the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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call to the commons

capture

Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

George Monbiot has something of reputation for discussing the more dire circumstances we face today, but in his latest article for The Guardian he presents some reasons not to despair. In particular, Monbiot hones in on the commons, which (as you may know) is the theme of this years New Farmers Almanac.

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sweet herbal remedy book and GH almanac release party, brooklyn, dec. 10!

chronicle_natures_remedies_web_cover

Dec 10th Book Release Party: Nature’s Remedies & New Farmers Almanac

Calling all fellow Greenhorns, plant lovers, and herb nerds! 

It’s Jean Willoughby here, and I can easily be described by all three of those lovely, earthbound designations. I hope you’ll join me and an amazing group of folks at the Third Root Community Health Center, a worker-owned cooperative in Brooklyn, for a book release party this Saturday, December 10th.

We’re getting together to celebrate the launch of my book Nature’s Remedies: An Illustrated Guide to Healing Herbs (Chronicle Books). We’ve also teamed up with Greenhorns folks to usher in the release of the latest edition of The New Farmers Almanac.

I’m planning to give a short talk, sort of a ‘people’s history of herbal medicine,’ that I’m excited to share with the Greenhorns community. We’re also going to be joined by a few herbalists, who will be on hand with their wares. Come get some healing, nourishing, and delicious gifts for your loved ones and learn more about medicinal herbs.

Nature’s Remedies & New Farmers Almanac
Book Release Party
Saturday, Dec. 10th, 2016
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Third Root Community Health Center
380 Marlborough Rd, Brooklyn, New York 

+ Food & Drink
+ Herb-infused Meads
+ Meet farmers, medicine makers, and herbalists who will be there with their wares
+ 100% of Nature’s Remedies book sales will benefit Third Root!

Get more event info or RSVP: http://bit.ly/dec10releaseparty

I hope to see you there!
Green forever,

Jean

Ps. Our new site for herb curious folks: www.HerbCurious.com


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a little tin of cocoa and the powerful chain of economics

kumarappa

How many times are you asked at the market (or anytime really) why people ought to support local, organic producers? Surely it happens often enough that you’ve got your own rote lines memorized.

As consumers are increasingly questioning the economic chain that makes up the production of things, from food to garments, we’re reminded that this is not a new concern. In fact, it was at the core of the Indian Independence movement that saw India free itself from Colonial Britain.

Ghandi’s observation of how small economic acts could be incredibly empowering and the need for local economies were well documented by his close associate J. C. Kumarappa. In his work Why the Village Movement Kumaarappa writes:

“If the raw materials for making cocoa are obtained from plantations on the West coast of Africa which use some form of forced native labour, are carried by vessels on sea routes monopolised or controlled by violence, manufactured in England with sweated labor and brought to India under favourable customs duties enforced by political power, then a buyer of a tin of cocoa patronises the forced labour conditions in the West coast of Africa, utilizes the navy and so partakes in violence, gains by the low wages or bad conditions of workers in England and takes advantage of the political subjection of India. All this responsibility and more also is put into a little tin of cocoa.”

Austrian economist E.F Shumacher, who went on to write Small is Beautiful, drew a great deal of inspiration from the work of Kumarappa. Our friends over at the Schumacher Institute for a New Economics just let us know that J.C Kumarappa seminal book Economics of Permanence is available for free online thanks to some hardworking folks at the University of Maryland.

Read the full text here


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color au natural

9781607749363

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!