the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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young farmer writers & artists

Here is another place for your work! The West Marin Review is seeking submissions for its next issue.

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Submission Deadline: September 1, 2014
For publication in 2015

West Marin Review, a literary and arts journal published by Point Reyes Books and Neighbors & Friends, is now accepting submissions of literary works, poetry, and visual art for Volume 6.

Submit only unpublished work in all categories (excerpts from blogs are okay).

Prose and poetry may be submitted online or through U.S. Mail. Visual art may only be submitted through U.S. Mail. To submit prose or poetry online, click here. Continue reading


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visualizing networks

The Exchange Archive is a research database for projects about exchange.

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From unconventional dialogue to reciprocity systems, the Exchange Archive supports research about contemporary exchange practices. We aim to support artistic research by making legible the people, ideas, and materials that surround exchange-based work today.

The Exchange Archive highlights connections between works.
You can add your project or just explore!


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pedal & plow

You’ll want to follow the journey of these folks: Pedal & Plow.  Read on for their perspective!

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It seems everyone has an opinion on “How to Feed the World.” From The most recent National Geographic article, to the works of Michael Pollan, there is increasing awareness of the challenges our food system faces. However in this chorus of voices, the opinions of small farmers and peasants seems to be drowned out. With one billion farmers worldwide isn’t it time to start looking for solutions from the very people that will be trusted to feed this growing population?

Pedal and Plow is at its heart committed to small scale farmers and understanding the challenges and realities of a changing food system. Lydia Caudill, creator and host of Pedal and Plow, will be riding her bike from Paraguay, across the America’s back to her home in Washington State. Along this epic journey she will interview small farmers, cooperatives, and anyone with a new perspective on farming and food systems. Continue reading


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a DIY naturalist

& the Aldo Leopold Bench. bench

To spy a Leopold bench in someone’s yard is to know something about the family who there resides. Even if you haven’t read Leopold’s opening lines, “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot,” from A Sand County Almanac, you will appreciate this easy-to-build bench. If left untreated, this stable bench develops a characteristic gray patina, however, putting some preservative where bench meets ground will prolong its life. Its form, resting alone under a tree or in congregation around a firepit, reminds us of Leopold’s thoughtfulness:

“When some remote ancestor of ours invented the shovel, he became a giver: He could plant a tree. And when the axe was invented, he became a taker: He could chop it down. Whoever owns land has thus assumed, whether he knows it or not, the divine functions of creating and destroying plants.”

“The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, ‘What good is it?’ If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.”

Materials: One 2x6x33″, one 2x10x30″, one 2x8x10′, six 3/8″x 31/2″ carriage bolts with washer and nut, twelve 3/8″ x 31/2″ #12 or #14 flathead wood screws. Use Douglas Fir for your Leopold bench, if you can, and customize its size to suit you. The materials listed will make a 33″ bench, but you may choose to build out to 48″.


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a writing refuge

Writers, apply now!

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More than ever, writers need time and space to think deeply, recharge their imagination and write without distraction.  The Mesa Refuge provides these in an absolutely sublime setting. 
 
If you’ve been thinking about getting away to write, please consider applying for one of our fall sessions.  The available dates are listed below, and the deadline for applying is June 2.
  • September 19 – October 2
  • October 3 – October 16
  • October 17 – October 30
  • October 31 – November 13
    For more information, visit www.mesarefuge.org now.
 

 


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chaseholm farm grand opening

A model.

There will be a cow salon/photo booth, cow milking lessons, farm tours at 2:30 and 3:30, live music, some foods, a raffle for farm store treats, calf cuddling, and acquaintance making of neighbors and friends.  We will also be kicking off farm store season with a special 20% discount card we are calling Milk Money but it works for all of our goodies in the store, not just the milk.  Read more about that below the flyer :)   We hope to see you there, with your kids and your friends and maybe your parents too. Join us!  

