We believe in the power of stories. The sharing of information. The change of perspective. We’ve curated this content series around all the social and environmental niches of agriculture; from natural farming to the wine industry to migrant workers and Victory Gardens. We hope you engage, dive deeper into topics that interest you, share what you’ve learned, and continue your quest of curiosity. We are here to sow, grow, and share the bounty of knowledge, experiences, and perspectives, together.
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Women in Agriculture
Since the beginning of time, women have played an integral role in how we source and harvest our food. This story dives into the gender roles of farming, challenges females face, and historical women who have contributed to the future of farming.
There are many misconceptions about hemp. This story breaks them all down; from the history of hemp, to current agricultural practices, to its cultural significance throughout time.
World War I and II was an unprecedented time in US history for localized, homegrown food. The Victory Garden Movement encouraged millions of Americans to start home gardens to prevent food shortages so commercial crops could feed soldiers; women came together to learn new skills like preserving and canning, while schools encouraged children to also participate in the food growing process. This became the way American citizens could take part in supporting the war effort within their own homestead.
Masanobu Fukuoka was a Japanese farmer and philosopher who pioneered the concept of “natural farming.” Natural farming falls under the umbrella of regenerative agriculture, and works specifically to revegetate desertified lands by effortlessly working with the power and order of nature.
“The essence of natural farming is in nurturing the fundamental relationship between farmer and land.”
Migrant workers make up a large portion of our food system, yet are the most neglected. A migrant farmworker is defined as “an individual who is required to be absent from a permanent place of residence for the purpose of seeking remunerated employment in agricultural work.” According to a 2005 US Dept. of Labor survey, 53% of farmworkers are undocumented, 25% are US citizens, and 21% are legal permanent residents.
We normally don’t associate wine with chemical additives or pesticides. However, the wine industry lacks regulations and transparency when it comes to what is actually in the bottle. Is there a safe wine to drink? Yes, and it’s called Natural Wine!
Natural Wine II:
Dry farming is an ancient way to farm that works with the amount of water nature naturally provides. In other words, there is no irrigation on dry farms. When we talk about the optimal wine making processes for ecological and human health, natural wines that are dry farmed are top on our list!
Dry farmers work to conserve moisture within the soil.
Indigneous Women’s Influence in Agriculture
On average, women comprise 43% of the agricultural labor force, producing 60-80% of food crops in lower income countries (Project Drawdown). Historically and culturally, Indigenous women have been the wisdom keepers of how to steward the land in a way that respects and honors the entire ecosystem. We can learn a lot from Indigenous women, like Buffalo Bird Woman and Josephine Waggoner on this topic.
Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden was published in 1917 and holds immense Indigenous Hidatsa agricultural knowledge.
Bison and Regenerative Agriculture
Bison, when ethically and properly managed, play an important role in regenerating the health of our soils. And to Native Americans, the health of the bison reflects the health of their people.
The colonists and American military are responsible for the near-extinction of the American bison as a means of war against the Native Americans.
GMO GOLDEN RICE
A major argument with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) is the power structures involved and the way it objectifies and dehumanizes the farmers who grow our food. The promise of GMO Golden Rice was for higher yields and more nutrients. The reality? It took away Filipino peasant farmers’ power and freedom in choosing seed varieties, omitted their agency over land and agricultural production, and resulted in lower yields.
Golden rice is a crop that is genetically modified to produce beta carotene.
Silvopasture is the integration of trees within agricultural production. It appeals to many farmers because the intermingling of trees and grazing livestock on shared land sequesters carbon in both the biomass aboveground and in the soil below.
SILVA = Latin for forest
PASTURE = the pasturing of livestock
When we talk about regenerative agriculture, it’s easy to forget this new concept is simply the old way of farming- the way of Indigenous Peoples. We can find many solutions and alternatives to the conventional agricultural practices if we turn to the Indigneous farmers who are still connected to these ancient farming techniques.
4 regenerative techniques that originate from Indigenous peoples are agroforestry, crop rotation, intercropping, and water harvesting.
Nelson Mandela’s Prison Garden
Did you know Nelson Mandela was an advocate of gardening? While in prison, he tended to over 900 plants, and used food as a means to challenge the food inequality linked to racial discrimination in the prison system.
and racial discrimination was manifested in what South African blacks ate.
WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE:
- The Development of Agriculture
– National Geographic
- The Rise of Women in Agriculture
- Early Men and Women Were Equal – The Guardian
- Women in Ag Gender Gap – FAO
- Empowering Female Farmers to Feed the World – National Geographic
- Challenging Life of Female Farmers
- Wonder Women of Agriculture
- Hemp vs Marijuana – Analytical Cannabis
- Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana – Premium Jane
- The Peoples’ History – The Thistle
- Industrial Hemp Trial – Rodale Institute
- Immortal Cannabis Goddess – The Canna Chronicles
- Hemp- American History Revisited – Book
- Hemp Farming and Slavery – The Heady Vermont
- History of Hemp – Ministry of Hemp
- Du Pont Family + Hemp – The Emerald
- History of Marijuana
– The Street
- More Reefer Madness
– The Atlantic
– Patagonia Film
- Masanobu Fukuoka Natural Farming – Website
- Final Straw – What is Natural Farming
- Permaculture Research Institute – Making Seed Bombs
- The One Straw Revolution, Masanobu Fukuoka – Book
- Science Direct – The Number, Size, and Distribution of Farms, Smallholder Farms, and Family Farms Worldwide
FARMING’S INDIGENOUS ROOTS:
- National Farmers Union – The Indigenous Origins of Regenerative Agriculture
- National Geographic – Indigenous Peoples defend Earth’s biodiversity—but they’re in danger
- Amnesty International – Indigenous Peoples
- Project Drawdown, Paul Hawkens – Book
- Project Drawdown Solutions – Silvopasture
- Association for Temperate Agroforestry – Silvopasture
- Civil Eats – Silvopasture Can Mitigate Climate Change
Indigneous Women’s Influence in Agriculture:
- Project Drawdown, Paul Hawkens – Book
- Native Land Information System – Women’s Representation in Agriculture
- Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden, Gilbert Wilson – Book
- World Cat Identities – Josephine Waggoner
- Jubilo! The Emancipation Century – The American Indian at Hampton Institute
- Birchbark Books – Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden
- New York Times – Food Supply Anxiety Brings Back Victory Gardens
- Living History Farm – Farming in the 1940s; Victory Gardens
- Atlas Obscura – The Meatless, Wheatless Meals of World War I America
- History Channel – America’s Patriotic Victory Gardens
- Asle – Gardening in Hard Times: A Hidden History from Jim Crow to COVID-19
- Green America – Reclaiming Victory Gardens from Our Racist History
- Quartz – The dangerous economics of racial resentment during World War II
- OurDocuments.Gov – Executive Order 9066: Resulting in the Relocation of Japanese (1942)
- NPR – Farming Behind Barbed Wire: Japanese Americans Remember WWII Incarceration
- History – George Washington Carver
- Smithsonian Library – Gardening For the Common Good: Victory Gardens
- Smithsonian Magazine – This African American Artist’s Cartoons Helped Win World War II
NATURAL WINE I:
- Wine Folly – What You Need to Know About Wine Additives
- CBS News – Roundup in Beer and Wine
- U.S. PIRG – Glyphosate in Beer and Wine
- Food and Wine – What’s Really in Your Wine?
- US Department of the Interior – Pesticide Map
- New York Times – A Nation of Wineries
- Decanter – French Study Finds Pesticides in 90% of Wine
- Vox – Natural Wine Explained
NATURAL WINE II + DRY FARMING:
- Vox – Natural Wine Explained
- Wines Vines Analytics – The Water Wise Winemaker
- Wellness Mama – Why Natural Wines Go Beyond Biodynamic & Organic Wine
- Smithsonian’s National American Indian Magazine – The Heart of the Hopi
- Student Action with Farmworkers – United States Farmworker Factsheet
- Pacific Historical Review – Texas and the Bracero Program
- USDA Economic Research Service – Farm Labor
- United Farm Workers – Website
- The Counter – Maria Moreno
- The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations – Ernesto Galarza
- UC Riverside – Activism and Intellectual Struggle in the Life of Ernesto Galarza
- Dolores Huerta Foundation – Website
- NPR – Dolores Huerta
- History – Cesar Chavez
- Library of Congress – Mexican Americans and United Farm Workers of America
- Bracero History Archives – Website
- History – Why Millions of Americans Stopped Eating Grapes
Nelson Mandela’s Prison Farm:
- Nelson Mandela Foundation – Biography
- City Farmer News – Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom, Part 10, Nelson Mandela
- CNN World – A Peek Into Mandela’s Memorial Garden
- Hunger for Freedom, Anna Trapido – Book
Bison and Regenerative Agriculture:
- Rosebud Buffalo – Wolakota Buffalo Range
- US Fish and Wildlife Service – Timeline of American Bison
- Smithsonian Magazine – Where the Buffalo No Longer Roamed
- National Park Service – Bison Conservation
GMO Golden Rice:
- Golden Rice Project – website
- UNICEF – Child Survival
- NPR – Controversy Over GMO Food
- NYU Langone Health – The Golden Rice Debate
- Medium – We Are Farmers. We Are Not Terrorists
- Masipag – Website
- Grain – Golden Rice Seen from the Ground