Liz Carlisle | An Island Press Author

Liz Carlisle

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.

Healing Grounds by Liz Carlisle | An Island Press book

Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 - 1:00pm EDT

A powerful movement is happening in farming today—farmers are reconnecting with their roots to fight climate change. Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American farmers are reviving their ancestors’ methods of growing food—techniques long...

A powerful movement is happening in farming today—farmers are reconnecting with their roots to fight climate change. Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American farmers 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. While feeding their communities and revitalizing cultural ties to land, they are steadily stitching ecosystems back together and repairing the natural carbon cycle. This is truly regenerative agriculture – not merely a set of technical tricks for storing CO2 in the ground, but a holistic approach that values diversity in both plants and people.

Cultivating this kind of regenerative farming requires a reckoning with the discriminatory agricultural history of the United States. Ultimately, it also requires dismantling power structures that have blocked many farmers of color from owning land or building wealth. 

Please join us for the launch of the new book Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming. This event will feature UC Irvine postdoctoral fellow and agroecologist Dr. Aidee Guzman, who is featured in the book, as well as the book’s author, UC Santa Barbara Environmental Studies professor Liz Carlisle. Ricardo Salvador, Director of the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, will moderate the conversation. 

Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle at Union Square Greenmarket

Saturday, June 22, 2019 - 10:00am EDT
E 17th Street
Union Square W
New York, NY 10003
United States

"A compelling agricultural story skillfully told; environmentalists will eat it up." - Kirkus Reviews

"A compelling agricultural story skillfully told; environmentalists will eat it up." - Kirkus Reviews

When Bob Quinn was a kid, a stranger at a county fair gave him a few kernels of an unusual grain. Little did he know, that grain would change his life. Years later, after finishing a PhD in plant biochemistry and returning to his family’s farm in Montana, Bob started experimenting with organic wheat. In the beginning, his concern wasn’t health or the environment; he just wanted to make a decent living and some chance encounters led him to organics.

But as demand for organics grew, so too did Bob’s experiments. He discovered that through time-tested practices like cover cropping and crop rotation, he could produce successful yields—without pesticides. Regenerative organic farming allowed him to grow fruits and vegetables in cold, dry Montana, providing a source of local produce to families in his hometown. He even started producing his own renewable energy. And he learned that the grain he first tasted at the fair was actually a type of ancient wheat, one that was proven to lower inflammation rather than worsening it, as modern wheat does.

Ultimately, Bob’s forays with organics turned into a multimillion dollar heirloom grain company, Kamut International. In Grain by Grain, Quinn and cowriter Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground, show how his story can become the story of American agriculture. We don’t have to accept stagnating rural communities, degraded soil, or poor health. By following Bob’s example, we can grow a healthy future, grain by grain.

Grain by Grain Book Talk

Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 7:30pm PDT
The Forum at Town Hall (west entrance)
1119 Eighth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
United States

Join Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle for a Grain by Grain book event hosted by Town Hall Seattle. Doors at 6:30PM. Tickets are $5. 

Join Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle for a Grain by Grain book event hosted by Town Hall Seattle.