Recent Articles About Agroecology

Farming to Table: Adding ‘Farmer’ to a Chef’s Resume

In front of Ashley Hollister and Mary Cleaver’s Washington County, New York farmhouse sits a partly dismantled 62-year-old combine the size of a small truck, freshly painted to forestall corrosion. Since it hasn’t been used for 30 years, the farmer is curious to see if, after he’s done refurbishing the machine, it will work. He found it online, drove to Ohio to pick it up, and paid only $400 for it—a great deal. Read more

These Farmers are Bringing Local and Organic Herbs to the Medicine Cabinet

Medicinal farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter are used to people raising their eyebrows when they say they grow medicinal plants. “Once it’s established that we’re not growing marijuana, the questions start and just don’t stop,” the couple write in the introduction to their new book, The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer: The Ultimate Guide to Producing High Quality Herbs on a Market Scale. Read more

Cooking From the Mother Garden

Every day, all the members of the intentional community at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC), gather in one place to eat together.

Located in West Sonoma County, California, OAEC has long been at the forefront of ecological agriculture. One of California’s first certified organic farms, it has existed as a renowned demonstration farm, nonprofit educational retreat center, intentional community, and eco-think tank since the 1970’s. And the group has been eating, and growing food in their “Mother Garden” together for so long, that OAEC has also been pioneering its own cuisine over the years. The meals follow a template that speaks to their seasonal, plant-based approach to eating: one or two garden vegetable dishes, one protein dish, one carbohydrate, a side of pesto, spread or sauce, and a huge salad. Read more

Clean Weed: Inside an ‘Organic’ Marijuana Farm

SoFresh Farms, in Canby, Oregon, is not what I expect. When I finally find it, on an out-of-the-way gravel road, I’m struck by how ordinary this rural neighborhood is. There’s a produce farm on one side; a man raising Longhorn cattle on the other. Magnificent Mount Hood dominates the skyline. Other than the 8-foot-high wooden fence surrounding the property, there’s nothing to tip me off that this is a cannabis farm.  Read more

Are Hospital Farms the Next Big Thing in Healthcare Reform?

This summer, St. Luke’s Hospital started sending all new moms home from the hospital with a basket of fresh produce, recipes, and literature about the importance of a healthy diet.

All of the produce in the basket was grown on an organic farm on the hospital’s Anderson campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The hospital—part of a six-campus network—has been running a farm on the 500-acre grounds since 2014. Read more

Editor’s Note: Thank a Farmer

It’s high summer and we’re lucky to be reaping the bounty of the hard work that farmers did earlier this year. Having worked on several farms across the U.S., I know that this is serious crunch time. Farmers are not only harvesting the fruits of their labors, but they’re also planting fall crops.

Read more