Eco Farming Frontier – Jack Whetham, Hidden Acres Farm


EcoFarm is an annual gathering of farmers, want to be Farmers, their friends, suppliers, customers and fellow dreamers sponsored by the Ecological Farming Association. While the Annual Eco Farm takes place in Pacific Grove California on the Coast of Monterey Bay there are similar gatherings taking place all over where one finds inspiring stories of people who dream of being farmers and with persistence, support and some luck often  realize those dreams.  At last year’s EcoFarm we spoke to  Melissa Phillips who with her husband Jack Whetham moved to California from Texas to be WOOFers on the Kern Family Farms in the Sierras. At the recent EcoFarm Melissa was at home on the Kern Family farm with their toddler, Phoenix and we had the chance to catch up with her husband Jack Whetham about the family’s journey and the pursuit of their dream to their new farm in New York’s Hudson River Valley.



When Growing and Eating Is Voting – Josh Tickell, Kiss the Ground


Imagine if you approached your meals with the same consideration you give to the choices you make in an election. Well, when we choose what we eat, in important ways we are also voting for the type of food and farming system we want.  Not only are we to wonder if the food will taste good, be safe and be affordable, but also whether we are choosing food that has been sustainably produced, in an earth friendly way that still pays enough back to the farmer and all the hands that touch it from farm to table. Farm To Table Talk is back for a second episode with Josh Tickell, the author of  Kiss The Ground. In our first conversation we discovered the lessons he found on regenerative agriculture as he traveled around the globe to speak with farm families making a difference. In this episode he explains what farmers, consumers, food retailers and policymakers can do to protect and build our most precious resource our soil. Farmers vote on being regnerative and those of us who are lucky enough to eat three times a day,  vote three times a day.

Kiss The Ground– Josh Tickell, Author

Among consumers, farmers and food marketers, regenerative agriculture is still not a term that is widely heard let alone understood; however that is beginning to change as individuals and organizations recognize a rebirth that can save the world–effecting farmers, our climate and what’s on our plate.  Josh Tickell, the author of Kiss The Ground, set out to learn and tell the stories of the regenerative agriculture pioneers and this fledgling movement.  Beginning with the encouragement of leaders who established Kiss The Ground  to produce a documentary film.   In the process of that soon to be released documentary film,  there was  so much original,  inspiring stories accumulated they were able to produce a book.  It’ a great read or a listen to the audio book format. Josh Tickell is a journalist, thought leader, author, and award winning film director. In this conversation on Farm to Talk, Josh take us with him to large and small farmers and experts, from North Dakota to France to plumb the depths of this new movement  and inspire us all on this regenerative journey.,

Jose Salazar

Restaurant food everywhere and in every way is getting better than ever- thanks to a new crop of Chefs who who care about their ingredients, know their farmers and give their more discerning customers the authentic experience that they crave. One of those Chefs on this ever-growing farm to table frontier is Cincinnati Chef Jose Salazar. Born in Colombia. Raised in Queens, New York., trained in some of the top restaurant kitchens in New York City Jose Salazar could have opened his eponymous restaurant anywhere. He landed in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine.
It was a big leap to a Midwestern community for a big-city boy who’d worked for top chefs like Georges Vongerichten and Thomas Keller. At his small Over-the-Rhine bistro, Salazar New American Restaurant, and his downtown Latin-Spanish spot, Mita’s, the food is rooted in the Ohio Valley with most of it coming from within a 40 mile radius. Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood has become this new dining scene’s epicenter. Today authentic farm to table dining experiences are available in almost every part of the country–a bonanza to consumers and the farmers who grow for them. Chef Jose Salazar sets down at the table to share one Chef’s journey in linking locally farmed foods with an appreciative community.

Food and Farming Resilience – Ray Archuleta and Tim LaSalle

The future of life on earth may hinge on society embracing, supporting and promoting resilience in our soils. That is why Resilient Agriculture is  becoming one of the most important food and farming topics. Researchers, policy makers, farmers and the public are sobered by the challenge of feeding billions of hungry people in a rapidly changing climate. Ray Archuleta, alias “The Soil Guy” and Tim LaSalle of Chico State Regenerative Agriculture Innitiative joined Rodger Wasson at Eco Farm to talk about regenerative agriculture in a previously released podcast.  Since embracing Regenerative Agriculture  can be a critical step that society or individuals  can take to address climate change by how they farm or eat, we revisit this important discussion with Ray Archuletta and Tim LaSalle. Ray Archuleta is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America and has over 30 years of experience as a Soil Conservationist, Water Quality Specialist and Conservation Agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  After retirement from the NRCS, Ray founded Soil Health Consultants, LLC and Soil Health Academy LLC.  He also owns and operates a farm in Missouri with his wife and family. Tim LaSalle is a regenerative agriculture leader from Chico State University and the Chico Regenerative Agriculture Initiative. Tm has served as the first CEO of Rodale Institute, Executive Director of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management, consultant, advisor, and research coordinator for the Howard Buffett Foundation in Africa on soils and food security for smallholder farmers. He is Professor Emeritus of California Polytechnic State University, and former President/CEO, of the California Agriculture Leadership. Regenerative Agriculture is the primary theme of the 2019 Eco Farm.

