Poop to Table

We all want to know where our food comes from, right? Or anyway we find it soothing, when dining out, to see a list of farms on the menu. That way, we can pretend that every item on our plate – even the Tater Tots! – was grown by a jolly hipster with a pitchfork.

One Brooklyn eatery is building its brand around providing patrons with even more information about their food’s origins – some might say, too much.

The first thing you see, when you step through the door of Poop to Table, Continue reading

What Wants to Grow, Will Grow

I first participated in food-growing in 1998, at the Reevis Mountain School of Self-Reliance. That August, I stripped “Green Ice” seeds from bolting lettuce, picked figs, gathered cucumbers that looked like lemons. For the next eleven years or so, I helped others grow food, never fully understanding the decisions they made, or bearing responsibility for my mistakes. Continue reading

Eric Herm Interview, Extended Version

My interview with Eric Herm, conducted in December 2012, appears in the 2015 edition of the Greenhorns’ New Farmer’s Almanac. Below I’ve posted the extended version.

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When fourth-generation West Texas cotton farmer Eric Herm badmouths Monsanto, he knows what he’s talking about better than most. In 2005, he talked his dad into planting more than 1,000 of the family’s 6,000 acres in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready cotton seed. Then he did some research on Monsanto and its products – and took off running in the other direction. By 2009, he’d weaned all 6,000 of his family’s acres off chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Since then, he’s been working towards phasing out chemical herbicides, and has been experimenting with growing cotton according to organic standards. He’s become an advocate for farming practices that treat nature as a partner, not an adversary, and an opponent of strip-mining the soil for corporate profit. Herm, 39, is the author of two books: Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth: A Path to Agriculture’s Higher Consciousness (Dreamriver Press, 2010) and Surviving Ourselves: The Evolution of Community, Education, and Agriculture in the 21st Century (Dreamriver, 2012). He blogs (blogged? may blog again?) at sonofafarmer.com. Continue reading