The blind spots in the American West’s approach to managing water are on full display in Ventura County, a coastal region of Central California that holds the most lucrative farmland in the state.
In a small, indigenous Mexican community in the mountains of Michoacán, a band of determined women led the overthrow of a criminal cartel. Their victory gave the town a new sense of purpose by reviving its traditional livelihood, its capacity for self-government, and its communal spirit.
Story and photography by ANDREW SULLIVAN
Listen to “Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser on Healing our Soil, and Going Beyond Organic,” A Craftsmanship Artisan Interview
In this episode of our Artisan Interview audio series, Todd Oppenheimer sits down with Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser, a husband-and-wife farming team who have been at the forefront of a promising approach to growing food called regenerative agriculture. Hear how the movement they helped start could slow climate change; some mind boggling results from recent…
On a frigid, eight-acre farm just outside downtown Sebastopol, Paul Kaiser has devised a hyper-intensive form of organic agriculture that is grossing more than $100,000 an acre. And, he believes, saving the planet at the same time. Yet a number of farming experts see trouble on his horizon.
By TODD OPPENHEIMER
For generations, the Isbell family of Arkansas has been tinkering with innovations in rice farming. They were the first American farmers to grow elite varieties of rice for sushi and sake, and have pioneered rice cultivation methods that can conserve water and slow climate change.
Story by DAVID RAMSEY
Photography by KAT WILSON
The Isbell family of Arkansas has spent decades experimenting with new ways to grow rice. In the process, they pioneered American-grown rice for sushi and sake, along with rice-farming techniques that can save water and help slow climate change.
You’ve probably never heard the term “acequia,” but it describes one of the oldest methods of irrigation on the planet. Too bad American ranchers have largely ignored it.
Animals, plants, soil, and air have long collaborated to regulate our climate by stimulating “the water cycle.” They have also helped control natural disasters, like the wildfires in Australia — until we disrupted their partnership. The good news is that there is a clear pathway to reconciliation.
Could a small, controversial farmer in Northern California have found the most effective way to grow food in a warming world? With gross income of more than $100,000 an acre, Paul Kaiser certainly thinks so.