Riding yesterday’s coattails: another jovial video that’s part of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension office‘s Growing Maine series. This time around, Ed and Pat Jillison of Jillison’s Sugar House in Sabattus Village, ME, will convince you that farming really does and really can create warmth and community.
We don’t often see mainstream media outlets report on the often invisible farm workers that hold up so much of American agriculture– let alone do in depth and humanizing interviews with them. So, in case you missed it, we wanted to bring your attention to a series created by Dan Charles for NPR’s The Salt in which Charles interviews the largely-Hispanic migrant immigrant workers on sweet potato, apple, orange, strawberry, and blueberry farms. Even for those of us who have worked on smaller-scale farms, a look into the lives of workers on these gigantic combines is both fascinating and critical. We can’t recommend a listen more highly.
You can read Charles’s summary of his findings here and follow his links to listen to each piece individually.
This short documentary out of the UMaine Extension office may appear jut to be another movie about sheep, but don’t be fooled; it’s actually the most heartwarming dog movie since Homeward Bound! (Or, we should say, at least for agricultural geeks…) Featuring: Doreen and John Simmons, Gwen, and Bea of Stoneheart Farm in South Paris, Maine.
The following message is from our friends at the Cornucopia Institute and references the recent GMO labeling law, so called the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, which purports to mandate GMO labeling while, in reality, does not give the FDA the ability to enforce the act, allows companies to opt for labeling practices that are not –er– exactly labeling, and (perhaps most dangerously) takes the right away from states such as Vermont to enact their own GMO labeling laws.
“President Obama has yet to sign the toothless GMO food labeling bill passed by Congress. If you already called the President, or signed one of the “unofficial” petitions, urging him to veto the bill you still have one more chance to influence him. Please sign the official We the People petitionto the White House today urging President Obama to veto this bill.”
Located at the very center of North Carolina’s local food and farming scene, the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Central Carolina Community College is a unique opportunity for sustainable agriculture education.
At CCCC’s sustainable agriculture program students have the opportunity for “Real Farming- Right Now”. The Pittsboro, NC based program has an on-campus, year-round certified organic farm that is an integral part of teaching and learning. Field and hoophouse production, pasture-based heritage breed chickens and a commitment to incorporating sustainable technologies (solar, biofuels, reduced tillage) make this established and accessible program the place to get started in organic farming.
Students have the opportunity to meet and network with a wide variety of sustainable farms, businesses and organizations while participating in focused, practical education and training. Whether you are exploring the possibilities of a career in sustainable farming or you are already farming and recognize the need for some targeted learning opportunities (soil science, marketing, business plans!) you are welcome at CCCC Sustainable Agriculture Program.
Interested students may apply online: http://www.cccc.edu/admissions/apply/
Fall 2016 registration for new students is open now; Fall classes will begin August 15th.
www.cccc.edu/agriculture/ Affordable, convenient, established
Looking for some permaculture inspiration? Well, we’ve got some for you! Bustan Qaraaqa, in the West Bank’s Jerusalem, is a “permaculture project promoting sustainable, creative solutions to problems of environmental degradation and food and water insecurity facing the local community.”
Bustan Quraaqa’s website showcases some of the most beautiful and successful permaculture installations we’ve ever seen, with a large emphasis on rainwater harvesting.
Dependence on groundwater is incompatible with a future of water and food security for Palestinian community. It is also a daily waste of resources chronically depressing agricultural production through soil salination. The Beit Qad Farm is designed to harvest the winter rain and build soil humidity year after year for a verdant, thriving farm with no need for other water sources.
They research ecological farming techniques, harvest rainwater, and employ a host of environmental educators that teach school and community groups and occasionally offer permaculture design certification. The farm features a tree nursery, a food forest, and structures made from 100% locally recycled products.
We think they’d be a great project to support.