Down to Earth

Stanley Crawford is a farmer—he’s owner of El Bosque Garlic farm in Dixon, New Mexico. And he’s a writer—he’s author of more than a dozen books of fiction and non fiction. His latest book, The Garlic Papers: A Small Garlic Farm in the Age of Global Vampires, is a fascinating portrait of a quiet life on a small farm, and at the same time about the legal battles between small new Mexico garlic farmers and a gigantic Chinese garlic conglomerate—and the surprising role of the US Commerce Department. It’s also the subject of an episode (“Garlic Breath”) of a Netflix series called Rotten, which is about the dark side of our food system.

2’21 started life as an artist and writer, became a farmer
4’03 choosing garlic as main crop
6’04 how Stan cultivates soil health
6’55 small garlic farmer in global marketplace, and the concept of “dumping”
8’19 Harmoni Spice from China pays no duty on their garlic exports into the US
8’50 getting involved in legal action against Chinese dumping
10’50 getting accused of racketeering by large Chinese garlic company
13’08 possibility of bribery
14’44 Start
16’22 commerce department rejecting Stan’s requests–and questioning whether he’s even a garlic farmer
17’06 the cases drag on and on
19’06 scrutinizing the heck out of Stan but not the big company
19’57 billions of dollars of uncollected duties from imported agriculture products that are never paid
20’42 Stan doesn’t get stressed out by any of this
21’21 the book, The Garlic Papers
22’16 other smaller Chinese garlic exporters
23’09 the Netflix episode on Stan’s case
25’52 no regrets
26’50 Harmoni Spice using prison labor
28’16 hidden camera of Chinese prison labor
28’51 being betrayed by another local NM garlic farmer
30’24 peaceful life in Dixon
32’24 the effect of dumping on other small farmers
32’50 the effect of cheap fuel on small farmers
33’35 taxpayer-subsidized US commodity crops making it difficult for small farmers in the US and abroad
34’20 rise of farmers markets
35’09 teaching at Colorado College