the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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open food network

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Help change the way our local food systems work by empowering local farmers and consumers with an open-source solution that connects producers with food hubs.

The Open Food Network is an open source, online marketplace that makes it easy to find, buy, sell and move sustainable local food. It gives farmers and food hubs easier and fairer ways to distribute food, while opening up the supply chain so eaters can see what’s going on.

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a new seed marketplace!

Seedwise.com, the organic and non-GMO seed marketplace, has created an online platform for organic 5313ff62b284aseed farmers to connect directly with retail consumers. Home gardeners and farmers alike can now purchase seeds with the added knowledge of exactly where, and by whom, their seeds have been grown.

SeedWise is breaking down one of the last barriers of transparency in the organic movement by integrating the farmer at the root level of commercial exchange. Unlike even the most well-respected organic seed companies, SeedWise allows buyers to choose not just seed variety, but also provides the choice of seeds grown in specific climates, by particular farms.

With 16 farmers currently offering seeds, the home gardener can be highly selective, choosing the same garlic seed grown in the Willamette Valley, or a mere 100 miles away in the Columbia River Gorge. By understanding what climate the seed originates from, consumers can more accurately predict the success of the seeds in their home climate. Most importantly, by increasing the accountability of the seed industry, we can all see exactly who is growing our seeds and the practices they use. SeedWise is strictly a non-gmo, organic seed marketplace, customers can be assured that every dollar spent is a vote for their values.

The idea for SeedWise grew out of conversations with farmers who struggle to earn a living growing and selling organic seeds to larger companies and seed catalogs. Relying on the wholesale market has crippled many small seed farmers, and SeedWise was created with the intention to give these farmers more direct connection with the retail customer.

The majority of organic seed farmers get into the trade because they want to live their values by growing, breeding, and saving high quality seeds.

SeedWise is happy to provide the technical framework that allows farmers to make a living, doing what they love.


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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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help the grange farm school get started!

Support the campaign HERE, and visit their website.

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We’re building the Grange Farm School to help aspiring farmers learn the skills they need to pursue their dreams as small farmers and to provide healthy local food to their communities.  We can’t think of a more important task right now than training the next generation of farmers. Continue reading


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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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fundraise with local food, not candy bars!

farmraiser

A FarmRaiser is a powerful and innovative way to raise money for your project while helping to build a stronger, healthier community. We use technology and old fashioned organizing to create product-based fundraisers that allow students to sell healthy products from local businesses.

These programs are currently in Michigan and Washington State. If you are a farmer and interested in learning more about this program, visit HERE. If you are a student or teacher and looking to find out more, click HERE.

 


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social enterprise in cuba

Listen here

A group of ‘socially responsible entrepreneurs’ from the United States is trying to help Cubans obtain the best of both worlds: Retaining the achievements of the existing system in Cuba, while infusing entrepreneurship, with a collective tinge. We interview Eric Leenson with Sol Economics about a recent group visit to Cuba and his organization’s plans.

And check out Sol Economics

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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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recipe/testimonial for horsetail/nettle tea’s use as a microorganism support and soil booster

horsetail

Harvest nettle – from tip to about 1 ft off ground.

Chop finely like herbs for a salad.

Mix in a barrel 2/3 full of dry nettle and fill with water (about 80% full).

Top with agribon cloth so to let it breathe but keep out bugs.

Stir twice daily for 7-10 days. foaming will begin 1-3 days in and then slowly subside.

Remove bio material and store in cool dark place.

POTENT nitrogen fertilizer horsetail is same – EXCEPT – you need to add molasses at 1:1 ration with water. If 5 gallons of water added to horsetail then add 5 gallons of molasses (I actually use a little less because its so expensive). POTENT silica supplement….my buddy who farms near Mt Shasta – his brews are almost done – he started them a week ago – are reading OFF nettle                                                                   THE CHARTS for nutrient concentrations!!!


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pay-what-you-can veggie stand

An interesting model in Vancouver.  They’ve raised 30% of their goal so far.  Check it out! And pitch in if you can.

http://solefoodfarms.com/about/

Soul Food has a plan to double Vancouver’s local food production.
If you would like to see more beautiful, delicious and healthy food grown right in your neighbourhood, help us set up two new retail locations.
With retail outlets in place, we will create the capacity to significantly expand our farming operations in the next few years – growing into one of, if not the largest, urban farm in North America. That is to say, your one-time cash injection will help Sole Food significantly scale-up the urban farming movement.
But wait, there’s more: One of these locations is set in the Downtown Eastside, which will offer “pay-what-you-can” organic produce in order to bridge the gap between those who can afford our food and those who cannot.
In order to do this, we need to raise $100,000. Our start-up costs include renovation, marketing and merchandising materials, inventory, staffing, and cooling and storage infrastructure. If we make our goal we will immediately begin work to open the farm stands for the summer of 2014.


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more news on the high seas!

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The Tres Hombres schooner brig continues its trade mission for European markets. On this its fifth voyage to the Caribbean, cargo was sailed to the Western Hemisphere as well: wine and olive oil to Brazil. From there, local “superfoods” were loaded. A BBC documentary crew hopped on board and has departed, and supporters of the Tres Hombres look forward to more publicity.

A second vessel has been added to the Fair Transport (Dutch company that owns the Tres Hombres) fleet: a 21-meter 141-year-old Norwegian ketch.

Good news for the sail transport movement: Fairtransport is actively looking for more ships. At the end of this report is a section on the latest vessel the Nordlys and its acquisition and refit.

Our last report on the Tres Hombres current epic voyage was on Dec. 29, recounting that she called at Belém, Brazil. Then she sailed to the Caribbean Sea via Barbados, and visited Grenada on Januarly 29 to load 25 000 bars of Grenada Chocolate Company’s superb product.

continue reading here

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