Food Philosophies — Martin Cohen, Radical Philosopher


We hear of new philosophies about food but what about the ancient philosophies. Jean Jacque Rousseau said “Give me milk, vegetables, eggs, and brown bread, with tolerable wine and I shall always think myself sumptuously regaled.” And Plato seems to be the originator of today’s very popular Mediterranean Diet. Henry David Thoreau’s simple rows of beans beside his famous pond inspires  foodies yet today.  A new book by Martin Cohen, “I Think Therefore I Eat” looks back through the centuries at the opinions and food choices of the world’s greatest minds, who may help us tackle today’s food questions. He is an author, radical philosopher, eiditor, reviewer and a foodie of sorts who lives with his family in the South of France from where he  joins the Farm To Table Talk.  In this conversation we start with what it’s like to be a writer, living (and eating) in the South of France then dive in to the food experiences and perspectives of the greatest philosophers of all time.  I THINK, THEREFORE I EAT: THE WORLD’S GREATEST MINDS TACKLE THE FOOD QUESTION (Turner Publishing, November 20, 2018)

Glocal Warning — Sam Fromartz FERN


Globally and locally, the public has been warned that the world’s climate is changing and it is not getting better. Almost everyone now agrees on that but many don’t agree whether to call it climate change, global warming, weird weather or something else that aligns with their politics. The scientific reports are snowballing now from the US government, World Resources Institute and experts from every corner of the globe.  Farming systems, the source that sustains the world, is being blamed for 25% of the problem at the same time that there is another scientific consensus that the world will need to grow 50% more food to feed the world’s growing population. We need more food at the same time that we need to reverse the trend of producing green house gases. So what? Coastal cities will flood, fires will rage, droughts increase but food will be grown in different ways, different regions and higher cost.  Not terrible news if your biggest worry is paying $25 for a  future daily latte but tragic news if you are responsible for feeding a a family on poverty level income. Sam Fromartz is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Food and Environment Reporting Network.  He joins Farm To Table Talk podcast host Rodger Wasson to discuss the state of these emerging stories  and implications for what we eat and how it’s grown.


Antebellum Beginnings, Modern Solutions — Andrew Pytlik, Findlay Market


Central city markets have existed for hundreds of years to connect farmers and consumers–a rich tradition that continues to this day in some cities with the addition of new looks and new services to meet the changing needs of modern cities.  Findlay Market in the Over the Rhine neighborhood in downtown Cincinnati has been in continuous operation since the early 1800’s and even stayed open throughout the Civil War although the battle lines between the North and the South were close by.  Today Central Markets like Findlay have added a range of new services to provide  for the needs of a diverse community. Under one roof with seasonal fresh market outdoors and surrounded by artisan and food vendors the old market is the center of new activities — from Kitchen incubator to healthy food prescriptions.  Andrew Pytlik, the Findlay Market District Manager, joins our table to share the story of a perpetual marketplace that is vital, relevant and progressive–bringing everyone together for a healthy local food system.

Realizing Farm Dreams – Morgan Gold


“Left a good job in the city…” is not just John Fogerty’s lyrics to a great song, it should be the theme for thousands of new farmers, also tired of “workin for the man every night and day.” Morgan Gold is one of them. Over the past 12 months, Morgan and his wife quit their jobs in Washington, DC and moved to a farm in a remote part of Northern Vermont. They planted a 600 tree integrated orchard consisting of chestnuts, hazelnuts, elderberries, butternut, mulberries, apple, black locust, Siberian pea shrub and many others. They are also in the process of developing a flock of egg-laying ducks that live in a mobile duck house that travels through their orchard. Their ultimate goal is to develop a long-lasting sustainable farm that is sustainable on three levels – environmentally, financially and personally. To do this, they have been documenting their farm’s development through a YouTube channel to build a brand  to heavily sell future farm products. If you are pursuing a back to the country dream of your own or just curious/envious of those who are, join Morgan Gold and Rodger Wasson at this Farm To Table conversation.  Check out Morgan Gold’s you tube videos:  Small Vermont Farm Tour: ; The Duck Harvest:  ; Watching Ducks in Slow Motion:; Why Leave the City?:


Weighing In – Rebecca Scrichfield R.D. & Manuel Villacorta R.D.

Should your scales get a holiday too? There is a debate about whether diets work and even whether we should bother to step on the scales. Maybe it’s not about your weight or your pants size or how many calories you burn. Well-being coach, author and registered dietitian nutritionist Rebecca Scrichfield believes we should focus on awareness, self-compassion, mindfulness and joy in making our food choices. Author, speaker, registered Dietitian and founder of Whole Body Reboot, Manuel Villacorta is a weight loss expert who is not ready to ditch the scales but recognizes the importance of watching waist size, maybe instead. Rebecca Scrichfield and Manuel Villacorta join the Farm To Table Talk table to explore the weight loss controversies and how we should care for our bodies.