the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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a+ technology (adaptive, accessible, appropriate)

Examples of Questionable Applications of Technology:

  1. using garden sheers to trim your bangs
  2. building a forest fire to barbecue burgers for two
  3. mincing garlic with a machete
  4. driving a ton of steel to transport a 150 lbs human body across town
  5. relying on expensive, petroleum-reliant, highly-commodified tools to support innovative, unconventional, and ecologically-sound small farms

 

This week in the Food List, the focus is on Appropriate Technology— or, in other words, technology that suits its purposes (in scale, cost, application, etc.). The presented case studies presented prove that when it comes to sustainable, small-scale farming, bigger is not better and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.

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after the aqueduct: through april 12, 2015

As California’s severe drought drags on, water is top of mind, part of a zeitgeist that the things we’ve done for decades aren’t working so well anymore and never did, for everyone. The Los Angeles Aqueduct is one of them.

Pencil illustration of future aqueduct with two columns of text, one on either side of the sketch.

First page of survey document for L.A. Aqueduct, 1907-1944, courtesy of Library of Congress collection http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ca3095/.

The always controversial L.A. Aqueduct is a 233 mile hydraulic water conveyance system that has provided potable water for the City of L.A. since 1913. Today, the water for the aqueduct originates in the Mono Basin, 338 miles away, moves through the Owens Valley, and eventually reaches L.A. through a complex system of siphons, tunnels, dams and reservoirs. The water diversions from Owens Valley effectively killed it, and continue to threaten the ecology of Mono Lake and other areas.

In a refreshing contrast, the Aqueduct Futures (AF) Project “aims to inspire civic imagination about the future of the Los Angeles Aqueduct and Owens Valley” and is “mapping the hidden impacts of the Aqueduct to create a framework for lasting peace between Los Angeles and Owens Valley. 127 Cal Poly Pomona students (and counting), together with the Owens Valley and Mono County communities have contributed ideas to the project.”

Watch a video synopsis of the project on Vimeo and, if you’re in the L.A. area, check out the After the Aqueduct exhibit in person at the L.A. Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), 6522 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028. The exhibit runs through April 12, 2015.


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new york organic dairy discussion series

A series of free discussion meetings for dairy farmers — lunch included! — will take place from 11 AM to 2 PM between March 19 and April 1 at the New York farm sites listed below. These meetings are great for beginners and an excellent place for farmers who are considering organic production to ask questions.

Photos of dairy cows grazing green pasture with barn in background

Photo by Kate Whittemore for the Cornell Small Farms program blog.

Titled “Lunch with Jerry,” these discussions will honor the late Jerry Brunetti. Fay Benson, organic dairy extension educator at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, will show video trainings produced by Jerry Brunetti for the NY Organic Dairy Initiative.

To register for a lunch discussion at any of the sites below, please contact Ellen Fagan at etf22@cornell.edu or 607-753-5078, or visit http://scnydfc.cce.cornell.edu. Lunch will be provided.

March 19, 2015:
Alfred State College Farm
1315 New York 244, Alfred, NY 14803
Host: Virginia Chamberlain, Alfred State Farm Manager

March 20th, 2015:
Dave Hardy Farm Shop
718 Aney Hill Rd, Mohawk, NY 13407
Host: Dave Hardy

March 26, 2015:
Hooper Farm
7197 River Road, Memphis, NY 13112
Hosts: Mike and Karen Hooper

March 31, 2015:
Hammond Village Hall
24 S. Main St. Hammond, NY 13646
Host: Farmer Liz Bawden

April 1, 2015:
Malone Courthouse
355 West Main Street #456 Malone, NY 12953
Hosts: Farmers Fred and Gwen Tuttle


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obama vetoes keystone xl pipeline bill

Whew.

Meanwhile, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index has ranked Kentucky and West Virginia as having the lowest health and well being than any other state in the US for the sixth year in a row. Is it coincidental that the states with the most mountaintop removal have the worst health and the worst outlook? This study, like all the rest involving human health, falls on deaf ears with politicians and the agencies that are supposed to be protecting us.  What can you do to help us make them listen? Put your foot down!


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grange revival week

News from the Ojai Valley Grange! Grange Revival Week is March 14-22nd.ojai

Our Grange is hosting a week of homesteading, farming and gardening workshops, lectures and gatherings, culminating in a celebration at the Grange Hall on March 21st.  All proceeds from this week will go to the restoration of our historic Grange Hall- an amazing, underutilized community agricultural resource right here in Miramonte.

There’s something for everyone, from canning to installing grey water systems to beekeeping and compost tea brewing. And a contra dance too!

Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested ASAP- this is such an important space to preserve for our community! Register quickly, as the classes should fill up fast!

Registration and the schedule are at www.grangefuture.org/ojai


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farm school scholarships!

Our friends at The Farm School’s Learn to Farm program – which is now in its 13th year and licensed as a private occupational school – continue to make a great case for tuition-based farmer training, providing extraordinary breath and depth in all aspects of the field and turning out graduates who go on to farm successfully.  And now is the time to check out the year-long program and apply, as they have just announced new scholarships that will ensure all can attend, regardless of means: www.farmschool.org

IMG_2742

download the press release HERE


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spiral: a summer permaculture intensive for young women!

Spiral is a month-long residential intensive Permaculture Design Course offered at Dig In Farm (a ten-acre perennial farmstead in western Massachusetts) for women aged 15 to 18. Aimed to empower young women through regenerative agriculture, this program will be a combination of PDC coursework, hands-on farming, community living and social justice.

Permaculture is a design process that helps people design systems (be they agricultural, social, financial, or other) that nourish the earth, care for people, and bring a more just world into being. Students will graduate from the program with internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificates. Know of a young woman who might be interested? If so- check out SpiralspiralBecause of the sliding-scale nature of this course in order to give equal opportunity, this amazing program is seeking donations. Please contact grace@diginfarm.com if you would like to help support this cause.

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