14 episodes

Cal Ag Roots unearths stories about farming history that challenge us to think deeply about the struggles, breakthroughs, battles and innovations that have shaped California agriculture. Tune in to learn the surprising histories behind the ways we produce food today. You might never look at your grocery aisle in the same way again!

Cal Ag Roots Podcast Cal Ag Roots

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0, 14 Ratings

Cal Ag Roots unearths stories about farming history that challenge us to think deeply about the struggles, breakthroughs, battles and innovations that have shaped California agriculture. Tune in to learn the surprising histories behind the ways we produce food today. You might never look at your grocery aisle in the same way again!

    Looking Back To Look Forward: How the US Forgot About Farmworkers' Right to Retire

    Looking Back To Look Forward: How the US Forgot About Farmworkers' Right to Retire

    Looking Back to Look Forward asks why in California-- which has been the home of farm labor movements-- aging farm workers are not guaranteed any help in their retirement. The story centers farmworker voices and provides a historical approach to understand why little progress on this important right has been made. We dig into the history of how farm workers were excluded from key protections granted other kinds of workers in the New Deal-era National Labor Relations Act. This show was co-produced by Jennifer Martinez, in collaboration with Cal Ag Roots. (Photo is of Lola Martinez, a farm worker in Bakersfield, CA)

    • 41 min
    Podcast #13: All My Relations-- Tending the Land on California's Central Coast

    Podcast #13: All My Relations-- Tending the Land on California's Central Coast

    Stories of California farming history often start at the Gold Rush. Sometimes, they reach back in time to include the Mexican or Spanish eras. But very rarely do we hear about the ways indigenous Californians were tending the landscape to produce food for thousands of years before contact with colonizers. The story of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and their stewardship of the land along California’s Central Coast is a crucial part of the history of how humans have interacted with this landscape. What they and other native people across the state have historically done here was NOT farming, they tell me. And yet their stewardship practices literally laid the groundwork for the existing farming industry. It turns out that this story not only stretches the standard timeline of California history back by thousands of years, but it asks us to expand our very definition of agriculture. Which is why it feels like a critically important place to dig in. Featuring A-dae Romero-Briones, Valentin Lopez, Eleanor Castro, Rick Flores and Nancy Vail, with music by Nangdo, Kai Engel and Ketsa.

    • 38 min
    Podcast #12: Digging Deep-- A Conversation with Nina Ichikawa

    Podcast #12: Digging Deep-- A Conversation with Nina Ichikawa

    Nina Ichikawa is shaping the conversation about the future of California farming in many different ways. She's the Interim Executive Director at the Berkeley Food Institute, a member of the Farmer Justice Collaborative, the great grand-daughter of influential Japanese American flower growers, as well as a writer about Asian-American food histories. And she’s one of the most insightful thinkers about current issues in California food and farming. Tune in to this Cal Ag Roots episode to find out why Nina wants us all to be telling many more stories about California.

    • 24 min
    Podcast 11: Digging Deep-- A Conversation with Antonio Roman-Alcalá

    Podcast 11: Digging Deep-- A Conversation with Antonio Roman-Alcalá

    Antonio Roman Alcalá has a lot of ideas to share about power-building in the food movement. He’s an organizer, and a thinker, a theorizer and a farmer. Antonio strikes me as someone who manages to have his hands in the soil AND his eyes on the horizon at the same time. In our conversation at his kitchen table in his tiny Berkeley apartment, I got the impression that he’s often dreaming of possibilities for a collectively-owned, radically diversified farming future, but that he’s also deeply rooted in and actively drawing from history. Which is why, of course, I was excited to talk with him for this podcast.

    This podcast is part of our series is called Digging Deep: Conversations with Food Movement Leaders about the History of Farming. Tune in to these episodes to learn how food movement leaders’ understanding of the past, and how what they learn from Cal Ag Roots stories, has shifted their thinking about their work.

    Antonio refers to a few Cal Ag Roots stories that you might want to listen to, if you haven't caught them yet. Those are Podcast 1: There's Nothing More Californian than Ketchup, Podcast 2: Can Land Belong to Those Who Work it? and Podcast 10: Política del Mole/ The Politics of Mole. Check those out wherever you get our podcast!

    • 21 min
    Podcast 10: Política Del Mole/The Politics of Mole

    Podcast 10: Política Del Mole/The Politics of Mole

    For centuries, people have been telling other people what to eat. The paleo diet fad might be new, but the idea that some people know what food is best, or healthiest, or cleanest and that other people need to be educated about that is definitely NOT new. It might be one of the oldest ideas we’ve explored on this show.

    And it has surprisingly little to do with knowledge about food itself and a whole lot more to do with ideas about whose culture is “good.” Or about “living right.” Or defending a social order. Dig just a little bit into the history of ideas about diet and you’ll quickly find a lot of ideas about race and about class and about power.

    But one group of cultural organizers in CA’s Central Valley, at the Pan Valley Institute, has radically shifted this conversation-- and by doing that they point the way towards a new model for food movement work that builds political and community strength from difference and diversity. Tune in to learn about Política del Mole/The Politics of Mole!

    This story was produced by the California Institute for Rural Studies, Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, director of the Cal Ag Roots Project, and Li Schmidt. Special thanks to everyone who’s voices you heard here: Myrna Martinez, Erica Kohl-Arenas, Melanie DuPuis, Mario Sifuentez, Gail Feenstra, Charlotte Biltekoff and Brenda Ordaz. The music for our podcast was by Dayanna Sevilla and by the Nangdo. Thanks also to our funders-- the 11th Hour Project and the Food and Farming Communications Fund.

    • 37 min
    Podcast 9: A Few Things We're Grateful For-- Tamales, Pambazos & Braceros

    Podcast 9: A Few Things We're Grateful For-- Tamales, Pambazos & Braceros

    This is a Thanksgiving podcast, featuring three tasty audio pieces that celebrate family food traditions and workers who have given their lives to fill our tables. Tune in to this 4th episode in our Borderlands of the San Joaquin Valley series to hear two student-produced audio pieces by Cindy Cervantes and Omar Gonzalez and a powerful performance by roots-blues musician and Central Valley native Lance Canales. (Photo Credit: Lillian Thaoxaochay)

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

From Bakersfield with love ,

Great podcast

Thank you for this wonderful podcast. So informative, well balanced, and beautifully produced. My daughter and I enjoy listening!

jackthrift ,

Cal Ag Roots

This is the food movement podcast we all really need in California! So grateful to get more historic and deeper, thoughtful information on the conditions of our food systems and the people working in them. Thank you so much for your work! Wish you folks could produce content every day.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Listeners Also Subscribed To