California Heartland
California HeartlandHomeThis SeasonTV ScheduleHostsShopFeedbackArchiveCalifornia Heartland
California Heartland
California Heartland

 


Season 8 | Season 7 | Season 6 | Season 5 | Season 4 | Season 3 | Season 2 (More archive seasons coming soon)

  Season 8 - Episode 808
 

Stewards of the Land

Stewards of the Land

Stewards of the Land

Stewards of the Land

Stewards of the Land


  Stewards of the Land

Fresno County's Southeast Asian farmers are out to battle bad air. They've learned than one of the techniques they brought from their homeland only adds to the Valley's air pollution problem. The primitive practice is called "slash and burn." It's a way to destroy the residue left from leafy crops after they are harvested. Now they're throwing out the old method to bring in the new to comply with new agricultural burning regulations.

"We have no choice. We live here in this country. We're part of this country. We're part of this world. We have to make sure this world is clean," said farmer Tzexa Cherta Lee. He is the chair of a group called Southeast Asian Farmers for Clean Air. The organization's mission is to acquire machines that members can use to shred, rather than burn their prunings. What a difference that machine is making on Lee's farm, including saving time.

Not only are these farmers able to work faster and cut air pollution to shreds, they're returning nutrient-laden residue back into the soil. But a shredder like this isn't cheap and these farmers aren't rich. So soil conservationist and fellow farmer Sam Vang helped the group secure a grant to buy them "It's really great working with this group in California. They are so willing to learn," he said. And Vang is more than willing to teach. Radio farm reports are now broadcast throughout the Central Valley in Hmong and Lao. Through his broadcast Vang gives listeners a variety of conservation tips.

Fresno County is the center of an Asian produce revolution. Immigrant Laotian farmers-refugees from the CIA's "secret war" against the communists in the 1970s are behind it. In community gardens they grow produce for their own families, as well as for some grocery stores and restaurants. So Southeast Asian farmers are not only introducing new produce for all of us to enjoy, they're doing their part to create a better environment.

 

 

 

 
   

 

California Heartland® is made possible by:
The James G. Boswell Foundation      Bank of America     California Farm Bureau Federation       California Almond Board      CA Milk Advisory Board

A production of KVIE Public Television, Sacramento, CA. ©2011 KVIE, Inc. All rights reserved.