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To celebrate we are launching “MILK MONEY” – a farm store card that enables you to support Chaseholm Farm in exchange for a 20% discount on store goods. Purchase of a $200 MILK MONEY card entitles you to $250 worth of core farm products. Purchasing a card will help us buy seeds and equipment this spring and offers you great farm store value. Products that can be purchased using the card are:
Raw Milk fresh from our grass based herd of Jersey’s and Holsteins.  We are especially excited to be offering this promotion as spring brings us fresh grass and the cows embark on another season of grazing, providing nutrient rich milk to us all.
Farmstead Cheeses from our very own Chaseholm Farm Creamery. Chaseholm Camembert, Moonlight, StellaVallis, Alphage, Queso Blancos and Farmers Cheeses.  My brother Rory makes all the cheeses with his team and our milk. Continue reading


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pedal and plow

An interesting project to follow in the coming years: Pedal and Plow

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Pedal and Plow is a documentary web series following Lydia Caudill, Creator and host of Pn’P, as she rides her bike from Paraguay all the way home to Washington state. Along the way she’ll be documenting alternatives to industrial agricultural from those on the front lines of food justice in Latin America. She’ll interview farmers and organizations all strivingto maintain their personal and community right to determine their diet and way of life in the face of a rapidly industrializing food system. The solutions will be local, but we hope for our scope to be far reaching. Lydia believes that sharing these ideas can inform and empower everyone connected to their food throughout the world. We invite you to join her on this epic trip! Check out the most recent episodes, or learn more from Lydia on her blog. 

 


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inspiring videos from a fellow greenhorn

You guys continue to inspire us! We just heard from Deann Horak who had this to say:

About 5 years ago I saw a picture of Severine in an in-flight magazine on Midwest Express. She was so happy holding a goose and eating an apple. The accompanying story was really inspiring and something about that picture struck me and I knew that I wanted to feel that way about the life I was living. I tore the picture out of the magazine and kept it with me – something of an unwritten mission statement.  I went back to my life as a tv editor in NYC  and kept at it until I found my farm – its in the Driftless region of Wisconsin and it made for the best 35th birthday gift I could have ever bought myself. On a Friday last May I walked out of our offices on Wall St. and on Monday, just after lunch the Uhaul was in the driveway of the farm. We call it East Branch Heirlooms. We grow organic vegetables for the Viroqua Food Coop and 2 restaurants. I only wish I had done it sooner.
As much as I thought I was done with tv, I’m not. There are too many great young farmers here!  I bought a camera, started shooting myself and am putting together the stories of the farmers and foodmakers in this region.
Well done, Deann.  Here’s one of her videos:


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greenhorns & grayhorns

The recently published book, Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmer Movement, includes nine “dispatches” from Oregon farmers and ranchers. These authors represent the growing youth movement in Oregon agriculture. The keynote session features four of the Oregon authors and greenhorn farmers representing different regions of the state: Sarahlee Lawrence, Rainshadow Organics, Terrebonne; Josh Volk, Slow Hand Farm, Portland; Cory Carman, Carman Ranch, Wallowa; Teresa Retzlaff, 46 North Farm, Olney. However, greenhorns would not be anywhere without grayhorns.” Moderating the panel is well-known organic seed grower and inveterate grayhorn, Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed, Philomath


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music for your february farm projects

Check this out from Robin Grey: The Ballad of Hawkwood. One of our new favorites.

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Hawkwood Nursery is the main site of Organiclea, a workers’ cooperative growing food on London’s edge in the Lea Valley.  www.organiclea.org.uk 

The melody comes from an old english murder ballad called ‘The Two Sisters’ which I first heard performed by Rachael Dadd. Tom Waits does a recording which is very good if you want to hear the original.

lyrics

There is a fine gent christened Ru Litherland
Mulch, sow and then reap
There is a fine gent christened Ru Litherland
And he has green fingers on both of his hands
I’ll be good to the land and the land will be good to me  Continue reading


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off the charts

the song-poem story. songpoem

OFF THE CHARTS: The Song-Poem Story is a fascinating, at times unsettling, documentary that exposes the strange underworld of the song-poem industry. In this little known subculture, “ordinary people” respond to come-on ads on the back pages of magazines, mailing in their heartfelt but often bizarre poems to “music industry” companies that, for a fee, turn those poems into real recordings. OFF THE CHARTS explores a truly unique, never-before-seen slice of Gothic Americana through interviews with several song-poem writers, the jaded producers and musicians who set their words to music, and a few of the growing number of zealous song-poem connoisseurs.

More HERE
and

HERE

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