the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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indivisable: a how-to for resisting the trump agenda

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We are only exaggerating a little when we say that these ideas are too big for google: originally a GoogleDoc, Indivisable was so popular that the traffic overloaded GoogleDocs and has been moved to its own website. The 24-page document was written by former congressional staffers and uses Tea Party strategies as a model for grassroots resistance of Trump initiatives in congress. The basic idea is that, though progressives may not agree with the Tea Party’s values, their basic strategy successfully dead-ended most of the major legislative projects of the Obama administration– and these tactics can be adapted for use in the name of “inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.”

While we abhor the idea that this kind of stalemate partisan politics will continue to be business as usual in congress, we have to admit that the authors are clearly well-educated, thoughtful, and careful in their approach. At the very least, this guide is easy to read, informative, and provides an excellent refresher course in American civics. At the very best, it offers those of us who care about continuing to make our society more inclusive, most just, and more peaceful a hand up out of feelings of powerlessness. As such, this is considered required Greenhorns reading.


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big thoughts

Small farmers movements and defending subsistence both depend on a new worldview. We can’t think in a mechanical rational way and personally relate to nature. We also can’t  patriarchy and capitalism and simultaneously do something about today’s sexual division of labor – or colonialism.

Though the revolution is coming from the bottom up (and could only come that way) it still feels great to have an institutional elite reaffirm the coming of a new way of seeing rooted in wholeness and interdependence. Physicist David Bohm takes all the cold scientific abstractions we’ve had jammed in our ears since we were kids and begins making it human.

 


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wanted: donations for educating the next generation of farmers

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Heading into a third year of providing educational programs, the good folks at the Grange School of Adaptive Agriculture have been busy training the next generation of farmers:

The Grange School’s programs recognize that food production must continually adapt to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. The students in our three-month residential program are determined and creative people, with a desire to acquire essential skills for a career in food production. We believe there is no silver bullet to addressing the food crisis facing our world, so we teach a broad spectrum of sustainable agricultural theory. We also give our students hands-on classwork and practical experience in skills as diverse as small engine repair, carpentry, animal husbandry, soil and ecology, crop production, entrepreneurial skills, and much, much more.

If you have the means, they could use your help! They’re looking for donations to help build infrastructure at their beautiful ranch/campus in California’s Mendocino County. Feel free to donate, large or small, to their crowdfunding campaign HERE.


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news from the grange school

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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

bellegarde


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Bellegarde Bakery

The best way to restore justice and foster equality is to remediate the land. Respect for ourselves derives from respect for nature, first and last. If we do not respect the system of life, we will have no moral ecology. Nature is a church and its rhythm a prayer. The democracy of food, that most basic human right, is the stewardship of our humanity. If we do not regain control of our food’s narrative—its quality, origin, price, preparation—we will become victims instead of protagonists. If we do not make affordable access to fresh, healthy, organic food the premise of our new system—if it remains distant, contrived, boutique—we will duplicate the systems of oppression we seek to usurp.

Graison Gill will be on Greenhorns Radio, Heritage Radio Network tomorrow 4pm EST – listen in! And for more information on Bellegarde and their process, check out this video.


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seven ways to be a better leader in systems change

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Oh man, we just love this: Seven Lessons for Leaders in Systems Change. Great for educators, activists, community leaders, farmers, and– generally– everyone who gives a damn.

Here’s a taste, but please click-through to read the full piece at at the Center for Ecoliteracy.

Lesson #1:  To promote systems change, foster community and cultivate networks.

Most of the qualities of a living system, notes Fritjof Capra, are aspects of a single fundamental network pattern: nature sustains life by creating and nurturing communities. Lasting change frequently requires a critical mass or density of interrelationships within a community. For instance, we’ve seen from research and our experience that curricular innovation at a school usually becomes sustainable only when at least a third of the faculty are engaged and committed.

“If nothing exists in isolation,” writes famed essayist Wendell Berry, “then all problems are circumstantial; no problem resides, or can be solved, in anybody’s department.” Even if problems defy solution by a single department, school districts are often structured so that responsibilities are assigned to isolated and unconnected divisions. Nutrition services may report to the business manager, while academic concerns lie within the domain of the director of curriculum. To achieve systems change, leaders must cross department boundaries and bring people addressing parts of the problem around the same table. For example, we’re currently coordinating a feasibility study with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). It requires looking simultaneously at ten aspects of school food operations (from teaching and learning to finance and facilities) identified in our Rethinking School Lunch framework.

In the push to make decisions and produce results quickly, it’s easy to bypass people — often the very people, such as food service staff and custodians, who will have the task of implementing changes and whose cooperation is key to success. It’s necessary to keep asking: “Who’s being left out?” and “Who should be in the room?”


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affordable sustainable ag education opportunity for north carolina folks

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Located at the very center of North Carolina’s local food and farming scene, the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Central Carolina Community College is a unique opportunity for sustainable agriculture education.

At CCCC’s sustainable agriculture program students have the opportunity for “Real Farming- Right Now”. The Pittsboro, NC based program has an on-campus, year-round certified organic farm that is an integral part of teaching and learning. Field and hoophouse production, pasture-based heritage breed chickens and a commitment to incorporating sustainable technologies (solar, biofuels, reduced tillage) make this established and accessible program the place to get started in organic farming.

Students have the opportunity to meet and network with a wide variety of sustainable farms, businesses and organizations while participating in focused, practical education and training. Whether you are exploring the possibilities of a career in sustainable farming or you are already farming and recognize the need for some targeted learning opportunities (soil science, marketing, business plans!) you are welcome at CCCC Sustainable Agriculture Program.

Interested students may apply online: http://www.cccc.edu/admissions/apply/

Fall 2016 registration for new students is open now; Fall classes will begin August 15th

Call Robin Kohanowich for more information about sustainable agriculture at CCCC. 919-545-8031rkoha065@cccc.edu Certificate and Degree programs available.

www.cccc.edu/agriculture/  Affordable, convenient, established