the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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jane jacobs: citizen economist

Jane Jacobs

We tend to take it for granted that nature—being basic to everything—is the place to begin when we try to understand regional economies. The given natural attributes of a region certainly do explain much about subsistence economies: why some people eat seals and caribou while others eat dates and goats; why herders in some places stay put beside their fields while others traipse back and forth between summer and winter pastures; why some people shelter in thatch and mats while others build with stone and timber; why some spin wool, others cotton, and so on. But interesting as such economic travelogues are, they don’t go far to explain even subsistence economies. For one thing, they don’t explain why these are subsistence economies instead of something else.

To read more, click HERE!


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dph: cool information directory

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The idea of the dph database of experiences was born in 1986 from the desire to link people and groups working towards the construction of a responsible world of solidarities. We hope to make both memory and experiential reflection available on this resource site. We also hope to enhance the analysis and the experiences through an easy search process and the availability of results that can prove useful to citizens’ actions.

A balance between action and reflection

dph is an initiative of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH). This Foundation has always promoted a balanced approach between action and reflection. This philosophy is underpinned by two priorities: the emphasis placed on development and dissemination of ideas, the emphasis placed on methodology.

The FPH has promoted international exchange of experience for 20 years, as a prerequisite of « usefulness to action ». This is also the underlying approach behind the creation and enriching of the dph experiential database developed in partnership with Ritimo.

To learn more, click HERE!


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check out these thinking bodies…

Impact Hub Berkeley’sFrom the Ground Up” is a four part, year-long program that brings together multi-stakeholder organizations working in sustainable food and agriculture to collaborate on joint initiatives. The change accelerator combines dynamic innovation salons, public-facing education programs, and community building events to drive systemic change in the following areas: (1) Collaborative Trade, (2) Living Oceans, (3) Soil Health/Carbon Farming (4) Local Food Systems.

To read more, click HERE!


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meatsmith classes are up! vashon, wa

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Brandon and Lauren are not strangers to meatsmithery, in fact they are owners of Farmstead Meatsmith.

“We generally harvest for small family farmers who raise a couple of pigs, a few sheep or a flock of various poultry for their own household.  Think very small scale. The animals never leave the land they know, we use peaceful and humane kill methods specific to each animal’s nature, and we offer every part of every animal back to the farmer.

Unlike many processors, we don’t know the meaning of trim.  Well, we do, but that is why we don’t do it.  We make sure the quality fat you meant for your animal to have, stays there.  Consequently, you will get all your meat back.  And by that we mean 100% of hanging weight.  Standard industry procedure is to dispose of as much as 50% of hanging weight.

Because the dinner table is where the rubber meets the road, particularly with unfamiliar cuts, innards and extremities, Brandon makes himself available for advice long after he leaves your farm.

We also make classes out of harvesting events for interested students near and far. Often we teach the farmers who hire us, enabling them to keep all or part of their processing costs in-house for the next season.

Currently we reach farms in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.  A handful of farmers have flown Brandon to the east coast, the midwest and recently to the UK.”

Upcoming classes include:

3-Day Goat Harvest Classes; Vashon Island, WA

3-Day Pig Harvest Classes; Vashon Island, WA

U-Pick Turkey Harvest; Vashon Island, WA

If you can’t make it to a class check out the other resources Farmstead Meatsmith has to offer, HERE.


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permaculture skills center farm school, july-sept, sebastopol

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In the summer of 2016, the Permaculture Skills Center in Sebastopol, CA is offering a Farm School, a 10-week intensive on regenerative farming, followed by an integrated 6-month mentorship on independent projects.  The program integrates sustainable design, business planning, and farm operation– blending class, field trips, visits from local experts, and on-farm experience– to give students a holistic education in every aspect of commercial permaculture.

Farm School starts with a 10-week Intensive Course
Sunday – Tuesday, July 10 – September 20, 2016
Followed by a 6 – month mentorship
(one week break from July 31 – August 2)

More details on the program and application at the PSC website. Email Program Coordinator, Lee Foster at lee@permacultureskillscenter.org or call the office at (707) 824-0836 with questions.

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