the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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activism we admire

This video demonstrates how a community is trying to save their water and wetlands and reduce the impact of an unnecessary freeway. Save Little Lake Valley http://www.savelittlelakevalley.org/ members are requesting that the California Water Quality Control Board order Caltrans, the Department of Transportation in CA., to cease and desist construction on the Willits Bypass. In March 2014 Caltrans is, and has been, in violation of the Water Board permits that are needed to proceed with construction.


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the greenhorns are happy to release

OURLAND  Episode 4: Access to Grazing

Market demand continues to swell for ethically raised, pasture-based livestock, poultry, eggs and milk. These products fetch a major price premium over the conventional, confinement raised alternative, and present the possibility for small scale producers to make a livelihood. Young graziers are joining the fray to meet that market appetite, inspired by Joel Salatin, Jim Gerrish and the incredible soil-building potential of grass-fed animal husbandry.

For farmers who build their own low-cost infrastructure: hen houses, portable electric fencing, moveable pens and pig enclosures, the need to own land is no longer first priority. They can improve the land they’re on through grazing, by virtue of the animals’ manure, but also from the intensive management and impact of animals, creating a state change in the pasture itself, promoting plant growth, diversity, and increased organic matter. These are measureable outcomes with benefits to landowners, soil micro-organisms, the grazing animals, and water quality.

For landowners, the benefits of leasing grazing land to graziers are many and include a tax benefit for “agricultural use”, as well as the joys of enlivening pastures with contented mother cows, tick-eating hens, and young entrepreneurs.

For the farmers, it is a balance of managing a small business without clear title or much solid infrastructure, often on multiple parcels, and negotiating for fair terms and solid tenure with absent or risk-averse owners. These kinds of partnerships are increasing, particularly in areas adjacent to urban centers, where price pressure for recreation, second homes, winegrapes, and leisure activities has priced farmers out of the market for ownership. When both parties manage the relationship with care and work together, making decisions that are best for animals, place and people, its a win-win solution for local food sovereignty.

Visit the OURLAND page for more episodes and reading material.


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america’s youth protest keystone

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HERE.
On Sunday, March 2, 2014, a group of young people called XL Dissent organized a march from Georgetown University to Lafayette Park, which is opposite the White House, to register their opposition to the possible approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Going into more depth than the NEWS BRIEF, this video gives voice to President Obama,  Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as, the young people participating in this action. They include: Ben Thompson of Students for a Just and Stable Future, Hannah Berkowitz, a President Obama campaign worker and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a 14 year old activist from the Earth Guardians, of Boulder, Colorado.


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after i pick the fruit: the lives of migrant women

after i pick the fruit

After I Pick the Fruit follows the lives of five immigrant farmworker women over a ten-year period as they labor in the apple orchards and fields of rural western New York, migrate seasonally to Florida, raise their families, and try to hide from the Bush-era immigration raids that were conducted in response to 9/11. Filmed in New York, Florida, and Mexico, this intimate, bittersweet, feature-length film illuminates a community that is nearly invisible to most Americans, and will change the way you look at our national ‘immigration problem.’”

This is a great review of this documentary

Watch the trailer or buy the DVD HERE


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inspiring videos from a fellow greenhorn

You guys continue to inspire us! We just heard from Deann Horak who had this to say:

About 5 years ago I saw a picture of Severine in an in-flight magazine on Midwest Express. She was so happy holding a goose and eating an apple. The accompanying story was really inspiring and something about that picture struck me and I knew that I wanted to feel that way about the life I was living. I tore the picture out of the magazine and kept it with me – something of an unwritten mission statement.  I went back to my life as a tv editor in NYC  and kept at it until I found my farm – its in the Driftless region of Wisconsin and it made for the best 35th birthday gift I could have ever bought myself. On a Friday last May I walked out of our offices on Wall St. and on Monday, just after lunch the Uhaul was in the driveway of the farm. We call it East Branch Heirlooms. We grow organic vegetables for the Viroqua Food Coop and 2 restaurants. I only wish I had done it sooner.
As much as I thought I was done with tv, I’m not. There are too many great young farmers here!  I bought a camera, started shooting myself and am putting together the stories of the farmers and foodmakers in this region.
Well done, Deann.  Here’s one of her videos:


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beautiful piece

Greening the Ghetto

With 7 billion people on earth and the rapid urbanization of our societies, any piece of land becomes strategic in the race to feed the world. Nina Berman, a photographer from photo agency NOOR, started to document the movement of urban gardening in the Bronx, New York in 2010. In “Greening the Ghetto”, she goes back to Taqwa Garden, and Bobby Watson, the gardener, tells her how he and his father build up their “little piece of heaven” in Bronx.

Video and photography: Nina Berman | NOOR for Thomson Reuter Foundation

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