the irresistible fleet of bicycles


Leave a comment

“agriculture has been one of the greatest blessings and curses to civilization”

Mark Shepard.jpg

Curious about the title to this post? An upcoming three-day workshop in Stephentown, NY will dive deep into our problematic agricultural system and how permaculture and restorative practices can provide solutions. Taught by restoration agriculture guru Mark Shepard, the workshop runs from April 28th through April 30th at beautiful Back the Land Farm.

As we have inherited the tradition, agriculture requires massive inputs of energy to sow, harvest, and spread various biocides.   This has had devastating effects on the environment and society.  Restoration Agriculture seeks to use what we know about ecology to create food-producing systems that will require no additional energy inputs and  yield an abundance for generations to come.

It will be a fun and inspirational weekend! Camping is available on site, lunch and dinner are provided, and the whole kit and caboodle costs $550 with some early bird discounts available. Learn more and buy tickets HERE and read Mark Shepard’s bio HERE.


Leave a comment

full scholarships for mediation training in the nys agricultural mediation program

 

Print

Recently, I had the opportunity to be part of a workshop discussion at the NOFA MA conference within which arose the idea that our farms can become centers and examples of social justice and fairness. (Heck yes!) In line with this idea, the New York State Agricultural Mediation Program is currently offering scholarships for mediation training, specifically to people with roots in the agrarian community. The scholarships are provided by the NYS Agricultural Mediation Program (NYSAMP) in order to train mediators who can help out in underserved, less-populated rural areas– and in particular, they need mediators who can serve Columbia, Greene, Ulster, and Sullivan counties.

The NYS Agricultural Mediation Program offers free statewide mediation services to farmers to resolve conflicts including neighbor complains, loans or debts, landlord disputes, and family succession.

These new scholarships are available for a four-day Basic Mediation Training (valued at $1250) and are for applicants who “are curious by nature, and empathic, able to see the good in people, even when people may be in the depths of a highly stressful conflict. Applicants need to be able to see several discrete perspectives or differences of opinions at a time and hold them without judgement.”

Applicants will be interviewed for scholarships. And, if chosen for the program, will be expected to attend the training in March at Common Ground and Dispute Resolution Services. Afterwards they will join an apprenticeship program where they will put their skills into practice and receive coaching.  Applicants must be committed to “giving their time and talents” back to the community and be available to serve as a volunteer mediator in Columbia, Greene, Ulster or Sullivan counties. Applicants need to commit to serving as a volunteer mediator for at least 6 mediations per year for two years. 

The scholarships are provided by the NYS Agricultural Mediation Program (NYSAMP) in order to train mediators who can help out in underserved, less-populated rural areas.

If you are ready to serve or if you know of someone, who you think would make a

great volunteer mediator to “nominate” please contact:

Common Ground for Columbia or Greene County
(518) 943 0523; or email us at info@commongroundinc.org

Dispute Resolution Services for Sullivan and Ulster Counties
Jolynn Dunn  845-551-2668

Applications are due by February 10th.


Leave a comment

mountain west seed summit, santa fe, nm, march 3-4

glassgem

Mountain West Seed Summit
“Honoring Origins and Seeding the Future”
March 3 – 4, 2017
Santa Fe, New Mexico – Hotel Santa Fe

Join Seed Stewards from the Mountain West and beyond for three days of seed knowledge and networking in beautiful Santa Fe.

The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and the McCune Foundation, presents a two-day summit and one-day field trip focused on training and inspiring seed producers across the Rocky Mountain region. The Mountain West Seed Summit will include presentations, demonstrations, hands-on activities, lively discussions, seed exchanges, art, music, and more!

Additional local partners include SeedBroadcast which will be capturing and sharing seed stories and hosting a seed poetry slam, and Squash Blossom which will be providing incredible local food and cuisine.


Leave a comment

ranch management school

ranch management

photo: Samuel Oslund

Whatever it was that called you to farming – political, environmental, social, or your love of nature – one thing we often overlook as new farmers is the complex realities of running profitable businesses. It only takes a season to realize that the margins of profit in agriculture are small. As producers seeking to work in more environmental and socially focused ways the revenue versus expenses lines in your budget are pretty hard to balance when you factor in fair wages and ecologically sound inputs. Continue reading


Leave a comment

news from the grange school

aalogoadaptiveagfull-01-1

Attention, future and current food producers! The Grange School of Adaptive Agriculture has openings in their 2017 Practicum Program. Details below!

How do you practice Adaptive Agriculture? You start by educating yourself on cutting edge practices, by questioning conventions, by equipping yourself with the skills to flex, adapt, adjust to changing conditions and contexts.

At the Grange School of Adaptive Agriculture, students are immersed in a residential training program and are exposed to a broad spectrum of scales, styles, strategies, and skills. This 14 week program combines experiential learning on a 5,000 acre diverse ranch with classroom based learning in order to send students off with a comprehensive vocabulary, skill set, and understanding of the foundations of small scale agriculture. Over 25 field trip hosts and 12 guest instructors participate in the learning experience, giving students a well rounded education that will help to launch them into a career in the food system.

Are you looking for your entry point into sustainable agriculture? Having a strong understanding of crop production, animal husbandry, business management, industrial arts, and community dynamics is integral to launching you into the food system. Join us at the GSAA for an inspirational and transformational 14 weeks. April and July 2017 start dates, applications are now open!

For more information visit our website


Leave a comment

farm grrrl power symposium

Women-in-Food-SavetheDate

Tickets available on a sliding scale: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/foundations-and-the-future-womens-leadership-in-the-food-movement-tickets-27100479263?aff=eac2

A day of education, celebration and dialogue, this one-day symposium intends to acknowledge, celebrate and lift up the leadership and voice of women in the food movement.  The day will focus on a transfer of knowledge and foundation-building through an intergenerational dialogue weaving together historical narrative and current efforts spanning policy, advocacy, art and farming – both through dialogue and visual representation.
Hosted by Red H Farm at the Permaculture Skills Center.