We need to re-enfranchise people to join in the joyous work of restoring our lands and communities.

Let me mince no words: The conservation movement needs to be more inclusive, which may mean that it is less confrontational and more humble. Individuals of all classes and ethnicities have felt increasingly disempowered by the prevalence of top-down decision-making about lands, wildlife and plants that they had known and loved. In many cases, they have become disenfranchised from policy-making processes that ignore their local knowledge, dismiss their cultural or faith-based values, and care less about the economic impact of ...

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Don’t you think it’s time to encourage all of us to imagine something other than living in a divided country?

More than just our food security is at stake if we don’t soon take the middle path. Don’t you think it’s time to encourage all of us to imagine something other than living in a divided country, where we all buy into the infamous “zero sum game” of winners vs. losers? We need to engage in a different set of social behaviors and more inclusive processes with regard to democratic decision-making and community-based restoration. The overall health and security of ...

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Its time to choose to walk on the Middle Path toward the Radical Center.

What’s so special about working outdoors planting trees or reintroducing fish stocks with someone else from another culture, race, profession or professed faith? Why should any of us presume that such endeavors matter far more than anything else we do? Well, for one good reason– time spent restoring nature also helps restore us and our bonds with others. While It is true that over much of the course of human history, such earthward gestures and restorative endeavors were undoubtedly commonplace ...

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The diversity of seeds and breeds on our farms and ranches, is greater than at any time in the last century.

Globally, the diversity of foods in most diets is shrinking, with those diets becoming more homogenized from one country to the next, more nutrient-depleted, and more Westernized. But there is a counter-trend worth watching in North America, and it is not restricted to or even driven by privileged foodies: our diets are diversifying again due to affordable access of many vegetables, fruits and other foods. Because of remarkably successful community-based collaborative efforts by you and others, the diversity of seeds ...

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Introduction – Food from the Radical Center

Over the next few weeks & months, I’ll be telling you a story of how biocultural restoration — the healing our lands AND our communities — is changing America for the better. The story is not merely about the men and women who have planted trees or reintroduced wildlife for the good of their neighborhoods. It is more broadly about people of all cultures, races and classes as well as all walks of life who have volunteered their time to ...

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Untold Arizona: Arizona-Grown Tepary Beans Preserve The Past, Hold Promise For The Future

To commemorate Arizona’s birthday, we dispatched our reporters far and wide to bring you stories from the region you’ve probably never heard before. Hear more from our Untold Arizona series.

 

 

Arizona farmer Terry Button grew up eating beans in New England.

“I never sit down to eat a little portion of beans,” he said, grinning. “I eat a big bowl of beans.”

They were his favorite food — baked beans, great northern beans, navy beans, Lima ...

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San Valentino Walks Out Into the Woods

the earth is beckoning us
to fall back in love
with all of creation
and to never forget
the embrace
we’ve been borne into
the one in which we still reside.

being who he was
San Valentino a Roman dude, one
who slogged through the Middle Ages
could not fully express
the downright, full-bodied sensuousness
of living in & on this very earth
but if you need a jumpstart
for rekindling your love, well
go out & wade naked in a ...

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The Vault

How good are you at keeping secrets? Do you blab immediately, or do you have a Seinfeld-esque Vault?

Of course, that’s not an actual vault — more of a metaphorical one.

This week on Endless Thread, we talk about a real vault, one that holds not only secrets, but actual valuables as well. The contents don’t glitter or shine or pay for anything, but they are probably the most valuable items in the world.

The vault in question is located far north, up ...

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America is inherently a place of awe – inspiring heterogeneity rather than mind-numbing homogeneity.

America is inherently a place of awe – inspiring heterogeneity rather than mind-numbing homogeneity. Some of that heterogeneity inevitably includes social, cultural and political counter-currents and much-needed debates regarding how to deal with the disparities and indignities around us.

But that fact alone does not necessarily mean that we are fated to live forever on a battleground where polarizing (if not paralyzing) divisiveness ...

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I want to thank Leigh Kuwanwisiwma, of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, for redressing relationships and healing past wounds.

