4 Ways Farmers Can Adapt to Climate Change and Generate Income

Climate change poses a real threat to farmers around the world. Agriculture is highly dependent on good weather, including high and low temperatures, rainfall, wind intensity, and many other variables. Estimates show that climate change might reduce global agriculture productivity by 17% by 2050.

North Carolina Field Notes: 2019 Hemp Grow and Harvest

Three sites were selected for continued field research into growing industrial hemp in North Carolina for 2019. Set in the rolling hills of Anson County, near Charlotte, hemp is a potential boon to a place where commodity crops and forestry are four of the top five industries. Certified hemp seed was drilled onto plots of seven acres, four acres, and nine acres, at a rate of 100 pounds per acre.

‘Clean Meat’ is Neither – We Can and Must Do Better

Clearly, mainstream meat production needs much improvement. But this is precisely why faux meats are such a distraction. They get people like Bill Gates and other techies all excited. This siphons the energy, media attention and money away from the work that really needs to be done to fix agriculture. We need all hands on deck to transform mainstream agriculture from extractive to regenerative.

Carbon Gardening: A Natural Climate Solution that Can Help Reduce CO2 Emissions While Restoring Biodiversity

Gardeners new to the concept of carbon gardening often ask these two questions: What good soil management strategies will help maximize carbon sequestration? And, what would be a good plant palette to help accomplish this? Good questions both, to which I wish I could give detailed, specific answers.

Weaving Hemp into the Northern California Fibershed

Encouraged by the Federal legalization of hemp in 2018, Fibershed has continued research into the versatile crop this year, deepening understanding of the plant and the fiber, prototyping hemp textile production in Northern California, supporting agroecological trials, and charting a path forward for weaving hemp into the region.

What Survives a Drought?

This year, my summer favorites like tomatoes, bell peppers, winter squash and cucumbers failed badly. This begs the question: What survives a drought? What thrives when the pasture grasses are baking and the thermometer sits at a hundred day after day?

California Cotton Fields: Sally Fox Reinvented Cotton — by Going Back to its Roots

In 1989, she brought naturally colored cotton back to the market. The iconic image of a white cotton ball had become pervasive. Yet Sally Fox had been looking at ancient, pest-resistant (by nature) varieties that came in shades of the Earth like greens and browns.

We Need Good Policy on Good Food Policy

Neighborhood groups, business improvement associations, and unions can adopt policy. Universities can adopt policies to buy local and sustainable food. The power of public and para-public purses is more widely available  than ever before. As well, the talents of citizens for self government and leadership are higher than ever before. We need to look ahead to a world of policy partnerships.

Finding our Common Ground and Common Purpose

We often talk about how important it is to see the ‘whole system’ – to understand more fully the relationships and interdependencies in the world. Our own work – across food, farming and countryside, public health and wellbeing, economics and rural development – seeks to illuminate the links.

An Everyday Tale of the Rural Economy

What we must not forget amid the reams of policy briefings and papers, is that rural economies are not an abstract concept, but a mosaic of real people, places and passions that drive creativity and entrepreneurship. Here are two such stories of the many remarkable everyday tales of rural economy folk.

We Need to Tame Wall Street and Big Ag to Empower Carbon Farmers

The Democratic primary debate on 27th June was probably the first time that soil management — as climate policy — was ever mentioned at a primetime Presidential campaign event. It was also one of the first tangible mentions of farm policy in two nights of debates.