the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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greenhorns report on the national ffa convention

 Greenhorns, in partnership with Organic Consumers Association were in attendance last month at the national gathering of the FFA. The FFA National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, saw a sea of 60,000 students representing every nook and cranny of America (and its territories) gathered together for fellowship, belonging, education and scholarly competition. Between the ages of 13 and 18, many of these students are next-in-line to the family farm and occupy a strategically powerful position in the future of American Agriculture; they are kids with land. With a self-confidence rarely seen in teenagers and impeccable public speaking skills, these students in their blue corduroy jackets cut quite the impressive figure, particularly in a stadium context.

They are team-spirited, motivated and articulate, and most of them credit these qualities to the organization that brought them together, the FFA. The FFA is turning these next-in-line farmers, agriscientists, ag teachers and farm sympathizers into successful leaders, fierce entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans…for Big Ag.

This polished youth constituency at the FFA sing the praises, almost exclusively, of Big Ag. How did this happen? Lets start with the obvious place; let’s follow the money.

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help bring food justice to thousands more in the bay area

There is something magical that happens when you first put your hands in soil and plant. Not only are you transforming the land, you’re transforming yourself. Unfortunately, there is a lack of land in the Bay Area for people to experience this.

But, your support of urban agriculture is part of a revolution. Together, we’ve planted more than 300 urban gardens throughout the Bay Area in homes, schools, community centers, Stanislaus County Juvenile Commitment Center, and San Quentin State Prison.

With a freshwater spring and an abundance of Life, this farm sits on sacred land that has nurtured people for thousands of years. Our watershed stewardship practices, including one mile of countoured swales and neighborhood-scale rain-water catchment, will honor the past and future of this land, regenerate the creek and freshwater spring, and model drought-resilient solutions.

 The farm will be home to 1,000 fruit and nut trees, a native and edible plant nursery, and an education center with a mission to bring permaculture to the people. It will be the largest food forest farm in the Bay Area, create dozens of living-wage jobs, and provide the freshest and most affordable organic fruit, nuts, berries, vegetables, herbs, and medicine to thousands of Bay Area residents.

But we can’t transform this land without your help!

Your donation to our #5acrefarm will bring us one plant closer to this 5-acre food forest.

 


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australians adapt the “seed circus” model

Find our seed circus model here. And check out what these guys are doing! 

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Milkwood is a crew of doers and makers, dedicated to skills for smart, simple, regenerative living.

We’re a social enterprise based south of Sydney, Australia.

We thrive on sharing practical skills and knowledge that can help individuals and communities move towards a mode of living that’s ethical, abundant, and deeply hands-on.

At the moment we do this in two ways: with short courses held in both in Sydney and nearby farms, and with free online how-tos and resources.

We work with the best teachers we can find. People who are not only walking the talk, but are also skilled, humble and awesome communicators, who can empower folks to make the most of their new knowledge.


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strong canadians! over grow the system

Over Grow The System has been dedicated to raising awareness around our food system, sustainability, and how to live a life that is more in tune with nature. We recognize that many aspects of our current systems in place around the globe are causing much of the environmental destruction and social issues that we currently face.  There is no simple answer, but through OGTS, we seek to shed light on those out there who are talking up the call to create alternatives through urban and rural farming, permaculture, sustainability projects, green teck and much more.  What we face is in no way a easy fight, but for the future of not just humans, but much of the life on the planet, it is quite possibly one of the most important.


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farmscale permaculture

October 2-5, 2014
Iowa City, IA 52240

IMG_4071Do you want to plan, install, and operate large-scale permaculture systems for maximum resiliency and economic stability?   Ready to learn from international experts in tree crops, keyline design, and multi-species grazing?

We’re all in a unique place in history.  Our motivations are clear: live an enjoyable life, earn a living from a sustainable and regenerative source, and build security while facing an uncertain future.  The only reliable way to fulfill these goals, for ourselves and the greater world, is to scale-up permaculture.  Farmscale Permaculture is the process of rolling out scalable systems that feed lots of people and rebuild ecosystems – changing how Earth looks from space.

Hosted at VersaLand, an emerging 145-acre regenerative savanna actively transforming a degraded monocultural landscape into an abundant agroecosystem.  You can see it happening with your own eyes.

It’s possible, it’s being done, and it’s easier than you think.

More information here

 


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the von thunen model: a very cool lesson in agricultural geography

The Von Thunen model of agricultural land use was created by farmer and amateur economist J.H. Von Thunen  in 1826. Von Thunen’s model was created before industrialization and says that farmers have to take 3 things into account: the cost of land per year, the price of crops when sold, and the cost of transportation to market.

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The first ring in the von thunen model produces dairy products, fruits, veggies, and flowers. Land costs in the first ring around the city are high, but so are sale prices for these products. All of these products spoil and require quick transport to market

Wood is grown in the second ring because it requires lots of land and the land must be cheaper. The forests are located in the second ring because back when Von Thunen wrote this model, Germany was heating primarily with wood.

Field crops like cereal grains are in the 3rd ring because they require vast amounts of land and are not nearly as expensive to transport as wood or fragile fruits and veggies. Also, farmers need land that they can afford to leave fallow for 1 out of every three years.

Ranching and livestock requires huge amounts of cheap land that doesn’t necessarily have to be good for anything except growing grass.

(For you permaculture people out there, check out this comparison between the Von Thunen model and the basic permaculture model. Second paragraph)


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the permaculture orchard: beyond organic is available for download on june 1st!

 

 

Click here to download this video on June 1st!

The orchard can be a magical place; endless acres of peaches, pears, or apples in gorgeous bloom by the roadside, producing delicious fruit. But an orchard, by definition, is a monocultural crop – nothing but one type of fruit tree that requires a lot of time, effort, money and pesticide to create produce for the billion dollar fruit industry. With organic orchards becoming more common but still very labor intensive, what are future fruit farmers to do? They completely rewrite the book on orchard management by using permaculture.

This is exactly what Stefan Sobkowiak does in Olivier Asselin’s new film, The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic. Sobkowiak owns and operates Les Fermes Miracle Farms, an orchard in Canada that he converted to a permaculturally-diverse organic orchard over the last twelve years. Asselin’s film condenses Sobkowiak’s decades of knowledge and experience into a seriously educational primer on how to propagate, grow, manage, and enrich one’s orchard. Clear instructions, animation, and demonstration make this film an important addition to your video learning library. To read more of this review by Examiner.com, click HERE—>

To purchase this video by DVD or download, click HERE

 

 

 

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