Cotton is part of the broader California agricultural system wherein shifting practices opens pathways for whole systems regeneration. For the past year, and throughout a planting cycle, Fibershed has been visiting cotton growers throughout Northern and Central California in an effort to understand the system as it is. This is an examination formed through proximity and a commitment sealed through mutuality: we share the responsibility from soil to skin to deconstruct the narratives around this favored fiber and dig deep into what it could look like to restore the soil undergirding this system. This series on cotton explores the stories of several innovators and creative minds, examining cotton as it is in our home community to understand our collective opportunity to shift practices from soil to soil.
Nathanael Siemens wants to bring regenerative and organic cotton to the San Joaquin Valley. He spends his mornings just walking the fields, trying to figure out what to do next, how to overcome the challenges that he faces daily from weed control to irrigation to simply getting a hold of enough seeds.