the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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greenhorns and cycle farm, among others fantastic farmers, featured in orion article “the new farmers”

November/December Orion Magazine Article

Jeremy and Trish Cycle Farm

Today’s green movement is considered by some Millennials and Gen Xers to be an equivalent to the Civil Rights struggle—the organizing principal propelling young people into action. Recent decades have seen unprecedented environmental demonstration in Washington, as well as committed political activism from the likes of 350.org, which is staffed almost entirely by Millennials. Yet during this same era, the movement has nevertheless suffered major blows due to legislative decision-making (or lack thereof). As a result, disbelief in government as a driver of meaningful change seems to be growing, as well as turning some young, would-be activists, like Miller and Shapero, toward small-scale farming.

One young farmer, Trish Jenkins, who co-owns and operates Cycle Farm in the Black Hills of South Dakota told me that the connotation of what it means to be an environmentalist is changing.  “To me, twenty years ago, it meant people who saved the rainforest,” she said. “But we’re making a difference on our own land. We’re storing food, we’re sequestering carbon, we’re using our bicycles to take our crops to market. People still need to write letters, and lobby, and wear their ‘Save the Whales’ t-shirts. But they need to do the hands-on work, too.” Click HERE to read this article!


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saint organic: coach mark smallwood

Over the last 14 days, Mark Smallwood has been on a walk. A walk that will hopefully change the way that we look a climate change and think about how we can reverse this disastrous phenomenon.

Each day he walks ten miles, on a journey from the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA to Washington, DC. Along the way, he has had the honor of meeting with farmers, local public officials, community members, students and activists. Every person he meets is impacted by the effects of climate change. From the disastrous hail storm that occurred in Reading, PA in May to the local fisherman and their concern that Atrazine was found in spawning beds of small mouth bass in the Susquehanna River. Climate change affects us all and the impact and destruction caused by catastrophic weather events is more noticeable with each passing year.

Along the way, he continues to tell people that climate change is a gift. This is Mother Nature’s way of letting us know that she is sick. We have broken our ecological systems and only we can fix it. He has data that proves that a global transition to regenerative organic agriculture can reverse climate change.

To learn more about Mark’s delivery of this data to Washington DC and how you can help, click HERE!


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more on trade deals & GM standards

The European Union is negotiating the potential future of British agriculture with American corporations, developing deals that, unless tempered, could possibly threaten UK sovereignty
by Samantha Lyster for Fresh Produce Journal
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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US is an attempt by both parties to strip away red tape.

The Americans are looking for more freedom to trade in a range of industrial sectors, including agriculture. The NFU recently asked for assessments to be carried out in the areas of meat, eggs, and sugar to ascertain what impact TTIP would have on these sectors.

However, apart from Freshfel, the European fresh produce association, which has been involved with talks on apples and pears, it appears that the EU has not engaged in any talks with UK representatives for the fresh produce industry, although the Fresh Produce Consortium is aware of the negotiations and is monitoring news surrounding them.

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the southwest, claims that emerging information gives UK farmers, especially small-scale operations, great cause for concern. She says that if successful, the agreement could result in the harmonisation of food standards between the EU and GM-friendly US.

“The potential race to the bottom on environmental standards, employment rights and animal welfare is one of the key concerns Greens have about these secretive trade negotiations.

TTIP is a huge threat to hard-fought- for European standards on the quality and safety of our food,” adds Cato. All parties concerned over the negotiations point to the element of the treaty called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). ISDS in effect grants multinationals the same legal position as a nation state itself, and allows them to sue sovereign governments in so-called arbitration tribunals on the grounds that their profits are threatened by government policies.

continue reading


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here’s what happens when a billionaire buys an island as a “hobby”

A fascinating read in the New York Times Magazine.

lanai

Larry Ellison Bought an Island in Hawaii. Now What?
SEPT. 23, 2014

Henry Jolicoeur is a retired French Canadian hypnotherapist and a glass-products importer who enjoys making very low-budget documentary films. In the summer of 2012, Jolicoeur read that Larry Ellison, a founder of the Silicon Valley giant Oracle and the fifth-richest man in the world, had bought 97 percent of the Hawaiian island of Lanai — not a 97 percent stake in some kind of company, but 97 percent of the physical place. Jolicoeur was curious, so he booked a flight and packed his camera.

Jolicoeur knew a little about Lanai, having lived in Hawaii in the ’90s. It is among the smallest and least trafficked of Hawaiian islands — a quiet, spectacular place where Cook Island pine trees vault up everywhere, like spires or giant peacock feathers — and can feel like a charming wormhole to an earlier era. There is only one town, Lanai City, where virtually all of the island’s 3,200 residents live. Ellison now owned a third of all their houses and apartments; the island’s two Four Seasons-run hotels; the central commons at the heart of Lanai City, called Dole Park, and all the buildings around it; the town swimming pool; the community center; the theater; a grocery store; two golf courses; a wastewater treatment plant; the water company; and a cemetery. In a single sweeping real estate deal, reported to cost $300 million, he had acquired 87,000 of the island’s 90,000 acres. And he would subsequently buy an airline that connects Lanai to Honolulu as well. On all of Lanai, I heard of only a handful of businesses — the gas station, the rental-car company, two banks, a credit union and a cafe called Coffee Works — that are neither owned by Ellison nor pay him rent.

Jolicoeur spent about three weeks strolling around the island, asking locals to hold his ungainly, foam-sheathed microphone and tell the camera how they felt about the big acquisition. Everyone seemed to feel very, very good. “I want to thank Mr. Ellison,” one fishing-boat captain says. “He’s got a vision, and he’s taking care of us over here on Lanai.” A pack of landscapers, shown assiduously raking dirt, say things like: “Thank you for work, Mr. Ellison! Thank you very much!” The owner of a salon: “I just want to take this time to thank Mr. Ellison for the unbelievable, incredible takeover of Lanai.” Inside the island’s Catholic church, a priest in a purple robe, surrounded by children, says: “Heavenly father. . . . We ask for your blessings for Mr. Ellison, particularly, and those who work with him, that all the good plans and intentions that he has for Lanai be fruitful.” Elsewhere, a woman shouts a little breathlessly: “Mr. Ellison! Thank you for being here! We love you! I’ve never met you before and really would like to, and I can imagine that you will do awesome wonders for this place!”

continue reading HERE


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maine sail freight goes public!

We got some great press the weekend before last, and our website is up if you want more information: http://www.thegreenhorns.net/mainesailfreight/ sev

Meet: Severine von Tscharner Fleming of Sail Freight Maine
She wants to borrow your boat, but it’s all about farming.
by Mary Pols for the Portland Press Herald

Severine von Tscharner Fleming recently landed a spot (No. 23) on Food & Wine and Fortune magazines’ dual list of the most powerful women in food and drink. The honor came about in large part because of her work with the Greenhorns, a national organization to support new farmers, but the 33-year-old resident of Essex, New York, and frequent visitor to Maine has her hands in many projects. The latest is Maine Sail Freight, a plan to get Maine sailors and farmers to work together to ship goods down the coast to urban centers (Boston and New York, as well as points in between) in the old-fashioned way. Von Tscharner Fleming masterminded a similar project in Vermont in 2013, and now her vision is to harness the sustainability of wind power and the romance of the seas to spread the Maine brand in the prettiest possible way. We talked to the University of California-Berkeley graduate, who majored in conservation and agro-ecology, about seaweed, the troublesome future and how to pronounce that mouthful of a name of hers (the “t” is silent).

read the full article HERE

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