Podcast: Agriculture & Farming

9: Ehlers Estate – Sustainable Winemaking

With summer fast approaching, sipping a glass of wine, we wondered about the practices of vineyards – a highly competitive and commercialized industry. Around the same time we were pitched by Ehlers Estate for an interview with their General Manager and Winemaker. In our conversation with several of the mindful business leaders, we sought insights into the economics of running a sustainable and profitable business. The strategies that they use to achieve sustainability goals and still be profitable.

In this episode we talk with Laura Diaz Munoz, Winemaker and GM of Ehlers Estate about her journey from a food scientist to a winemaker and a sustainable one at that. Ehlers Estate is one of the oldest wineries in North America established in 1886 by a German immigrant Bernard Ehlers. On July 1, 2008, after three years of verifiable organic farming, Ehlers Estate was awarded organic certification from the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). But that was not enough – they went on to implement steps to include regenerative farming practices. Using nature to help solve nature’s problems with minimal or no intervention. Interventions whether it be in the yeast or sulphurs in their heritage wine, use of fungicide or pesticides. They employ innovative techniques to reduce water consumption during irrigation and reuse the water used in the wine making process. In addition, with the use of technology, such as sensors in the soil they can determine accurately how much to irrigate the vines, further conserving water, a scarce resource. In this enjoyable conversation with Laura Díaz Muñoz, her passion for saving the heritage vines and artistically creating wine blends that bring out the flavor and aroma of each fruit in the blend. But for me, the cherry on the top of this business is that this for – profit business is part of Leducq Charitable Trust – an international grant making organization to support research in cardiovascular disease and stroke. Learn more about this mindful business on this episode of Mindful Business.

#sustainablewines #sustainablefarming #wines #wineplague #delucqfoundation #delucq #mindfulbusinesses

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Agriculture & Farming
9: Ehlers Estate - Sustainable Winemaking
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124: Numi Organic Tea – Activating Purpose

As we sip our daily cup of tea, we may wonder how and where it was grown and its impact on our planet. Tea production impacts our planet and people on several layers. The farming practices employed, wages paid, living conditions of the workers and its overall impact on our planet. In 2006, Numi Organic Teas was one of the founding (amongst 30 businesses) to be certified as a B corp. They had been mindful of how and from whom they source their organic teas, procuring them from Fair Trade and Verified Labor farms, but they knew they had to do more.
The realization that there can be no tea without water – clean drinking water, made the brother and sister team, Ahmed Rahim and Reem Hassani, co-founders of Numi Organic Tea introspect the purpose of their company.They launched “Together For H2OPE” – a nonprofit program bringing clean, safe drinking water to tea farming communities around the world.

The journey from farm to cup requires raw materials, packaging, transportation and water for steeping. They established a “Climate Action Plan” with a detailed, measurable process to reduce and offset the impact of Numi Organic Teas on the planet. Climate action can’t wait. Numi is committed to giving you the tools to fight climate change, starting with their Carbon Footprint Label. In this episode we have Reem Hassani, who shares the vision and mission of Numi Organic Teas. Listen and learn.

https://numitea.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/
#tea #tealover #floraltea #teas #fairtrade #sustainablefarming #mindfulnusinesses #numitea

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
124: Numi Organic Tea - Activating Purpose
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117: Collective Crunch – AI Leader in Forestry

How do we know what forest comprises and value them? Presently the forests are inventoried using on the ground foresters data collected by them in 3-5 year cycles.This data collection is costly and often outdated with a large margin of error. Data is also collected by one – off scans, LIDAR and drones can be quickly outdated or has limited accuracy. Relying on conventional methods can lead to large errors in forest valuation, as these methods can be up to 60% inaccurate.

