the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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the greenhorns sign and support the petition to stop development on the gill tract farm

A Food Initiative on the Gill Tract Farm

>> Sign Here << Gill Tract Farm

We urge UC Berkeley administration, the UC Regents, and President Napolitano to halt the current development plan for the Gill Tract Farm and enter into a collaborative design process with students and community for the entire Gill Tract Farm.

For over 15 years, faculty, students, and local community have protested the commercial development of the historic Gill Tract Farm and research site, managed by UC Berkeley. These concerned stakeholders have crafted several alternative proposals, advocating for its preservation as an educational resource.  In 2012, after neighbors and students occupied the land in protest of its commercial development, a 1.5 acre section called “Area A” was saved and became a pilot project for a new community-UC collaboration.  That project is flourishing, and we hope to see it grow to all 20 acres rather than the commercial development.

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how to help the seaport and municipal market

New Market Building

Last week, city and state elected officials representing Lower Manhattan sent a strongly worded letter to the New York City Economic Development Corporation urging an open and transparent, community-led planning process for all public assets at the South Street Seaport, including the Fulton Fish Market Tin Building and New Market Building.  We regard this as a first and vital step towards rejecting any plans already made for these sites without public input, and ensuring they remain dedicated to the public purpose.
Read the original letter here.
View the public assets assets in question here.

HOW TO HELP: Read an excellent summary by Terese Loeb Kreuzer here, and make sure to “like” the article to show just how many supporters endorse our elected officials on this issue.


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audio trawl

Hello loyal blog readers, 200

Our occasional, random requests have been so fruitful that we’re coming back for more!
Can you send in  your favorite:
1. Farm / farm-affiliated bands
3. Sea Shanties/ pirate songs
4. Topic songs about farming
Please email We’ve got such a great start on this.
Here are some sources for you to start with if you are still a greenhorn to ag audio:

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support food entrepreneurship on Kiva Zip

seedstarta note from friend of the Greenhorns, Johnny Price, project director of Kiva Zip

Dear friends,

I’m writing to you as great innovators, entrepreneurs and organizers in the food / agriculture space, who have expressed support and interest in our Kiva Zip project.
I wanted to flag one loan in particular to you in Vallejo CA. Of his business Vallejo Gardens, Kip (the borrower) writes: “Vallejo Gardens mission is to be a beacon of restoration, creativity and good food in the historic downtown area of Vallejo, CA. Vallejo Gardens promises a commitment to a local living, thriving economy, by keeping our dollars in our beloved city and its food choices closer to home.”
Unfortunately Kip has not been getting a great deal of funding — he is currently only 20% of the way to his goal, and his loan is set to expire on February 6th. If you want to help Kip out, you can make a $25 loan to him by clicking on the link above. Any help you can give Kip in promoting his loan to your networks, e.g. through social media, would be greatly appreciated. He promises to repay you over time.
If you haven’t become a lender on Kiva Zip yet, this one would be a great one to start on!
Hope you’re enjoying your starts to 2013!

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high altitude farmer training

a note to all you lovely readers from Dana, friend of the greenhorns, asking for your help and willingness to share your wells of knowledge. to reply, email


I am writing to ask if any readers out there have any resources, statistics, or insight into the growth in demand for farmer training and education.  I am part of a group that calls itself FEED (farmer education and economic development) and we are working on a few programs for our area to increase farmer training, specifically in the niche environment of high altitude farming.  We are currently drafting proposals and having meetings with administration at the local junior college to create a sustainable ag. certification through the junior college.  In addition, an awesome woman here has also just received a grant for 2 years of funding to orchestrate an intensive farmer training program for 3 people per year.

Specifically, I would be interested in what you have to say about the rise in interest and demand for small-scale farming.  We have a meeting next Friday with college administration and would like to present them with some data like: what type of jobs will be available to students after they receive a certificate, the rise in interest in small-scale farming (why we think we will actually be able to classes), etc. The ultimate goal: sustainable high altitude farming training and eventual cooperative that links in with slow food and culinary training/endeavors and is sourced to a future local hostel/brew pub and other young entrepreneur restauranteurs.  Far fetch and far away but EXCITING!

Thanks for your help, Dana —

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alaskan greenhorns?

Hi there blog readers,

WE are including in the almanac a ‘ dairy recruitment’ map of alaska from 1926. It therefore came to my attention that we have not adequately covered the young farmers movement in Alaska, and I wonder if anyone out there can point me towards some useful starting points to begin an investigation into the opportunties and communities of the northern most state.
Much appreciated if you’d send some suggestions of young farmer farms, best support organizations, and key institutional hubs Or asky your friends who live in alaska who would know those things, and forward their replies.  We must do better!

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farmland investing, a growing sector

Where are there benefits for young farmers? How do these schemes impact the matrix of farmland ownership?

