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

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 26 million visitors per month
    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

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 4 million online viewers per year
    Yale Environment 360

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

Media Partner

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

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 152 Million Unique Browsers Worldwide
    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

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 4 Million Monthly Reach
    NPR's The Salt

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

Media Partner

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

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 563K Monthly Readership
    Harper's Magazine