Jim writes:

I’ve seen some free online books a few years back that describe agriculture practices in the US and China around the early 1900’s. One discussed farming arid land where plants, such as wheat, were spaced one to 1.5 feet apart and in another how the Chinese managed their crops.  I don’t have titles or sources and wonder if any of your listeners might have these. There are lots of places to look, but I won’t have time to look for awhile, so crowd sourcing seems reasonable.

Good shows!


Smithfield, VA

PS. I spent 6 years on a chicken farm in California that belonged to my grandmother where in the 50’s we experienced the effects of increasing feed prices where only big commercial operations could survive. In Virginia, today, I appreciate how few agricultural pests exist in California and why control stations exists when you enter the state.

Robin writes:

Lice are insects. Ticks are arthropods. So are lice. Ticks are also arachnids. Lice aren’t.


– Crustacea

– Myriapoda

– Arachnida (Aranea)

– Insecta

“We don’t have any mosquitoes in this country that carry malaria”

True. They don’t carry malaria. But they CAN.

IPCC report: “Everything was thrown into the mix”:

Arctic Ice was not mentioned in the executive summary.

Jake writes:


Thanks guys for starting this podcast. I know you are only three podcasts in but I love the content you are already beginning to share. I am very interested in all things agriculture. In fact I am working on a urban farming grass roots project in Shanghai, China.

I have a few questions for you:

What are the most practical urban farming methods you have found?

You mentioned in the podcast that ecology is not agriculture. Can it be? Should it be? What about permaculture?

GMOs- people talk about if they are good for you or not good for, but what about the nutrient density? Isn’t organic food much more nutrient dense than GMO food?

Thanks and all the best,


Jim writes:

Great links in #3! Thanks. Sent the drought ones to my sister in Tucson. 0.3gal for just one grape! Also sent that link to my son who imports wine.


Smithfield, VA

Robin writes:

Trees ain’t a renewable resource anymore.


Should y’all want to have an overview about climate change, well here it is.


The population problem will correct itself.


A bit more about population:


What is the ERoEI of the various modalities of urban agriculture?


Joshua writes:

Hello Doctors,

I discovered the TWIx podcasts while working as a lab tech in the Chicago area. I’ve since moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma to work on my MS in Natural Resources, Ecology, and Management at Oklahoma State University. Your podcasts have kept me company for many long hours in the field and while driving across Oklahoma’s very diverse landscapes.I was especially excited to be on the cutting edge of ‘Urban Agriculture’, as I am a late arriver to the other TWIx podcasts. There are hundreds of new insights and ideas that have come to me through your show. Thank you for your generosity!

Of course, I write to you not regarding all of the great new ideas you’ve shared, but the few items with which I take exception – please accept my gripes as friendly and not at all contentious!

-Kandinsky, as far as I can tell was not in the US for any length of time, especially during the Depression. He moved from Germany to Paris in 1933, where he lived for the rest of his life. My parents love Kandinsky, so I had to verify this piece of information for myself.

-As a newly minted ‘Okie’, I would like to assert that both “Boomers” and “Sooners” were technically outlaws (each breaking the law in their own unique way), and neither had legitimate land rights according to the U.S. government. The University of Oklahoma (our in state rivals) chant ‘Boomer, Sooner’ as a fighting motto at their athletic games.

-I would also like to contradict Dixon, when he said that riparian lands were not typically protected. Speaking with Brazilian students here, they’ve told me that Brazilian farmers are not allowed within 100 meters of a river. Certainly, the Lake County Forest Preserves have done an exemplary job of protecting the Des Plaines River (just north of Chicago) by creating preserves along the entire river throughout the county. Finally, riparian buffer strips are typically BMP, and Conservation Reserve Programs are very common state-sponsored methods of encouraging riparian health (eg the Illinois Scenic River Commission). We (humans) seem to be learning, if slowly.

I thoroughly enjoy your conversations – they are simultaneously friendly, informative, and engaging. Thank you for allowing me to participate in these conversations via email – I hope to hear any thoughts or responses that you may have. Again, thank you so much for your time and efforts; they do not go unappreciated!

Looking forward to many more TWIx episodes in the future!

Robin writes:

Urban Ag in NY? Sea level rise?


Erik writes:

Hello Dickson and Vincent! I’m thrilled to have a new podcast to listen to. Especially one on such an interesting topic. I’d like to comment on something Dickson said in episode 4. He said that he’s worried that people will think he’s being self-serving when talking about vertical farms. I don’t think it’s self-serving. I think that talking about it (as much as possible) is a service to the listener and to the future of the idea. I would even go so far as to ask that you do many many episodes on the topic.

I have a couple requests for future episodes. I think it would be neat if, at some point, you take a tour of an established vertical farm and make a video in the style of Threading The NEIDL. Also, I’d love to see an episode with a guest who plans eco-friendly building for a living. They might have interesting input on the subject of VFs.

Anyways, I wish you two all the best of luck with this podcast! It’s going to be a good one.

Jake writes:

Thanks for the great work on the podcast. Would you guys be able to provide some reading recommendations on urban farming?