For many people, the word “farming” connotes food production. A means to an end; plant the seed so we can later eat the harvest. While food yield is, no doubt, an important part of agriculture, this week we look toward the bi-products of the process itself. That is, the various healing elements the experience of farming and gardening bring.
We first look at how farming and gardening provide moments of solace and reprieve for those currently and formerly incarcerated. Natasha Kimmel looks at how The Insight Garden Program uses agriculture programs in prison to teach everything from leadership and communication to respect and empathy. Hannah Fordin talks with Ironbound Farm about their regenerative farming program which aims to foster social development and provide employment for chronically underemployed groups. We then travel to Thailand where Emily Kunkel talks with Radical Grandma Collective, a group of grandmothers using farming to fight against a toxic goldmine threatening their bodily health. Finally, Lisa Held, host of The Farm Report, talks with an Alabama teaching farm about their transition from an after-school program to a community produce provider in the face of Covid-19.