the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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urban ag in baltimore

by Alia Malek


BALTIMORE, Md. — In Sandtown, Douglas Wheeler looks out with satisfaction over the abandoned city-block-turned-farm where he works growing all sorts of greens and lettuce — “but never iceberg” — and remembers how it used to be.

“This lot was a garden of trash,” he says. “With rats all over the place.”

Before they were demolished in 2005, the block had 27 row houses, most of them long boarded up and abandoned, transformed from icons of Baltimore pride to casualties of the blight brought on the city by deindustrialization, unemployment, addiction and the war on drugs.

Until the 1960s, Sandtown was part of the vibrant 72 square blocks that made up a family-based, African-American community where laborers, professionals and artists all lived together across socioeconomic lines. The quarter took its name from the horse-drawn wagons that would trail sand through its streets after filling up at the local sand and gravel quarry. Thurgood Marshall graduated from Sandtown’s Frederick Douglass High School, locals Cab Calloway and Billie Holiday sang in the legendary jazz clubs on Pennsylvania Avenue, and any kid could get some wood, build a box and make a few bucks on that main drag shining shoes.

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baltimore non-profit seeks intern

TALMAR Gardens and Horticultural Therapy Center is a non-profit farm established to provide a therapeutic and recreational environment offering horticultural therapy and vocational skills training opportunities for people with special needs. With frequent help from our program participants, we grow flowers, vegetables and herbs using sustainable and organic methods.


Interns will participate in a range of on-farm activities including growing produce and flowers, pest management, soil development, and harvest. In addition to hands-on training, interns will also receive readings and resources for further knowledge development. Activities include:
Field work – seeding, transplanting, weeding, thinning, trellising, bed preparation, and mowing Continue reading

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intern at side by side farm

SBS logo

Side by Side Farm is accepting applications for 2 part-time interns for the 2013 season. Our farm is located in an idyllic setting, less than an hour’s drive north of Baltimore. This position would be perfect for persons looking to gain solid farming experience who are not yet able to commit to a full-time position. We farm on 3 acres for our vegetable CSA, using organic growing methods, and the balance of the land (woodlots and pasture) is managed according to permaculture principles. We also grow a handful of specialty crops, including baby ginger, shiitake mushrooms and lemongrass. To read more about our farm, visit our website at:

Internships run from mid-March to the end of October. We prefer that interns commit to the full season, but we have some flexibility with start and end dates. We are looking for hard working, open-minded, energetic people to join our team. Prior farming experience is a plus, but is not necessary. Continue reading

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community outreach coordinator at real food farm

Real Food Farm is pleased to announce the opening of the Community Outreach Coordinator position. This is a 1-year VISTA position starting November 2012. Real Food Farm is Civic Works’innovative urban agricultural enterprise engaged in growing fresh produce on six acres of land in Clifton Park in northeast Baltimore. We broke ground in October 2009 and since then we have been busy growing food, educating youth, partnering with community organizations, and bringing more real food to Northeast Baltimore.

Community Outreach Coordinator
Real Food Farm is currently seeking a full-time Americorps VISTA Community Outreach Coordinator to begin November 2012. This is an opportunity for an individual interested in directly engaging communities with low-access to fresh food. The goal of the position is to develop Real Food Farm’s capacity to increase food access and food security in the Clifton Park neighborhoods. Responsibilities include utilizing existing partnerships and programming while reaching out to new partners. The Coordinator will continue to develop the Mobile Market program while assisting in its daily operations; increase accessibility of other RFF programs including on-farm volunteering, education programming, and the CSA; and work with city agencies, universities, and community health partners for the betterment of the food system in the Clifton Park neighborhoods. Continue reading

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baltimore county young farmers

on the radio!  Thanks for Charlotte Heyrman for sending us the link. Listen HERE to the segment on the Marc Steiner show.

