the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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talking about transitions

photo: Samuel Oslund

If you weren’t able to get to the “Our Land” symposium in Santa Fe and Albuquerque this November (a lot of us couldn’t), you can still catch a bit of the goodness. Agrarian Trust just uploaded some more of the video lectures from the event. Continue reading


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agrarian trust in the news

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You may have missed this in the swamp of election news last week: In These Times published this excellent run-down of Agrarian Trust, the recent symposium, and the land use problems that challenge regional food systems.

“Increasingly, communities recognize that a regional farm economy is more responsive, adaptive, resilient and culturally satisfying,” says von Tscharner Fleming. “We want more diverse, more local, less thirsty, more prosperous regional food systems. It is in this context that we talk about land access for incoming farmers, about successful businesses, and about land transition for existing farms and retiring farmers, as well as mechanisms for restoration of degraded ecological features and infrastructures.”


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gh founder severine live on the radio this week

 

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Two ways to listen to Severine speak on the Agrarian Trust and the ongoing symposium in Northern New Mexico in New Mexico. First, listen here to hear her on Santa Fe Public Radio’s The Garden Show. Second, Severine is live today on Family Farm Radio! Get your listen on!


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Agrarian Trust Symposium speaker Kim Stringfellow’s cool ass project!

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The Mojave Project is really just kind of the bomb-diggety. But don’t take our word for it: to learn more, we recommend this absolutely gorgeous video. The project is an “experimental transmedia documentary led by Kim Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert.” Browse the current projects here.

And while we’re talking about the Mojave Project, they’re asking you to
SAVE THE DATE!
WHAT: We pleased to send you this SAVE THE DATE announcement about our autumn program OUR LAND 2: Tracing the Acequia Commons, a series of talks, exhibits and happenings to advance the broadening discourse on land commons and farmland futures.

WHERE: New Mexico! Most events Free and open to the public.

WHEN: November 9-17th in close association with the Quivira Coalition and Biodynamic Association annual conferences, Agrarian Trust invites you to join us in fine company  to approach topics of Public Trust, Acequia traditions and commons culture, emergent urban commons, water enclosures and new topographics; through lectures, documentary films, open archive exhibits and an walk along an Acequia irrigation ditch, flowing continuously for four centuries.

WHO: Mary Wood, Rick Prelinger, Kim Stringfellow, Tezozomoc, Devon Pena, Ruth Breach, Stanley Crawford, Wes Jackson, Emily Vogler, Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, Eric Holt Gimenez, Kate Levy… and more

 


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what does severine use to get stuff done?

Severine von Tscharner Fleming

Severine von Tscharner Fleming

Organiser, cultural worker (Greenhorns, Agrarian Trust, Farm Hack)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Severine, an organizer and cultural worker in the young farmers movement. I run Greenhorns in the Champlain Valley of New York, I’m founder of Agrarian Trust, and co-founder and board secretary of Farm Hack. I’m also involved with quite a few other projects including mixing up wild-crafted seaweeds, fruits, and flower petals into herbal teas for a little farm business on the side.

You may have noticed the phenomena of the new agrarian movement — out on the weekends selling our food at farmers’ markets. Local agriculture is a compelling, diverse and healthy alternative to corporate mega-culture farming. My colleagues-in-arms have put their lives into direct action by founding thousands of new, small and medium-sized family-based businesses across the country. My main work is to initiate and coordinate creative networks that support my community’s needs. That means connecting people, helping with access and mobility to overcome inevitable obstacles, and transmitting farmers voices and viewpoints out into media-space.

This work crosses many sectors, formats and institutional forms. It includes web-based communities that create and share open-source tools, as in Farm Hack. It includes direct contact with archives, public and private libraries, older people, oral and folk narratives, junk shops and radical micro-histories like Grange Future. It involves small teams of humans making grass-roots media (radio, video, anthologies/publications) like the New Farmers Almanac, and Greenhorns Guide to Cooperative Farming. It includes social media, Instagram and making our own cooperative film festival for outreach on college campuses. It includes sailboats and cargo-value-chain logistics. It includes engaging programmers and researchers to do mapping, working with lawyers to craft new legal forms of commons-based governance. It is wide ranging and more expansive than I ever expected, and it takes me out on the rural roads, almost constantly tracking down the future budding up from the agrarian underground.

What hardware do you use?

I’m sorry to admit it, but I’m on my 9th Apple. It seems like I’ve stared at a computer pretty much every day since 6th grade – my brother says I’m addicted to it. I like the Brother printers and the Canon cameras. When I’m at home I use an old-fashioned roller-dial phone for my radio show, which gives the best sound quality, but often I’m on the road and my listeners cringe at the bovine background chatter from the busted up old iPhone. I like the old iPhone software, not the new stuff. Kids these days!

I’m a luddite who needs wifi. It’s a challenge working in rural and remote areas, hobo-ing and making films, while trying to manage workflows in 3 timezones on snatches of Internet. It does get done, but my calves are bloody from raging around in a techno-bramble patch for so many years and I’m not good at it. Suggestions are deeply welcome. It’s only sheer persistence and the massive social architecture, a baroque brocade of co-operators and allies that keep the machines running, and servers clear of space-trash. What I really want is to live in a world with less computers, and a more appropriate level of complexity. I’d like to live in a place where setting up a meeting happens in a common kitchen, informally at mealtimes, and is synched not by algorithms, but according to our daily routine of sunrise, tea-drinking, goat-milking, and a leisurely rye toast with butter. I’d like a recycled, refurbished, off-grid solar server (that is locally owned) run by a friend of mine who barters for goat milk, kombu + rosehip jam.

