Down to Earth is a podcast about hope. As climate change collides with our industrial food system, we focus not on doom but instead on people who are developing practical, innovative solutions. We invite you to meet farmers, ranchers, scientists, land managers, writers, and many others on a mission to create a world in which the food we eat is healthy—for us, for the land and water from which it springs, for the lives and livelihoods of the producers, and for the planet.
From art to agriculture: Emerald Gardens
Roberto Meza was an artist and MIT graduate student who took some time off to deal with health concerns and found that fresh greens made such a difference in his life that he started growing them. Now he runs a thriving business and focuses on food sovereignty and equity.
First nations food and agriculture
A-Dae Romero Briones is director of the Native Agriculture and Food Systems initiative at First Nations Development Institute. We talk about programs across the country that are helping native people build healthier food systems and to strengthen the traditions that have kept these systems alive even during the most devastating periods of colonization.
Making ag finance work for farmers, not just for bankers
Many food producers spend so much money paying interest to banks that they are unable to pay for improvements that would make their farms more resilient and regenerative. Zach Ducheneaux talks about an alternative that's already having some success in Indian country.
The Reindeer Chronicles: Stories of restoration from around the planet
In her new book, Judith Schwartz takes us to five continents and tell us stories of people restoring devastated landscapes--and overcoming deep conflicts that stem from degraded ecosystems. The results include healthy land, clean water, economic prosperity, and climate change mitigation.
For the birds: Audubon's conservation ranching work
"What's good for the bird is good for the herd"—that's the basis of a win-win initiative to preserve bird habitat on ranches and grasslands. We speak with Audubon Society VP Marshall Johnson about grassland ecology and their successful conservation collaborations.
The risks and rewards facing young farmers
Vanessa García Polanco is from a farming family that emigrated to the US when she was a teenager. She explores the challenges that young and beginning farmers, and farmers of color, are dealing with--especially during the global pandemic.
Riveting, relevant, optimistic
... This podcast has changed my way of thinking about agriculture, and made me more hopeful for our species and our planet. Every episode is good, but I found the conversations with Calla Rose Ostrander, Lean Penniman, Nicole Masters, Glenn Elzinga and Carey Gillam to be especially memorable. Mary Charlotte Domandi does a beautiful job with the interviews and asks all the right questions.