the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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pedal power farm hack: report from the feild

This past weekend, an ace team of farmers, fabricators, engineers, and pedal-powered truckers gathered at Metro Pedal Power in Somerville, MA for a weekend build event. What project would bring such an intriguing group of individuals together? Only the culticycle, a pedal-powered cultivating tractor designed by Tim Cooke, that uses human brawn and bicycle brains to replace fossil fuel powered tractors for lightweight field cultivation. Culticycle video here!

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farmOS beta 1 release

farmOS

Mike Stenta has worked on farms and developed websites for them since 2008. The platforms included administrative interface for CSA management and expanded into what is now Farmier.  He wants to share these tool with other farmers, so the community can grow and evolve together.  He has just announce the first “beta” release of farmOS, an online and open-source farm management system!  The program will aid farmers in management, record keeping, and planning. It is still in it’s trial phase, but the software will soon be offered for free download. You can run it independently or subscribe through Farmier as a host.

Some main features of the site include:

  • New “Farm Plan” dashboard, with upcoming tasks, and “late tasks”
  • New “Animal Types” and “Animal Groups” lists for easy access and better organization of animal
  • Photo fields on Equipment records, Maintenance logs, and Observation logs.
  • Buttons to mark logs as “Done” and “Not Done”
  • Button to “Reschedule” logs
  • A bunch of enhancements for mobile users
  • And more….

If you are interested in testing this service contact Mike here.  For now he has been developing it in his free time and contributing all of the code back to the open source community for free.  The opportunity is open for sponsorship and development help. Here is an overall contact sheet for questions, interest, or sponsorship.


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cookbook: kitchen creamery

The Milk Maid, Louella Hill, presents her DIY creamery cookbook: how to make yogurt, butter, and cheese at home.  As a member of the California Artisan Cheese Guild and a professional cheesemaker, she is an authority on this timely trade.  The knowledge presented in this book will reach readers from novice to professional skill level.  Reclaim your food: Learn to make your own dairy products from local, raw milk! The release date is April 14th. Pre-order your copy here!


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farming with draft horses workshop, oregon

workhorse

The farming with draft horses workshop is designed for participants, who have some experience in working with draft horses and would like to learn methods and skills so that they can use their horse(s) for farm related tasks. Walt and Kris, of Ruby and Amber’s Organic Oasis, a certified organic and biodynamic farm, personally conduct the workshop.  The workshop is limited to 6 hands on participants to ensure plenty of hands on learning.  There are a limited number of observer slots available at each workshop. Observers are allowed to observe, and ask questions at the workshop, but are not allowed direct participation with the animals or equipment.

Topics include:
• Safety tips for working around horses and equipment
• Harnessing and harness adjustment to insure proper angle of draft for different equipment
• Driving lines (reins) setup and adjustment to position horses in proper relationship to the work at hand
• Plowing with a team or single, including plow adjustment
• Discing, harrowing, and using sweeps with a team or single horse and adjustment of equipment
• Single horse cultivation and team riding cultivator use and adjustment
• Introduction to the mower and hay rake
• Other farm implements
• Information, resources, publication discussions
• Equipment for farming and logging discussions

The workshop price is 250.00 per person.
For more information contact: walt@workhorseworkshops.com.


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build farmer collaborations with cornell cooperative extension: april 9 & 10

Extension Workshops to Build Farmer Collaborations for Sales, Marketing and Delivery of Local Foods

Many farmers are teaming up to develop, market, and deliver multiple products to meet the needs of buyers interested in purchasing local foods. Cornell Cooperative Extension will hold workshops in Burrville, Canton and Plattsburgh to help farmers develop formal partnerships, cooperatives, and corporations.

The workshop agenda features Bobbie Severson of the Cooperative Enterprise Program of the Cornell Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and panels of three farmers explaining their experiences with working together and the pro and cons of their particular systems.

‘These Extension workshops in Northern New York are timely as farmers there begin to look at developing food hubs. The option for building collaborations between farmers to market and deliver products can be attractive for implementing that type of project, and cooperative, group-action businesses not only strengthen farmers but enhance the local food sector and add vigor to local economies,’ Severson says.

‘Informal agreements or a memorandum of agreement may work for a while, but over time joint purchases of equipment and sharing income can lead partners to wanting more formal strategies. These workshops will help farmers develop those strategies,’ says co-organizer Anita Deming, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County.

The Farmer Strategies for Working Together workshops have a $5 fee and are set for:

Thursday April 9, 1-3 pm, CCE Clinton County Meeting Room, 6064 State Route 22, Plattsburgh, to register: CCE Clinton County: 518-561-7450 or CCE Essex County: 518-962-4810 x0

Thursday April 9, 7-9 pm, CCE St. Lawrence County Extension Learning Farm Classroom, 2043 State Highway 68, Canton, to register: CCE St. Lawrence County: 315-379-9192

Friday April 10, 1-3 pm, Farm Credit East Office, 25417 NY Route 12, Burrville, to register: CCE Lewis County, 315-376-5270 and CCE Jefferson County, 315-788-8450.


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help fund low income csa in maine!

MOFGA needs your help! We are raising money to support organic farmers in Maine that offer CSA shares for half price to low-income families. This program allows these families to access healthy, organic food and creates a new market for local farmers!

By donating to this campaign you are supporting certified organic farms to offer half price Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares to low-income families in their communities. In the video, you can hear one of the farms participating in this project, Hatchet Cove Farm, talk about the role they play in food security in their region. For the past 5 years, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) has done fundraising to enable farmers to offer reduced price shares while the farmers still receive the full share value.

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farmer to farmer podcast: profile of liz graznak

Check out the first episode of Chris Blanchard’s new Farmer to Farmer podcast. In this episode he speaks with Liz Graznak about the challenges and rewards of running an organic vegetable farm in the heart of Missouri’s corn and soybean country. You will hear her story, as well as practical tips and ideas about farming. Listen in your car, listen in the field.

Listen HERE or download the episode for playback later HERE.

Find more episodes of the Farmer to Farmer podcast, along with practical links, HERE.

If you want to be on Chris’s show, we hope you reach out to him!

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