An Article By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Sunday Mornings @ Collected Works Bookstore
A Sunday morning gathering of progressive thinkers who explore, through presentations, issues that influence our daily lives and the lives of future generations. We hope these gatherings, through understanding and knowledge of the world around us, will ignite change for the common good and provide a sense of community.
About Jerry Ortiz y Pino:
Click here to view Jerry Ortiz y Pino's view on EDUCATION.
Dreaming Gets Real
Brian grew up in Santa Fe and ran for the State House because he wants his kids to be able to raise their families here. He has been active in making our community a better place to live, following a long family tradition of service. In fact, his great-grandfather was a Santa Fe County delegate to the 1912 New Mexico Progressive Party convention. Today, Brian lives with his wife Kelly and daughters Cameron and Sidney in the house where he grew up.
A Commitment to Public Service
Effective Leadership for Santa Fe
A Commitment to Progressive
Quivira Coalition MISSION STATEMENT: to build resilience by fostering ecological, economic and social health on western landscapes through education, innovation, collaboration and progressive public and private land stewardship.
Feeding Nine Billion People without Destroying Nature
According to the United Nations, there will be nine billion people on the planet by 2050, which raises a serious question: how are we going to feed them without destroying what’s left of the natural world, especially under the stress of climate change?
Australian farmer Colin Seis has an answer: intensify food production by managing land in nature’s image.
That might sound like a mouthful, but consider the heart of this issue: if humans can’t find enough food, fuel, fiber, and fresh water to sustain themselves, they’ll raid the environment to secure them, pushing all other values that we place on nature, such as wilderness and endangered species protection, down the priority list. Perhaps way down.
It’s not about poor people and starvation either. The food well-fed Americans eat comes from a global production system that is already struggling to find enough arable land, adequate supplies of water, and drought-tolerant plants and animals to feed seven billion people. Add two billion more – of all income levels – and you have a recipe for a devastating raid on the natural world. Where is all this extra food and water going to come from, especially if the climate gets hotter and drier in many places as predicted?
Industry has an answer: more of the same. More chemicals, fertilizers, GMOs, monocropping, heavy fossil fuel use, and land ownership consolidation. A second ‘Green Revolution’ is required, they say, even though the consequences of the first one have been decidedly mixed, especially for the environment. Of course, Industry is more than happy to continue profiting from these ‘solutions’ – which is why they insist on keeping their hand on the steering wheel.
Fortunately, there is another way, as I was reminded while visiting Colin Seis’ farm in New South Wales last fall. Colin pioneered a regenerative agricultural practice called pasture cropping, and I went exploring to learn his story.
In 1979, after a wildfire burned nearly all of Colin Seis’ farm and sent him to the hospital with burns, Colin decided to rethink the way he had been practicing agriculture. His new goal was to rebuild the soil’s fertility after decades of practices had unwittingly depleted it. Colin and his family raise Merino sheep (for wool) on their farm, so Colin decided first to take up holistic management, which is a way of managing animals on pasture that mimics the graze-and-go behavior of wild herbivores. It’s perfectly suited for central New South Wales, whose rolling grasslands, decent rainfall, and lack of native predators and make it ideal for raising sheep – lots of sheep. But it is what Colin did next that really caught people’s attention.
After a late night of beer-drinking at the local pub with a friend, an idea struck Colin: what if he no-till drilled an annual crop into his perennial grass pastures? Meaning, could he raise two products from one piece of land: a grain crop and an animal product? This was a heretical idea. Crops and grazing animals were supposed to be kept separate, right? But that’s because the traditional practice on cropland is plowing, which eliminates the grasses. But what if you no-till (no plow) drilled oat or wheat or corn seed directly into the pasture when the grasses were dormant? Would they grow?
Colin decided to find out. Fast forward to the present – and the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ Pasture cropping, as Colin dubbed it, works well and has spread across Australia to some 2000 farms. Today Colin produces grain and wool – and, if he wanted, a harvest of native grass seed, which was an original food source for the Aboriginals of the area. It’s all carefully integrated and managed under Colin’s stewardship.
Pasture cropping is just one example of regenerative practices that build topsoil, increase yields, and conserve the natural environment. There are many others, involving soil, seeds, water, plants, livestock, trees, organics, and people – as the stewards. Building topsoil, for instance, stores more water, grows healthier plants that can feed more people while sequestering carbon – which is good for nature too!
Is this pie-in-the-sky stuff? Perhaps, but consider the alternative: more of what got us into trouble in the first place. With two billion more people to feed, clothe, house, warm, and slake thirsts, contemplating alternatives is crucial if we’re going to have our natural world and eat it too. Fortunately, answers exist, if we’re willing to go exploring.
A former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist, Courtney dropped out of the ‘conflict industry’ in 1997 to co-found The Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to building bridges between ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists and others around the idea of land health (see www.quiviracoalition.org). Today, his work with Quivira concentrates on building economic and ecological resilience on working landscapes, with a special emphasis on carbon ranching and the new agrarian movement.
His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Farming, Acres Magazine, Rangelands, and the Natural Resources Journal. His essay The Working Wilderness: a Call for a Land Health Movement” was published by Wendell Berry in 2005 in his collection of essays titled The Way of Ignorance.
In 2008, Island Press published Courtney’s book Revolution on the Range: the Rise of a New Ranch in the American West.
He co-edited, with Dr. Rick Knight, Conservation for a New Generation, also published by Island Press in 2008.
More of Courtney’s work can be found on his web site: www.awestthatworks.com
In 2010, Courtney was given the Michael Currier Award for Environmental Service by the New Mexico Community Foundation.
In 2012, he was a writer-in-resident at the U Cross Foundation, near Sheridan Wyoming, and he was the first Aldo Leopold Writer-in-Resident at Mi Casita, in Tres Piedras, New Mexico, courtesy of the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service.
In 2012, he published a collection of black-and-white photographs of the American West in an online book titled The Indelible West. It includes a Foreword by Wallace Stegner (written in 1992). See: www.indeliblewest.com
He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his family and a backyard full of chickens.
A graduate of Vassar College (BA) and TempleUniversity (MA in English-Creative Writing), Ms. Raby has lived in Santa Fe since 2001. She and her husband conduct a monthly open poetry reading at Lucky Bean Coffee House in Santa Fe. Elizabethis a member of the board of New Mexico Literary Arts, an organization that tries to inspire and develop the imaginative use of language and to create opportunities for the integration of the literary arts with other art forms throughout New Mexico.
Her three books of poems, This Woman (2012), Ink on Snow, (2010)and The Year the Pears Bloomed Twice, (2009) were published by Virtual Artists Collective (www.vacpoetry.org). She served for many years as a poet-in-the-schools in Pennsylvania,New Jersey, and for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. She taught poetry at MuhlenbergCollege. She is a Fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts where she has had frequent residencies.
Her other publications include The Hard Scent of Peonies and Ten Degrees above Zero,
Jasper Press, Camphorwood,Nightshade Press, as well as poems in journals such as The Comstock Review, The Texas Poetry Calendar 2009 and 2010, The Journal of NJ Poets, U.S. 1, Santa Fe Review and Sin Fronteras. Her poem, “Bride-to-Be” won the 2010 Kelton Contest sponsored by AngeloState University. In addition to her poetry, Elizabeth has written forVermont History, Nebraska History, and Teachers and Writers Collaborative.
Larry currently resides in Alpine, Texas. He served as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate.
A member of the Texas Institute of Letters, he has published twelve books of poems, most recently A Murder of Crows (Virtual Artists Collective 2011). His New and Selected Poems (TCU Press 2008) was long-listed for the National Book Award.
Among the numerous prizes and awards Thomas has received for his poetry are the following:
Two Texas Review Poetry Prizes (2001 and 2004)
2004 Violet Crown Award (Writers’ League of Texas)
2003 Western Heritage Award (National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum)
Three Pushcart Prize Nominations
A Poets’Prize Nomination (West Chester University/Nicholas Roerich Museum)
Six Spur Award Finalist Citations (Western Writers of America)
Houston Area Barnes & Noble Booksellers Author of the Month (June 2002)
Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe-25) is a first term State Senator elected during the 2008 General Election. He spent four years as a Representative in the State House from 2004 through 2008 replacing Max Coll who retired from the seat.
When he is not working at the Legislature, Peter is a lawyer in Santa Fe. He graduated from Stanford University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Spanish and then went to law school at the University of New Mexico where he obtained a Juris Doctorate in 1990. Peter was a law clerk for the Honorable Oliver Seth, a Federal Judge with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. His current civil law practice emphasizes mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
During his two terms in the State House, Peter carried a variety of legislation signed by Governor Bill Richardson. Some of Peter’s successful legislation includes laws to expand an open space tax credit, to restrict the use of eminent domain for private economic development, to allow local governments to enact water conservation ordinances and to better protect homeowners from property damage caused by government action.
Prior to his service in the legislature, Peter was actively involved in the Santa Fe community. He served on a number of boards including the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation from 1991 to 2000, the Santa Fe Children’s Museum from 2000 to 2004 where he was board chair for two years, the Historic Santa Fe Foundation from 1991 to 1995 where he returned to serve as board president from 1997 to 2003. Since 2000 Peter has been a member of Rotary International.
He is married to Carol Romero-Wirth, also a lawyer, and they have two children.