Rethink Recycle H2O – Randy Record

There is no good food without good water and good sources of water for food and all other necessities of life are harder and harder to come by. The challenges are especially acute where the Farm meets the City.  To meet the needs of a thirsty plants and people, recycling water is  important in some areas today and essential tomorrow.  Randy Record is a farmer and  the Chairman of the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California– a water district serving a population of 19 million people and hundreds of the most productive farms in the country.  At MWD he has been an industry leader in innovative agriculture water demand reduction projects in the Palo Verde Valley, and with other ag innovation. In addition, he is on the board of directors of , Eastern Municipal Water District.  At EMWD he has been a leader and advocate for using recycled water in agriculture.  In EMWD’s service they are doing innovative recycled  irrigation programs with Cal Poly and growers of strawberries, potatoes, Asian produce, and other products.  This episode of Farm To Table Talk includes the ‘silent partner’ in our food chain, water, increasingly recycled water.     


#EMWD #recycledwater #agriculture


Love the Buzz — Billy Synk


We have all heard that we should care about the health of Bees in our environment, but why? And what can and should be done from farm to table? It turns out that a large percentage of what we eat every day is dependent on bees doing their job  pollinating crops from fields to our own gardens.  This episode’s table talk is with the Director of Pollination Programs for Project Apis m Billy Synk who manages the Seeds for Bees Project. Billy is an Ohio native who worked with noted bee breeder-geneticist Sue Coby at Ohio State University  and graduated with a degree in Environmental Policy and Management. He has managed bees and participated in bee research projects at UC Davis. The Seeds for Bees program provides free cover crop seed and technical assistance to orchardists  who wish to increase their soil health and pollination efficiency. Project Apis m. a non-profit that is committed to enhancing honey bee health while improving crop production.  It funds and directs research and manages habitat projects that support a diversity of pollinators and wildlife including, honey bees, native bees, monarch butterflies, grouse, pheasants, and songbirds. Love the buzz! 

Cuban Farm To Table — Ellen Farmer



Farm to table is a unique journey in Cuba, where for decades the Communist Government ran the farms and food was rationed to the people.  Now small independent farmers are getting re-established ringing the cities of Cuba with small farms and participating in farmer’s markets. They still don’t have ownership per se, but are now able to get something like 99 year leases to raise, pigs, chickens, goats, cattle and produce and a suggestion of entreprenuerial independence. The large industrial farms are still government controlled to raise tobacco and sugar, the major commodities for export. Starting with a clean slate these farms are practicing agroecology and forming as members of cooperatives.  The winners are the farmers and the consumers they can supply.  Ellen Farmer, an experienced farm to table organizer, shares the stories we learn from visits to Cuba on Farm to Table Talk.


Facing FarmHers – Marji Guyler-Alaniz

The journey from farm to table begins with farmers, or perhaps FarmHers. When most people imagine the farmer behind their food they automatically picture men; but what about those unknown faces of Women? Marji Guyler-Alaniz recognized that women in Agriculture are overlooked and decided to do something about it. Today she is sharing the faces and the stories of the Women who too often are out of sight and out of mind. She has created FarmHer to spotlight these women of agriculture through her FarmHer TV series (Friday at 9:30 pm ET on RFD-TV), website, blogs, seminars, speaking engagements, social media and incredible photographs.  She joins Farm to Table Talk to share her own journey and what she is learning from the feminine faces of farming.  First we need to recognize that FarmHers are there and then support them as they grow and prosper in what has been too long perceived as a man’s world in Agriculture.

Shifting Sands — Suzy Badaracco, Culinary Tides

If your favorite food truck switches from kimchee tacos to meat loaf and mashed potatoes, maybe you should talk to your stock broker about divesting. Even when the economy looks rosy, consumers trending back to comfort foods is a sign of “fearfulness” says Suzy Badaracco, the President of Culinary Tides. She spots trends on the distant horizon, a swell in the ocean before the tide breaks, that will be clear to all in two years.  Trends change what we order, what is on the menu or in the stores, what farmers grow and how they grow it. The big trends are reflected in the behavior of all generations, but the pre-millennial Generation Z will be profoundly  impacted by Sustainability. This is the first generation that is born in to Sustainability; it’s all they have ever known. Their household has always recycled in big blue tubs on the curb, filled with recyclable containers for the Organic foods they grew up with.  Older, Millennial or Gen Y generations bought food with a story when they could afford it but these kids will cut back somewhere else rather than make tradeoffs on their food.  A close look at the Trends Shaping the Food Industry ( is in the “Shifting Sands Forecast”  and discussed in this episode with Suzy Badaracco on Farm To Table Talk.

Shopping For Change – Mike Teel, 5-one-5


In the middle space between the farmers and the plates on our table, are stores where we shop to find tasty foods that are nutritious and sustainably produced.  Unfortunately, the aisles may be also cluttered with less healthy and less sustainable products.  Mike Teel wants to see that change; in fact Mike Teel wants to change the world one plate at a time.  He is the owner  and CEO of Raley’s, a supermarket chain of over 120 stores in Northern California. Change in existing supermarkets takes time so with Mike’s lead Raley’s is opening a brand new healthy, sustainably focused retail concept, Market 5-one-5.  In this smaller scale store consumers will find a concentrated assortment of organic, healthy, local foods that are earth friendly.  Proving that consumers really want this ‘better for you and the earth’ approach will lead to more of these stores by Raley’s and their competitors.  On this Farm to Table Talk, Mike explains why it matters to farmers and consumers to “change the world, one plate at a time.”

Dreams and Hoops – Melissa Phillips and Andrew Mefferd









What do you really want to do with your life? Sooner or later that question occurs to most of us and for some the answer has to do with farming.  Melissa Phillips grew up in the UK then she and Jack came to Texas for work that came to an abrupt end, forcing them to consider what they really wanted from life.  To search for the answer they climbed in their van with their baby and their dog and took off on a journey that zig-zagged across the West before they found an opportunity to be WOOFers (World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming) at the Kern Family Farm in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Their story is inspiring.  For others who have already realized some of their dreams, perhaps by becoming farmers, there are new dreams.  Farmers often dream of a longer season. Our second guest on this Farm To Table Talk, Andrew Mefferd, has some answers.  He is the editor and publisher of Growing For Market and the author of The Green House Hoop House Grower Handbook. Hoops could make the difference in the challenge of stretching the season for delicious, local produce.

Tomato Queen Tillie – Kyle Elizabeth Wood

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”.

USA’s Good Food – Sarah Weiner, Samantha Genke


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.

Eco Farming Earth — Ray Archuletta and Tim LaSalle

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.