the irresistible fleet of bicycles

a+ technology (adaptive, accessible, appropriate)

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Examples of Questionable Applications of Technology:

  1. using garden sheers to trim your bangs
  2. building a forest fire to barbecue burgers for two
  3. mincing garlic with a machete
  4. driving a ton of steel to transport a 150 lbs human body across town
  5. relying on expensive, petroleum-reliant, highly-commodified tools to support innovative, unconventional, and ecologically-sound small farms


This week in the Food List, the focus is on Appropriate Technology— or, in other words, technology that suits its purposes (in scale, cost, application, etc.). The presented case studies presented prove that when it comes to sustainable, small-scale farming, bigger is not better and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.

Appropriate technology is environmentally sound technology designed to meet the social and economic conditions of a specific geographic area while ideally promoting greater self-sufficiency.


Stories in this edition of the Lexicon focus on farms and farmers that are committed to human-scale, adaptable, open-source technologies that are accessible, affordable, and renewable. For Donn Hewes of the Northern Sheep Dairy and Ian Yates of Yates Family Farm, this means using draft power. For collaborators  in Somerville, MA, it means the culticylce. For farmers in Healdsburg, CA, this technology takes the shape of a small plot combine that is use to harvest barley.


Information Artwork by the Lexicon of Sustainability

This week’s Food List also features:

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