the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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a beautiful book about pears

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The Book of Pears is a one-of-a-kind guide to this extraordinary fruit, following its journey through history and around the world, accompanied by beautiful botanical watercolor paintings and period images. Noted pomologist and fruit historian Joan Morgan (The Book of Apples) has researched and crafted the definitive account of the pear’s history and uses, from fresh eating to cooking and baking to making perry, the delicate and sophisticated pear equivalent of cider.

Featuring a directory of 500 varieties of both ancient and modern pears with tasting notes and descriptions for every one, The Book of Pears reveals the secrets of the pear as a status symbol, introduces readers to some of the most celebrated fruit growers in history, and explains how the pear came to be so important as an international commodity. This unique and fascinating book will prove indispensable for historians, horticulturists, and all fruit lovers. – See more at: http://www.chelseagreen.com/the-book-of-pears#sthash.6wdpw55G.dpuf


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how to decolonize your diet: the importance of indigenous foods

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After Dr. Luz Calvo was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, she and Dr. Catrióna Esquibel, her partner, searched for an explanation.

Drawing on their experience as ethnic studies professors—and as Chicanas—they started examining the effects colonization has on a culture’s diet. Their findings? The all-American combination of carbs, sugar, and processed foods was making Latino immigrants sick, and repeating a harmful pattern they could trace throughout history.

Latin American food culture has been eroded by colonizing forces: Spanish missionaries forcing Mexicans to start eating bread and cheese instead of corn and beans, to white reformers in the 1920s who told immigrant Mexican mothers that feeding their children tortillas would lead to a life of crime, to Coca-Cola’s current obsession with marketing toward Latino youth. All has been to the detriment of both Latino health and culture.

I talked to Calvo and Esquibel talked about their new book, Decolonize Your Diet, the Latino Paradox, and what we can learn from Mesoamerica when it comes to agriculture. To read more by Shelby Pope, click HERE!


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call for submissions for the new farmers almanac

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Time to submit to the NEW FARMER’S ALMANAC vol. III

Agrarians and stewards of all types, young and old, seasoned and greenhorn, we want to hear from you! We’ve begun the process of compiling submissions to the New Farmer’s Almanac: vol III. Awash in fascinating content, we want more!

The upcoming Almanac will explore the theme of The Commons, drawing from folklore, mathematical projections, empirical, emotional and geographical observations of theory and praxis. As farmers we hold space in many interwoven commons—the carbon sequestered in the soil, the water cycling through our landscapes, the biodiversity of the insect resources living among our operations, and all the other natural and human-crafted systems in which we function.

Possibilities for our shared future would seem to rest on how these intersecting commons are governed, particularly at the juncture of humanity and ecology where we make our workplace. In re-visiting the Almanac format we assert our version of Americana—one which might better lay the cultural groundwork to serve the information needs of today’s young farmers, field hands, and land workers of all kinds—and equip ourselves for the challenges of rebuilding the food system and restoring a more democratic, more diverse, and more resilient foundation for society.

We face a dystopian future, with guaranteed-unpredictable weather, the impending collapse of the fossil fuel economy, endlessly consolidating monopolies, and a country that is, for the first time in our history, majority urban. That’s why the Almanac is a utopian publication, one that reminds today’s farmers about the foundational concepts of an agrarian democracy—themselves utopian.

But we also reject the self-propelling logic of techno-utopia—dependent upon extraction economies which, through enclosure of common resources, bleed out our land, resources, and people. We orient ourselves instead toward the words of Ursula Le Guin, who reminds us that our intent in utopian thinking should not be “reactionary, nor even conservative, but simply subversive. It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth.”

We want to hear from you on your engagements with the Commons and all its intricacies—marine and terrestrial, tragic and elemental, constantly under assault and yet inexorable in the persistence of its promise. Send us astronomical data, exercises in cooperation, reading lists, games, poems, rants, historical accounts, animal handling instructions, illustrations, guides to any and all aspects of farming and stewardship, recipes, health suggestions, thoughts, dreams, plans, schematics, even computer code if you’ve got some that’s applicable. We’re open to everything!

Text submissions should be around 700 words. Visual materials should be submitted as 600 dpi grayscale images, formatted as .tiff, .psd, or .jpg files.

