGER PHENIX; Coordinating Producer KRISTIN LOVEJOY; Associate Producers JESSICA BARI, RENIQUA ALLEN; Additional Camera JAY McCAIN, CHIP SWETNAM; Lighting Director DAN CUNNINGHAM; Grips MIKE DICKMAN, JAMES WISE; Make-up TAMARA LEE; Data Management LUKE STALEY; Production Assistant DAVID ZACHERY; Assistant Editor SCOTT GREENHAW. Special Thanks: MARY BERRY. TANYA BERRY, BONNIE CECIL, DWIGHT COTTON, ADOLFO DORING, TONY MORENO, LEAH BAYENS, CONNIE KAYS, MICHAEL KELEM, AMANDA ZACKEM Footage and Stills: Appalachian Voices, AP Images, Wendell Berry Family, Shay Boyd, Dan Carraco, Center for Ecoliteracy, Ben Evans, Getty Images, ilovemountains.org, James Baker Hall Archive, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Guy Mendes, Oleg Ignatovich/Pond5, Twistah/Pond5, Kbuntu/Shutterstock, Spotmatik/Shutterstock, Suliman Razvan/Shutterstock, Suwit Gaewsee/Shutterstock, Chad A. Stevens, Wallace Global FundMusic: Courtesy of APM Music:, Abandoned Ruin, Josh Clark, Leon Hunt, Anthill A, Kurt Hummel, Ballad of Willie – Underscore, Ken Anderson, Rebecca Ruth Hall, Ein Takt Für Gitarre, Shih, Gaya-gaya, Hwa Chae Kyung, Completely Calm C, Klaus Stuehlen, Jesse James, Richard Gilks, Unknown, Madonna’s March, Susi Gott, Pianissimo, Bob Bradley, Matthew Sanchez, Quiet Garden, Pascal Bournet, Silent Movements A, John Epping, Jeff Newmann, Skydancer A, Klaus Stuehlen, Skydancer B, Klaus Stuehlen Senior Executive Producer JUDY DOCTOROFF O’NEILL Production Executives KAREN KIMBALL, YUKA NISHINO. A production of the Schumann Media Center, Inc. and Mannes Productions, Inc.© 2013
Living soil is more than dirt and thriving communities are more than just a city. Urban areas all over are finding that gardens and farms in their midst are bringing healthy food choices, personal growth and renewal of community spirit. Richmond, California is one of those communities that is benefitting from a community program of gardens and farms. The Executive Director of Richmond’s Urban Tilth, Doria Robinson, shares her own journey, the story of Urban Tilth and the reasons why programs like their’s makes her optimistic. www.urbantilth.org
Doria Robinson of Urban Tilth is one of the keynote speakers at EcoFarm, January 25 at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA.
Why is it that so many people suspect that American Agriculture has been on the wrong track? And perhaps a more important question is why so many people increasingly believe that change is beginning, pointing American Agriculture and our entire food system in a better direction. Well some credit should go to our guest on Farm To Table Talk, John Ikerd. John was raised on a farm and spent half of his career working in support of ever larger scale agriculture, “industrialization”. Then he awakened to the idea that he had been totally wrong and did a U turn, dedicating his time and effort to promoting more sustainable food systems. He’s written books, blogs and given speeches spreading the word of his vision for a better way forward. Farm To Table Talk asks John why when he came to a fork in the road, he took the road to Sustainability. He is finding and helping people on similar journeys all over. Geography, climate and circumstances vary greatly but they hold passionate beliefs in common. We call it a ‘movement’ but it’s also a revolution for change to sustain us.
John Ikerd is an EcoFarm keynote speaker Thursday January 25 at the Asilomar Conference Center, in Pacific Grove California. www.eco-farm.org