the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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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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eieio farm needs a tractor and hopes to fund it through calendar sales

EIEIO Farm is a small family farm in Western MA that has been sustainably and biodynamically raising grass fed beef, goat, lamb, pork and poultry for 32 years! from 1982 to 2008 EIEIO was devoted to a family homestead. In the last six years it has transitioned to a small commercial business. Now that EIEIO is feeding more families we need some help!

All the “Babes” that we are – family, friends, workers, owners, farmers, daughters, mothers, EIEIO Farm lovers and customers – have come together to make a calendar because we need a tractor and we need your help! 100% of the proceeds of the calendar will go toward buying the tractor that EIEIO needs to continue its operation. Support Female Farmers! Support Happy Healthy Food! Support Art! Support Small Business! Support Family Farming! Support EIEIO Farm!

What you get: A beautifully crafted 12 month 2015  “Farmtale” calendar with photographs featuring fourteen beautiful women, EIEIO Farm‘s lush landscapes and happy, healthy livestock!

What you give: Just $25 for an artwork that you will enjoy long after the year’s end!


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