Makenna Goodman

Makenna Goodman is an Associate Editor at Chelsea Green Publishing, providing information and resources on the politics and practice of sustainable living. She co-manages a diversified farm in cenrtal Vermont that specializes in maple syrup, and alongside Grist, has written for Huffington Post, TreeHugger, AlterNet and PlanetGreen.

Climate Change

Hot stuff: chile peppers, climate change, and the future of food

Getting hot in here.Photo: Josh KelloggClimate change is the issue of our time. Its ill effects will fall heaviest on the people who have least contributed to it: billions in the global south. But no one will escape the impact of the warming climate, and one place it will manifest most obviously is on our plates. If we look at chile peppers, for example, it’s easy to see how the negative effects of climate change have affected the food on our plates and the farmers behind that food. In their new book, Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail, …

Tough spuds

Author Carol Deppe on growing 'lots of delicious food for the least possible work'

In her new book The Resilient Gardener, Carol Deppe shows how global climate change impacts your backyard veggie patch. Here, she tells Grist about why gardeners should forget the "perfect" garden and start cultivating resilience along with good grub.

The farmstead creamery advisor is IN

Gianaclis Caldwell makes aged cheese from the milk of her Nigerian Dwarf goats.  She lives in Oregon, on a 23-acre, off-the-grid farm. She has critically acclaimed cheeses, a whole lot to say about the business of making and selling your own cheese, and a new book called The Farmstead Creamery Advisor. And there’s never been a better time to be making and selling great cheese, according to her. But how does one become a cheesemaker? How do you not drown in debt? How do you learn to love a goat? How do you wake up every morning at the crack …

Hell no, CEO!

The future of farming and food at the Eco Farm Conference

Last week I went to California for the 2010 Eco Farm Conference — a three-day organic farming extravaganza featuring big names (and big influences of the organic agriculture movement) such as Wes Jackson, Frances Moore Lappé, Deputy Security of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan, and a ton of folks who are part of an ever-growing and expanding movement for healthy food and a sustainable planet. But make no mistake about it — this wasn’t no utopian hippy fest (at least not all of it.) I came to Eco Farm looking for some inspiration, but also as a skeptic. As both an editor …

A Farmer Speaks

The new wave of urban farming (and fresh food from small spaces!)

It’s always sunny in this Philadelphia community garden.Photo courtesy Tony the Misfit via Flickr Do you dream of an organic garden, but don’t have a yard? A flock of chicks, perhaps, but don’t have a yard? Home-grown food, and lower grocery bills (but, alas, no yard!)? Dream no more, because you can have it, and without quitting your job, trading your bus pass for a pickup, or moving to the rural north. A new wave of farming is happening in a city near you. While true, Old MacDonald had a farm (ee-i-ee-i-o), his offspring have some urban fish to fry. …

A FARMER SPEAKS

Bee here, now: organic apiary in a chemical world

Bee there, do that: organic beekeeper Ross Conrad. Beekeeping is rising in popularity–from urban rooftops to backyard hives, the world is abuzz with interest in homemade honey. And who better to comment on the nature of bees than the former president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, Ross Conrad. He’s led bee-related presentations and taught organic beekeeping workshops and classes throughout North America for many years, and Conrad’s small beekeeping business supplies friends, neighbors, and local stores with honey and candles among other bee related products, not to mention provides bees for Vermont apple pollination in spring. I talked to Conrad …

A FARMER SPEAKS

Richard Wiswall on the business of organic farming

With the economic downturn and increase in the desire for a relationship with our food, farming has become a popular lifestyle among young people opting out of the corporate world. And while these people are new to life on the land, others have made a life of it for generations. But either way, growing food is rife with politics and economic stresses. Look at the dairy farms in Vermont filing for bankruptcy, the family businesses going under in the midwest, and the monopoly of small farms by corporate agriculture! It sort of looks dismal out there. And while sure, it …

A farmer speaks

Farmer Gene Logsdon on the promise of a home ‘pancake patch’

Gene Logsdon on his farm.Gene Logsdon is one of the clearest and most original voices of rural America. He’s a farmer in Ohio not far from his boyhood home, and is a writer to boot; he’s published more than two dozen books; some of which include Living at Nature’s Pace: Farming and the American Dream and The Contrary Farmer. Wendell Berry calls Logsdon “the best agricultural writer we have,” and his farm a slice of Eden. But most importantly, Logsdon loves farming. So now that more and more people are seeking out locally grown foods, I asked Gene a few …

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