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Sustainable agriculture

Winter 2014

The roots of tilth

In 1974, a group of Washington farmers, gardeners, and concerned citizens formed one of the nation’s first organized efforts for sustainable agriculture.

It was in the midst of a burgeoning back-to-the-land movement, and not long after the founding of Earth Day. The time was ripe for Washington, its farmers, consumers, and researchers to change agriculture.

On his way home from a Spokane conference on “Agriculture for a Small Planet,” author and activist Wendell Berry started a letter that would catalyze the movement. He praised the thoughtful and knowledgeable group who had organized the event, and wondered if they might work together to shape “a coherent … » More …