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211: The Straight Poop on Sustainable Farming

Friday, April 27th, 2012

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Innovative farmer Joel Salatin says sustainable agriculture requires both perennials (like native grasses) and herbivores (like cattle) to build soil. Mimicking patterns from nature, this maverick Virginia farmer rotates cattle followed by chickens into short-term pasture enclosures, where their poop fertilizes the earth. His new book  Folks, This Ain’t Normal is a critique of the industrial food system, and envisions a future where humans are participants in a regenerative, sustaining community of abundance. [polyfacefarms.com]

 

Watch high-quality video. Listen to Audio.  Read a near-transcript of Joel’s presentation after this conversation. Download video on iTunes.

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147 A Geodesic Greenhouse — Year-Round Gardening at 6000 Feet

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

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pm147_150.jpgIn Colorado it’s cold for much of the year, but inside this cozy dome greenhouse, the plants are growing happily. Take a grand tour with Buckhorn Gardens manager and permaculturist Breigh Peterson: the greenhouse structure with its interplay of light and water, warmth and air; curving raised beds of vegetables and flowers; fish tanks moderating the temperature; vertical trellises and shelves to use vertical space. Outdoors a huge garden of row crops and a young orchard are complemented by free-roaming chickens and ducks. (buckhorngardens.blogspot.com)

The geodesic dome greenhouse kit can be found at Growing Spaces.

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111: We Make the Road by Walking - White Oak Farm CSA

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

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pm111_150.jpgAmidst cob-wall plastering in the background, co-director Stacey Denton relays the story of the first years at White Oak Farm and Educational Center in Oregon: Acquiring the 62 acres of food and pasture and protecting it through conservation easements, and creating a non-profit organization. See food baskets for their CSA (community supported agriculture) program, visit their abundant permaculture-based farm; attend a workshop in natural building; and delight with kids in an educational program “down on the farm.” [www.whiteoakfarmcsa.org]

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62: Brookside Farm - Growing Food, Growing Energy

Monday, June 4th, 2007

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pm62_150.jpgTake a whirlwind tour of the one-acre Brookside Energy Farm with Jason Bradford and Christoffer Hansen at planting time. Along with perennials, annuals, a food forest, and dryland crops (grains), they’re growing Jerusalem artichoke and dale sorghum to produce both food and energy (ethanol). Watch Chris cut sod with a Swiss glaser hoe — a 1/6 horsepower guy! [www.energyfarms.net]

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61: Sustainable Vashon - A Learning and Action Network

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

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pm61_150.jpgThree women envisioning a sustainable island share their activities: Sustainable Vashon’s Merrilee Runyan describes “Edible Island” and “Green Seed grants.” Farmer Lisa Mathias of Vashon Island Growers Association envisions more neighborhood food production. Hillery Crocker coordinates the annual 3-day island Earth Fair celebrating local food, arts, wellness and community. [www.sustainablevashon.org]

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55: It’s the Compost! Creating Abundance at K-JO Farm

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

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pm55_150.jpgKaren Biondo and Joe Walling take us on a tour of their incredible backyard farm on Vashon Island, Washington. Pet the goats, see chickens dusting in divots, and crunch a carrot. See how Karen’s colorful paintbrush combined with Joe’s creativity with salvaged materials and hot compost are creating plentiful harvests and playful beauty.

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50: Land Trusts - Keeping Local Agriculture Alive

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

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pm50_150.jpgLand trusts are an important part of the voluntary protection of working agricultural lands, which can also protect water quality, habitat, and beauty, not to mention food production expertise. Land trust veterans Cheryl Belcher and Dan Macon, himself a farmer, discuss the critical role of small scale food producers in the local economy and the challenges they face — from misperceptions of farming to policies favoring big agriculture. [www.nevadacountylandtrust.org]

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