Some of the most important work being done on our Turtle Island “continent” today is in the realm of what Rowen White calls “seed” rematriation, bringing indigenous crop seeds back home to their motherlands and stewarding cultures that have the deepest ties to these food resources.

A decade ago, I was blessed enough to have coordinated with Leigh Kuwanwisiwma of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office one ...

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Six Meditations on the Desert from Brother Coyote

I.

Once you take time
For listening
To nothing
But the silence
Pulsing like your heartbeat
Across the arid expanse
Sounds from far away
Which your ears
Have never heard
Suddenly come
To greet you.

 

II.

If we define the desert
Only by what it lacks
We may miss
All the space it offers
So that we may see
That all we’ll ever need
Is already here, here.

 

III.

For you little trees in the desert
It’s not about how high
Your limbs rise in ...

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My gratitude to all women who taught me more about “community building” within and beyond our own species, than I could ever teach them.

I’ve recently observed that many of the most interesting ecological restoration projects focused on food and medicinal plants are managed by teams of (primarily) women who structure the project’s relationships to local communities in ways far more interesting & effective than the way men have conventionally structured such ecological restoration initiatives.

For instance, herbalists, educators, basketry-makers, soil scientists, landscape designers and individuals of ...

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People are putting aside minor differences and Collaborating on many Social, Ethical, Political, Environmental and Economic Issues.

Going into the New Year, I am overwhelmed by the emerging evidence that many peoples in America are putting aside their minor (but not necessarily petty!) differences and collaborating as a unified front on so many social, ethical, political, environmental and economic issues.

As my friend Phil Caputo recently suggested to me, America has really been divided in a major way since the ...

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Tucson a Model in Food Biodiversity, Report Says

A report on Tucson food systems done by The Center for Regional Food Studies at the University of Arizona shows 14 community organizations make Tucson a leader in conserving food biodiversity.

Gary Paul Nabhan is the founding director of regional food studies at the UA. He said nonprofits like Desert Harvesters are thinking long term.

 

 

“Many of these organizations are, in a sense, sewing our future food security by bringing this diversity into our food ecosystem,” Nabhan said.

Jonathan Mabry is ...

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Consider some affirmative action for life itself with someone with whom you have once suffered strife.

No, its not another New Years Resolution. Its a dream I had last night, that each of us found ourselves planting something: a bulb, a tree, a tuber, a seed, with our hands and the hands of someone else with whom we have had disagreements or distances doing the work for this transplanted life together.

Our hands were in the same earthen opening, ...

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New Report: Tucson is a Leading U.S. City in Food Diversity and Access

Tucson is one of the top cities in the United States conserving and disseminating edible biodiversity and local heritage foods, a new report reveals. Released by the University of Arizona Center for Regional Food Studies, the second annual “State of Tucson’s Food System” documents Tucson’s rich variety of common, heritage, native, and heirloom plant species and varieties available, often at little or no cost, in its local economy.

“This report shows that Tucson’s community organizations have done ...

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Jerry Konanui, the Native Hawaiian expert on kalo and many other traditional plants, has passed.

Jerry Konanui, the Native Hawaiian expert on kalo and many other traditional plants, has passed. He was a bridge between so many kinds of knowledge: Native Hawaiian, Western scientific, agricultural, culinary and visceral.

The last time I was with him, he was patiently instructing young Hawaaians on how to tell variouis varieties of kalo (taro) by the most subtle details of coloration of ...

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Let the starlight and moonlight seep into you and keep you sane, keep you watchful, keep you prayerful, keep you alive.

One of the most common afflictions Americans suffer—and it has increased since the digital age—is myopia. Sitting in front of a screen for three and a half hours a day is not good for our teenagers, or for the matter, the rest of us.

That’s why it was such a joy to be up at two thirty last night watching the spectacular Geminid ...

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We witnessed Alabama electing a candidate that can work with both parties; and I am grateful for their inspiration…

We witnessed Alabambinos bridging the divide last night by electing a centrist candidate a decent man who can work with both parties, and I am grateful for their inspiration. But this is not about feeling victorius, instead it should be humbling to all of us to see any state torn as much as Alabama has been. Same with the amber waves of ...

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