34 episodes

Fields brings you the stories of people who are working in urban agriculture—for money, for fun, to feed the hungry, and for entirely other reasons. In each episode, hosts Melissa Metrick and Wythe Marschall delve into different foods grown in cities. Moreover, we investigate the whys behind getting up in the morning and working as a farmer in the shadow of skyscrapers. You don’t need to be a farmer to enjoy this podcast, or even a foodie! With their expert guests, Melissa and Wythe break down the realities and possible futures of urban farming to their elements.

Fields Heritage Radio Network

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 13 Ratings

Fields brings you the stories of people who are working in urban agriculture—for money, for fun, to feed the hungry, and for entirely other reasons. In each episode, hosts Melissa Metrick and Wythe Marschall delve into different foods grown in cities. Moreover, we investigate the whys behind getting up in the morning and working as a farmer in the shadow of skyscrapers. You don’t need to be a farmer to enjoy this podcast, or even a foodie! With their expert guests, Melissa and Wythe break down the realities and possible futures of urban farming to their elements.

    A History of Farm Animals in NYC

    A History of Farm Animals in NYC

    When and why were large farm animals banned from NYC? What’s happening on the one working farm exempt from this ban? Did you know that thousands of pigs used to freely roam around New York City? Pre-COVID, Melissa and Wythe chatted with environmental historian Catherine McNeur and long-time animal farmer Heidi Woolever (formerly of Queens County Farm Museum) in order to learn why we don’t see pigs in the streets any more. We then followed up with Heidi in March, 2022. Queens County is the oldest farm in the city, and the only one currently home to pigs (and cows, goats, and alpacas…). And Catherine’s book, Taming Manhattan, offers rich historical details about our once-pig-filled streets, and why getting rid of the pigs was also a move by the rich to change poor, non-white neighborhoods. We get into “swill milk” (a gross but important story in the city’s history), what animals you can raise in the city (no rhinos, sadly), and how Queens County operates today. We also talk to Heidi about how a person even gets into animal husbandry as a career in NYC—and why goats are magnificent creatures. Check out this episode, review Fields, and share us with your friends!

    • 45 min
    Urban Greenhouses: A Conversation About Growing at Home

    Urban Greenhouses: A Conversation About Growing at Home

    Following up on our various dives into mission-driven commercial vertical farming, greenhouse-growing at the Texas State Fair, indoor growing as a tool of food sovereignty in Brooklyn, and food-focused architecture, the Fields hosts discuss both the history of and recent innovations in greenhouses in cities, especially NYC. How can domestic homes incorporate greenhouses to grow food? What have cities done so far to create more viable opportunities to grow food in greenhouses? Melissa reflects on her work experiences and future plans; Wythe draws on his research into indoor agriculture; and Allie brings in the aesthetic perspective—laws often focus on what cities should look like, not helping people feed themselves. Join us for another informational and informal host conversation, and if you enjoy Fields, tell a friend!

    • 51 min
    Scott Kellogg, Educational Director of the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center

    Scott Kellogg, Educational Director of the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center

    Scott is a scientist, advocate, and educator working at the intersection of social justice and biodiversity conservation. He helps manage the amazing Radix Center in the South End of Albany, NY. Among many other amazing projects that we talk about with Scott, Radix is… growing trees without cloning in order to increase genetic diversity and help protect against pests; planting trees such as paw-paws with climate change in mind; teaching a love for the living environment and an ethic of reciprocity; turning vacant lots into nut orchards; and practicing “compost justice.” Radix is a model for other regions when it comes to connecting urban agriculture, education, and justice. This is an episode you don’t want to miss!

    • 59 min
    Post-Meat: A Conversation About Cellular Agriculture and Plant-Based Meat

    Post-Meat: A Conversation About Cellular Agriculture and Plant-Based Meat

    What does “progress” in developing new kinds of environmentally friendly meats look like? What are the hidden costs of cell-based and plant-based meats? Following up on their interviews with Garrett Broad (Fordham University) and Meera Zassenhaus (New Harvest) regarding cellular agriculture, Melissa and Wythe talk with Allie about some new developments in this growing sector, and what they may mean for urban growers. The Fields team, intrigued by an article in The Counter (“Lab-grown meat is supposed to be inevitable. The science tells a different story” by Joe Fassler), debates the likely trajectories of cell-based and plant-based meats and responds to different media narratives. In doing so, we challenge the inevitability of technological solutions to social and political problems such as the unequal burdens created by climate disruption and the unequal access to futuristic post-meats.

    • 45 min
    Greg Peterson of The Urban Farm, Phoenix, AZ

    Greg Peterson of The Urban Farm, Phoenix, AZ

    The Fields team speaks with Greg Peterson, founder of The Urban Farm in Phoenix, AZ, about his decades of working in urban agriculture. He’s developed an “urban to the max” old-growth food forest in the middle of a dry region. (At the same time, Greg is also the host of The Urban Farm Podcast, which has an archive of over 650 episodes!) We talk about trust in nature, the human condition, abundance, why growing grass makes much less sense than growing fruit trees, and how Greg has taught urban agriculture online during a pandemic. In fact, The Urban Farm offers free urban agriculture classes online. Recorded at the end of COP26 summit, this episode also focuses on climate disruption’s effects on agriculture as well as the politics of agriculture. Check it out, and happy planting!

    • 53 min
    Farms Unknown: Tenisio Seanima on the City of East Point’s First Ever Agriculture Plan

    Farms Unknown: Tenisio Seanima on the City of East Point’s First Ever Agriculture Plan

    In April 2021, the City of East Point, Georgia, adopted its first ever agriculture plan. Almost two years later, Tenisio Seanima is leading the charge as urban agriculture manager for East Point. Following up on his interview with J. Olu Baiyewu, Jeffrey Landau interviews Tenisio. Listen as Tenisio shares his findings on the challenges farmers have faced, how he and his colleagues are addressing them, and his advice for policymakers beyond the Atlanta area as they consider urban ag plans for their cities. From there, Jeffrey and Tenisio cover some of the history of agriculture, and Tenisio shares a long list of role models and books that will inspire anyone working in food and ag.

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Arts

NPR
The Moth
Roman Mars
NPR
Snap Judgment and PRX
Beanstack