the irresistible fleet of bicycles


Leave a comment

blog and podcast focused on women in agriculture

the chicken caravan, Quebec, Canada

the chicken caravan, Quebec, Canada

Have you heard of the Female Farmer Project?

Well, now you have.

The project is a collaboration between writers, photographers, and farmers (of course!). FFP is working on highlighting women in agriculture and is setting about chronicling the rise in female farmers across the world. We feel it’s necessary to point out the obvious, which is that women have always been farming and have actually played a pretty central role in agriculture for, basically, ever.  But the historical narrative often focuses on men (we like you guys too).

From the Female Farmer Project blog:

“I spent the weekend visiting friends who live in rural Minnesota. Though they aren’t farming, they are surrounded by farms and live on a farmstead. I was reading to their 5 year old girl and 3 year old boy and a book mentioned “the farmer’s wife” but I instead just called her “the farmer” because, duh. And the little girl immediately piped up and said “I thought only boys were farmers”. So I told them that girls can be farmers too and lots of girls are farmers.”

Check the project out here.

and go listen to their fun podcast here.


Leave a comment

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

549173_10151705705295046_1775168078_n

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


Leave a comment

indivisable: a how-to for resisting the trump agenda

15823299_197796540684223_5028102787768331244_n

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.


Leave a comment

organic grains and innovation on GH radio

Screen-Shot-2017-01-10-at-4.07.30-PM.png

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.


Leave a comment

how do we feel about the vertical farm?

vertical-farm

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


Leave a comment

walden today might have thoreau turning in his grave

samuel-oslund

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