the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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grange future!

It seems like a sinister art project, but it’s not.

Screen shot 2014-09-10 at 11.27.13 AMThe USPS is selling off properties, trying to make up for the estimated 8 billon dollar a year in losses. By some accounts, this represents a failure of state socialism, and a need for privatization. For others it represents a moment of portentous flux, where a new-civic commitment to fairness and transparency can blossom, triggered by crisis. Many other countries have downsized or privatized their postal services, notably my friend Kobe runs an affordable artist cooperative in a former postal-training center in Brussels. It’s so adaptive that a ‘re-use’ is a likely outcome of this ‘ fire sale.’ If we can get the economics right, and mimic the wonderful example of cooperative work demonstrated by Caroline and team at Splinters and logs – some of these spaces might be useful, affordable, communitarian habitat for artists, activists and others who have chosen passion over solvency.

Back to the details, the USPS is selling both buildings, and “excess land”.  As Grange historians and champions, we remind you that the Grange pushed through Free Rural Mail Delivery (the equivalent in its day of rural high-speed internet access). This was understood as a clear cultural infrastructure that allowed rural people and farmers to access Sears Robuck catalog (here’s a 1909 film!). We mourn the contraction of our public institutions in the abstract, but here in my small town (pop 323) it is personal through the very visible stress level of our own post officers, who stopped getting the “new chips” that fit into their scales and help them calculate postage. It is very perplexing to witness the suffering of these small town heroes.  Many of these ladies and gents are running a post office so tiny you could sweep it from a swivel chair. It hurts my heart to watch the indignity as they are forced to do the postage math on a slip of paper, or use a calculator on their computer.

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for boat lovers and climate noticers: hudson river activities


Float on New York: A Waterborne People’s Climate Convergence

August 31 – September 13, 2014

  •  160 Miles in Human Powered Vessels in 2 Weeks
  • A Climate Justice Flotilla


A fleet of full-scale paper boats is going afloat on the Hudson River, charting a course from upstate New York to New York City in a convergence of art and activism to coincide with the meeting of world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit. To learn more, click—>HERE

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north carolina: awesome panel on resiliency, apple genetics, rare livestock breeds and branding!!

Make Every Bite CountWake Forest University
Wednesday, September 10th 7-8:30 PM. FREE!

 This exciting panel discussion will provide insights into the importance of biodiversity and sustainable land and water use to a resilient food system. Individually, and collectively, these entrepreneurs are contributing to the economic vitality of our region by offering value-added choices to the marketplace.


Featured panelists:

Eliza Greenman- Heirloom and hard cider apple orchardist at Foggy Ridge Cider, fruit explorer, collector of very rare and old apple genetics, fruit tree nursery owner, and blogger for the Greenhorns.

Eric Hallman, PhD- Executive director of The Livestock Conservancy. The conservancy is working with farmers, chefs, historians, consumers, and others around the nation to re-introduce nearly 200 endangered breeds of livestock and poultry to the food supply.

April McGreger- Owner of Farmers Daughter Brand Pickling and Preserves and Andre 3000 fan. She has adopted a nimble business model that allows her to celebrate the taste and spirit of the South, while adapting to the climate-induced agricultural fluctuations of the region.








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sail powered rum

Tres Hombres is an initiative that thrives on combined passions; sailing, traditional ships, shipbuilding, crew training, a Screen shot 2014-08-26 at 9.19.08 PMhealthy environment, good harmony and of course rum! Tres Hombres stands for enjoying life. Like a message in a bottle, the ship contains a dream about reviving traditional sailed cargo shipping, a dream that has already partly been fulfilled.

In the sixteenth century, when excise taxes were standardized, the illegal transport and trade of rum, known as rum running came to life. During the American prohibition in the twenties this trade form reached its climax. Tres Hombres follows this line of business, but contrary to what was the case with traditional rum running, this is a legal trade. However, the title rumrunner perfectly illustrates the buccaneer’s style and bravery of this entrepreneurship.

Tres Hombres ships rum from the Caribbean without fuel or an engine in the tradition of the old rumrunners, creating the world’s only Fairtransport rum. This is done by the ship: rumrunner ‘Tres Hombres’. It’s the first and only authentic rum runner to exist in this millennium! Since 2010, this ship transports specially produced editions of rum, making Fairtransport rum available only in Europe! The limited edition rum is loaded into the ship’s belly by hand. Depending on the weather, the rum spends up to two months in the hold of this engineless cargo ship. Man and ship fight the elements the way it used to be done in the old days, delivering their cargo safe, sound and dry at the homeport. All this is done by an environmentally friendly journey over the Atlantic Ocean.

This sustainable initiative is creating a name for itself within the international rum scene, with its premium rum, specially bottled and shipped, emission-free, from the Caribbean.

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high tech sailors learn how to sprout!

The Ocean Going Farmer
y Nick Halmos


In the fall of 2011, my fellow 11th Hour Racing teammate, Hugh Piggin and I departed from France aboard a Class 40 as competitors in the Transat Jaques Vabre. Over the course of 26 days at sea, we laid a 6000 mile track across the  Atlantic that exited the English Channel, wound south through the Azores, across the Atlantic to Puerto Rico, and a final 1000 mile sprint to Costa Rica. One of the things that set 11th Hour Racing’s entry apart is that our boat, the mighty Cutlass, carried the world’s first carbon fiber oceanic hydroponic system. This first iteration of the Cityblooms Aquatic Project was an effort to grow edible and nutritious produce in the harsh and unforgiving environment that is a shorthanded race boat.

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