Recent Articles About Agroecology

The History of Coachella’s Iconic Dates

If you drive southeast of Palm Springs through the Eastern Coachella Valley, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed by the date palm trees. They grow as tall as 70 feet, and they’re everywhere, filling thousands of acres. Dates aren’t native to the Coachella Valley, but they’ve given this region an identity and became a top crop. Read more

Farm Bill Conservation Programs Can Do More to Clean Up California’s Water

Hundreds of millions of conservation dollars in the federal farm bill should be used more effectively to address widespread water pollution problems in California, concludes a new report released today by Environmental Working Group (EWG). Too much money is going to install micro-irrigation systems and build facilities to manage and treat the millions of tons of animal waste generated by dairies and cattle feedlots. Too little is going to support high-impact ecological farming practices such as cover cropping, nutrient management, filter strips and conservation tillage. Read more

Cultivating Awareness: Farming Is Daily Meditation at Green Gulch

Trails of wispy fog cling to the switchback slopes along Highway 1 from Mill Valley to Muir Beach, past a hand-carved wooden sign leading to the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

From the road above, the tall eucalyptus trees form an arch over the gentle curve of the fertile valley below, which empties out into the Pacific Ocean. Drive a bit farther in and you’ll catch glimpses of iridescent crops laid out in neat ribbons, forming the heart of Green Gulch Farm: six acres of certified organic vegetable fields, fruit trees and flower gardens. Read more

This Land is Our Land?

Imagine a country where ideologues bent on land reform turn agriculture into the plaything of the world’s richest investors, and poor local farmers are locked out of millions of acres prime agricultural land. Then stop imagining some African country run by a despot and his friends and start picturing the United States. Rural America is on the cusp of one of the greatest transfers of land in its history and no one’s talking about it. Read more

Symphony of the Soil: A Loveletter to What Grows Everything

For those of you who have seen Dirt: The Movie, Food, Inc., or any other film with commentary by Michael Pollan or Vanadana Shiva, here is another important film to add to the collection: The Symphony of the Soilwritten, directed and produced by Deborah Koons Garcia. Koons Garcia is known for her seminal film on the food system, The Future of Food, and has once again created another extraordinary film. Read more

Upcoming: Bill Moyers Speaks to Wendell Berry on PBS

Where would the food movement be if it were not for Wendell Berry? His book, The Unsettling of America, is the seminal work looking at how our industrial food system has effected our land and our culture. At 79 years old, he is still dedicating himself to shifting our environmental consciousness. This week, Bill Moyers profiles Berry, one of America’s most influential writers, a passionate advocate for the earth, whose prolific career includes more than 40 books of poetry, novels, short stories, and essays, in Wendell Berry: Poet & Prophet. Read more

The Power Is In Your Palm

Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) ambitious new campaign, The Last Stand of the Orangutan, aims to save some of the world’s most important rainforests and the last remaining wild orangutans from “Conflict Palm Oil.” It’s one of the biggest campaigns we’ve ever launched. Read more