the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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color au natural

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I know there are some serious DYIers in the audience– and I bet that if I were to draw a ven diagram with DIY folks in one circle and who would rather walk around naked than put chemical dyes close to their skin, those two circles might just have some overlap…

Those in this middle area of the graph might seriously want to check out this new book by Sasha Duerr. Natural Color is a comprehensive guide to plant dyes and compost coloring. (Sasha taught a great Greenhorns workshop years ago in Pescadero on using weeds and farm bi-products to make natural dyes, so we feel as though we are in a position to give her advice our personal stamp of approval.) Copies of the book are available to preorder from Penguin Random House today.


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“the farmer’s office”

Outdoor_office

Are you feeling cool, calm, collected? If not, try reading Julia Shenk’s “ The Farmers Office: Tools tips and templates to successfully manage a growing farm business”.

Comprehensive, logical, holistic and witty— she lays out the steps and frameworks for a solvent and sustainable farm business. She’s got the chops, and she’s witty. Thats already a lot when you have to learn the terminology, how to run the software, implications for record-keeping and cash flow management, and testing questions. Farming may be hard, honest work— it is also a hard business, and one that must be mastered.  Dear Greenhorns:

Use this book, stay in business, for the earth!


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book launch: big farms make big flu

THIS TUESDAY, JUNE 14th!

The Marxist Education Project is delighted to host the launch of Rob Wallace’s new book, Big Farms Make Big Flu (Monthly Review Press).

In Big Farms Make Big Flu, a collection of dispatches by turns harrowing and thought-provoking, Wallace tracks the ways influenza and other pathogens emerge from an agriculture controlled by multinational corporations. With a precise and radical wit, Wallace juxtaposes ghastly phenomena such as attempts at producing featherless chickens with microbial time travel and neoliberal Ebola. Wallace also offers sensible alternatives to lethal agribusiness. Some, such as farming cooperatives, integrated pathogen management, and mixed crop-livestock systems, are already in practice off the agribusiness grid.

While many books cover facets of food or outbreaks, Wallace’s collection is the first to explore infectious disease, agriculture, economics, and the nature of science together. Big Farms Make Big Flu integrates the political economies of disease and science into a new understanding of infections.

To learn more and to find tickets, click HERE!


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foragers, farmers and fossil fuels: how human values evolve

235288321Fundamental long-term changes in values, Morris argues, are driven by the most basic force of all: energy. Humans have found three main ways to get the energy they need—from foraging, farming, and fossil fuels. Each energy source sets strict limits on what kinds of societies can succeed, and each kind of society rewards specific values. In tiny forager bands, people who value equality but are ready to settle problems violently do better than those who aren’t; in large farming societies, people who value hierarchy and are less willing to use violence do best; and in huge fossil-fuel societies, the pendulum has swung back toward equality but even further away from violence.

But if our fossil-fuel world favors democratic, open societies, the ongoing revolution in energy capture means that our most cherished values are very likely to turn out—at some point fairly soon—not to be useful any more.

Originating as the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, the book includes challenging responses by novelist Margaret Atwood, philosopher Christine Korsgaard, classicist Richard Seaford, and historian of China Jonathan Spence.

To read more, click HERE!


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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

decolonizeyourdiet-calvo_-esquibel

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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