Press and Media
sweetgreen Open Source: Chickpeas (video), February 2019.
This episode of Open Source features Timeless Seeds, a farming movement pioneered by rebel seedsman Dave Oien in Ulm, Montana. A group of renegade growers rejected commodity industrial wheat farming in the 1980s and traded pesticides and synthetic nitrogen for crop rotation and soil health. Watch to see how Timeless chickpeas make their way from seed to sweetgreen.
“Organic food sales in the U.S. doubled over the last decade, but organic farming hasn’t kept pace. That may change as farmers partner with brands.”
Mentioned in this piece: Casey Bailey, Fort Benton; Bob Quinn, Big Sandy; and David Oien
Forgiving lentils take on taste of Dominica, Jamaica, Ari LeVaux, The Missoulian, February 15, 2017.
“While the supermarket shelves of neighboring islands are stocked with imports, Dominica is a place where local food isn’t a buzzword. By and large, it’s the only option, which makes it something of a locavore’s paradise. One noteworthy exception to the local foods rule of thumb is the widespread use, and love, of lentils.”
Inspirational Stories Encourage Community, Oscar H. Will III, Mother Earth News, October/November 2016.
“I just finished reading a book that’s been on my nightstand for quite a while. I thought it would be another chronicle of the sustainable agriculture movement, this time in Montana. Instead, I discovered in Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America, by Liz Carlisle (Avery Press, 2015), an incredibly inspiring and hopeful saga of grit, determination, love for the land, open-mindedness, and, most of all, community.”
“What is a lentil, and why should I care about it?” you may well ask. I did — but after reading this book, I know, and so should you.”
Inside the Lentil Underground: An Interview with David Oien, Dario Bard, International Food Trader, May 20, 2016.
Complementary access to the interview with David Oien, Timeless farmer and co-founder.
Greenhorns Radio: David Oien, Timeless Seeds, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Heritage Radio Network, March 22, 2016.
“There’s a wide variety of culinary applications and uses [for pulse crops] that date back thousands of years, so chefs are very interested in them just for their versatility.” (Dave Oien)
Lentil Underground Winner of 2015 Montana Book Award, February 22, 2016.
The 2015 Montana Book Award winner is Lentil Underground by Liz Carlisle, published by Gotham Books. This annual award recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book written or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, is set in Montana, or deals with Montana themes or issues.
Pea, Lentil Business Is Booming, Madison Dapcevich, Prairie Business, February 9, 2016.
When David Oien applied for a farm loan nearly three decades ago, the bank asked him two questions: what is a lentil and what does organic mean?
Today, Montana produces a growing share of all U.S. lentils, about half of U.S. production.
Amber Waves of Lentils, Raj Patel, YES! Magazine, August 30, 2015.
How common sense and solidarity fed an underground food movement in beefy Montana.
Noted author, academician, and activist Raj Patel reviews Lentil Underground in the most recent issue of Yes! Magazine. The piece highlights Jim Barngrover and Bud Barta – two of the four organic farmers who founded Timeless back in 1987.
A quiet transformation is taking place in grain fields across Montana. In less than 20-years pulse crops — peas, beans and lentils — have grown from an obscure specialty crop with limited market outlets to become one of the state’s top agricultural exports.
Lentil Underground, Mike Reizman, Z Magazine, August 26. 2105.
In this chemically dependent era of American agribusiness, typified by President Nixon’s Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, who admonished farmers to “get big or get out,” a group of Montana farmers got microscopic and stayed put. The microscopic Rhizobium bacteria broke their dependency on expensive chemical fertilizers, one of the mainstays of industrial agriculture.
Buying Organic Isn’t Just About Local Veggies, Sam Bliss, Resilience.org, August 4, 2015.
After spending a week and a half frolicking through mostly vacant wilderness in Glacier National Park, Sam Bliss and his friend Neil Baunsgard began their adventures in the “lentil underground” in earnest.
As they drove through farmland well off the beaten path of Montana’s east-west “Hi Line,” U.S. Highway 2, they passed farmers growing “chemical crops.” Every organic farmer they visited along the way would do the same. But have those farmers really figured out a better way to grow food? Is it even possible to make such a judgement?
Triumphs & Tribulations in the Heartland, Chris Walters, ACRES USA, June 2015.
A review of Lentil Underground: “[Liz] Carlisle’s voice is especially adept and supple, and she is still young, giving us much to look forward to.”
Lentil Heaven, Chef Jim Gray, Distinctly Montana, Summer edition.
A lentil chili recipe and thoughts around the Lentil Underground.
Liz Carlisle and Doug Mosel on the Ecology Hour, KZYX Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, May 12, 2015.
Doug Mosel talks with Liz Carlisle, about her experience in gathering and telling the stories of the renegade farmers of Lentil Underground. Montana native and former country singer, Liz is a Fellow at the Center for Diversified Farming Systems at UC Berkeley. (The interview starts at about 1:40, and lasts nearly an hour.)
Liz Carlisle talks Lentil Underground, Tim Danahey Show, Tim Danahey, May 8, 2015.
Author Liz Carlisle talk about her new book Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America in which Montana farmers took matters into their own hands, avoided monocrops, replenished their soil, conserved water, refused chemicals, and made it work.
Lentils to the Rescue, UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix, Joy Neumeyer, May 7, 2015.
Can lentils save American farms from drought? As California struggles with a water crisis, Liz Carlisle – a UC Berkeley fellow – shows how legumes can reduce dependence on irrigation.
