Episodes
On this episode we welcome Anneliese Abbott. Her name may be familiar to Acres U.S.A. readers. She writes a monthly column called History of Organic Agriculture in America. It’s a must read that’s always full of surprises — and so is her first book, Malabar Farm: Louis Bromfield, Friends of the Land, and the Rise of Sustainable Agriculture. The book explores the life and legacy of a famous, Pulitzer Prize-wining novelist who became an Ohio-based, hard-partying prophet of a new kind of...
Published 01/13/22
Published 01/13/22
Rick Clark is a fifth-generation farmer based in Warren County, Indiana, but he’s been spreading the no-till, organic gospel far and wide for the last few years. He gave a keynote address at the Acres U.S.A. Healthy Soil Summit back in the summer. And just this month he was a featured speaker at the Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference in Columbus, Ohio. And if you’ve ever heard Rick speak, you know how much of an evangelist he is for soil health and ecological farming. His enthusiasm is...
Published 12/24/21
On this episode we welcome Nicolette Hahn Niman. The name might sound familiar to some of you. She’s married to the pioneering California rancher Bill Niman, for one, but you might also know her as the author of two seminal works on ethical meat production, Righteous Porkchop and Defending Beef. Over the years, the former vegetarian and environmental attorney has become a passionate and outspoken advocate for sustainable food production and improved animal welfare. She’s published pieces...
Published 11/22/21
For the last twenty years, Beth Hoffman has worked as a journalist covering food and farming. Her work has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition, The Guardian, Latino USA, and the News Hour. She’s also taught journalism at university. And now she considers herself a full-time farmer. Although she lived much of her life on the west coast, in the San Francisco area specifically, she and her husband moved to rural Iowa a few years ago with the dream of taking over his family’s 530-acre...
Published 11/12/21
On this episode we’re listening in on a recent virtual event for André Leu’s new book, Growing Life: Regenerating Farming and Ranching. And he’s getting a little help from his friends, Vandana Shiva and Ronnie Cummins. Leu, Shiva and Cummins go way back and co-founded Regeneration International back in 2015. The organization promotes food, farming and land-use systems that regenerate and stabilize climate systems, the health of the planet and people. In addition to being the international...
Published 10/16/21
On this episode of Tractor Time we welcome fourth generation South Dakota rancher Kelsey Ducheneaux-Scott. Kelsey is the director of programs for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, which seeks to build and restore indigenous foodways in Native American communities. She’s also a co-owner of DX Beef, a direct-to-consumer grassfed beef operation on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. That’s where she grew up and that’s where she ranches today with her family. She’s passionate about...
Published 09/25/21
On this episode we’re discussing talking plants and smart insects with entomologist and author Dr. Joe Lewis. Lewis spent his career in entomology with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at the Tifton Campus of the University of Georgia. It was there that he worked to unlock the secrets of how plants and insects communicate with one another, particularly how plants use SOS signals to recruit beneficial insects to their defense. Based on those groundbreaking insights, Lewis and his...
Published 08/18/21
On this episode we welcome Brother Coyote himself, Gary Paul Nabhan. An agricultural ecologist, an ethnobotanist, a MacArthus “genius grant” winner, a professor and an Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, Nabhan is a true polymath. He’s a pioneering figure in the local food movement as well as the modern heirloom seed saving movement. He’s also the author of an almost countless number of books, including The Nature of Desert Nature, Food from the Radical Center: Healing Our Land and Communities,...
Published 07/30/21
On this episode we’re talking about bringing a higher standard to cannabis production. With the federal legalization of hemp and the continuing state-by-state rollout of recreational cannabis, the industry is just picking up steam in the U.S. A California-based nonprofit started by David Bronner is aiming to lead the way on setting regenerative and socially responsible standards that empower farmers and farm workers in a rapidly expanding agricultural sector. In this episode we’re joined by...
Published 07/19/21
On this episode we welcome the No-Till Titan himself, Jesse Frost. Frost owns and operates Rough Draft Farmstead with his wife, Hannah Crabtree. The farm is an organic, no-till market garden based in Lawrenceburg Kentucky. It sells at area farmers’ markets and offers a CSA service. Frost is also the host of the No-Till Market Garden podcast. And for Frost, the show grew out of a sense of service and necessity. He saw that there was a dearth of information on how to make no-till practices work...
Published 06/24/21
On this episode we welcome back investigative journalist Carey Gillam. For regular listeners, Carey is a familiar name. This year, she’s been joining us each month for a segment we call Industrial Ag Watch, where she keeps us updated on the fearless reporting she does on our industrialized food system. On this episode, we’re setting aside more time to really dig into her latest book — The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man's Search for Justice. That book is...
Published 06/01/21
For 30-plus years, Mark Bittman has been, hands-down, the most influential food writer in America. He worked as a star food columnist at the New York Times. He’s written 16 best-selling books and cookbooks, including How to Cook Everything, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and The Minimalist Cooks at Home. His latest book is Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal. It isn’t a cookbook. You won’t find any recipes in it. Instead, it’s an ambitious and...
