No Trace Farming

Damian Valdez and Jamie Williamson run an organic herb, tea, medicinal plant, and dye plant farm in Eastern San Diego, on what is considered to be Luiseño Payómkawichum native land. Operating from an ethic of “leave no trace,” Jamie and Damian discuss how to farm organically in San Diego’s harsh desert climate, in a way that honors this sacred native land and that 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 your land better than you found it.

This video is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG. It is also partially funded by Patagonia. For more sustainable-agriculture resources, including podcasts, publications, webinars, videos, databases and a free “Ask an Ag Expert” hotline, visit the ATTRA webpage at ATTRA.NCAT.ORG.

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