6 episodes

Soil to Soil serves to connect the dots in the lifecycle of clothing and material culture, offering a look at how, and why, Fibershed communities are working to cultivate fiber and dye systems that build soil and protect the health of our biosphere.
Can fashion and textiles, an industry known as one of the heaviest polluters on the planet, change course and even become a stakeholder in a system that benefits people and planet? From sheep to sweater, field to finished good, we invite you to join us in connecting to the people and places providing a pathway to regional, regenerative fiber systems.
Through individual interviews, the podcast will dive into questions such as who grew your clothes? How can fiber production build soil carbon? How can we measure the impacts of carbon farming? And more.

Soil to Soil Fibershed

    • Education

Soil to Soil serves to connect the dots in the lifecycle of clothing and material culture, offering a look at how, and why, Fibershed communities are working to cultivate fiber and dye systems that build soil and protect the health of our biosphere.
Can fashion and textiles, an industry known as one of the heaviest polluters on the planet, change course and even become a stakeholder in a system that benefits people and planet? From sheep to sweater, field to finished good, we invite you to join us in connecting to the people and places providing a pathway to regional, regenerative fiber systems.
Through individual interviews, the podcast will dive into questions such as who grew your clothes? How can fiber production build soil carbon? How can we measure the impacts of carbon farming? And more.

    Soil to Soil Podcast Ep. 6: What does it mean to work within a fibershed? with the Southeastern New England Fibershed Affiliate

    Soil to Soil Podcast Ep. 6: What does it mean to work within a fibershed? with the Southeastern New England Fibershed Affiliate

    In this episode we’re taking a look at what it means to cultivate and work within a ‘fibershed.’
    Join us in conversation with three people who are doing some amazing things in their strategic geography, the Southeastern New England Fibershed: Amy DuFault, a sustainable fashion writer, consultant, and activist who has worked in this space for over a decade; Karen Schwalbe who is the Executive Director of the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) and whose work is rooted in ecological restoration and local agriculture; and Sarah Kelley, who is the Senior Program Officer at Island Foundation, and has a background in both textile history and local agriculture and environmental conservation. 
    Sarah, Karen, and Amy share how and why they joined together to develop a Fibershed Affiliate within and for their community. They talk about getting to know the people, places, and processes of their regional fiber system, and how they have gotten started with specific projects like working with a small cohort of alpaca farmers to support carbon farming practices and education. We chat about how a fibershed can be a way to understand the textile history of a place, and provide a way to envision a soil to soil economy for the future of one’s community.
    Show notes:

    Visit the Southeastern New England Fibershed site to explore their supply chain directory, read their blog, track events and projects, and follow them on Instagram @SENewEnglandFibershed
    Check out the Alpaca carbon farming cohort that the SENE Fibershed started
    Find your nearest Fibershed Affiliate by visiting our Directory
    Learn more about the Fibershed Affiliate Program including how to join the Network
    Connect with the New England Alpaca Fiber Pool
    Learn more about carbon farming
    Hear more on carbon farming practices from a producer perspective by listening to ep. 2 of the Soil to Soil podcast with Jim Jensen

    Thanks for listening to the sixth episode of Soil to Soil, a podcast connecting the dots in the lifecycle of clothing and material culture, brought to you by Fibershed, which is a non-profit organization based in Northern California. Each episode offers a look at how, and why, our community is working to cultivate fiber and dye systems that build soil & protect the health of our biosphere.
    This episode is hosted by Jess Daniels, with production support from Whetstone Media and music by Arann Harris. Photo credits: by Amy DuFault courtesy of the Southeastern New England Fibershed.

    • 59 min
    Soil to Soil Ep. 5: How does soil connect communities and economies? With Nikki Silvestri of Soil and Shadow

    Soil to Soil Ep. 5: How does soil connect communities and economies? With Nikki Silvestri of Soil and Shadow

    In this episode we’re diving deep into how healthy soil, and healthy relationships, are at the core of regional economic development.
     Tune in to hear from Nikki Silvestri, founder of Soil and Shadow, a project development firm that designs human and environmental strategies. As the former Executive Director of People’s Grocery and Green for All, Nikki has built and strengthened social equity for underrepresented populations in food systems, social services, public health, climate solutions, and economic development. We start with some of the key points from Designing the Future, a report that Fibershed released in 2018 co-authored by Nikki Silvestri, Beth Rapps, Osayi Endolyn and Rebecca Burgess, that shares how a soil to soil fiber system creates opportunities to simultaneously enhance natural resource management, build regional economies, and bridge cultural divides.
    Nikki talks us through how soil can be a connector between urban and rural communities, as well as a lens for our own personal growth. If that sounds like a lot to cover, I really encourage you to stay tuned, because Nikki weaves these elements together so beautifully and powerfully.
    She illustrates how when we keep soil at the heart of what we do, whether that’s product development or community development, or agricultural cultivation or fiber production — we can solve for so many issues at once and really design a better future.
    Show notes:

