A young Kansas grain farmer and I were riding on a train through Iowa when the subject of the climate crisis came up. He was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed son of a multigenerational Midwest farming family. I’d grown up on a potato farm in Northern Maine. Both of us spent our teenage years in overalls. We compared tractor models (him, John Deere; me, 1960s FarmAll).
I attended a honeybee gathering recently at a wild place in rural Sebastopol. During my nearly 30 years of organic farming here, I have usually had honeybee hives on my farm. The berries need their pollination.
This week Monsanto/Bayer AG was ordered by a California federal court to pay $80 million to Edwin Hardeman after a jury found its weed killer, Roundup, caused his cancer. The case is just one of thousands of lawsuits filed against the company over plaintiff’s use of the glyphosate-based herbicide.
Bayer and Monsanto have a long history of collusion to poison the ecosystem for profit. The Trump administration should veto their merger not just to protect competitors but to ensure human and planetary survival.
I have been contemplating why the growing struggle by rural residents against the expanding, industrial wine industry in Sonoma and Napa counties, Northern California, has touched my heart and soul so deeply.
A loud, crashing sound startles my young farm-hand Emily Danler awake in the dark of the night. She camps out in order to start picking berries at sun-up. My dog, inside, barks. After a physically-demanding day farming, I sleep through it all.
Looking down the boysenberry field to the bottom of Kokopelli Farm the next morning, tears come to my eyes. The tall, old black oak had split right down the middle of its deep, wide trunk. I would never again see its crimson leaves announcing the beginning of Spring. Continue reading →
Talk by Eric Holt-Gimenez, Executive Director of Food First – Institute for Food and Development Policy given August 2, 2013 at the Justice Begins With Seeds 2013 International Conference at Seattle First Presbyterian Church in Seattle, WA. Continue reading →
www.democracynow.org – Wenonah Hauter, the executive director of Food & Water Watch, joins us to discuss her new book, “Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America.” Hauter tackles the corporations behind the meat, vegetables, grains and milk consumed by millions every day — including some of the most popular organic brands. “Foodopoly” details how a handful of large corporations control the nation’s food production in ways that limit how small-farms operate and how ordinary people make choices in grocery stores. And in the wake of the recently passed provision dubbed by critics as “the Monsanto Protection Act,” Hauter also discusses the new report by Food & Water Watch, “Monsanto: A Corporate Profile.”
Writing in National Geographic in December 2012 about “small-scale irrigation techniques with simple buckets, affordable pumps, drip lines, and other equipment” that “are enabling farm families to weather dry seasons, raise yields, diversify their crops, and lift themselves out of poverty” water expert Sandra Postel of the Global Water Policy Project cautioned against reckless land and water-related investments in Africa. Continue reading →
Wildlife film maker Rebecca Hosking investigates how to transform her family’s farm in Devon into a low energy farm for the future, and discovers that nature holds the key. With her father close to retirement, Rebecca returns to her family’s wildlife-friendly farm in Devon, to become the next generation to farm the land. But last year’s high fuel prices were a wake-up call for Rebecca. Continue reading →
On December 4, 2011, farmers and activists from across the country joined the Occupy Wall Street Farmers March for “a celebration of community power to regain control over the most basic element to human well-being: food.” Maine organic farmer Jim Gerritsen spoke to a crowd of more than 500 farmers, food workers and sustainable food and agriculture activists about his role in the Public Patent Foundation lawsuit against biotech seed and chemical giant Monsanto. Gerritsen made his first trip to New York City to share his concern about the loss of organic seeds to genetic contamination and the threat this poses to farmers and our food supply.