the irresistible fleet of bicycles

douglas-rushkoff


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before you throw rocks, read this book

To many activists in the Bay Area and other cities in the US, “tech” has become a dirty word. It can feel like large tech companies are steamrolling through cities and neighborhoods, destroying traditional jobs, ushering in gentrification, raising rents, and obliviously pushing the little guy around.

As a result, there’s been justifiable anger, protests, and blow back against these companies. In his book, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Douglas Rushkoff suggests a more measured approach. Yes, these tech companies have done wrong, but Rushkoff believes the digital economy doesn’t have to be all bad:

This isn’t the fault of digital technology at all, but the way we are deploying it: instead of building the distributed digital economy these new networks could foster, we are doubling down on the industrial age mandate for growth above all. As Rushkoff shows, this is more the legacy of early corporatism and central currency than a feature of digital technology. In his words, “we are running a 21st century digital economy on a 13th Century printing-press era operating system.”

Protest however you see fit, but give this thoughtful book a read to expand the discussion and hear another point of view. You can buy it HERE or head on over to your local library to find a copy.


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erotic farm fiction

erotic fiction, greenhorns, farmer fiction

This weekend we would like to steer you towards Artemisia Rae’s  White Oak Summer, an erotic romance novel, that blends sex and farming into a lovely little fireside read.  When she’s not writing blush-worthy prose Rae is farming and helping run a local seed cooperative in Boise, Idaho.

The synopsis:

White Oak Summer is a story about self-discovery. To escape from a dead end job and a life without purpose, Kelsie Thompson accepts an internship on an organic farm. In lush western Oregon farm country, White Oak Farm owners Dana and Craig become Kelsie’s mentors in life and in love. Dana instructs her on the fine art of beekeeping and the luscious intricacies of the plant kingdom. Craig has different things to teach Kelsie and not all of them have to do with farming. Their neighbor – hunky goat farmer Joshua Murphy- complicates things with his own agenda, while the other interns struggle to find their own places in farm life. As the season unfolds, Kelsie learns as much about her sexual interests as she does about growing vegetables. With the inherent sensuality of the natural world as her backdrop, she reaps what she sows.

One reviewer exclaimed, “farm stories with sex scenes.” I can’t help but recall Kristin Kimball’s words from the Dirty Life when, out of sheer seasonal exhaustion, she and Mark began referring to farmer sex as touching hands… This sounds like a superb addition to farm fiction canon 🙂

click here for the book:


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read a book: agee and walker’s “rediscovered masterpiece”

cotton-tenant

During these turbulent political times where the country feels more divided than ever, we should still take the time to put away our devices, crack open a book, and see what the history of our country can teach us.

Enter writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans. Many of us are familiar with their seminal work Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Published in 1941, the book was an instant American classic. Agee’s words and Evans’ photographs shone an unflinchingly honest eye at the daily lives of sharecroppers in rural Alabama during the Great Depression.

What’s more, Agee wasn’t afraid to look inward at his own privilege and role as a reporter in documenting the lives of impoverished farmers. This theme is expanded upon in the duo’s lesser known work, Cotton Tenants: Three Families, a “rediscovered masterpiece” about Southern cotton farmers that was shelved and finally published in 2013. As a critic from the New York Times wrote:

Agee squabbled with his editors over what he felt was the exploitation and trivialization of destitute American families. . . . What readers are about to discover now is what all the fighting was about.

 

In these days of “alternative facts”, attacks on the media, and a supposed urban/rural divide, both books are well worth a read. Cotton Tenants can be purchased HERE or run on over to your local library to borrow it!


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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