This week on the show, we’ll speak with three farmers who work small parcels of land in Baltimore County. Becky and Jack Gurly operate Calvert’s Gift Farm in Sparks, MD, where they grow organic vegetables on 5 acres. They also help run a training program for new farmers. They joined us along with Denzel Mitchell, one of their trainees, to discuss the importance of increasing the number of small farmers, to share what it’s like to run a small farm today, and to discuss how they came to the approach to farming that they’ve chosen. Then, join us for a tour of a new shrimp farm that’s being built in an old warehouse in the heart of Baltimore. We’re joined by Peter May, an estuarine ecologist, and Bryon Salladin, an arborist.

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maryland tractor workshop

Tractor Operation and Maintenance Workshop at the Accokeek Foundation

Saturday, April 14 – Sunday, April 15, 2012– 8:30am to 5:00 pm

This two-day, hands-on workshop demystifies tractors and empowers their users to operate and maintain their machines more safely, and with greater skill and confidence. Day one focuses on the fundamentals of tractor operation; reviewing everything from the historical purpose and use of tractors to the functions and safe use of all of the pedals and levers, the drawbar, power take-off (PTO), and the front-end loader.  We will end the first day with tractor driving practice for the novices in the class. Continue reading

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mobilizing & organizing conference

Mobilizing and Organizing From Below
June 1st – 3rd, 2012
Baltimore, Maryland * 2640

Mobilizing and Organizing from Below will be a gathering of activists and organizers, workers and parents, revolutionaries and militants and radicals and dissenters, dedicated to increasing our ability to come together and challenge the systems of exploitation and oppression that have taken hold of the world. The conference will be a weekend of intensive, horizontally-organized political education, in which we can share skills, analyze the problems we face, and pose difficult questions. It will also provide a space for people from different traditions to come together and recognize the depth of our similarities and the richness of our differences; a space for reflection and discussion, distinct from both the chaotic excitement of spontaneous mass actions and the intense demands of long-term organizing work. Continue reading

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assistant farm manager – oakland, MD

Backbone Food Farm is hiring an Assistant Farm Manager to work with us for the 2012 growing season and subsequent years to come.  We are looking for a person to join our crew to supervise, in conjunction with the two head farmers, our 12 acre produce operation.  Our season runs March 15- October 30.

About Backbone
BBFF is a 530 acre farm located in the rich farmlands and rolling mountains of western Maryland. About 100 acres of the farm are fields, which we use for produce, hay and pasture.  The remainder is wooded.  We are entering our thirteenth year here, and have been growing produce since the day we moved in.  Continue reading

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beginning farmer training – chesapeake area

Now Accepting Applications for the 2012 Beginner Farmer Training Program

Future Harvest-Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture is now accepting applications from new farmers across the Chesapeake region interested in participating in the Beginner Farmer Training Program (BFTP) 2012 program year.

We recruit five to ten trainees, mostly college graduates with some farming experience and a commitment to a career in sustainable and/or organic agriculture.  The program is free to participants. Email a statement of interest, resume, and 3 professional references to Cathy Tipper,, by November 30, 2011. For more information about the program, visit or call Cathy at 410-218-3620. Continue reading

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live-on-farm opportunity – MD

Seeking tenants for a farmhouse in Finksburg, MD.  Here’s a note from the young farmer neighbors.  Email McKenzie for more information. mckenzieditter at

Our landlords are perfect. Cherokee and her sisters Pawnee and Shawnee grew up in the house for rent during the 50’s and 60’s. Their parents moved here right after WWII so they could start a farm. They previously lived in Baltimore City and had a victory garden. Back in the day, the farm had everything. Bees, worms, rabbits, cattle, hay, orchards, veggies… The old Massy Ferg is still functional too.

When we moved here two months ago, there was only one big pasture. Continue reading

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hamilton crop circle

Arthur and the Hamilton Crop Circle crowd have big plans for Baltimore farming.
We’ll be there on September 15  and the crop circle will be there for years. This is a lot easier and more fun than applying for grants from rich foundations. chip in and make it happen.

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