    Find Nikki Silvestri’s work at Nikkisilvestri.com as well as soilandshadow.com, on Instagram @nikki_silvestri
    Read & download Designing the Future: Pathways through Fibersheds to Natural Resource Management,
    Regional Economic Development, and Bridging Cultural Divides
    Listen to Wearing the Future: How Synthetic Biology Impacts Soil to Soil Systems to hear Nikki share more about the possibilities described in Designing the Future can help us evaluate novel biotechnologies
    Learn more and read “Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities: Opportunities to Bridge Environmental Justice and Soil Sequestration” by Annie Shattuck, Nikki Silvestri, Torri Estrada, and Eric Holt-Giménez
    Learn more about practices that build soil carbon on our carbon farming education page
    Read more about the work of Dr. Kris Nichols on soil health and soil biology
    Join us in the Northern California Fibershed on June 18th or 20th to more about the fundamentals of soil health in a one-day workshop with Dr. Christine Jones
    Ready to connect pathways in your fibershed? Explore our Northern California Fibershed Producer member directory, or get to know our global Fibershed Affiliate Network

    Thanks for listening to the fourth episode of Soil to Soil, a podcast connecting the dots in the lifecycle of clothing and material culture, brought to you by Fibershed, which is a non-profit organization based in Northern California. Each episode offers a look at how, and why, our community is working to cultivate fiber and dye systems that build soil & protect the health of our biosphere.
    This episode is hosted by Jess Daniels, with production support from Whetstone Media and music by Arann Harris. Photo credits: photography by Paige Green.

    • 36 min
    Soil to Soil Ep. 4: Is American textile milling still alive? With Ben Hostetler of Mountain Meadow Wool Mill

    Soil to Soil Ep. 4: Is American textile milling still alive? With Ben Hostetler of Mountain Meadow Wool Mill

    This episode is the first in a series about how raw fiber is transformed into what we can wear and use. Infrastructure may not be the most warm and fuzzy part of a fiber system, but it’s the key to creating soil to soil economies.
    Ben Hostetler joins us to describe the journey of wool through a fiber mill, and the shifting landscape of domestic textile manufacturing. Ben is the Operations Manager for Mountain Meadow Wool mill in Buffalo, Wyoming, and we first connected back in 2016 during the research phase of Fibershed’s National Mill Inventory.  The National Mill Inventory includes an explorer tool that can help connect you to milling infrastructure in your region; in our Northern California, we’re now so fortunate to have three wool mills within our home geography, the Northern California Fibershed: Mendocino Wool & Fiber Mill, Valley Oak Wool Mill and Woolgatherer Carding mill. These mills are serving farmers in the region by creating products including roving and yarns that are breed and even flock specific.
    The reason why I wanted to connect with Ben for to open our conversation about infrastructure is that mill size and scale fall across a gradient, and because Mountain Meadow Wool Mill is a mid-size mill, they have a unique perspective on the state of fiber processing services in the US. We talk about how the size of a mill effects its capabilities and what type of customers it can serve, and how the United States textile industry is in a precarious yet needed more than ever to meet the desire for transparent and ethical supply chains.
    Show notes:

    Mountain Meadow Wool mill’s website
    Updates on Mountain Meadow’s knitting machinery: Burma to Buffalo! Bringing Business Back to America
    Fibershed’s National Mill Inventory report, background, and video presentation
    National Mill Inventory map and explorer tool
    Fibershed’s 2014 Wool Mill feasibility study
    The Livestock Conservancy’s Shear ‘Em to Save ‘Em Initiative
    TexWorld USA – a sourcing event and trade show in New York
    Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artisans and Innovation by Peggy Hart, owner/operator of Bedfellow Blankets mill in Massachusetts
    Is New England Manufacturing Dead? Blog post by Emma Werowinski for the Southeastern New England Fibershed
    Why America Stopped Making Its Own Clothes by Stephanie Vatz, a quick review on trade and global manufacturing in the 20th century

    Thanks for listening to the fourth episode of Soil to Soil, a podcast connecting the dots in the lifecycle of clothing and material culture, brought to you by Fibershed, which is a non-profit organization based in Northern California. Each episode offers a look at how, and why, our community is working to cultivate fiber and dye systems that build soil & protect the health of our biosphere. 
    This episode is hosted by Jess Daniels, with production support from Whetstone Media and music by Arann Harris. Photo credits: cover image by Paige Green Photography; photo of Ben presenting to a gathering of Northern California Fibershed producers by Marie Hoff; milling equipment snapshot by Jess Daniels.
    Find this show in the iTunes library by searching for “Soil to Soil,” where we invite you to subscribe and leave a review to encourage more listeners to join us. We welcome your questions and feedback directly to podcast@fibershed.com.

