Enjoy some of our best work from over the years and support our independent, non-profit reporting efforts at the same time! We’ve gathered our most compelling stories of the past year into a series of elegant magazines with great writing, gorgeous photography.

The Dirt 2019 – monthly $5 / one-time $50
The Dirt 2016 – 2019 – monthly $15 / one-time $150

Choose one, two, or more books

Get Them All bookstack

The Dirt Collection 2016-2018

Print collection of FERN writing 2016-2018

The Dirt 2019

Print collection of FERN’s best writing from 2019

DONATION AMOUNT: First, select a book

$5 Monthly
$50 One Time
$15 Monthly
$150 One Time
Give Now!

By clicking GIVE NOW!, I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law

Our Writers

We want to keep investigating, explaining and exploring. But we can’t do it without you. Get any one – or all three – editions of the dirt now and dive deep into the most critical issues facing the food system today.

A Taste of What’s Inside

Activists haul in an illegal gillnet from the Gulf of California.

In “The end of the ‘panda of the sea,’” Ben Goldfarb wrote a gorgeous narrative documenting a controversial band of environmental activists who worked with the Mexican government to try to save the vaquita, a small porpoise found only in the Gulf of California that is going extinct. This was the latest in our partnership with Pacific Standard magazine.

Courtesy of Harper’s Magazine

“Drinking Problems” by Contributing Editor Elizabeth Royte for Harper’s Magazine charts the difficulty when environmental protection conflicts with culture. In Pretty Prairie, Kansas, farm fertilizer had contaminated the area’s groundwater, with the nitrate levels eventually topping 20 parts per million, double the federal limit. For many years, the town was “creative” in its methods to remain compliant with federal nitrate levels as it tried to come up with a viable solution. But it wasn’t simply cost considerations that upheld the status quo. The town’s close relationship with area farmers, who are part of the fabric of the community, also played a big role.

Workers remove a shelterbelt to make room for a highway.

“Uprooting FDR’s ‘Great Wall of Trees’” written by Carson Vaughan for The Weather Channel. Midwestern farmers, seeking to expand their crop lands, are destroying millions of trees that helped protect the region’s soil after the catastrophic Dust Bowl of the 1930s.