photo: Samuel Oslund
It’s that time of year.
The gifts are torn apart,the wrapping paper lays warm next to the dying tree, boots are on, and people are piling into cars, lining up at shops, trampling and fighting for deals, deals, deals!
We’re doing a little internal shopping. Check out the buy nothing catalogue, a list of things you already have and can appreciate free of cost.
the greenhorns blog team.
Hey, we mostly all know by now that trees are pretty nifty things. But, did you know that some scientists are using the migration patterns of glowing geckos to prove just how important trees are in the protection of both flora and fauna on your farm?
What better way to show that climate change is adversely affecting the environment than to find a really cute reptiles, dust them with glowing powder and watch them move around at night.
The research found the geckos can identify habitat at 40 metres away, but not 80 metres away, suggesting that the loss of trees would reduce the amount of habitat for many species and reduce connectivity of already fragmented landscapes for some migrating species.
Yep, yep, if you were thinking of dropping a few acorns in the ground, or perhaps planting a hedge next to that old field next spring, know that the geckos (among others) around the country will rejoice.
Check out the article here
Long before Martha Stewart printed her seasonal gardening chores on the first pages in each issue of Martha Stewart Living, The Old Farmer’s Almanac outlined the farm-related tasks for any given month in a not dissimilar tone.
“The almanac as a form is actually much older than The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” said The New Farmer’s Almanac Vol. III lead editor, Nina Pick. There is, for example, the Babylonian Almanac, which dates back to the first millennium BCE and detailed the relative auspiciousness of each day of the year for any endeavor of ordinary life—including activities related to food, health, travel, and business. In the first century ACE, Greek writer Ptolemy connected celestial movements with future weather patterns. By the Middle Ages, people saw little difference between predicting the movements of the stars and tides and predicting the future for purposes of divination. In other words, you could read your horoscope in medieval almanacs—just as you can today.
Pick said the new publication is “drawing on a very old, traditional form, and while keeping the integrity of this old form, we’re also radicalizing it—bringing in ideas that are more revolutionary, more radical—to have these conversations with a new agrarian movement.”
Contributions come from farmers young and old, activists, economists, poets, ecologists, and a former Russian literature professor. One contributor, Elizabeth Henderson, has been an organic farmer since 1980 and is two weeks away from celebrating the end of her 28th season at Peacework Organic CSA—which she says is the oldest CSA in New York State north of Long Island. She has contributed to The New Farmer’s Almanac for two years, and the latest volume includes two more of her essays: one on GMOs and another on raising the minimum wage for farmworkers.
There is a strong anti-GMO theme running throughout the volume, Pick said, and support of local and alternative economies. Henderson, for her part, said she has been able to sustain her farm for so many years by building and relying on networks of social capital. The members of Peacework, for example, contributed money to the Genesee Land Trust to purchase the farm’s land.
Poet Douglass DeCandia was eager to contribute to the third volume because “I feel that The New Farmer’s Almanac is giving voice to the people who are coming to agriculture to help heal the land, ourselves, and our communities.”
What the almanac as a form can do—and what The New Farmer’s Almanac does—is unite two distinct human needs between the covers of one book.
-Sarah McColl has written for Yahoo Food, Bon Appétit, and other publications. She’s based in Brooklyn, New York. This piece was created for Takepart, published on November 6, 2016.
The project, as we see it, is a way of applying principles of agroforestry and permaculture in an area of rainforest on this beautiful island in the South Pacific Ocean.
Integrating principles and wisdom of native Hawaiian spiritual culture, we are aspiring to create a model of soil renewal, reforestation, and human interaction with nature in a paradigm of respect, harmony, and adherence to the natural law.
Welcome to our vision and our world. We hope you will find something here that can serve and inspire you as well.
(In the Hawaiian Language, which is filled with mysteries and hidden meanings, “HA” represents the Breath of Life – The Spirit, “I” represents The Self, and “KU” means “rising upright” it is the name also given to the Rising Sun. So Hai’ku, the name of the place where our project is located can be said to represent The True Self Standing Upright in Spirit).
