85: Ben Klempner on Urban Farming Activism
Ben is a husband and father of two boys and two girls living in the Jerusalem Foothills. He attended the University of Montana where he received a BA in American Literature and a Minor in Wilderness Studies. He received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from Barry University in Miami, Florida. Ben learned how to farm by reading lots of books, watching and listening to lots of videos and podcasts, speaking to farmers, and then jumped in headfirst to start a one thousand container EarthBox farm.
Now, he manages a small urban farm at a community center that uses raised beds, containers, and no-till gardening techniques using thick layers of straw mulch and a broad-fork. Ben advocates for himself and encourages and consults other small-scale farmers, gardeners, and would-be farmers to carve out niches for themselves as municipal and educational farmers within their municipalities and education school boards.
Ben started lasagna gardening after watching Greg’s sheet mulching video, available free here.
Ben’s book recommendations:
The Edge of Eden: High Yield No-Till Integrated Gardening by Laura Wheeler
Food Not Lawns by Heather Flores
Farmacology by Dr. Daphne Miller
The Third Plate by Chef Dan Barber
The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka
Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway
(Producer’s note: Click here to listen to Toby’s Hemenway’s Podcast.)
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward Smith
The Soil and Health by Sir Albert Howard
Greenhorns edited by Severine Von Tscharcher Flemming
Where can you find Ben?