How does it compare with the land-grabs and speculative investment that we have seen in Africa ?
Are there other ways for investment to benefit the future of agriculture?
We are interested in your big ideas  Here is  a program in Oregon that allows investors to buy conventional ag land, convert it to organic ag land, and then it is managed for sheep and beef grazing.
Know of other examples? Let us know, we are compiling our index of these projects.
Thanks! Severine

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any greenhorns want to represent us in madison?

if so, please email

Sacred Agriculture
2012 Biodynamic Association Conference
November 14-18, Madison, WI

Join us on November 14-18, 2012, at the beautiful Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison, WI, for an extraordinary event — the 2012 North American Biodynamic Conference. This biennial conference will bring together hundreds of farmers, gardeners, educators, activists, and interested newcomers for five days of inspiring keynotes, informative workshops, networking, exhibits, film screenings, art, and organic and biodynamic foods.

This year’s theme, Sacred Agriculture: Creating a New Relationship with the Earth, will focus on how we can build a sacred relationship to the earth through farming, gardening, and transformational work in our communities.

Featuring keynote speakers Dennis Klocek and Charles Eisenstein, a panel of leading biodynamic farmers, 40+ workshops, and much, much more. Click here for conference details….

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research in biodynamic world

Announcing Call for Pre-Proposals and Collaborators for Biodynamic Research
The Biodynamic Association is seeking creative, relevant and innovative research projects that will advance the understanding and practice of biodynamics. By making this Call, we hope to spark a new direction and impetus for biodynamic research through a broad idea sharing process. Projects are invited that address any aspect of biodynamics, following any relevant method or approach (natural scientific, spiritual scientific, Goethean, social scientific, artistic, other). Authors of the strongest submissions will be invited to a gathering of researchers to be held November 14-15, 2012 inMadison, Wisconsin, just prior to BDA’s biannual Biodynamic Conference.  Read more here
For the submission guide and template, see the attachment or this link:
The Call for Pre-Proposals and Collaborators is one aspect of the BDA’s new Biodynamic Research Development Program

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national young farmers conference!

Yes, it’s not until December, but you can start planning now.

SAVE THE DATE: 2012 Young Farmers Conference: December 12-14, 2012

Every December, over 250 young farmers from across the United States gather at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture to learn from agricultural luminaries, peers, and advocacy organizations at the National Young Farmers Conference: Reviving the Culture of Agriculture. On December 12-14, 2012, Stone Barns Center will host the fifth National Young Farmers Conference, providing participants with access to inspiring keynotes and more than 50 unique workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, marketing, and more.

Requests for Proposals:
The Growing Farmers Initiative at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is now accepting workshop proposals for the 5th annual National Young Farmers Conference, December 12-14, 2012. Continue reading

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young farmer survey

a thoughtful article and a survey request from Matthew Hoffman on the National Young Farmer’s Coalition blog:

Is there a special connection between women and sustainable agriculture? People sometimes talk about the masculinization of agriculture since WWII or about women being more nurturing and less inclined toward machines and chemicals. But the fact is that the overall number of people involved in agriculture has declined dramatically in the past 60 years. My supposition is that small-scale, sustainable agriculture is more appealing and accessible to everybody, men and women, and especially to people with no background in agriculture—which, as the National Young Farmers’ Coalition survey last year demonstrated, is most new farmers.

The exploratory survey that my friend Piper and I are circulating is for all farmers—men and women, conventional and organic, but especially for young and beginning farmers. We’re trying to learn what makes different kinds of agriculture more or less attractive and accessible, about the different pathways that lead young people into agriculture, and whether there really are any gendered differences with these things amongst the new generation of farmers. Knowing this will help us to advocate for rural policy that doesn’t ignore agriculture, but rather which makes it more appealing and accessible to everyone.

It’s actually a pretty quick survey and your participation is really valuable. Thanks for taking the time to fill it out! Click here for the survey!

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lucky to meet malcom, he wants a new farmers almanac too!

Here is is challenge for new work from California:

We are confronted daily with dramatic and very real evidence that California is in decline. Everything seems wrong. We can’t seem to educate our youth, provide families with homes or jobs, keep our parks and libraries open, or take care of our sick. We are not fulfilling the very basic responsibilities of a society–to provide transportation, security, water, clean air, safe and healthy food, or equitable access to opportunity. We don’t trust our institutions, our neighbors, or in moments of honesty, even ourselves. Faced with such complex problems, many revert to hurling simplistic slogans at each other with increasing intolerance, as if loudness could drown out uncertainty. Tragically, at a time when we need it most, California has lost the cultural optimism that has long fueled our dreams.

What wisdom or advice can a publisher offer in these discouraging times? We have a principle we use when we look over a manuscript: don’t start correcting the problems until you understand the strengths. And growing out of the current situation is something amazingly hopeful. What seems to be falling apart along with everything else are old clichés and stale certainties. One senses, at least among thoughtful people, a willingness to question, to probe, to invent new ways of seeing things, to create new dreams.

Stimulated by what has been coming our way, Heyday has begun to search out fresh and thought-provoking new material for what we envision as an annual anthology. We invite our friends and colleagues to help us out.

We’d love more suggestions, and we look forward to hearing from you. Help us bring to California what it needs most at this time—the best thinking and the deepest feeling. Let’s exert our best efforts toward that end.

Malcolm Margolin


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