Gary Paul Nabhan and Joel Salatin have become giants in the world of sustainable food concerns, influencing practice, public discourse, and policy. And, while their lives’ work is similar in nature, these two giants couldn’t provide more evidence of the reality that it takes all kinds.
Salatin, agitated and agitating the masses, is confrontational; Nabhan, calm and cultivating understanding, is invitational.
The most contentious disagreements over land management pit ranchers against environmentalists in range wars with endless back-and-forth battles.
But the stakeholders overwhelmingly agree with one another on a majority of issues, according to Gary Paul Nabhan, a professor at the University of Arizona, and this year’s keynote speaker for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Internationally recognized food and farming activist Gary Paul Nabhan says Tucson gardeners do a good job recognizing the importance of harvesting rainwater to grow crops in the desert climate. But on the heels of Tucson’s warmest year on record, Nabhan feels more can be done.
“There’s been a lot of emphasis on things like harvesting water, but not much on the other ways that deal with scarce water and cooling crops,” says Nabhan.
It’s been roughly fifteen years since the food localization movement gained ground nationally, but some communities and states have lagged far behind others in recovering or newly building vibrant local food economies.
And yet, many are still grappling with how true democratizing food systems and innovative financing can tangibly make a difference in relieving poverty, food insecurity, and their dark twins of hunger and obesity.