Now complete – Deep Agroecology: Farms, Food, and Our Future

October 1, 2019

After many long seasons of work, I’m pleased to announce that my new book, Deep Agroecology: Farms, Food, and Our Future, is now complete and on sale.

Among the many people deserving thanks and appreciation for helping to bring this book to life (in both print and ebook editions), my wife Liz Wolf stands front and center. She is the publisher, under the umbrella of Light and Sound Press, LLC. Thank you wholeheartedly, Liz, for your 1,001 deeds of support, encouragement, artistic insight, and professional advice.

For the record, here is the text of the press release we are sending out:

Nebraska Author’s New Book on Ecological Farming
Launches November 1 at The Hub Cafe in Lincoln

Deep AgroecologyLINCOLN, NEBRASKA—Inspired by a casual conversation with a UNL professor of agronomy and agroecology in 2012, independent journalist Steven McFadden penned the new title Deep Agroecology: Farms, Food, and Our Future. The book is now available on Amazon in print and ebook editions.

A launch party will be held on the book’s official publication date, Friday, November 1, 2019, at The Hub Cafe, 250 N. 21st Street, in Lincoln. The author will offer remarks on the subject of deep agroecology and read from the book. The free event will feature complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.

According to McFadden, he wrote Deep Agroecology to explain to a general audience what agroecology is and to expand the concept to include subtle, spiritual dimensions.

The Hub Cafe – community & sustainability.

“Farms are the foundation of our civilization, and that foundation is undergoing massive upheaval,” the author explains. “We must build a new agrarian foundation that can support in a healthy, spiritually intelligent way the high-tech, digital waves of technology and culture sweeping so powerfully around the world.”

Author and journalist Steven McFadden has been writing about the earth, farms, and food for decades. He blogs for Mother Earth News and at deepagroecology.net.

With Trauger Groh he is co-author of the first two books on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): Farms of Tomorrow: Community Supported Farms, Farm Supported Communities (1990) and Farms of Tomorrow Revisited (1998). He is also the author of The Call of the Land: An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century and Awakening Community Intelligence: CSA Farms as 21st Century Cornerstones. In 2008 McFadden authored a contemporary, epic, nonfiction saga of North America that is freely available online: Odyssey of the 8th Fire.


Let us now praise common sense: Agroecology

September 3, 2019

 

The precautionary principle is a simple, common-sense ethical guideline that is a core part of ecology and agroecology. It’s so fundamental to sustainability, and so uncommon in our government today, that it’s worth reaffirming.

The precautionary principle holds that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment that sustains our life, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those promoting the product or the action…

…We’d be wise to bypass government failure to act, and do the uncommon thing, as the late humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935) put it: act with common sense. Act personally, swiftly, and strategically. There are a 1,001 things individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities can do. Get your search engine going, and then act. The vast archives of Mother Earth News, and the Pathways resource page open up some of the possibilities…

The rest of my blog post is now available on Mother Earth News.

 

 

 

 


Walk Agroecological Paths Toward Food Security

August 15, 2019

 

Yet another massive UN report has been researched, written, and cast into the ceaselessly churning ocean of Internet information. There the report may well sink into oblivion, as so often happens with critical news…

…But these well-researched collections of facts and expert insight scream to be recognized, remembered, and acted upon. “Wake up,” the world’s scientists are saying. Arise and take action now for food security…

…Climate change will continue to generate more and more intense floods, drought, storms, and other types of extreme weather. Going to the heart of the matter, The New York Times headlined its story on the report Climate Change Threatens World’s Food Supply...

…There are hundreds of ways to respond wisely to this hard news…

The complete text of my blog post appears on the pages of Mother Earth News.


Solve these mysteries. Enlighten yourself.

August 1, 2019

It’s up to you. It’s up to me. It’s up to everyone who has a stake in a stable climate, ample food and fiber, and shelter from the storms — the increasingly savage storms that are Earth’s new normal. We’ve got some mysteries to unravel.

If you are depending on the life-support basics listed above, then answer this: Why did the US Agriculture Department (USDA) attempt to bury America’s action plan for conducting science into climate change so that farmers could be empowered with facts to respond wisely to what’s happening in the world?

The critical 33-page USDA action plan, paid for with our tax dollars, was stuffed somewhere in a bureaucratic closet never to be allowed into public light of day. But thanks to a courageous whistleblower and reporter, the plan was leaked to Politico. As plainly stated, the plan outlines how scientific research can help farmers to understand, to adapt to, and to minimize the increasingly disruptive impact of climate change.

I must concede that “why did the USDA bury the report?” is a dull question to frame as a mystery. At least part of the answer is as plain and pitiful as a flooded farm field…

Read the rest of my blog post on Mother Earth News.

 

 

 


Sleepwalking into Catastrophe, or Awakening via Agroecology

July 10, 2019

In early July, just as the United Nations (UN) was releasing stun-level, scientific reports about climate changes, food disruptions, and accelerated extinctions, meteorologists reported that the preceding month, June 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth. They also reported that for the first time ever in recorded history temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska soared into the 90s, while rising up to 115 degrees F in Paris, France.

As baldly stated in one of the UN reports from the Human Rights Office, if we maintain our economic and agricultural course we are headed for deeper disaster. Going forward on a status quo pathway will have a mighty impact not just on some remote places featured on TV news, but on our backyards, pantries, refrigerators, supermarkets, and our overall way of life. We are, as the report put it, “sleepwalking into catastrophe.”

Note well these parts of the report: Climate change also threatens basic human rights, and democracy itself. Within the next 10 years or so, the report states, climate change will cast tens of millions more human beings into poverty, hunger, and displacement from their homelands…

Agroecology: A Righteous Response

Although mass media paid minimal attention, on July 5, 2019 The UN’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS) released a notable report, Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition.

The CFS report offers detail on the global food system, which they regard as perched precariously at a crossroads. The report concludes that the food system needs a profound transformation at all levels, including the local level. We face complex, “multidimensional challenges…

…In a paper published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community, Professor William E. Rees writes: “Based on current trends, the most food-secure populations by the second half of the 21st century will be those populations that have deliberately chosen and planned to re-localize as much of their own food systems as possible.”

My complete blog post is on Mother Earth News…


Face it: Farms, Food, and Our Future

May 19, 2019

Our farms, food, and future are woven together, dynamically enmeshed in this turbulent era. They form a matrix of potential concerning the key matters of climate change, pollution, diet, physical health, mental health, economic status, and our overall sense of well being.

These key matters come to the fore in Deep Agroecology, the book I’ve now finished writing. Through the winter and spring several astute readers have critiqued beta versions of the manuscript. Now an editor’s pen has been skillfully brought to bear upon the work. There are still more steps to climb before the presses roll. We will publish before summer is through. If you wish to learn more or to pre-order the book just follow the link.

 

 


Farms, Food, Climate, and Our Will to Change

April 27, 2019

The way we tend the land that produces our food, and the way we eat, are the key factors in our physical, moral, and spiritual survival and evolution.

My recognition of this fundamental fact is, of course, shared by many people. Among those who see this reality, and who can give the situation eloquent expression, is Jean-Paul Courtens of Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook, NY.

As it happens, CSA and biodynamic farmer Courtens has recently become a grandfather. He mentioned that happy fact publicly in March when he spoke at Dartmouth College as part of the Real Organic Project’s symposium. And then he dug deep into the subject…

A video of his 15-minute talk is available through my full blog on this topic at Mother Earth News. I highly recommend watching and learning…


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