In this episode we talk with Rolf Schmitz, Co – CEO of Collective Crunch – AI Leader in Forestry. CollectiveCrunch originated from the idea that we could make a difference by combining climate and geo data with state-of-the-art analytics to develop new insights.Their mission is to change the world’s understanding of forests by providing the most accurate, scalable, timely analytics globally and enabling sustainable forestry and bring transparency to carbon trading markets. As we know Carbon trading essentially involves using carbon reductions in another activity to offset a company’s own emissions. Forestry is a popular and efficient method of capturing carbon and extracting carbon from the atmosphere. By applying the solutions offered by collective crunch to forests, gives companies upto date and accurate insights into their carbon stocks. Their tool Linda Planet makes carbon analytics transparent and provides you with up-to-date carbon inventories, giving corporate carbon investors the tool they need to enable investment on the scale required in order to mitigate the climate risks we are facing. Learn more how AI can be used to help us accurately buy carbon offsets in this episode.

https://www.collectivecrunch.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
117: Collective Crunch - AI Leader in Forestry
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109: Pass the Honey – It’s Absurdly Good

Next time we grab a packet of honey to add to our tea – we should stop and think how a commodity so valuable and nutritionally dense is given for free. According to Douglas Raggio, founder of Pass The Honey, 70% of all honey is not pure. There is rampant fraud and honey is adulterated by blending with sugar syrups or many other methods of adulteration. In order to address this level of fraud in the industry, Pass the Honey establishes trusting partnerships directly with beekeeper suppliers so we know how our honeycomb was produced and have full traceability and transparency from beekeeper to consumer.

Fake honey, deceives consumers and floods markets with a cheap product, driving honey prices so low beekeepers are having a hard time staying in business. The beekeepers have had to find alternate sources of livelihood, such as pollination services, that require them to travel far and wide to help farmers pollinate their crops. This further causes stress to the bees and they lose 45% of their bee population every year because of this movement. Why do the farmers require this service? Learn more about this and the importance of bees in our food systems in this episode of Mindful Businesses.

https://passthehoney.com/pages/about-us
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/
#regenerativeagriculture
#beekeeping
#sustainbleagriculture
#passthehoney

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Agriculture & Farming
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109: Pass the Honey - It's Absurdly Good
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101: Eden Green Technology – Everyone Deserves Nutritious, Fresh, and Safe Food.

In the United States, 90% of the lettuce is produced and shipped from California to the rest of the country. When we combine the impact of this long journey on the environment, cost and 30% loss in farm produce – makes vertical farms close to consumption a viable alternative. In this episode, we learn from Eddy Badrina, CEO of Eden Green Technology about Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) where plants are grown hydroponically, in greenhouses, and by using all kinds of methodologies to control the growing environment. Eden Green Technology has successfully grown 100 different types of produce in a vertical farm using hydroponics – in a greenhouse. They rely on sunlight that comes through the greenhouse panes as against other vertical farms that need to be artificially lit with LED or other types of light fixtures. This fascinating technology seeks to revolutionize the grocery retail industry by growing what the stores need nearby, thus reducing costs, waste and at the same time delivering fresh produce to the consumer at a reasonable price. By designing sustainable and scalable vertical greenhouse technology, deployable almost anywhere in the world, their vertical farming technology is helping the world sustainably grow large amounts of food to create a healthier and happier existence for all.

https://www.edengreen.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/all-episodes/

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
101: Eden Green Technology - Everyone Deserves Nutritious, Fresh, and Safe Food.
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99: Ancient Nutrition – Transforming Health With Superfoods

Today we talk with Jordan Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, who encountered health challenges as a young boy turned towards food to solve his illness. He talks and educates us about what are superfoods and what would be a super plate. Super foods can be fruits, vegetables, plants, spices and even fungi. How is his company different? They practice regenerative farming and believe in the long run the nutritional values and the components in food that is grown using regenerative farming will be higher than even organic. They don’t sell the food that they grow, but convert them into potent supplements. Learn more in this episode of Mindful Businesses.

https://ancientnutrition.com/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
99: Ancient Nutrition - Transforming Health With Superfoods
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98: Ecdysis/Blue Dasher Farms – Thousand Farms Initiative