Kiva and Greenhorns working together to help small farmers grow their businesses
Katrina and Keely, Founders of Tinyfield Farm in Brooklyn, NY
The Greenhorns and Kiva are working together to help farmers access the capital and customers they need to successfully grow their businesses. Over the next few months, The Greenhorns will host a series of articles and podcasts about how farmers can benefit from a 0% interest, crowdfunded loan from Kiva at various stages in their business’ lifecycle.
Imagine the perfect growing season for your farm. It’s probably a warm, sunny one and the frost stayed away long enough for you to complete your harvest. You’re popular at your farmers markets, always selling out, and your delivery van didn’t break down once! People are raving about your produce: they’re writing great reviews and are signing up for your CSA.
It’s the type of season that fills you with pride.
Now imagine a season where things start to go wrong. The weather takes a turn for the worse and a field gets flooded, your delivery van breaks down on the way to market, the birds are more numerous than usual and are destroying your food…The list goes on and on.
Running a farm can be a stressful affair, especially when it comes to dealing with uncertainty.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Hundreds of farmers have found peace-of-mind by raising 0% interest capital for their businesses from Kiva, a nonprofit that supports U.S. entrepreneurs.
Since 2012, Kiva has helped hundreds of farmers raise over $2 million in funding – all without charging a single cent of interest or fees.
As a nonprofit, Kiva is dedicated to increasing access to capital for business owners who need it the most: people who are unable to raise money for their business from traditional sources, like banks.
With 8,000 small business loan applications rejected in the U.S. every day, more and more entrepreneurs are turning to alternative sources of financing, and Kiva is here to help.
Kiva is a crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, except instead of donations or purchases, the “crowd” makes 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs fundraising on the platform.
Kiva’s “crowd” is made up of 1.5 million supportive lenders around the world, many of whom lend locally and become business’ new customers, brand ambassadors and fans.
Like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, entrepreneurs create a campaign where they tell their story and why they’re raising money. Unlike Indiegogo and Kickstarter, entrepreneurs on Kiva have a 90% public funding success rate.
Even better, farmers have a 98% funding success rate on Kiva!
Over the next few months, The Greenhorns will post a series of articles and podcasts about how a Kiva loan can support at different stages in a farm’s lifecycle. These posts will be anchored in stories of real entrepreneurs, who have grown their business through Kiva.
Theo, Co-Owner of Helios Farms Liz, Co-Owner of Happy Hollow Farm
These entrepreneurs are people like Liz, co-owner of Happy Hollow Farm, who borrowed $10,000 to build three high tunnels that extended her growing season; and Theo, co-owner of Helios Farms, who borrowed $5,000 to help purchase a refrigerated trailer to serve as a butcher shop and walk-in cooler.
More than just capital, Liz and Theo had 337 people from Kiva’s community lend to them! These entrepreneurs now have larger networks of people who believe in them and their businesses.
This is the power of Kiva. Kiva’s community of lenders truly believes in supporting small business owners and shows so by expecting only the money they lent in return for their investment.
Every farmer has their off-days, and Kiva is here to help them realize more perfect ones.
Check in again next week for a new story, and to learn more about Kiva, visit us.kiva.org/greenhorns or email questions to email@example.com.
In a recent ECONOMIST article, the future of agriculture is controlled by computers, genetic manipulation, big data, and the assumption that we humans know what is going on with soil-plant relationships (*sarcasm*). This article reads scarily of science fiction.
“Farms, then, are becoming more like factories: tightly controlled operations for turning out reliable products, immune as far as possible from the vagaries of nature. Thanks to better understanding of DNA, the plants and animals raised on a farm are also tightly controlled. Precise genetic manipulation, known as “genome editing”, makes it possible to change a crop or stock animal’s genome down to the level of a single genetic “letter”. This technology, it is hoped, will be more acceptable to consumers than the shifting of whole genes between species that underpinned early genetic engineering, because it simply imitates the process of mutation on which crop breeding has always depended, but in a far more controllable way.”