the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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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
b
y Nick Halmos

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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.

continue reading 


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support the young farmer network

The Young Farmer Network is a grassroots, farmer-led organization of farmers, aspiring farmers, and farm allies from all YFN_logobackgrounds, and of all experience levels.Their network is based in Rhode Island and includes farms and farmers from across southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut. Here’s the scoop on their current fundraiser:

It’s midsummer. We are knee deep in weeds, rich in radishes, and halfway through a season of beautiful and informative Young Farmer Nights. To everyone whose farms we’ve visited or who we’ve seen at farmers markets and other events: thank you for your work, and for your participation in this local food system we’re all investing in. We’re writing now to ask for your support to allow us to continue this great work in the future.
We began as a network of volunteer farmer-organizers in 2009 and have grown steadily since. Today we have a reach of nearly 400 people, coordinate over 25 annual farmer-to-farmer events, have a library of workshop guides and equipment, and will be offering several six week long short courses for farmers during the winter.  Continue reading


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discourse between sea and shore

An older article, but so relevant.

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The Surf and Turf Connection
By Julie Flaherty

What do farmers and fishermen dream about? A bumper crop of zucchini and calm seas? Perhaps. But both lose sleep over some of the same things: finding markets for their products, transporting their goods cheaply, tapping into the local foods movement and protecting the natural resources on which they both depend.

Although the two groups face similar challenges in keeping their businesses afloat, they rarely compare notes. Two recent graduates in the Friedman School’s Agriculture, Food and Environment Program, Amanda Beal, N11, and Ellen Tyler, N11, are trying to change that. With a grant from the Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine, they organized a series of forums around the state where farmers and fishermen could get together to talk and swap strategies.

Continue reading here


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the von thunen model: a very cool lesson in agricultural geography

The Von Thunen model of agricultural land use was created by farmer and amateur economist J.H. Von Thunen  in 1826. Von Thunen’s model was created before industrialization and says that farmers have to take 3 things into account: the cost of land per year, the price of crops when sold, and the cost of transportation to market.

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The first ring in the von thunen model produces dairy products, fruits, veggies, and flowers. Land costs in the first ring around the city are high, but so are sale prices for these products. All of these products spoil and require quick transport to market

Wood is grown in the second ring because it requires lots of land and the land must be cheaper. The forests are located in the second ring because back when Von Thunen wrote this model, Germany was heating primarily with wood.

Field crops like cereal grains are in the 3rd ring because they require vast amounts of land and are not nearly as expensive to transport as wood or fragile fruits and veggies. Also, farmers need land that they can afford to leave fallow for 1 out of every three years.

Ranching and livestock requires huge amounts of cheap land that doesn’t necessarily have to be good for anything except growing grass.

(For you permaculture people out there, check out this comparison between the Von Thunen model and the basic permaculture model. Second paragraph)


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roadmap to generosity farm

Check out this kickstarter campaign – a great concept!

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How do we bring together young organic farmers and wise energetic elders to form multigenerational retirement communities that farm?

“Roadmap to Generosity Farm” is a book about how to provide (1) aspiring young farmers with land and (2) energetic elders with a healthy and intellectually stimulating life to form thriving community farms.

A “Generosity Farm” is a community built around a farm and based on the principles of nature — diversity, interdependence, ecology. Generosity Farm will serve two primary populations — retirees and young farmers.  Active retirees are looking for alternatives to conventional retirement homes. Young farmers are looking for land and purpose. Both are looking for lives that are meaningful, productive, healthy, and equitable.

more here.

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