Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2005


Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 15, No. 1, 2005. Copyright © 2005 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Cross a grain crop with a wild perennial, and we frequently get a big, bold plant that combines many of the best features of its parents. Farming with the Wild is a cross between a coffee-table book, a travelogue, and an agroecology textbook. A big, bold hybrid, its layout and photography are elegant and striking. The text is information-dense, yet largely free of technical jargon. Unlike its cousin, editor Andrew Kimbrell's Fatal Harvest (2002), this is an upbeat book focusing on success stories rather than the grim global outlook for both agriculture and wildlife.
The first sections chronicle Dan Imhoff and Roberto Carra's search for wildlife-friendly farmers and ranchers in twenty U.S. states, Mexico, and Chile. Chapters provide case-studies or about three dozen such producers, cooperative ventures, or research organizations. From beef produced by pulsed grazing in the Southwest, to salad greens grown in passive solar organic greenhouses in the Northeast. Imhoff and Carra discovered examples or landscapes providing both habitat and human food.