the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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seeking a greenhorns rep for the heirloom expo!

Dear Greenhorns:Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 7.16.05 AM

Are you: 
1. a young / aspiring farmer?
2. A greenhorns FAN, literate on how to welcome new farmers into the network?
3. Able to sell merch, flirt with strangers, amuse yourself all day talking about farming? 
We are looking for some Greenhorns-savvy representatives to attend, table, chit-chat, and sell merch at the Heirloom Expo in September .
Please write to us and let us know if you want to take this on:! You’ll walk away with our sincere gratitude and a bag full of greenhorns swag. 

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letter sent to pope francis regarding GMOs

At the request of major peasant organizations, a group of scientists and agricultural experts sent a letter and document on the problem of genetically modified seeds to the Vatican on April 30, 2014.  Signed by eight experts from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, India and Canada, the letter and accompanying document call upon His Holiness to speak out against the negative impacts of GM seeds on the world’s peasants and    global food security. 
The document questions the scientific basis of GM technology, its failure to increase yields, the exponential increase in pesticide use, the dangers of transgenic  contamination of peasant crops, the threat to human health and the concern that GM seeds are patented and monopolized by a handful of transnational corporations. To read more and follow this letter’s progress, CLICK HERE—->

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fsa grant available to help socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers

FSA grant socially disadvantage

Grant applications are being accepted from eligible applicants to assist socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers to own and operate farms and ranches. The grant will assist community-based organizations, higher education institutions and tribal entities in providing outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers. Applications must be submitted by Aug. 25. Learn more.

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kickstarter for book linking organic farmers with retirement communities

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.

To learn more about this amazing book, click HERE!

retired guy

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seedhead news

seedhead news


The entire archive ofThe Seedhead News, a Native Seed/SEARCH member newsletter, is available online! You can browse through the 31-year history of the organization and learn an astounding amount about the agricultural and cultural diversity of the Greater Southwest.

All issues are text-searchable and downloadable in PDF format. Visit the archive to start reading!

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the wild west of weed has a water problem

Some drought-stricken rivers and streams in Northern California’s coastal forests are being polluted and sucked dry by water-guzzling medical marijuana farms, wildlife officials say — an issue that has spurred at least one county to try to outlaw personal grows.

State fish and wildlife officials say much of the marijuana being grown in northern counties under the state’s medical pot law is not being used for legal, personal use, but for sale both in California and states where pot is still illegal.

This demand is fueling backyard and larger-scale pot farming, especially in remote Lake, Humboldt and Mendocino counties on the densely forested North Coast, officials said.

“People are coming in, denuding the hillsides, damming the creeks and mixing in fertilizers that are not allowed in the U.S. into our watersheds,” said Denise Rushing, a Lake County supervisor who supports an ordinance essentially banning outdoor grows in populated areas.

“When rains come, it flows downstream into the lake and our water supply,” she said. Many affected waterways also contain endangered salmon, steelhead and other creatures protected by state and federal law. Click HERE to read more about this dilemma.




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salvadoran farmers successfully oppose monsanto seeds

What does Monsanto do with their expired seeds? They try and pawn them off on other countries through packages offered by US aid. When the farmers of El Salvador uncovered the requirement that monsanto seed be purchased as part of the aid package, they banded together to block the stipulation. Unfortunately, strings are attached to this stipulation. Click to read more about this effort to oppose GM seed—–>

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vote for the hmong american farmers to receive a 500k grant!

HAFA is delighted to be a finalist in theTwins “Fans Choose” All-Star Legacy Giving grant program.

We need your help. As a finalist, we are now competing against six other top organizations for a $500,000 grant. In this final portion of the program, fans get to choose which organization should get the $500,000 grant.

Please go to the Twins “Fans Choose” website and vote for the Hmong American Farmers Association. You can vote once a day, every day until the end of the contest. Voting will begin on June 10 and will end at 4 pm on July 10. The winner of the $500,000 grant will be revealed on Monday, July 14 at Target Field.