Appetite Travel: Touring the Earth’s Pulse, Bozeman Magazine, Claudia Krevat, May 1, 2015.
When I opened my business, Claudia’s Mesa, in 2008 and began participating in the farmer’s market, I became more involved with growers, producers and ranchers and began coming up with ways where I could still maintain my heritage while at the same time being part of this community.
David Oien and Doug Mosel on the Ecology Hour, KZYX Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, April 14, 2015.
Doug Mosel talks with David Oien, CEO of Timeless Seeds, gathering inspiration, insight, and encouragement for people who are participating in or supporting sustainable agriculture. (The interview starts at about 3:35, and lasts nearly an hour.)
Lentil Underground with Liz Carlisle, Heritage Radio Network, Erin Fairbanks, April 13, 2015.
Real Food Reads Author Q&A with Liz Carlisle, AnnaLappé.com, Anna Lappé, March 27, 2015.
In this month’s #realfoodreads selection, Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America, Liz Carlisle tells the story of a group of renegade farmers in Montana who came together to beat the odds and help forge a sustainable farm-to-table food movement.
BLAST: You have one sentence to convince people to read your book. What is it?
Liz Carlisle: The future of the food is more fun than you think.
Lentil Underground: An alternative to the industrial farming system in Montana, The Splendid Table, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, March 13, 2015.
“This week we hear about a group of renegade Montana farmers and their quest to change the farming industry from Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America.”
Lentil Underground Revolts Against Corporate Agriculture In Montana, Montana Public Radio, Chérie Newman, March 2, 2015.
The next time you drive through central or eastern Montana, look around. One of the farmers you see might be involved in a revolution. Listen to the interview with Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground.
Montana Book Review: First Rate Reads, Montana Magazine, Jenna Cederberg, February 26, 2015.
From nearly the moment I began reading Lentil Underground I knew this book was a hit in the making. I remember literally, stopping reading – still in the prologue – putting the book down and breathing. This was going to be an important story that would spark a significant discussion about farming and food in Montana and across America.
(Read also the author Q&A that accompanies this article.)
Turns Out Boring Old Lentils Are Surprisingly Radical, Munchies, Lauren Rothman,
The 1970s, in America, are often remembered as a golden age of sexual, psychotropic, and musical experimentation. But the politics of the era—with Nixon taking office in 1969, an economy-devastating oil embargo in place through 1973, and the war in Vietnam slogging on into 1975—go far towards countering that free love vision, encapsulating a uniquely tumultuous, and well, fucked up chapter of American history.
It’s not difficult to recall the effects of the era’s fallout on certain key players—Arab nations’ oil-spurred surprise 1973 attack on Israel; Tricky Dick’s 1974 resignation; and calamitous death tolls in Vietnam. One group whose struggles were all too real—but are now rarely remembered—was American farmers.
Lentil Underground, Plant and Plate, Claire Boudreaux, February 6, 2015.
Last night, I headed over to Berkeley for a talk featuring a group of organic lentil farmers from Montana, the former country music singer who wrote a book about them, and Michael Pollan. At the reception afterwards, we all drank wine and talked food politics and sampled small bites made with the heirloom lentils and grains grown by the farmers.
So in many ways, it was a typical Thursday in the Bay Area food scene. Except that instead of passionate young farmers determined to shape the new agrarian revolution, the main characters of this story were passionate older farmers whose revolution began thirty-plus years ago.
See images from the Liz’s presentation here.
American Farms Are In Trouble – This Modest Crop Could Save Them, Business Insider, Liz Carlisle, February 2, 2015.
Four years into my career as a country singer, I was tired. When I’d graduated from college, with a new record to sell and a full schedule of shows for the summer, it had seemed like the greatest thing in the world to travel through rural America and tell its story. But now that I’d crisscrossed the country several times in my station wagon, I knew the sobering truth. I’d been lying.
Lentils, a Mighty Force for Improving the Food System, UC Berkeley News Center, Carol Ness, January 26, 2015.
Lentils probably aren’t going to knock bacon off the nation’s plates anytime soon. But Lentil Underground, a new book by a recent Ph.D. and ongoing researcher at UC Berkeley, makes the case that lentils — and similar legumes — could help restore American farmland and farmers whose soil and profits have been depleted by decades of industrial agriculture.
Learn to Live With Drought – Eat More Lentils, SFGate, Liz Carlisle, January 23, 2015.
We can grow food with less water, by shifting what, where and how we farm. And yet, it’s not just up to farmers; the rest of us also need to make a shift. We need to support our policymakers in planning for a more resilient food system. And we need to be willing to eat more ecologically appropriate foods, like organic lentils.
You Are What You Eat—And What It Eats Too, UCS Science Network, Liz Carlisle, January 22, 2015.
Book Review: The Lentil Underground, Culinary Multitasker Blog, Evan Kleiman, January 13, 2015.
Spilling the Beans: New Book Blows the Lid off Montana’s Organic “Lentil Underground,“ UC Berkley California Magazine, Katherine Seligman, January 11, 2015.
The Downside of Eating Too Locally, The New York Times, Liz Carlisle, November 26, 2014.
Regional Pulse Crop Lab to Be Established at Montana State University, MSU News Service, Evelyn Boswell, July 10, 2014.
Montana Seed Growers “Sow” Importance of Organic Farming, USDA Blog, D’Jeane Peters, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Montana, January 2, 2014.
The Taste Makers, Newsweek, Dorothy Kalins, September 25, 2005.