Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

This Holy Darkness Is a Call for Food Policy Change

Smoke and Haze fill the West Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

As I write, the entire west is burning up in historic conflagrations.  According to Meteorologist Daniel Swain, “Around 3.5 million acres have burned so far in California in 2020. That’s around 3.5% of the entire land area of the state and is approaching *double* the previous record for the greatest acreage burned during a single year.”

The air is laced with smoke and ash; the orange sun some days does not come forth. The darkness shrouds me, and the air places a heavy weight on my chest.

The earth is sending us a message in this holy darkness—flames sown by our sturdy two-legged species; we have ingenious brains but hold no reverence for the future.

We act like animals in fights for survival as we subjugate her with overconsumption. Burning fossil fuels, destroying ancient forests for cheap hamburgers, farming with chemicals that add to global emissions.

I believe it need not be so and that we can begin to make a difference.

Continue reading “This Holy Darkness Is a Call for Food Policy Change”
Environment, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Molino Creek Farm Ablaze with Fire and Hope – Give Them the Lift They Need to Alight Again

Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

I will never forget the first time I bit into a dry-farmed, early-girl tomato. It was 1984, and I was working at Community Foods, a natural foods collective. A coveralled man offered me a box of these red orbs to sell in our store.

I found them to be a bit small. Since they were organic, which was hard to source in those days, I took a bite.

The sweet, seedy richness exploded and dripped. The very essence of tomato-hood danced in my mouth. They were exquisitely sweet and firm with a touch of tartness—like a complex wine.

The dusty local farmer, Mark Lipson, would someday become USDA’s first organic policy advisor. He is one of the founders of California Central Coast’s oldest dry-farmed organic tomato endeavors, Molino Creek Farming Collective.

Last week, this historic and iconic community farm was ravaged by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that exploded across the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

The pictures of the devastation are mortifying and terrifying!

Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash
Continue reading “Molino Creek Farm Ablaze with Fire and Hope – Give Them the Lift They Need to Alight Again”
Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Let’s Tip Towards Reason and Heal This Chaos

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I can’t help but think it’s getting mighty precarious for our big-brained species from where I sit with ash raining down and smoke choking the air. The earth behaves like a petulant child, and we understand why we are the recipients of her fury.

We can choose to retreat for fear of fire and flood, pestilence and disease. Or we can decide to listen to the portend of her message and take action to put things back in order.

It used to be thrilling as a child! The wind, lightning and rain were a sign that mother nature was alive and vital. 

Now, the entire world is in peril, not just meteorologically but psychologically and philosophically: all have all gone off orbit.

Chaos reigns from the depths of both regions of the exterior and interior. While we prepare for the worst of it, yet to come, I serve forth learnings to keep us somewhat on the firm course of reason.

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Environment, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Is Agroforestry a Path to Help Feed Us and Care for our Planet?

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Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

The modern concept of agroforestry emerged early in the 20th century but planting trees and shrubs amongst fields and furrows is very ancient indeed.

The Romans were the first to write about it. But integrating trees with crops and animals is an ancient practice, likely dating back over 10,000 years ago when our ancestors first became agriculturists.

Agroforestry is based on the concept that the presence of trees in a farming ecosystem makes them more stable and resistant to climatic vagaries than a field without them. Continue reading “Is Agroforestry a Path to Help Feed Us and Care for our Planet?”

Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

CCOF Delivers a Roadmap to The Future

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Photo by Jesse Zheng on Pexels.com

Most will agree that California is facing an extreme climate crisis. In fact, the entire world is experiencing rising temperatures, devastating storms, frequent heat waves, winds, and wildfires.

Years of California drought have created dwindling water supplies and the disruption of normal ecosystems. As of this writing, most locations in California haven’t received any measurable rainfall since December 26th – January and February should be the rainiest months of the season. Continue reading “CCOF Delivers a Roadmap to The Future”