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WATCH: Eliot Coleman’s Keynote Speech at Bioneers by the Bay: Authentic Farming

In this video from Bioneers by the Bay 2008, organic farmer Eliot Coleman (author of The Four Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Garden All Year Long and The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener) gives a presentation entitled “The Farm That Won’t Wear Out.” In it, he discusses the millennia-old practice of crop rotation, organic versus authentic farming, the magic of compost, and his unlikely friendship with a lifelong Monsanto chemical salesman.

Coleman emphasizes “paying attention to the free inputs of the natural world”—which doesn’t exactly lend itself to a product-based retail business, much to the chagrin of the Monsanto salesman.

One day I did read a book about small farming and there was a line in there that impressed me more than anything I had ever read. It said that in a teaspoonful of fertile soil there are over a million live organisms. And as an adventurer you usually try and explore places where no one has gone before, and I thought, “My gosh. Of all the exciting places to explore, think of that. There are a million live organisms in each teaspoon of fertile soil? This could get interesting.”

Watch more videos at Chelsea Green TV.


The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

Eight Seed-Saving Myths

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank.Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond the […] Read More
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