Organic production agriculture in Montana: Scaling up at Vilicus Farms
Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones Crabtree are the owners of Vilicus Farms in Havre, Montana. The 6800-acre organic farm is as far from industrial agriculture as you can get — they grow as many as 20 different crops every year, without any farm chemicals, and with a focus on building soil, stewarding the land stewardship, and co-existing with wildlife. They are also part of a movement of organic farmers in Montana who are working toward a larger scale sustainable vision of a sustainable economic marketplace for everyone in the food system, from farmers to consumers.
Orchardist Gordon Tooley knows apple trees–and has been cultivating rare and heirloom varieties for three decades. But for him it’s as much about the landscape and lifestyle as about the product. We talk about living slowly, observing closely, and promoting healthy land, water, wildlife, and human communities.
New England is lush and green—and all kinds of creatures want to eat a farmer’s crops. Apple grower and cider maker Steve Wood talks about Integrated Pest Management and its challenges.
Seaweed has always been used for food, fertilizer, and medicine. But now, off the coast of Maine, over-harvesting threatens rockweed and the many species that depend on it.
Jesse Smith‘s work aims for the opposite of planned obsolescence—the goals at Jalama Canyon Ranch are resilience and perennial productivity, through restoration of ecosystems and a truly regenerative vision of agriculture.
Getting certified for grassfed meat can be challenging–but the American Grassfed Association supports producers in regenerative practices that are good for the earth, the farmer, and the eater.
Nicolette Hahn Niman was an environmental lawyer and vegetarian when she married a rancher—so she has a unique and broad-based perspective on agriculture. We discuss the new edition of her book, Defending Beef: The Ecological and Nutritional Case for Meat.
Native Americans used fire and other methods to cultivate food on the prairie. In the 20th century it was plowed under for endless rows of monocrops. Omar de Kok-Mercado is part of a team that is working to make prairie land ecologically–and economically–sustainable.
Beth Robinette grew up on a ranch but didn’t expect to stay there. But then she got so interested in food system and regenerative practices that now she’s ranching, developing new business models, and teaching the ropes to the next generation of ranchers.
Lucille Contreras calls buffalo her relatives. She’s a Lipan Apache and founder of the Texas Tribal Buffalo Project, which brings together food, culture, and language around this animal to reestablish its homeland.
Kristina Long is a ship captain and an artisanal kelp farmer in British Columbia. We talk about kelp ecosystems, food, and keeping sustainable practices in a growing market.