the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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small farms: apply now for a “lift”

beekman logo

Beekman 1802 Mortgage Lifter Sauces is a pasta sauce company which has pledged to donate 25% of their profits to help give individual small farms a “lift.” On April 29th, 2014, Beekman 1802 will divide $13,264 between four small American farms (entries due by midnight, April 22nd). The amount will be divided into four “Mortgage Lifter Lifts:”

One $10,000 Lift
Three $1088 Mini-Lifts

START HERE to submit your profile and apply for a lift!

To learn more about Mortgage Lifter, click HERE


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tiny house communities


How tiny house communities can work for both the haves and the have nots
By Eve Andrews

Ryan Mitchell lives and breathes tiny houses. He has been running the popular website The Tiny Life for the past five years; is currently planning a tiny house conference for approximately 120 people in Charlotte, N.C., where he lives; and has written a book on tiny living that’s due to be published in July. To top it off, he recently finished construction on a tiny house of his very own.

Mitchell’s dream, however, is a community of tiny houses. When asked what that would look like, he describes a grouping of mini-cottages around a large communal structure, which would include space to have shared meals, shows, and workshops. “The community aspect is actually a big part of what we [tiny house enthusiasts] like,” says Mitchell. With The Tiny Life, Mitchell has created an online forum of sorts for tiny house enthusiasts from all over the world. He wants to bring that community out of the virtual sphere and into the physical one.

continue reading HERE


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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!  



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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a dairy on the move

This farmer in Suffolk  has moved her innovative dairy, using crowdfunder to make it happen.  She runs a small, commercial dairy with suckling calves.  Take note, follow her work, and pitch in if you can!

Fiona Provan’s Calf at Foot Dairy in Suffolk is unique and very special. Fiona’s small herd of 100% pasture-fed Jersey cows produce fabulous raw milk, as well as pasture-fed veal and beef.  But that isn’t all. The cows at the Calf at Foot Dairy keep their precious calves who are then gently weaned far older than usually happens in the dairy industry, keeping both mum and calf happy. Compassion is the watchword at The Calf at Foot Dairy and the taste of the raw milk and pasture-fed veal and beef from the happy herd is second to none! The Calf at Foot Dairy herd is 11 milking cows and their calves, including the beautiful Bluebell and her two month old calves Forrest and Gump.

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pedal and plow

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


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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article by a dairyman

Rainton Herdsharecow-content_1
David Finlay – 11 March 2014

I’m afraid this isn’t an article about how our broken food system is driving climate change, biodiversity loss, diffuse pollution, resource depletion, anti-biotic resistance, animal and social welfare degradation, ill health and food insecurity. And it’s not about how someone (else)should do something about it. I assume you know all that, and many, like me, have stopped reading these articles because, well, because they’re really quite depressing. Especially so, as there is little we can do about it….

No, this is a good news story. It’s about how we are going to have a damn-good go at coming up with an alternative food system that, to a large extent, addresses all those issues we worry about.

And when I say ‘we’ I mean exactly that – me and YOU.

Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to get up at 4.30am to milk the cows. Nor get up at 2am to calve that awkward heifer – though you could if you want. No, I’d be happier to do that bit. But I DO want you to be involved.

OK, let’s just imagine that we could come up with a system of dairy farming (relative to your average dairy) that:

  • Cuts green-house gas emissions by more than half
  • Reduces energy use by more than half
  • Cuts the use of anti-biotic by 90% Continue reading

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wonderful new grains company

Community Grains.  Read on for information on their conference this weekend, and register HERE


2014 Conference on the Development of Our Local Whole-Grain Economy
Community Grains
Sunday, March 9, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (PDT), Oakland, CA

A Progress Report & To-Do List

Intact Whole Grain–Why Is It Important?

Michael Pollan, Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, UC, Berkeley, author, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation–What I’ve learned about grain. Where does it lead?

