the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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man writes the NYT advice column in a panic that his son want might volunteer on an organic farm

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This one here is a good laugh for all of us who may or may not be the black sheep of the family. (My grandma clipped the above cartoon out of the New Yorker and promptly sent it to me without any card when I started farming six years ago. I like to think she was smiling about it, but it’s hard to tell.)

Some man wrote the New York Times “Social Q” column last week, explaining that he is “not paying $60,000 a year (after taxes) for him to become a farmer.” And, for once in a blue moon, the NYT writer abstained from millenial-bashing to explain that the parent might consider seeking out “less controlling ways to teach him the consequences of his professional choices.” Read the full clip below the break, and maybe consider that abysmal attitudes like this are best countered with a donation to your friendly local farm advocacy organization. We still need all the help we can get! Continue reading


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indivisable: a how-to for resisting the trump agenda

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We are only exaggerating a little when we say that these ideas are too big for google: originally a GoogleDoc, Indivisable was so popular that the traffic overloaded GoogleDocs and has been moved to its own website. The 24-page document was written by former congressional staffers and uses Tea Party strategies as a model for grassroots resistance of Trump initiatives in congress. The basic idea is that, though progressives may not agree with the Tea Party’s values, their basic strategy successfully dead-ended most of the major legislative projects of the Obama administration– and these tactics can be adapted for use in the name of “inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.”

While we abhor the idea that this kind of stalemate partisan politics will continue to be business as usual in congress, we have to admit that the authors are clearly well-educated, thoughtful, and careful in their approach. At the very least, this guide is easy to read, informative, and provides an excellent refresher course in American civics. At the very best, it offers those of us who care about continuing to make our society more inclusive, most just, and more peaceful a hand up out of feelings of powerlessness. As such, this is considered required Greenhorns reading.


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organic grains and innovation on GH radio

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Listen to the podcast here!

Ben Dobson grew up in Hillsdale, New York, on a small organic farm and started his first agricultural business in 2001. After two years on his own, he joined forces with his father Ted Dobson and managed the fields at his salad and tomato farm in Sheffield, MA, from 2003 through 2006. Since then Ben has started, managed, and overseen the sale of two agricultural businesses: One of which, Atlantic Organics, founded in 2007, was the largest organic vegetable farm in the state of Maine. The other, a company called Locally Known LLC, founded in 2008, was a salad processing company that sold pre-packaged ready to eat salads to Whole Foods Market, Hannaford Bros. and Trader Joe’s supermarkets in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions.

In 2013, Ben joined Stone House Farm as the Organic Transition Manager, and in 2016 he became their Farm Manager. He planned and oversaw the implementation of an organic transition on the 2,200-acre Stone House Farm property, and developed a non-GMO feed and grain business to sell their grain. The farm is now expanding its grain operation to include organic grain from other farms in the region.

Ben also heads Hudson Carbon: a research project conducting long term research across several sites on Stone House Farm and two neighboring farms. Hudson Carbon monitors the economic impacts and ecological effects of organic farming systems regarding carbon sequestration. Collaborators in this project include the Rodale Institute, The Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and Scenic Hudson. This winter Hudson Carbon will be launching a website with sections dedicated to farmers, science, and the public.


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how do we feel about the vertical farm?

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Illustration by Bruce McCall, published by The New Yorker 1/9/17

This is a genuine question for all future agriculturalists!

Growing things without soil or sunlight: Are the farmers and gardeners who feel uncomfortable by this notion the future purists of agriculture?

If, for the sunburned-purist with soil under their feet, this seems inappropriate; wouldn’t it be interesting to get to the bottom of exactly why that is?

Weightless farming, stacked garden beds growing in a warehouse instead of a field; in this new paradigm, are the bent-in-half rural folk a kind of privileged class (receiving the privileges of nature) casting judgement on the metropolis dwellers when we express discomfort with vertical agriculture?

Then the question of quality arises – nutritional quality that is. Veggies divorced from the elements, surely the consumer is missing something, right?

For a thorough behind the scenes look at AeroFarms in Newark, New Jersey and their plans to produce a 1,000 tons of greens annually click HERE


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walden today might have thoreau turning in his grave

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In 1854 a fellow by the name of Henry David Thoreau published  a book entitled Walden, named after a small pond just outside Concord, MA. Part love letter to nature, part treatise on simplicity, Walden took the whole religion of modernity to task, from rail roads, to the media. The book mixes every day observations on simple living (cutting wood, growing beans) along with some pretty heavy philosophizing on the nature being and the joys of independence and self sufficiency.  Continue reading


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aluna the movie

 

Aluna is a movie about the KOGI – A revered indigenous civilization living on a mountain in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Columbia. The Kogi have reached out to the world through film, collaborating with Alan Ereira in an attempt to change our fundamental understanding of reality.

Ripples from their first collaboration over twenty years ago led to developments all over the world, bringing the King of Spain to their hidden home in the mountains, influencing each new Columbian president to seek their approval before taking office, and helping shape the formation and declaration of the Rio Conference.

However, they don’t feel that the world has listened!

To learn more about the Kogi and Aluna the Movie, click HERE

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industrial vs. regenerative farming

The list of drawbacks to industrial farming is alarmingly long and frustratingly many. From soil erosion and water contamination to a lack of diversified crops and a reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, industrialized agriculture is far from an ideal way to feed the planet.

Enter regenerative agriculture!

As a result, a growing number of farmers are transitioning over to more sustainable and regenerative methods that do not rely so heavily on chemical and technological means. While regenerative strategies may appear “novel” to born-and-raised city slickers, it’s really more of a revival of ancestral knowledge.

This ancestral knowledge includes tried-and-true agricultural practices such as crop rotation, crop diversity, cover crops, no-till growing, agroforestry, integrated herd management, and more.

In a clear and concise article, Dr. Joseph Mercola breaks down the case for regenerative farming over the big business of industrial ag. He also provides tips of how to grow your own food and resources to learn more about regenerative practices. Check it out HERE and pass along to friends and family!