Tag Archives: agriculture

local v. organic: the complex landscape of sustainable food production

3 Mar
organic kale sprouts

Organic greens sprout at Los Poblanos Organics in Mesilla, NM.

When examining food production, there are three identifiable areas of concern: health impacts, environmental impacts, and ethics. These are all, of course, interrelated. However, when faced with the daunting task of honestly examining food production, it’s easier to take one topic at a time. I talk a lot about the health impacts of our dietary choices in some of my other posts, and I discussed ethics in a recent post as well. So now let’s look at the environmental impacts of food production, specifically as they relate to sustainability.

Humans experience life through contrast. We tend to simplify the grey areas of complex topics into black and white whenever we can; our minds automatically distill muddied waters into crystal-clear solutions, even when none exist. When confronting the issue of sustainable food production, many a well-intentioned activist has been caught up in the following false dichotomization:

Which is better – buying local produce, or buying certified organic produce?

If there is one thing I have learned thus far in my wellness odyssey, it’s that food is NOT simple. There are no simple answers. Humankind has entrenched itself deeply in an unsustainable system of feeding its ever-growing population. How do we feed billions of people without destroying our health and our environment? Is it even possible? Continue reading

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next installment of agriculture photos

14 Feb

dairy cattle ranchI’ve been a busy bee. Not only am I discovering a lot about food and its production for my own benefit, but I’m working on a related fine art photography project for a class I’m taking, also. Hence, all the artsy B&W photos.

I spend a lot of time driving through the agricultural lands here; Hwy 28, Hatch, Dona Ana, Anthony, and all throughout the Mesilla Valley. What I see is a mixture of hard physical labor, neglected infrastructure, migrant workers, secluded mansions, and a struggle between modernity, urbanization, and authentic living. One thing I know for sure: our food producers are most certainly under-appreciated.

Here are some of the most recent photos from my adventures in farmland: Continue reading

first set of farming photos

3 Feb

Just like my wellness odyssey, my creative project has taken on a life of its own.

This time of year is pretty barren in the fields. I connected with many local farmers and agricultural folks, and spent the last week visiting with the first people on my list. My goal is to help people reconnect with food through art. Yet, as I explored the austere landscapes of winter agriculture, I was inspired most by the textures and artificial geometry I saw around me. Here are a few of the images I’ve thus far created…

freshly-planted onion fields

a field of overwintered onion starts

Continue reading

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