David Jacobs, PhD, Professor, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota–Food synergy and food patterns: are whole foods more than the sum of their individual nutrients and bioactive substances?

David W. Killilea, PhD, Staff Scientist, Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Children’s Hospital Oakland Institute–If you take it apart, can you put it back together? Knowing what’s in your flour. Continue reading

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one outcome of drought in california

…would be incentives for other regions  to begin and expand vegetable production. Indeed here they are, stepping high!
Imagine the job creation potential…OH WAIT, you don’t have to: Leopold Center did an Iowa jobs report.


The Seeds of a New Generation
by Michael Moss for the New York Times

John D. Jackson lives in the heart of the Corn Belt, where most of the corn has nothing to do with sweet kernels on the cob. His farm in Southern Illinois typically grows field corn, the high-starch variety that is turned into ethanol and cattle feed. He also works as a logistics manager for Archer Daniels Midland, the agricultural giant that produces the other big artifact of this crop: high fructose corn syrup.

But on 10 of his 700 acres, Mr. Jackson broke from this culture of corn last fall by planting something people can sink their teeth into. With a tractor and an auger, he drilled four-foot holes in his soil, added fertilizer and put in 48 apple trees bearing Gold Rush, Jonagold, Enterprise and the sweet-tart blushing globe called the Crimson Crisp. This year he plans to add more apple trees, blackberry bushes and possibly some vegetables.

Mr. Jackson is part of a small but eager cadre of corn farmers who are starting to switch sides, as it were, lured by a little-appreciated fact of farm economics: There is vastly more money to be made in growing other vegetables and fruits. While an acre of corn is projected to net average farmers $284 this year after expenses, and just $34 if they rent the land, as is common, an apple orchard on that same acre will make $2,000 or more, according to crop analysts. A sophisticated vegetable operation using the popular plastic covers called high tunnels, which increase yields and extend the growing season, can push that figure as high as $100,000.

read the full article


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a young farmer designing/running a profitable perennial farm

For those of you out there  interested in permaculture and needing camaraderie in the young farmers growing perennials for a living realm, meet Grant Schultz of Versaland. He’s transforming a 145 acre corn and soybean farm in Iowa into a broad acre perennial farm, capturing grants from the USDA,  implementing farm hack strategies (electric tractor), and offering workshops.

grant schultz1

He was recently interviewed on the Permaculture Voices Podcast. Click to learn more about Grant and how he’s making it all happen.


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support growing innovation

We need this library!  Please pitch in.  All contents of the library will also be contributed to the Farm Hack website.

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Here’s the scoop:
Growing Innovation Online Library & Book

We will build an online library of agricultural innovations developed by farmers and create a book celebrating their ingenuity.

The Growing Innovation project was inspired by farmers. At our small nonprofit organization, we work with farmers who amaze us everyday with their ingenuity and determination. Over the past 17 years, we’ve documented hundreds of successful farmer-led projects. We want to celebrate and share their innovative ideas by creating an online library and a new book.

The online library will include interactive maps of farm projects along with detailed plans, budgets, and other useful information. The book will feature some of the most exciting projects we’ve seen yet.

read more HERE

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a garden in juvenile hall

A great model, courtesy of Planting Justice.

Together, we can create a space that allows for incarcerated youth to experience the same healing power of gardening as men involved in the Insight Garden Program in San Quentin do.

We’ve already seen the transformative power of a garden for adults while incarcerated: reduced recidivism rates, job skills, and internal healing. It is important that we provide incarcerated youth with these same opportunities because by nurturing and caring for a young plant you learn to nurture and care for yourself and others. Continue reading

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grassroots seed network

Maine farmer, seed curator forms new grass-roots group
By Mary Pols for the Portland Press Herald, February 16
After a rift in the community of seed-savers, Will Bonsall takes matters into his own hands to continue protecting hundreds of varieties of potatoes and other plants.



Read the full article HERE
and check out the Grassroots Seed Network!


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