The simple river-cleaning tactics that big farms ignore

Ione Cleverley wasn’t eager to break up with her tenant, who had been farming 88 acres of her central Iowa land for more than a decade. He was affable and hardworking, but after harvesting his corn and soybeans, the farmer left her fields unplanted. Cleverley had learned that each spring, as the soil warmed and… » Read More

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    National Geographic

Where corn is king, the stirrings of a renaissance in small grains

To the untrained eye, Jeremy Gustafson’s 1,600-acre farm looks like all the others spread out across Iowa. Gazing at his conventional corn and soybean fields during a visit in June, I was hard-pressed to say where his neighbor’s tightly planted row crops ended and Gustafson’s began. But what distinguished this vast farm in Boone, Iowa,… » Read More

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    Yale Environment 360

The changing face of woods work

We were somewhere in Benewah County, Idaho, on a resplendent late April afternoon in 1993. I had planted the last of my trees for the day, shouldered my hoedad and was walking down a skid trail, eyes on the fertile valleys spread out below us, the coil of blue silver river, the great yawn of gentle… » Read More

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    High Country News

Uprooting FDR’s ‘Great Wall of Trees’

Surely the end was nigh. Up and down the Great Plains, from the Texas panhandle to the Dakota prairies, dust stripped the paint from their barns, the wheat from their fields, the money — what pitiful amount was left — from their pockets. “Today is just common hell, death and destruction to every growing thing,”… » Read More

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Organic or starve: Can Cuba’s new farming model provide food security?

In the town of Hershey, a couple of hours’ drive east of Havana in Mayabeque province, you can see the past and the future of Cuban farming, side by side. More on this story Read more of our reporting on nutrition and food access.  Read more of our reporting on farms and labor. Read more… » Read More

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    The Guardian

‘Healing through harvesting’: Gleaning unwanted fruit helps refugees in need

Tilahun Liben thought he was seeing things. Surely that mound of orange orbs under those trees near his church couldn’t be oranges. Could they? More on this story Read more of our reporting on nutrition and food access.  Read more of our reporting on farms and labor.  It was 2010, and Liben had just arrived… » Read More

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    NPR's The Salt

Do you care if your fish dinner was raised humanely? Animal advocates say you should.

At some point or another, we’ve all cringed at the videos: lame cows struggling to stand; egg-laying hens squeezed into small, stacked cages; hogs confined to gestation crates, unable to walk or turn. More on this story Read more of our reporting on oceans and freshwater Over the last decade, animal advocates have made great… » Read More

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    NPR's The Salt