Terroir-ist's Manifesto and the Lexicon of Sustainability

Gary Paul Nabhan, Distinguished Professor, Southwest Center and Department of Geography, University of Arizona

Living in what he affectionately calls “the stinkin’ hot desert,” in Patagonia Arizona, along the Mexican border, Gary Paul Nabhan is exploring ways to grow food using traditional sustainable methods, careful water collection, and seed saving.

He is not only a social scientist, but he is a conservation biologist.We heard Nabhan speak last fall here in Seattle; he is a fascinating ethnobotanist and nature-writer with a focus on native and historical food traditions across the US.

His Terroir-ist’s Manifesto is a terrific way to describe GoodFood World’s mission and philosophy:

Know where your food has come from
through knowing those who produced it for you,
from farmer to forager, rancher or fisher
to earthworms building a deeper, richer soil,
to the heirloom vegetable, the nitrogen-fixing legume,
the pollinator, the heritage breed of livestock,
& the sourdough culture rising in your flour.

Read the rest of his manifesto here.

While not linked directly to the work Nabhan is doing – but reflecting some of his writing – the Lexicon of Sustainability is a project that illustrates terms from 13 different areas of sustainability, from air to water, manufacturing to conservation, food to farming, energy to architecture, and health to spirituality.

This is a photo representing the terms “Biodiversity” and “Monoculture.”

Small, organic farms like Rick Knollʼs eliminate their reliance on petrochemical based fertilizers and pesticides. The results are fewer pollutants, less environmental degradation, and cleaner air.

Cover cropping and other soil fertilization principles also allow sequester carbon and keep topsoil – which is carbon heavy – from being lost into the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.