Converting from industrial to regenerative agriculture: White Oak Pastures
Since the end of the civil war, White Oak Pastures has been in the Harris family, but their farming practices have ranged from 19th century subsistence farming to post-war industrial agriculture — and now larger scale regenerative farming. Will Harris has created a closed-loop, no-waste farm, whose goals include providing healthy food raised in a healthy manner, humane animal welfare practices, and revitalization of the rural community where they’re rooted.
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.
Mark Nelson and Starrlight Augustine talk about the lessons learned from the ambitious experiment of 30 years ago, in which eight people lived in a sealed space and grew all their own food–recycling water, air, and waste.
Rachael and James Stewart saw a lack of Black and Brown farmers and ranchers–and an opportunity to serve communities with unusual meat products. So they sold a classic car and started a ranch.
Author of fourteen books on food and pioneer in vegetarian cooking, she talks about her new memoir, An Onion in my Pocket, and her adventures during fifty years as a chef.
Joe Maxwell is a farmer and policy leader, and he knows that consumer demand is not enough to make the shift toward a healthy food system. He lays out the problems–and some ways forward.
Camas Davis had what she calls an “early onset midlife crisis” when she was around 30–and it led her to study butchering in France. But when she came home she found that the market for good, local meat needed to be cultivated.
Jovan Sage carries on traditions passed down from African and Indigenous ancestors, and is a healer on many levels–herbalist, “food alchemist,” farmer, chef, and community organizer.
Sanjay Rawal‘s new film, Gather, explores how Native Americans across the U.S. are rediscovering their food traditions–and building on them in the context of present-day realities.
LaKisha Odom of The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is helping to fund the research behind healthy soil practices so that more farmers can make the transition to regenerative agriculture and long-term sustainability and resilience.
For millennia local and indigenous farmers have been producing healthy food worldwide. In less than a century that food system has been decimated, We talk to Dr. Vandana Shiva about restoring health, democracy, species, and local knowledge.
Roberto Meza was an artist and MIT graduate student who took some time off to deal with health concerns—and found that fresh greens made such a difference in his life that he started growing them. Now he runs a thriving business and focuses on food sovereignty and equity.
Part of the experience of colonization for Native people has been the denial of their long-standing practices of agriculture. Now indigenous voices are becoming part of the conversation about how to think in a healthy and holistic manner about food.
Many food producers spend so much on interest to banks that they can’t pay for improvements to make their farms more resilient and regenerative. Zach Ducheneaux talks about an alternative that’s already having some success in Indian country.