the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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calling all artists: remembrance day for lost species needs your help!

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The ONCA are looking for contributions for Remembrance Day for Lost Species 2017. Human created pollution, climate change and deforestation is causing unprecedented species loss. 40% of the wildlife on earth has disappeared in the last 40 years. Remembrance Day for Lost Species is a chance each year to learn and tell the stories of species driven extinct by human activities, and commit anew to what remains.

The theme of this years remembrance is extinction- and pollinators, a topic close to all of our hearts.  Contributions will be shared on the ONCA website, and potentially in the gallery and they welcome all mediums including visual art, performance, creative writing, historical accounts and artefacts. They are also calling for artists, companies, schools and communities to hold memorial events on and around November 30th 2017. These could take the form of processions, “funerals” or participatory events marking the extinction of pollinator species and/or the ongoing threats which human activity poses to surviving pollinators.

If you have a proposal idea or wish to discuss your proposal at any time please contact persephone@onca.org.uk

To read more about Remembrance day click HERE


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calling all artists: ecofarm needs your work!

EcoFarm + Artists

Are you a talented artist or designer looking to help a good cause and get exposure for your artistic endeavors? If the answer is YES, then send a sampling of your work to the wonderful folks at EcoFarm and it could be picked to promote their annual conference in Pacific Grove, CA:

Showcase your artistic vision through a unique design around the yet-to-be-announced theme of the 38th annual EcoFarm Conference. The selected artist will receive significant exposure, an honorarium, and help generate buzz for this iconic event.

Submit your portfolio to deborah@eco-farm.org by Saturday, April 1, 2017. EcoFarm will be in contact with selected artist by Wednesday, April 12. Completed artwork will be due in mid June, 2017.

If you’re unfamiliar with EcoFarm, you should get acquainted! You can learn more by clicking HERE, but this is an incredible organization with a long history of promoting an ecologically sustainable and just food and farming system, as well as putting together an inspiring farming conference each and every year.


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call for film submissions

photo credit – Nino Rocha

Tales from Planet Earth, an environmental themed film fesitival, is looking for submissions to the upcoming 2017 event in Madison.

The theme for this years festival is ‘Land’! Does that resonate with you?

“Standing Rock. Idle No More. The Landless Worker’s Movement. Across the globe, land dispossession—both past and present—is bringing together new alliances and collective actions in the struggle for the rights and sovereignty of local peoples to determine their own futures. The 6th biennial Tales from Planet Earth will showcase stories that inform, challenge, and inspire audiences to rethink relationships to land in an era where greed, corruption, and resource demands are swallowing up ancestral and customary lands, severing cultural traditions rooted in the earth, and threatening the livelihoods, sovereignty, and self-determination of communities throughout the world.”

Filmmakers interested in having films considered for the festival should email the festival project manager, Peter Boger, at pgboger@gmail.com no later than May 1st with a brief synopsis of their film and any other relevant information. We will follow up if we are interested in viewing a screener of the film to consider for the festival program.

 


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rerural: notes on engaging with our towns

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By Samuel Oslund

Urban-rural disconnect, elite-working class divide, pancakes vs waffles, oh the ever increasing list of simplistic binaries that are the focus of so much airtime these days! It seems the ‘enemies’, whichever side your on, are pretty clear.

Or are they? Perhaps the very nature of ‘Othering’ each-other is the surest ways to deepen rivalries while distracting us from the real architects of oppression.

In the after-wake of the Occupy movement many of us were left with questions of how to make actual change happen. It’s still debatable whether Occupy was a ‘success’, but one very important thing we learned from that movement was just how inaccessible and out of touch those in power have become. Given how removed we are from the highest seats of decision making, the traditional forms of political engagement have become, at best, a way to prevent things from getting much worse, a status quo with a downward leaning trajectory. Continue reading


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the conversation continues: hydroponics divorce people even further from the stewardship of the land

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This recent submission to our series on whether or not hydroponics should be considered organic comes from Joanna Storie, a Doctoral candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of Estonian University of Life Sciences. She takes a similar stance on hydroponics to our last contributor, adding that hydroponics are not sustainable agriculture in that they divert attention from strengthening rural economies and reinforce urban ways of being that divorce people further from the land.

Have something to add? Email submissions to greenhornsblog@gmail.com.

In your recent blog you asked the question on whether hydroponics is organic or not and I have to agree that it is not. The following statement sums it up for me:


“Hydroponics may be a fine way to grow food and it might be an important part of how cities feed themselves in the future, but it’s no more a form of sustainable agriculture than producing wood fiber in a laboratory is a form of sustainable forest management.”

It also worries me that Hydoponics divorce people even further from the idea of stewardship of the land– which is something that makes the urban areas increasingly vulnerable, because– even if they can produce food in the cities using hydroponic techniques– this will not be the sum total of their food supply.

Recently I submitted an abstract for a conference, which took the position against urban-centric ways of structuring our society, arguing that “rural social networks need to be seen as inherently valuable to the resilience of the whole region.”

I think the hydroponics fits into the urban 24/7 mindset, which values cheap food and devalues rural social network,  thus exacerbating the situation of removing people further from the knowledge of healthy food and healthy environments.


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“hydroponics is not organic — it’s not even agriculture”

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Last week we asked the Greenhorns network what you think about the vertical farm. A perennially contentious idea, are hydroponics the way to the future or are they a hackneyed and ultimately artificial solution to the current crises of our food systems. The following submission on hydroponics comes from Matthew Hoffman, a Fulbright Scholar, Norwegian Centre for Rural Research, who argues vehemently that hydroponic farming be removed from organic certification.  Send us your opinions at greenhornsblog@gmail.com!

The farmers market in Jack London Square in Oakland, California was a bustling scene when I worked there in the late 1990s, and my customers liked to tell me how devoted they were to organic agriculture.

I remember one devotee in particular.  Her tote bag bulged with produce and her brow wrinkled beneath the brim of her floppy hat as she stopped one day to study the sign above my new display of organic flowers.  At length she turned to me and said, “How can flowers be organic?”

This was not the first time that I realized a devoted customer had no idea what organic meant.  So I explained to her about how organic farmers take care of the land, maintaining healthy soil and a healthy environment for plants to grow in without the use of synthetic chemicals—and how organic practices apply just the same to flowers and fields of grass as to lettuces and bell peppers.

She nodded thoughtfully and seemed to appreciate this explanation, but then she frowned again and asked, “What does it matter if you’re not eating them?” Continue reading