Partisan Gardens

Partisan Gardens

On Partisan Gardens, we know climate catastrophe is here, and it’s our food system’s dead end. Here we see sustainable fine dining and ecological destruction, hunger and obesity, extreme wealth and immense poverty. We can’t wait any longer — for a tech breakthrough, climate apocalypse, the revolution, or a reform of the USDA loan system. We must be frank about reality, to reckon with our options. We must choose sides, and become partisans of a new way to live and grow food.

Episodes

December 30, 2021
This month, Partisan Gardens is all about the banana. Second only to the tomato as the most consumed fruit in the world, the banana has thus far only been made available in temperate regions through a violent extraction process led by multinational corporations. Attacks against this colonial system likely began at least as early as...
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On this autumn episode of Partisan Gardens, we’re sharing skills for preserving our harvests and thoughts on the significance of food preservation and food sovereignty. First, Ren, a local grower, speaks with Tom, who has launched a biodiverse and integrated homestead in the Adirondacks.  Tom discusses the variety of ways that they’ve learned to preserve...
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This month on Partisan Gardens, we are sharing a presentation by Kristin Ross, author of the landmark book “Communal Luxury: the Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune.” She delivered the lecture to the 2019 Antipode American Association of Geographers Lecture in Washington DC and gave another version of the talk here in Bloomington that same...
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For our episode this month, we spoke with Ken Asmus, the founder of Oikos Nursery.  From 1982 till earlier this year, Oikos was one of the most important sources of rare fruit trees and other non-commercial perennial food plants.  Ken recently retired from the nursery business in order to better pursue his research into food-bearing plants...
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For this episode, we interviewed urban farmers across Chicago, along with a mutual aid organization that stocks its sidewalk fridges with fresh produce from some of these same farms.  Their work is not only meeting urgent needs, but is helping to sketch out a horizon for another kind of life, grown inside the shell of...
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This week, we speak with a group of grassroots labor organizers formerly employed at No Evil Foods, a socialist-themed vegan foods company.  They describe their efforts to organize a union at the company’s Asheville manufacturing plant, and No Evil’s subsequent efforts to bust the union – leveraging the COVID crisis – and eventually outsource their work in order to close...
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This month’s Partisan Gardens is all about the Farmer’s Almanac, specifically the 2021 Earthbound Farmer’s Almanac. Our listeners are probably familiar with the old farmer’s almanac, with its planting charts, weather forecasts and random tidbits of folksy wisdom and jokes. It’s an artifact of an earlier time, probably not the first place our listeners go...
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For today’s episode, we spoke with Antonio Roman-Alcala and Spirit Mike.  In 2011, Antonio released the powerful documentary In Search of Good Food, which carefully traced the crises built into the food systems in California’s Central Valley, which is the source of most vegetable and many tree crops across the US.  Antonio reflected on the film and...
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The pawpaw is an incredible, temperate, semi-forgotten fruit.  It’s existence is a real exception on many levels: it is the only member of a tropical genus to survive this far north in most of the continent; it is nutrient and protein rich beyond most fruit; and pawpaws are exceptionally fragile, pushing them outside of economic...
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The global pandemic has exacerbated an already-simmering crisis of food insecurity, itself rooted in growing populations pushed outside of formal labor markets.  This exclusion, often implemented along racial lines, leads to precarity and a struggle for survival, which has only grown more bleak with the pressures of COVID-19.  The economy simply cannot produce enough jobs,...
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