Whither the Farm?

“This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers,” the report concludes. ~ TechnologyWater Years ago, I traveled extensively across the country, and enjoyed stopping in bars to try out the local beer. Living […]

The Opportunity of The Retail Apocalypse

“They paved paradise And put up a parking lot Don’t it always seem to go That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘Till it’s gone” ~ Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi It was basically a 50’s strip mall that occupied two sides of a square block, with room for plenty of parking in the middle […]

Future Farm

“All of which is to say: our current methods of commercial farming got us to where we are, but the way we farm now isn’t sustainable for the planet, for individuals or for societies long-term … The reality is that we have to quickly and efficiently bring farming from the industrial age into the digital […]

New Walls and Old Tricks

“We are being told to eat local and seasonal food, either because other crops have been transported over long distances, or because they are grown in energy-intensive greenhouses. But it wasn’t always like that.” ~ Kris De Decker Back in the old days, everyone that could had a garden. Our lot, created in the 1850’s, […]

Lettuce Prey

As part of my pre-Thanksgiving dinner preparations, I made a big salad for lunch instead of the sandwich or hot dog I usually have. The romaine was still fresh, sweet onion, some left-over cooked beets, a little celery and a carrot from the garden. Some smashed up tortilla chips for croutons and probably a little […]

Valuable Mutants

He rolled the dice again. This time, he was mimicking what he and his colleagues have been doing quietly around the globe for more than a half-century — using radiation to scramble the genetic material in crops, a process that has produced valuable mutants like red grapefruit, disease-resistant cocoa and premium barley for Scotch whiskey. […]

Live and Let Diet

When our distant ancestors invented farming ten thousand or so years ago, they began altering these and other wild plants to make them more productive, easier to grow and harvest, and more enjoyable to eat. To date, four hundred generations of farmers and tens of thousands of plant breeders have played a role in redesigning […]