Ariel Greenwood is an agrarian expert, whose life's work is dedicated to reconciling human needs with ecological health. She grew up unschooled in the wilds of the rural Southeast and studied agroecology and psychology while working with community gardens, nature preserves and conservation-focused private ranches. So far, she's grown produce and raised livestock for families, five star restaurants, and tech companies. Her interests lie in soil, scale, psyche, sovereignty, and resource security, and most of her professional work revolves around restoring the bloodflow to dis-integrated systems.
Favorite summer food?
Anything with some righteous meat mingling with squash, tomato, and okra.
Are you in the process of creating something? What/Why?
My partner Sam and I are developing a grazing management entity with an emphasis on ecologically restorative grazing patterns, beautiful stockmanship, and convivial grassland culture.
Top 3 podcasts and why?
1. On Being, a staple of mine for about 10 years, for its sensitive inquiry into really soulful stuff.
2. Two Dope Queens, because it helps me not only laugh a lot but view the world through the eyes of people very different from me.
3. The Ezra Klein Show, for razer-sharp and luxuriously nuanced conversation around the shape and trajectory of our political and social world.
Best bit of advice you’ve ever received?
“The most effective way to lead is by example.” Hands down, this has been the most valuable and challenging charge ever given to me.
What practice keeps you sane right now?
A clean and simple morning routine: coffee AFTER breakfast, stretching BEFORE starting my work day.
If you had $300 to spend in the Wylder shop, what would you spend it on?
Probably a pair of Danner boots.
Are you an activist? If so, what are you fighting for and why?
I’ve worked hard to have a vocation that functions as my activism; through my grazing work I seek to improve ecological capacity and also harmonize our human psyches with our responsibility to land in our care. Soil is mother.
On your dark days, what brings you hope?
The belief that much of the world’s problems are rooted in how humans make decisions about biological resources—and that’s a field of inquiry rapidly developing with lots of room for creativity.
Anything else you want to add?
I'm very keen to support women in land management, especially at the intersection of agriculture and rewilding. If any women could use a supportive cheerleader as they navigate their careers and activism, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.
In early 2016, an email pinged into my inbox with an unusual subject line: Children’s Book. “I hope you don’t...