Join us for a dialogue between Liz Carlisle (Environmental Studies) and Peter Alagona (Environmental Studies) about Carlisle’s new book, Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming. Refreshments will be served.
A powerful movement is happening in farming today—farmers are reconnecting with their roots to fight climate change. For one woman, that has meant learning her tribe’s history to help bring back the buffalo. For another, it has meant preserving forest purchased by her great-great-uncle, among the first wave of African Americans to buy land. Others are rejecting monoculture to grow corn, beans, and squash the way farmers in Mexico have done for centuries. Still others are rotating crops for the native cuisines of those who fled the “American wars” in Southeast Asia. In Healing Grounds, Liz Carlisle tells the stories of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American farmers who are reviving their ancestors’ methods of growing food—techniques long suppressed by the industrial food system. These farmers are restoring native prairies, nurturing beneficial fungi, and enriching soil health. While feeding their communities and revitalizing cultural ties to land, they are steadily stitching ecosystems back together and repairing the natural carbon cycle. This, Carlisle shows, is the true regenerative agriculture – not merely a set of technical tricks for storing CO2 in the ground, but a holistic approach that values diversity in both plants and people.
Liz Carlisle is an Associate Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where her work focuses on fostering a more just and sustainable food system. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Folklore and Mythology from Harvard University, and she formerly served as Legislative Correspondent for Agriculture and Natural Resources in the Office of U.S. Senator Jon Tester. Recognized for her academic publishing with the Elsevier Atlas Award, which honors research with social impact, Liz has also written numerous pieces for general audience readers, in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Business Insider, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. She is the author of two books about transition to sustainable farming: Lentil Underground (winner of the 2016 Montana Book Award) and Grain by Grain, coauthored with farmer Bob Quinn.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment