Episode 231. Leave No Trace Farming

Damian Valdez and Jamie Williamson run Lighthouse Herb’n Farm, an organic herb, tea, medicinal plant, and dye-plant operation in eastern San Diego. The farm is located on what is considered Luiseño Payómkawichum native land.

In this episode of Voices from the Field, Jamie and Damian talk with NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Katherine Favor about their ethic of “leave no trace” — how they farm organically in San Diego’s harsh desert climate in a way that honors this sacred native land, and ensures that it is kept intact for generations to come.

For Jamie and Damian, “leave no trace” farming means farming in a way that honors the past while preserving the future.

It involves knowing your landscape and its limitations; tailoring every farming practice to the specifics of your growing context; choosing crops that are appropriate to your growing context; keeping your soil covered and disturbing it as little as possible; creating self-regulating systems rather than relying on inputs; using only natural principles of biomimicry and succession to alter your landscape; seed saving; and always attempting to leave the land better than you found it.

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Contact Katherine Favor via email at katherinef@ncat.org

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