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Podcast 7: Ours To Lose

Ours to Lose showcases another performance from our live story-telling event, Borderlands of the San Joaquin Valley. The radio play at the center of this episode, Ours to Lose, written by Yia Lee and produced by the Valley Roots Project, is based on an interesting research process. The play was written using a Story Circle process that involved interviews with real farmers from across the Central Valley. The result is a powerful and revealing portrait of Hmong-American farmers that really...


Podcast 6: Digging Deep-- A Conversation with Farmer Organizer Mai Nguyen

Mai Nguyen is an innovative grain farmer and an influential farmer organizer. In this interview, the first in our new series of conversations with food movement leaders that we're calling "Digging Deep," Mai talks with Ildi Carlisle-Cummins about how examining our agricultural past is the only way to move into a just, healthy farming future. As she puts it, "I, like other farmers, have perhaps 40 tries to grow my crops. That's not many, but we have more data points by looking back and...


Podcast #5: Borderlands of the San Joaquin Valley

Hear stories about immigrant innovations in California farming that were told on stage at our latest live event-- Borderlands of the San Joaquin Valley.


Podcast 3: Break-Down of the Bracero Program

It might be hard to imagine in 2016, but there was a time when Mexican immigrant workers were welcomed with open arms into Californian communities. The Braceros were Mexican guest workers, many of whom saved the crops left in farm fields as WWII started and young men enlisted-- some call them the forgotten members of the greatest generation. This is the story of how the Bracero program became abusive over the course of decades, eventually crumbling under organizing pressure from farm...


Podcast 2: Can Land Belong to Those Who Work It?

Until 1982, there was a law on the books—the 1902 Reclamation Act-- that limited the size of farms allowed to use government subsidized irrigation water across the Western U.S. to just 160 acres. That’s much, much smaller than the kind of massive-scale agricultural development that characterizes California farming in general and the Central Valley in particular. This podcast tells the story of an activist group called National Land for People that fought to enforce the Reclamation Act--...


Podcast 1: There's Nothing More Californian Than Ketchup

When you think of California Cuisine do you imagine baby lettuces doused in olive oil and carefully arranged on white plates? If you’ve ever driven down the Highway 99 corridor, which cuts through California’s Central Valley, you might have a different sense of the state’s contributions to global food culture. Driving 99 any hour of the day or night, from July through September, you’ll likely have to swerve around trucks mounded impossibly high with tomatoes. You’ll pass acres and acres of...