    • 46 min
    Soil to Soil ep. 3: How do we measure the climate impact of carbon farming practices? with Dr. Keith Paustian

    Soil to Soil ep. 3: How do we measure the climate impact of carbon farming practices? with Dr. Keith Paustian

    Welcome to Soil to Soil, a podcast connecting the dots in the lifecycle of clothing and material culture, brought to you by Fibershed. Each episode offers a look at how, and why, our community is working to cultivate fiber and dye systems that build soil and protect the health of our biosphere.
    Today’s conversation dives in to the flows of the carbon cycle, from atmosphere to earth.
    Join us in conversation with Rebecca Burgess, who is the founder and Executive Director of Fibershed, and Dr. Keith Paustian, professor of soil ecology at Colorado State University.

    Dr. Keith Paustian’s research focuses on the greenhouse gas emissions related to agriculture, from crops to grasslands. He studies and assesses the carbon dynamics of soil, and potential of landscape management to draw atmospheric carbon down to earth and into the soil. As you likely know, human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for an excess of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and the feedback loops from this carbon imbalance are changing our climate at unprecedented scale.
    Globally, the world’s soils have lost 133 gigatons of carbon, which presents an opportunity for communities to restore soil carbon through landscape management. Dr. Paustian is one of the creators of the COMET-Farm tool, a whole farm and ranch greenhouse gas accounting system that uses scientific data to model the potential for farmers and ranchers in United States to maximize carbon drawdown.
    In the last episode, we heard from Jim Jensen, a rancher and member of the Northern California Fibershed who is using landscape management choices to build soil carbon. How do we know the numbers associated with the Jim’s practices? COMET-Farm is the free, open-source tool that provides Jim, and many other farmers and ranchers, the data to pair with their practices.
    Show notes:

    Keith Paustian research homepage at Colorado State University
    COMET-Farm: Whole Farm and Ranch Greenhouse Gas Accounting System
    COMET-Planner: Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Evaluation for NRCS Conservation Practice Planning
    USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service homepage
    Soil scientist Rattan Lal answers the question: how much carbon can we sequester in soils and vegetation?
    The potential of agricultural land management to contribute to lower global surface temperatures in Science Advances by lead author Allegra Mayer based on research by the Silver Lab
    The Paris Agreement, within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    Dr. Paustian serves on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Developing a Research Agenda for Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration, which released a 2018 research agenda on Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
    Fibershed’s Climate Beneficial Wool program
    Learn more about carbon farming practices and incentives

    This episode is introduced by Jess Daniels, with production support from Whetstone Media and music by Arann Harris.
    Photo credits: the top image is Paige Green Photography of a Northern California Fibershed producer member ranch where carbon capture is being enhanced through several practices including prescribed grazing and 850 acres of no-till agriculture with multi species cover crop. Snapshot of Dr. Keith Paustian speaking on a Climate Beneficial Wool panel with Carol Shu from The North Face, via At The EpiCenter; infographic by Fibershed using Paige Green Photography.
    Find this show in the iTunes library by searching for “Soil to Soil,” where we invite you to subscribe and leave a review to encourage more listeners to join us. We welcome your questions and feedback directly to podcast@fibershed.com.

    • 52 min
    Soil to Soil Podcast Ep. 2: How can fiber systems sequester carbon? with Jim Jensen

    Soil to Soil Podcast Ep. 2: How can fiber systems sequester carbon? with Jim Jensen

    Welcome to Soil to Soil, a podcast connecting the dots in the lifecycle of clothing and material culture, brought to you by Fibershed. Each episode offers a look at how, and why, our community is working to cultivate fiber and dye systems that build soil & protect the health of our biosphere.
    Today’s conversation focuses on how our material culture — what we wear, the products we use — connect to the carbon cycle itself.
    Jim Jensen joins us to explore the question: how can fiber systems sequester carbon? A 6th generation rancher at Jensen Ranch & Tomales Sheep Company in Marin County, California, Jim shares how agricultural production actually follows the carbon cycle, if you look closely enough, and discusses some of the practices and tools he is using to enhance the flow of carbon into the soil. As you’ll hear, Jensen Ranch wool is now available in several home goods, combined with wool from Stemple Creek Ranch, and that product relationship is directly supporting the ranches in sequestering over 470 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
    And it’s not just about carbon: Jim describes the co-benefits he experiences, like capturing and storing more water, creating resilience and adaptation to drought, and challenges faced by land managers. Jim is also the Stewardship Manager at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, or MALT, where he works at the local and regional level on land stewardship and conservation planning efforts, and we talk about how MALT and other partner organizations are supporting farmers and ranchers to adopt practices that build soil carbon — and so much more.
    Show notes:

