We’re thrilled to share that OSA Executive Director Cara Loriz is among the many women featured in Jennifer Jewell’s new book, “The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants,” published this year by Timber Press.
Cara joined OSA’s team in 2016 after leading the start-up of Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, a historic organic farm on Shelter Island, New York. In her role at OSA Cara has prioritized the promotion of seed literacy by building cultural and community connections to plant breeding.
Other seed community members featured in Jewell’s new book include Rowen White, a Seed Keeper from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and an activist for seed sovereignty, as well as Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (also an OSA board member).
More about Cara’s career from The Port Townsend Leader:
Even with a career that’s wound through multiple disciplines, Loriz focused on farming early on, having grown up in Omaha, Nebraska, during the “farm crisis” of the 1980s that inspired the start of “Farm Aid” in 1985 as a benefit concert for family farmers.
Loriz saw in the U.S. the farmers who defaulted had tied their fortunes to the contemporary “Big Ag” push for big equipment and the “monoculture” practice of planting a single species in a field, so it’s perhaps not coincidental that she’s become a strident advocate for a biodiversity of crops within a region. At the same time, she ensures such prospective crops are suited to the native soils and other environmental conditions of that region.
For Loriz, such measures represent a rising tide that can lift all boats by improving the environment, the economy and food security all at once. The reduction of transportation also reduces farming’s carbon footprint, just as shopping locally at farmers’ markets puts money back into the communities where it came from and doesn’t place as much reliance on cross-country or international shipping chains for a steady supply of food.
Loriz sees all these concerns as especially prevalent during the age of coronavirus, as travel is discouraged and concerns arise about the reliability of traditional shipping lanes.
“The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants” is now available, so order your copy today!