Dear Loyal blog readers.
IT WAS A CLEAR AND MOONLIT NIGHT, claimed the witness, and shortly before midnight he saw the defendant load a rock into his slingshot, take aim, and strike his victim right above the eye, killing him.
An excited buzz went up from the courtroom at this testimony; now it was up to the accused man’s lawyer, a tall, gangly man dressed all in black, as lawyers often did in the mid-1800s, to refute this testimony. A look of puzzlement settled over the gaunt attorney’s face as he approached the jury box, holding up a book with which they were all familiar.
The witness for the prosecution, he reminded the jury, had just sworn under oath that he could see everything in detail that night, since the moon was overhead, illuminating the fields below. Yet according to the book he held in his hand, explained the lawyer, that couldn’t have happened; the woods would have been pitch black all night, as the moon was in its first quarter, and had set shortly before midnight, more precisely, at 11:57 p.m. Continue Reading →
Here’s the write-up:
Rick Prelinger sez, “Our friends at The Greenhorns, a national organization of young farmers, just published the first (and hopefully not the last) edition of their New Farmer’s Almanac, which they call “an entertaining collection of practical advice for farmers and other patriots.” Its 300 pages are full of surprises — field notes from new farmers in city and country, archival tidbits from 200 years of agricultural bulletins and magazines, deep thoughts on land use in America, puzzles, meat-cutting charts and reproducible labels for your own homemade cheese. It’s much more than a patchwork, though — this book is at once radical and traditionalist, a generous handful of dispatches from the DIY movement that aims to fix our broken food system and relocate the center of innovation and idea-making from city to country. Ben Franklin would love this book. Purchase it, if you like, and increase the chances that it will become an annual publication as regular as the seasons.
“Quote from page 30: ‘An almanac is a little book hiding an encyclopedia within its covers. Its job is to offer proverbs that turn into projects, household hints that help harvests flourish, facts that keep animals healthy and plants straight on their stems.’”
ITs distribution time!
“Young Farmers of the Apocalypse”
The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac is ready for the future.
“Advice and entertainment for those dealing practically with the unknown”
December 21, 2012, Hudson Valley, New York
“A lot has changed for American agriculture since Ben Franklin wrote his, we wonder how much will change yet. With this almanac we assert our voices as new agrarians. No matter what the weather holds, we seek “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and farming is the way to get there” says editor-in-chief, Severine von Tscharner Fleming.
The 2013 New Farmers Almanac is a publication with its eye fixed sharply on the farmers of a future America — how will we reclaim a landscape, dominated by monoculture, how will we accommodate the coming population megaflux, how will our nation change now that the majority of its citizens live urban lives?
“Bursting with essays, aphorisms, poems, lunar information, and excerpts from historic moments, this volume will delight and excite both new and old farmers, and perhaps convince a few of you to reconsider the the career you have chosen, and switch over to good, tech-savvy, sustainable farming.”
At 336 pages, with a hole punch at the top to hang it in an outdoor toilet, this almanac is filled with essays by young agrarian writers, illustrations, both contemporary and historical, and with an annotated collection of historic excerpts meant to empower the reader with a more personal experience of American agricultural history. That history is rich with ambition, with cooperation, with systems-literacy — in such a short time we have installed a startlingly rich diversity of farming practices on this great continent, from palm trees for dates, to sorghum for molasses, to cranberries in bogs, to shitake mushroom plantations and silvopasture. Corn and soybeans may dominate our prime acreage and distort farm politics, but America has a rich and full tradition of innovation, both agronomic and institutional and we’re working to give that history as a context to our readership, both farmers and non farmers.
Rick Prelinger, founder of Prelinger Library says about our Almanac:
“It is the greatest of compendia, the nicest form of anthology, the perfect medium for information-sharing and the propagation of ideas that need to live for a year, two, or more. Naturally it is also a pleasure to see library material popping up from page to page.”
Malcolm Margolin, of Heyday Books says:
“A wonderful, lively, full, varied, and delightful piece of work.”
Distributed via farmers conferences, feed stores, independent bookshops and online — The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac is an experiment in old publishing undertaken by a six year old grassroots organization based in the Hudson Valley of New York. Our mission is to promote, recruit and support the growing movement of new and sustainable farmers in this country. The average age of the American farmer is 58. It’s not politically correct to call that “old”, but certainly we have a demographic crisis going on in rural America, and one that requires many new brains, bodies and businesses — ambitious ones too! We need about 100,000 – 600,000 more farmers within the decade, and reviving the tradition of cultural magazines for farmers is the contribution we’d lit upon this year. That the boldness of our forefathers should embolden us now.
The Greenhorns has also produced a documentary film, a popular radio show, a book of essays Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement through Storey Publishing in 2011, and hundreds of events for farmers including a Seed Circus, Farm Hack, young farmer’s mixers and various workshops around the nation.
Since our background is in new media production, we couldn’t help doing a podcast version, an “audio almanac” to accompany this printed publication. There we’ve got a collection of 57 worksongs, exciting interviews, songs by Brian Dewan about threshing machines and sausage machines, grange songs, and songs about keeping bees like an anarchist, and a whole bunch of links to freely downloadable farm lectures, content, folksongs, and economic theory — for those moments in the car, when young farmer minds are most available.
To pre-order The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac, you can use Etsy or donate $20 per copy to Paypal or the old fashioned way by sending a check or money order to PO BOX 13 Hudson, NY 12534 (please make check out to SEE, memo: Almanac and include your shipping address) They will be sent out at the end of January.
For information on bulk rates and further discounts in special cases, please email email@example.com. No returns accepted.
Check out a sneak peek of some excerpts below:
Interested in contributing? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
almanac posse is starting to gather steam.
are you hankering to be on the mailing list?
join us by emailing email@example.com
please write “ALMANAC” in the subject line