The high price of cheap weed

The drive to Casey and Amber O’Neill’s HappyDay Farms winds up a dirt track off Highway 101, three hours north of San Francisco. The road climbs to 3,000 feet along a ridge with stunning views of pine-covered mountains and the blue band of the Pacific Ocean, 25 miles to the west. More on this story… » Read More

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How heat kills farmworkers

On a recent summer morning in Mendota, a small farming community in California’s Central Valley, the sun glared down from a cloudless sky. The temperature was heading toward 101 degrees, and it had hit 106 a few days before—not unlike the blistering heat that blanketed much of the West Coast over Labor Day weekend. While… » Read More

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    Mother Jones

The makeover

Sitting in the shade of an oil-palm grove in northern Malaysian Borneo, Linella Pallai, 47, and her friend Trisar Sarigoh, 52, are describing what it was like before palm-oil mania swept their country. As children, the two women would gather fruit from the rain forest and fish from clear-running streams. But today, they tell me,… » Read More

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The food revolution’s missing piece

FERN’s latest story, published with Harper’s Magazine, is an excerpt from Ted Genoways’ new book, This Blessed Earth, an intimate account of a year with the Hammonds, a Nebraska farm family. Here, Genoways argues that the difficult realities faced by farmers like the Hammonds need to be part of the conversation about food-system reform.  … » Read More

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    Harper's Magazine

African Americans have lost untold acres of farmland over the last century

Driving the long, flat roads of Hilton Head island is hypnotic. One bike-rental shop blends into another; countless villa-style office complexes advertise real-estate agents and banks. Tourists meander to their cars wearing all white, carrying brightly colored smoothies. Rows of palm trees wave slowly over the crawling traffic. A waterfront hotel looms on the horizon.… » Read More

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    The Nation

Terror in the Heartland

On October 11, 2016, less than a month before Election Day, police in Liberal, Kansas, sat in their cruisers outside G&G Home Center, waiting for Curtis Allen to emerge. The mobile home dealership where Allen worked was nothing more than a prefab trailer hauled onto a patch of scrub grass along a remote stretch of… » Read More

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    The New Republic

How a wild berry is helping to protect China’s Giant Pandas and its countryside

In the cool mountains of the Upper Yangtze region, Chinese villagers clamber up dogwood and maple trees to gather what Dr. Oz has called a “miracle anti-aging pill.” The small, red schisandra berry has a peculiar taste — five tastes, in fact, because it’s considered to be at once sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent.… » Read More

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    NPR's The Salt