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essex farm notes: a great blog to follow

get a horse

Week 26, 2014

We are sleep deprived and red-necked, the house is a total disaster, the lawn is shaggy, and we’ve been eating cold scraps out of a nearly barren fridge. And this is exactly the way it should be when things are going well at the end of June. The weather is behaving as if custom ordered. We pulled some long days haymaking last weekend. Mike, Mark, Matt, Luke, Aubrey and Scott got the last load of bales under cover minutes before the rain started. Then it fell gently, steadily, so that the plants and grasses, which had which had just begun to wish for water, raised their leaves up in gratitude. Now the sun is out again and the forecast is clear and hot; Jon Christian is aboard the Ford, laying down more hay, and Mark is tedding it right behind him.

To read more or visit this blog, click HERE—>

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the premio daniel carasso international prize is calling for applications


The international prize called the Premio Daniel Carasso aims to reward an international renowned research scientist who, through cross-disciplinary researches, has innovative and realistic approaches in order to develop “sustainable food and diets for long-term human health”.

The Premio is open to scientists working in fundamental or applied research in nutrition, food studies, food technology and sciences, agriculture, agronomy, fishing and fish-farming, agro-ecology, ecology, biodiversity, environmental sciences, sociology, anthropology, economics, farming food nutrition policy and all other subjects related to sustainable food.

Applicants have to submit their entries on line, in English, between the 1st of April and the 30th of June 2014.

Research work submitted should:

  •  Contribute to the emergence of sustainable food system;
  •  Incorporate at least 2 of the 4 pillars of sustainability that are environment, society, economics and nutrition;
  •  Combine different disciplines and bring together previously separate fields of enquiry;
  •  Enjoy international recognitions. The applicants should have written widely about their work in international and national reviews (at least five publication) and have spoken at international scientific events.

To apply or simply find out more, visit

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podcast: marada cook of northern girl, maine food entrepreneur

Click HERE to stream the podcast or download HERE from itunes.

Marada Cook is one of Maine’s most remarkable entrepreneurs. She’s part owner and manager of three Maine food companies, Northern Girl, Fiddler’s Green Farm, and Crown of Maine Organic, that repurpose, distribute, and sell Maine produce across the northeast and have become core to the regional food system. Join me for a conversation with Marada where she describes – in her understated way – the development of these three companies to where they are today. Recorded onsite at the Slow Money Maine conference. To listen to this episode on the Grow Maine Show, click HERE—->

Marada Cook of Northern Girl

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women in sustainable agriculture fall gathering. save the date!

Some of us farm and some of us want to farm but we all enjoy sharing and learning from each other at the annual Fall Harvest Gathering for Women in Sustainable Agriculture. PLEASE PLAN TO JOIN US AND SAVE THE DATE!!!   November 7-8-9, 2014 at Cedar Valley Resort in Whalen, MN.Costs are reasonable and scholarships are available. All women are welcome!
Highlights will include:
·        Three (!) virtual farm tours
·        Lively discussion on soil health, what to look for, and how to keep it!
·        Panel discussion on passing on the farm
·        Excellent potluck lunch Saturday (and great food throughout the weekend!)
·        Music, campfire, silent auction
·        Time to walk (or bike) the Root River trail
·        Time to talk casually with women who share your passion!
More details to come! Please contact if you have any questions.

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iowa: build a root washer for you vegetable farm/ root washer giveaway!

Versaland Farm

Iowa City, IA 

Tuesday July 22nd, 2-7pm

Screenshot 2014-05-21 22.19.40

A critical piece of farm profitability is having the tools to work efficiently.  Beginning farmers, those quickly and earnestly tackling a new production model often have limited capital or skills.  So…if you can’t afford a $3,000 root washer, you may try to build one…if you can weld and have access to a full metal fabrication and wood shop.  What if you don’t have the cash or specialized skills?  We’ve got you covered.

Grant Schultz, in collaboration with two other local farms, wrote a SARE grant, “Farmer-built No-welding Root Washer for Small Farmers”.  During the course of this workshop, we’ll build a robust root washer built around a repurposed double-walled poly drain culvert.  This is a heavy-duty tool with lots of utility for a fraction of a pre-built model.

Also, WE’LL GIVE IT AWAY to one lucky attendee.  You come, you learn, you eat, you may go home with a free root washer.  Better bring a trailer and crossed fingers. To learn more CLICK HERE—->


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