And what software?

Continue reading


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fellowship in food and farming in unity, maine

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Maine Farmland Trust has announced its new Wang Fellowship in Food and Farming, named in honor of David and Cecile Wang, long-term advocates and supporters of agricultural justice. The fellowship is one year long and appears to be geared toward young professionals and academics with an activist streak, stating (albeit vaguely) that the fellow engage in substantive programming work at MFT.

Fellows are promised:
  • a “fully-equiped residential suite” in the town of Unity, ME
  • travel reimbursement
  • local food allowance
  • a $22,500 stipend for the year
  • vast networking opportunities in Maine’s vibrant sustainable agriculture community
The fellowship looks like a prestigious gig, and the qualifications are no joke. MFT is asking that, among other things, candidates have a documented history of high achievement in academic areas, a proven commitment to food and farming issues, and the potential to become a leader in the food and farming movement.
In 2016, applications are due April 1, with a selection made by no later than May 1.  All finalists will be interviewed.  Interested applicants should submit the following by April 1 trachel@mainefarmlandtrust.org:
  • A resume or CV
  • A copy of your academic transcript from any post-secondary institutions you have attended
  • An essay of 600-1200 words outlining how you meet the qualifications listed above
  • An essay of 250-500 words describing a special project you would like to undertake and why
  • 2-4 writing samples
  • 3 references who can speak to your suitability for this fellowship


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march 25th and 26th, 2016: just food? forum on land use, rights and ecology

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Does your work connect to land and food? The Harvard Just Food? Forum seeks proposals that focus on issues of land justice in the food system. We encourage proposals that highlight entrepreneurial initiatives and insights, lessons learned, successes, and opportunities to create a more just food system. We are especially seeking panels and workshops that include people at the center of food and land, practitioners who can speak from their own experiences alongside advocates and academics. We are seeking two different types of proposals:
  • Concurrent sessions: Workshop, talk or panel format to educate and share research and knowledge of a topic and spark conversation and ideas.
  • Posters and exhibits: Scholars and entrepreneurs are invited to showcase their work.
Topics
  • Peasant movements
  • Indigenous land rights
  • Farmer land access and tenure
  • History of land, wealth and power
  • Dispossessed and oppressed people and land
  • A human rights approach to land access
  • Urban land, poverty and housing
  • Farming practices and land ecology
  • Suggest your own!

Agrarian Trust is a collaborator on this conference!

To learn more, click HERE!


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open sourcing the q&a for state land rfp

There are 9 farms in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park that are part of a special program called the Countryside Initiative. These Park farms are committed to sustainable agriculture, and work with their park partners to be good land stewards. Earlier this year, the Countryside Initiative Request For Proposals (RFP) opened for two new farms. All questions asked specific to the farm program and farm properties listed in the RFP were publicly answered here.

This is a valuable resource to those of you looking to lease land through National Parks across the country (a growing movement). Click HERE to check out the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Countryside Initiative!


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amazing european organization and ahead of the game when it comes to land access!

Our organizations work together to strengthen practical knowledge – on both problems and solutions – in the field of access to land for agroecological farmers. We thereby aim to promote the emergence and consolidation of grassroots initiatives, working towards securing access to land and land stewardship, as well as fostering a broader evolution of national and EU policies and regulations on land use and management.

Project aims:

1- Strengthen practical knowledge to secure good land access

• Identifying relevant national organisations
• Understanding options for land tenure
• Developing specific knowledge and resources about several areas of work

2- Build citizen support for land access
• Building up knowledge and skills of volunteers/ local groups/ the public on European land context
• Engaging with other CSOs, in particular CSAs, farmers’ organisations, rural development organisations and others.

3- Contribute to the evolution of the support system for farmers’

For more information about this amazing website, click HERE!


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see two “our land” films in berkeley, ca – march 17th and 18th at 7 PM

Poster advertising two films showing in Berkeley, CA at 7 PM on March 17th and 18thWhat does the land want? How can our human systems for legacy planning, farm transition and land-linking best serve the interests of the land? Please join the Agrarian Trust and Our Land at two film screenings that explore issues of land access, care and transition. Each film will be followed by a Q&A or roundtable discussion.

What: Film screenings of Brookford Alamanac and Hannah Ranch

When: Tuesday, March 17th at 7 PM (Brookford Almanac) and Wednesday, March 18th at 7 PM (Hannah Ranch)

Where: The David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

How much: $10 Advance/$12 Door/$5 Students + Teachers


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agrarian trust’s land and job opportunities!

Farmers, Farm owners and land trusts send us your RFPs, job openings or proposals here.

Sample Farm Job/ Land Opportunities:

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL LISTINGS!


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a young agrarian land covenant:

Food for Thought, For Becoming at Home in Our Place, For Thoughtfulness in Producing Food. By Gary Nabhangfarm2010

With future generations in mind, may my family and friends never leave the land we steward poorer, nor its water scarcer than conditions were before we acquired responsibility for their care.

May we keep land meant to be farmed from being de-veloped, and re-envelope it with people dedicated to keep its inherent productivity in tact into perpetuity.

May we work as “greenhorns” to offer dignity, reciprocity and respect to the “grayhorns” willing to offer their land to us, and to never betray our covenant with them and the land itself.

May we seek to enrich the soil, diversify its plant cover and deepen its roots both within and beyond its harvested fields, its grazed pastures, or its orchards.

May we be diligent in learning how our practices affect those who live above and below us in our foodshed and watershed— not only the human lives, but all other-than-human lives as well. Click to finish reading—>

Gary Paul Nabhan will be speaking at the OUR LAND Symposium happening this weekend!