If you’ve got ideas and want to run them by us beforehand, please do so by Jan. 10, 2016. Submissions are due by Feb. 1, 2016!

Send submissions to almanac@thegreenhorns.net

Questions or further information needs? Email us at the above address.

Onward!

Information about the 2015 New Farmer’s Almanac here, for sale here.  More on our 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac (on sale for $20) here. Questions about the 2015 Almanac? Send us an email


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how to thrive in the next economy

how to thrive in the next economyDrawing on a lifetime of travel in search of real-world alternatives that work, John Thackara describe how communities the world over are creating a replacement, leave-things-better economy from the ground up.

Each chapter is about creative ways to tackle timeless needs that matter: restoring the land, sharing water, making homes, growing food, designing clothes, journeying, and caring for each other. Thackara writes of soil restorers and river keepers; seed savers and de-pavers; cloud commuters and e-bike couriers; care farmers; food system curators; fibershed stewards; money designers and more – from Bali to Brazil, as well as Delhi, London, and California. To learn more, CLICK HERE.


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women who farm story submission

Across Canada and the United States, women are becoming leaders in the agricultural industry. They are passionately involved in maintaining biodiveristy on the farm, in the soil, protecting the water and growing and raising food that is wholesome for their communities. Women who farm is a book that celebrates these women.  We want to hear your story.

From all the submissions, 8 women will be chosen for the book. Farmers will have a chance to share their contributions to farming, how they are changing their communities and all the funny stories that happen along the way.

 See submission guidelines here.

Send your story to submissions@womenwhofarm.com.

Submissions must be no more than 2000 words. Tell us about your farm, and other relevant stories that go along with your journey as a woman in agriculture. Submission deadline is October 30th 2015. These submissions will be used to select the farmers for the book.


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cottage food laws

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Homemade For Sale is a perfect guide to start your own at home kitchen buisness. Co-authors John Ivanko & Lisa Kivirist provide a clear roadmap as the first authoritative guide to go from idea and recipe to final product.

Widely known as “cottage food legislation,” over 42 states and various Canadian provinces currently have varying forms of laws that encourage home-cooks to create and sell to the public specific, “non-hazardous” food items, often defined as those that are high-acid, like pickles, or low moisture, like breads. In addition to this publication, forrager.com provides an interactive guide to learning about the varying laws by location.

To get started, buy the book through the Homemade For Sale website and have your own copy to help you through these important issues:

• Product development and testing
• Organizing your kitchen
• Marketing and developing your niche
• Packaging and labeling
• Advertising and public relations
• Structuring your business
• Bookkeeping for your enterprise
• Managing liability, risk and government regulations
• Scaling up or staying small


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free book: fields, factories and workshops

How much and how little things change. We’re delighted to be able to read and recommend the free 1912 book Fields, Factories and Workshops: or Industry Combined with Agriculture and Brain Work with Manual Work by the prescient Pëtr Kropotkin. Who was he, and what messages did he have for today’s Greenhorns?

Black adn white photo of balding man with long black beard and small wire-rimmed glasses.

Photo of Kropotkin taken by Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, AKA Nadar, as shown at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadar_(photographer.

Born in Moscow in 1842, Kropotkin was a true Renaissance Man, a “Russian geographer, economist, activist, philologist, zoologist, evolutionary theorist, philosopher, writer and prominent anarchist,” according to Wikipedia.

When he wrote Fields, Factories and Workshops, Kropotkin was seeing some of the same things we are today. He saw “decentralisation of industries going on” and new-comers developing “on their own… the principal industries,” which implied freedom from exploitation. Agriculture was part of this big decentralization. Kropotkin, for instance, didn’t buy the accepted wisdom that sufficient food couldn’t be grown locally and urged people to do it:

“As the manufacturing nations of West Europe are meeting with steadily growing difficulties in selling their manufactured goods abroad, and getting food in exchange, they will be compelled to grow their food at home; they will be bound to rely on home customers for their manufactures, and on home producers for their food. And the sooner they do so the better.”

Kropotkin also wrote about soil health, crop yield, the abandonment of fertile land and the threat this posed, and sought to show “what can and ought to be obtained from the land under a proper intelligent treatment.” Sounds familiar!

An easier-on-the-eyes PDF version of the book is available here. Enjoy!

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