the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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2015 ballymaloe cookery school schedule is live!

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Ballymaloe Cookery School, a Slow Food culinary institute that sits on a 100-acre farm in County Cork, Ireland, has just put out their course schedule for 2015. Some highlights are a course on raw food, one about homemade butter, yoghurt, and cheese, and another on dynamic vegetarian cooking.

Also don’t forget about their 12-week certification course!

Read the full schedule HERE.

You can also order copies of their course listings to put out at your business or distribute to friends HERE.

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137ac outsider artist collective in london

Check out our friend Annatina’s outsider artist collective, based in London, UK!

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Here’s what they say about themselves:

“137AC is a group of outsider, self taught artists consisting of painters, sculptors, writers, photographers and film makers. Our goal is to develop our talent to a professional level outside of sheltered workshops. We want to shape a rotating collaborative space where our ideas can materialize and reach the public. We are starting out small in a building already engaged in creative activities, including theater, hackers, beekeepers, up-cyclers, scientific research and roof gardening. There is opportunity to expand our space and welcome new members to our original group of 10 artists. As a collective we will support and challenge each other to explore our creativity to its limits.”

Learn more at their website HERE.

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those in the chesapeake bay watershed: check out this conference!


FHCASA Conference Half-Page AdJanuary 15-17, East Hyattsville MD

Future Harvest CASA’s upcoming “Cultivate the Chesapeake Foodshed” conference will be the biggest to date — 3 full days!  It starts with a full day of pre-conference, hands-on workshops for farmers and food lovers alike, with workshops on everything from food photography to grafting apple trees (led by Greenhorn Eliza Greenman).

Then, the conference starts: we have an inspiring line-up of keynote and featured speakers, 7 different tracks offering 42 sessions, plus breakouts for networking and talking shop. Read more HERE!

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great press!

New Life at Sonoma County’s Historic Granges
by Mary Callahan for The Press Democrat


A surge of interest in natural foods, local sourcing and environmental sustainability is bringing new life to the Civil War-era Grange movement, driving participation and restoring its relevance among modern folks yearning for connection to one another and to the food they consume.

The Sebastopol Grange — part of the nationwide farmers alliance that spans 147 years of agricultural development, economic expansion and vast social change — is among the groups that are thriving, its membership surpassing 200 people just a few years after its existence was threatened.

“It’s a process of revitalizing community,” President Jerry Allen said. “It’s going on all over, and it’s sure going on here.”

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local dollars, local sense…guidance from Michael Shuman

24 Top Tools for Local InvestingScreen shot 2014-12-12 at 11.37.55 AM
By Michael H. Shuman 

If you’ve been told that it’s impossible to invest your life savings in anything but Wall Street, here’s some practical advice to prove the financial “experts” wrong:
  • Move Your Money – Move all your day-to-day financial activities, including your checking, loans, credit cards, and mortgage, to a local bank or credit union.  These are the institutions that recycle their capital locally—so much so that even though local and regional banks account for only 20% of the assets of all banks, they provide more than half of all the loans to small business.
  • Start A Credit Union – If your community doesn’t have a local bank or credit union, then start one.  Credit unions are easier and cheaper to launch than banks, and many communities have small credit unions managed by part-timers or volunteers.
  • Create Targeted CDs – By law, local banks and credit unions must be very conservative with their money, so they are often wary of loaning money to any local businesses without full collateral.  A few banks, such as Ithaca’s Alternatives Credit Union, have agreed to set up special certificates of deposits that fully collateralize loans to high-priority local businesses.  Eastern Bank in Boston has a CD that collateralizes a line of credit to Equal Exchange, a local fair-trade company.

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unique maine farms: book, resource, fun fun fun!

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Mary Quinn Doyle and the folks at Unique Maine Farms have been cooking up a treat for us over the past two-and-a-half years. In an effort to increase knowledge and enthusiasm about farms in Maine, they have profiled 178 farms across the state. The project, which is makes its findings available both on its website and in a hardcover book, showcases the diversity of farms in Maine. The profiles include organic and conventional farms; dairy, aquaculture, tree, vegetable, herb, fiber, flower, and meat farms are all there. The book also incorporates harvesting and gathering by Native Americans, gardens operated by refugees, immigrants, inmates, and the homeless.

All in all, it looks like a very exciting project.

You can learn more about Unique Maine Farms and read their farm profiles on their WEBSITE.

Also check out the Unique Maine Farms BOOK. The proceeds go to furnishing Maine libraries with copies of the book.


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