Published 05/11/21
Doug Bierend is the author of a new book called In Search of Mycotopia: Citizen Science, Fungi Fanatics, and the Untapped Potential of Mushrooms. Doug is a freelance journalist who writes about science and technology, food, and education. His byline has appeared in Wired, The Atlantic, Vice, Motherboard, The Counter, Outside Magazine and Civil Eats. Investigative journalist Carey Gillam also joins us on this episode to talk about her recent story, publish in the Guardian, about paraquat, a...
Published 04/13/21
On this our 53rd episode we welcome the head of Special Operations at Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Gero Leson. He has a new book out called Honor Thy Label: Dr. Bronner’s Unconventional Journey to a Clean, Green, and Ethical Supply Chain. Gero is not officially a member of the Bronner family, but he has been instrumental in helping the company realize its ambitious vision for a company that’s both environmentally and socially responsible. They’re not just buying organic ingredients and calling...
Published 03/26/21
Ann Armbrecht is the director of the Sustainable Herbs Program under the auspices of the American Botanical Council. She is also a writer and anthropologist (PhD, Harvard 1995) whose work explores the relationships between humans and the earth, most recently through her work with plants and plant medicine. She is the co-producer of the documentary Numen: The Nature of Plants and author of Thin Places: A Pilgrimage Home. Her latest book is The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing...
Published 03/13/21
Tom Philpott is the food and ag correspondent for Mother Jones. Before that, he covered the food system for Grist. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek and the Guardian. He’s worked as a bona fide farmer and now splits his time between Austin, Texas, and North Carolina. He has a new book out from Bloomsbury Publishing. It’s called Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It. The book is the culmination of an impressive career spent...
Published 02/26/21
On this our 50th episode we welcome Dr. Vandana Shiva. A fearless advocate for peasant farmers throughout the world, Dr. Shiva is one of the most outspoken critics of industrial agriculture and its dire environmental and spiritual consequences. She is the founder of Navdanya, an India based organization that advocates for biodiversity, seed sovereignty and food independence. Navdanya runs an organic farm in the foothills of the Himalays and counts among its members millions of farmers across...
Published 02/13/21
On this episode we travel to the future — A Small Farm Future. That’s the title of a new book from farmer and social scientist Chris Smaje. Let’s be honest, the future doesn’t look great. Our climate is changing rapidly, our soils are being depleted through industrial farming methods and deforestation, the global population is surging, our health is falling apart and despite some progress with renewable energy sources we’re still very much addicted to cheap fossil fuels. It’s a bleak picture...
Published 01/29/21
On this episode — the return of Doug Fine. Operating out the Funky Butte Ranch in southern New Mexico, Doug is a hemp farmer by day, journalist by night, entrepreneurial dynamo 24/7. His writing has appeared in places like Washington Post, Wired and Outside Magazine. He’s traveled all over the world, including to places like Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala and Tajikistan. He’s given TED Talks. He’s appeared on late-night talk shows. And he’s written several books, including Not Really An...
Published 01/16/21
On this live edition of Tractor Time — recorded on November 12 — we are joined by Jeff Moyer, CEO of the Rodale Institute. Jeff has a new book out from Acres U.S.A. It’s called Roller/Crimper No-Till: Advancing No-Till Agriculture — Crops, Soil & Equipment. For nearly 30 years, Jeff has worked at the Rodale Institute in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where he’s designed equipment and techniques for organic no-till farming systems. Just last year, he was named CEO of Rodale. In addition, he...
Published 11/17/20
Ken Roseboro, the editor and publisher of The Organic and Non-GMO Report, has been called “the nation’s reporter on all issues surrounding genetically modified foods” by Acres USA magazine. Ken’s articles have appeared in leading food and agriculture publications and websites such as Civil Eats, Sustainable Food News, Prepared Foods, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Food Processing, and World Grain as well as Harvest Public Media, The Huffington Post, Yahoo News, Mother Earth News, and others. He...
Published 10/12/20
With us on our first live episode of Tractor Time is agroecologist Nicole Masters. She has a new book out. It's called, "For the Love of Soil," and there's an excerpt of that book in the August edition of Acres U.S.A. magazine. Go to acresusa.com to subscribe. Nicole has 20 years of experience working in Australia and New Zealand, in North America, to create regenerative food systems.
Published 09/03/20
On this episode of the Tractor Time podcast, we're joined by Chris Smith, author of the James Beard Award-winning book, “The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration.” Chris lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is the founder and executive director of The Utopia Seed Project.   It seems like a perfect time of year to talk about okra. And I have to say that okra is one of my favorite vegetables. I grew it back when I lived in Texas, and it is just a stunningly beautiful plant. It loves...
Published 08/01/20
Rebecca Burgess is the co-author of the new book Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy. Her previous book was Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes. If you listen to Tractor Time, then you likely care about where your food comes from and how it’s grown. But if you’re like us, clothing doesn’t always get the same consideration. We often talk about farm to table, but not farm to closet. All of us buy clothing. We...
Published 06/27/20