Today we have on our show the passionate and even maybe maverick Jonathan Lundgren, director and founder of Blue Acre Farms and Ecdysis foundation. The word ecdysis means the process of shedding the old skin and that is what Blue Dasher farms wants to do by operating regenerative farm and scientific research hub designed to help foster a revolution in our food system. Blue Dasher Farm combines cutting edge science with hands on experience to remove barriers to the adoption of regenerative agriculture.
​They believe in a food system that promotes soil health, farm biodiversity, and nutrient dense food – all while benefiting the farmers who grow it. As a researcher who was honored by President Obama, in 2015 as one of the recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, Jonathan talks about his time at the USDA and how going against the grain is not easy. But he felt change was urgent and left his job at the USDA to start Ecdysis foundation and Blue Dasher Farms along with several of his research fellows. ​Blue Dasher Farm relies heavily on their ability to show that they can support. They want to take the wind out of the argument “that may work on a research farm, but it would not work on my place.” They are transparent and willing to compare their profitability to other more conventional operations. Although Blue Dasher is a for-profit enterprise, their mission is to help promote the regenerative agriculture movement and strive to be financially solvent while farming in a sustainable way.

https://www.bluedasher.farm/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/
Our sponsor:
https://www.silverspungoods.com/

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
98: Ecdysis/Blue Dasher Farms - Thousand Farms Initiative
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88: Amor Perfecto – Decolonizing Colombian Coffee

In this episode, we have Luis Fernando Velez founder of Amor Perfecto with whom our host Vidhya Iyer talks about their common love for a good cup of coffee – with its perfect aroma and complex flavors. Luis shares what is entailed in producing a rich and fragrant coffee. It starts from the coffee cherry picked at the exact ripeness using high-tech refractometers to find the optimal ripeness to pick each variety of dark red for one to purple for another. At Amor Perfecto each bean is hand-picked, unlike some other brands who prefer strip harvesting by machine, an efficient, affordable, but indiscriminate practice. The beans are then expertly processed and most importantly roasted close to where they are picked.

For over 200 years Colombia has been exporting green coffee beans to be roasted in consuming countries all over the world. In fact, it was illegal to roast quality coffee in Colombia until 2003. The government and the growers had been convinced that the consuming countries knew better than them how to perfectly roast coffee, robbing Colombians of additional revenues by adding value to their crop. Amor Perfecto fought to change the law and volunteered as guinea pigs to show lawmakers that their signature crop was not just for export. Grab a cup of coffee and tune in to listen to Luis’ fascinating stories.

https://amorperfecto.com/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
88: Amor Perfecto - Decolonizing Colombian Coffee
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77: Black Earth Compost

Black Earth Compost was founded in January 2011, in Gloucester, MA. Originally a one man, one truck, Cape Ann company, it has steadily grown to become the leading full-service compost company in New England. With over 25 trucks, they are dedicated to collecting food scraps from residents, schools, supermarkets, colleges, and more, all across eastern MA and RI. They are also the only vertically integrated company that composts the material too, returning it to customers and selling it in garden centers across Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. They are your one-stop-shop for all your organic waste collection or garden soil needs.

In this episode, we talk with Conor Miller, Partner, CEO of Black Earth Composting as he shares his journey and how the business had to pivot during the pandemic to moving from commercial pick-ups to residential pick-ups and compost delivery. Learn more in this episode.

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
77: Black Earth Compost
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70: Let’s Goat Buffalo – Changing the Landscape, One Bite At a Time

Let’s Goat Buffalo employs rescued goats to eat unwanted vegetation growth! Whether it’s a residential yard that needs clearing, a commercial property that has become overgrown and high-risk, or a park or highway that has become less accessible to the public, their herds are prepared to help! We chat with the bubbly Jennifer Zeitler – Founder and CEO of Let’s Goat Buffalo, on how she transitioned from Human Resources to goatscaping. The term “goatscaping” means grazing goats to manage vegetation growth in an environmentally sound manner. Goatscaping greatly reduces the use of toxic herbicides, and because the goat digestive process effectively sterilizes seeds and reproductive plant matter, they are an ideal treatment for invasive plants. Let’s Goat Buffalo offers grazing services within suburban, urban and rural environments. By choosing natural treatment, Let’s Goat customers are choosing healthier soil, increased biodiversity, and a greener future. Jennifer Zeitler collaborated with a goat dairy farm Alpine Maid and rescued the goats to bring a sustainable solution to remove overgrown brush and weeds. She was also made a How I Built This, fellow, in 2021 by NPR. Come listen now to her journey.

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
70: Let’s Goat Buffalo - Changing the Landscape, One Bite At a Time
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