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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 [1] (author of The Four Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Garden All Year Long [2] and The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener [3]) 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. [4]