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.

August 2021 | Urban Farming on Chicago’s South Side

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...

July 2021 | Capital Flees: Union Busting at a Vegan Foods Factory

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...

June 2021 | The Earthbound Farmer’s Almanac

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...

May 2021 | Building Food Sovereignty

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...

April 2021 | The Dystopic and Exceptional Pawpaw

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...

March 2021 | Food Insecurity and Collective Care

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,...