Lauren Ladov

10 Handfuls of India

  While working on farms and learning about seed preservation this past year for the Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship, I have really gotten to eat some amazing foods. If my hands weren’t in the soil or toiling with seeds, ...

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“This is a seed. The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill ...

A Fisherman’s Son Who Cannot Swim

Mayur does not know how to swim. “How could I? You can’t swim in this,” he says, pointing to the Arabian sea. “And it’s not like I can go to some private pool.” The tide on Mumbai’s ...

Storytelling in a Slum’s Silicon Valley

Dipali, a young girl half my size, fetched me from a busy intersection in Dharavi, a locality in Mumbai with one of the largest slums in the world. While she led me to her after school program, we talked about ...

Help Me Define (Bio)Diversity

Dear Educators, I never learned what diversity really is. Maybe I was taught that it is the concept of having differences — like various opinions, races, ages. That might be what diversity looks like on the surface, but what does it ...

Forests Are Worthless Until Cut Down

We determine the health of our economies and state of human progress through Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Under the theory of GDP, a forest is worthless until it is cut down. If greenhouse gases increase, so does the GDP.  Such ...

Establishing Yourself: Foodways in Ayurveda

The secret ingredient for amazing aloo parathas: freshly ground and toasted cumin (full recipe at end of article). Jayashree Saha smiles excitedly as she cups the cumin in her hand under my nose. The smell sends a smile across my ...

Water and Life Lessons

Dear Educators, Let’s Talk Water Have you and your students experimented with sprouting seeds in the classroom? Set up two growing stations with soil and seed. See what happens when one stations is watered and one is not. From ...

Insisting on Truth – Bhopal and Beyond

“I cut all the pictures out of my textbook…they were so…” My friend Anu doesn’t finish her thought. She doesn’t have to. I know the words that she can use, but they will never fully articulate the ...

Seeds of our Futures, Seeds of our Past

Dear Educators, I hope this message finds you well. I want to thank you for the work you are doing — sharing your knowledge and unyielding energy with your students. You are changing the world. And the world is changing quite ...

All Plants Are Medicine; We Just Need To (re)Learn How

“All plants are medicine,” Dr. Raghubir Singh Rawat, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Rawat bends down to examine a seemingly mundane but prolific weed, “this is used for eye ...

Saving Rice in Pictures

Not pictured: the dozens of hands cutting, sorting and hauling rice. The sweat-soaked saris and brows. The awe of witnessing the preservation of biodiversity.      ...

Marigolds: an (agri)cultural staple

The first seeds I ever saved were marigold seeds. At the time, I was a garden educator at a small neighborhood environmental nonprofit in Camden, New Jersey. The Center for Environmental Transformation(CFET) is situated in the South Waterfront neighborhood, ...