Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined by farmer and organizer Nate Kleinman, cofounder of the nonprofit cooperative Experimental Farm Network (EFN) and project organizer of the EFN’s Cooperative Gardens Commission, a campaign to help millions of people carve out some measure of food sovereignty in the face of COVID-19. Nate begins by giving listeners a glimpse into his storied history of organizing, from Democratic political campaigns and labor union work to leading the charge on Occupy Sandy hurricane relief and running for Congress twice himself as a challenger to conservative Democratic incumbents, initially as “the first Occupy candidate” and then against Trump Democrat turned Republican Jeff van Drew.
Nate and Kumars then tackle the ins and outs of the EFN’s operation, including their free open-source platform for participatory plant breeding and developing new crops and infrastructure capable of providing for people in the face of economic crisis and climate catastrophe. Nate rounds out the hour with a rundown of EFN’s frontline efforts during the coronavirus pandemic and the necessity of building parallel infrastructure to help those most threatened by escalating instability to weather what’s coming.
You can follow the Experimental Farm Network on Facebook, find out more about the Cooperative Gardens Commission at coopgardens.org, and follow up on all the EFN’s other wonderful goods and services at their main site, experimentalfarmnetwork.org.
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