On Gold Hill, Jaclyn Moyer
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On Gold Hill
A Personal History of Wheat, Farming, and Family, from Punjab to California

Author: Jaclyn Moyer

Narrator: Momo Hoshi

Unabridged: 11 hr 44 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Published: 03/26/2024


A young South Asian American woman's story of reconnecting with her identity, family, and heritage through sustainable farming

In 2012, 25-year-old Jackie Moyer—the daughter of a forbidden marriage between a white American father and a Punjabi American mother—leased 10 acres of land in Gold Hill, California, and embarked on a career in organic farming. With a fractured relationship to her heritage, Moyer saw an opportunity for repair when she learned of a nearly lost heirloom wheat variety called Sonora.

Sonora wasn’t just an heirloom wheat strain; it was her own cultural heirloom. Its history can be traced back to Punjab, the Indian state where Moyer’s own roots are planted. In growing the grain on her farm, she began to uncover the multigenerational story of her family’s resilience.

From California to Punjab, the past to the present, Jackie maps her personal story atop the entangled histories of wheat cultivation and the rise of the organic farming movement. With a passion for dismantling the exploitative big-agriculture industry, she examines how the development of high-yielding varieties and chemical fertilizers has harmed our relationship with food, the planet, and each other.

Braiding memoir with historical inquiry, On Gold Hill explores the complexities of the immigrant experience, illuminates the ways colonialism and capitalism constrain our food system, and investigates what it means to lose—and to reclaim—one’s heritage.