    Jensen Ranch & Tomales Sheep Company in the Fibershed Producer Directory
    Stemple Creek Ranch in the Fibershed Producer Directory
    Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT)
    Coyuchi’s Climate Beneficial Wool goods
    Full Circle Wool in the Fibershed Producer Directory, and their Climate Beneficial wool sponges
    Learn more about carbon farming on Fibershed’s education page, and scroll down on that page to find a free webinar recording to hear from producers including Jim about tools, models, and examples of carbon farming in the Northern California Fibershed
    Learn more about Climate Beneficial Wool on Fibershed’s program page
    Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency within the US Department of Agriculture
    COMET-Planner, an online tool to “evaluate potential carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reductions from
    adopting NRCS conservation practices”
    More about Aldo Leopold’s land ethic
    California Conservation Corps (CCC)
    Find your California Resource Conservation District (RCD)
    Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (STRAW) program by Point Blue Conservation Science

    This episode is hosted by Jess Daniels, with production support from Whetstone Media and music by Arann Harris.
    Photo credits: photos of Jim by Paige Green, catalog image by Jess Daniels. Find this show in the iTunes library by searching for “Soil to Soil,” where we invite you to subscribe and leave a review to encourage more listeners to join us. We welcome your questions and feedback directly to podcast@fibershed.com.
     

    • 37 min
    Soil to Soil Podcast Ep. 1: Who Grew Your Clothes? with Stephany Wilkes

    Soil to Soil Podcast Ep. 1: Who Grew Your Clothes? with Stephany Wilkes

    Welcome to Soil to Soil, a podcast connecting the dots in the lifecycle of clothing and material culture, brought to you by Fibershed. Each episode offers a look at how, and why, our community is working to cultivate fiber and dye systems that build soil and protect the health of our biosphere.
    Today’s conversation is a crash course in the many people who make it possible for us to wear a wool sweater, knit with a new ball of yarn, or sleep on a wool pillow at night.
    Stephany Wilkes joins us to explore the question: who grew our clothes? Stephany is truly a renaissance human who wears so many hats, it’s hard to know where to start to describe her talents and all that she does: Stephany is a certified sheep shearer and wool classer, a writer, a teacher, a former tech industry project manager, and a contributor to many innovative efforts in our regional fiber system here in Northern California. We spoke just as Stephany was launching her new book, Raw Material: Working Wool in the West, about the people and processes that get us dressed but don’t appear on the garment label; about the influence of urban consumers on agricultural communities, and the bright spots that keep her hopeful in this work. 
    Learn more about Stephany’s work through her website, stephanywilkes.com, which includes information on her book and upcoming events including speaking engagements and readings. Stephany is chair of the Board of the Northern California Fibershed Cooperative, a member-owned collective that operates the Fibershed Marketplace: visit to shop and support producers directly.  And follow along on Instagram @ladysheepshearer.

    Show notes:

    Vogue magazine article Women of the Wool by Rebecca Bengal with photography by Nich Hance McElroy
    Raw Material: Working Wool in the West by Stephany Wilkes
    The Knitters Book of Wool by Clara Parkes
    Sheep Shearing School through UC Cooperative Extension Mendocino County
    RiverBlue documentary
    The True Cost documentary
    2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, where nearly 1200 worker lives were lost
    Growing Value for Wool Growers: An Economic Feasibility Study and New Business Model – report by Stephany Wilkes as part of Fibershed’s USDA Value Added Products Grant, available as a free download on the Climate Beneficial Wool page
    Contract grazing: watch Fibershed’s short video, Resilience in Practice, on the ecosystem services and economic model
    Didn’t Used to Happen article by Stephany Wilkes
    Mendocino Wool & Fiber Mill
    The Northern California Fibershed Cooperative
    Fibershed Marketplace
    Who Killed the Cone Mills White Oak Plant? by David Shuck for Heddels

     
    This episode is hosted by Jess Daniels, with production support from Whetstone Media and music by Arann Harris. Photo credits: top photo by @GynnaMade (featuring Gynna Made locally grown, handmade socks) portrait by Paige Green, bottom image by Jess Daniels.
    Find this show in the iTunes library by searching for “Soil to Soil,” where we invite you to subscribe and leave a review to encourage more listeners to join us. We welcome your questions and feedback directly to podcast@fibershed.com.

    • 43 min

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