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‘Healing Grounds’: Digging into regenerative farming with Liz Carlisle

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Liz Carlisle, ‘Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming’ (Island Press).

Lauren Korn chats with professor of food and farming Liz Carlisle, author of Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming (Island Press). In Healing Grounds, Liz Carlisle tells the stories of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American farmers who are reviving their ancestors’ methods of growing food—techniques long suppressed by the industrial food system. These farmers are restoring native prairies, nurturing beneficial fungi, and enriching soil health, all while feeding their communities and revitalizing cultural ties to the land.

Note: The full conversation will be uploaded here soon!

About Liz:

Liz Carlisle is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara, where she teaches courses on food and farming. Born and raised in Montana, she got hooked on agriculture while working as an aide to organic farmer and U.S. Senator Jon Tester, which led to a decade of research and writing collaborations with farmers in her home state. She has written three books about regenerative farming and agroecology: Lentil Underground (2015), Grain by Grain (2019, with co-author Bob Quinn), and most recently, Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming (2022). She is also a frequent contributor to both academic journals and popular media outlets, focusing on food and farm policy, incentivizing soil health practices, and supporting new entry farmers. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography, from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Folklore and Mythology, from Harvard University. Prior to her career as a writer and academic, she spent several years touring rural America as a country singer.

Liz Carlisle recommends:

Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé (Ballentine Books)

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben (Henry Holt and Company)

Lauren Korn recommends:

The Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America by Liz Carlisle (Avery, Penguin Random House)

Second Nature by Michael Pollan

The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America by Mark Sundeen (

The Write Question team is Lauren Korn, host and co-producer; Chris Moyles, co-producer and editor; and Tom Berich, sound engineer.

The Write Question logo and brand (2022) was designed by Molly Russell. You can see more of her work at iamthemollruss.com and on Instagram @iamthemollruss. Our music was written and recorded by John Floridis.

Funding for The Write Question comes from Humanities Montana; members of Montana Public Radio; and from the Greater Montana Foundation—encouraging communication on issues, trends, and values of importance to Montanans.

The Write Question is a production of Montana Public Radio.

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Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. A former bookseller and the former Director of the Montana Book Festival, she is now the host of Montana Public Radio’s literature-based radio program and podcast, ‘The Write Question.’
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