On Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th April 2015 The Landworkers Alliance will be hosting the first ever FarmHack event outside of North America at Ruskin Mill Farm, Gloucestershire, UK. The event will bring together farmers, growers, fabricators, engineers and IT programmers to demonstrate and share tools, skills and ideas. Over the two days there will be field demonstrations, practical workshops, seminars, entertainment, good food, local ale and a stomping ceilidh.
FarmHack is a community of farmers and growers developing appropriate tools for small scale ecological farming. It was co-founded by The Greenhorns, Greenstart, and The National Young Farmers Colation in the U.S. in 2010 and has since held regular events to bring the community together on farms and in workshops across the USA. FarmHack is founded on the principles of open source technology meaning that tools and techniques are also shared and developed on the online forum farmhack.net.
Big money is trying to kill the effort to label GMOs in the state of New York, but GMO Right to Know bills are moving forward. If you’re a New Yorker, please attend the GMO Labeling Rally & Lobby Day at the NY State Capitol in Albany on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Reserve your seat on a bus today!
Update on GMO Labeling Bills in New York
The GMO labeling bill numbers you need to know are NY State Assembly bill A.617 and NY State Senate bill S.485. Bill A.617 was successfully voted out of the NY Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection committee in early March and is now awaiting a vote in the Codes committee. The companion bill in the Senate, S.485, has not yet seen any action; it’s in the Consumer Protection committee and will hopefully be voted on soon.
Vote With Your Voices and Feet
Assembly members need to be told to push Bill A.617 forward because people should be able to know if it’s GMO. Go to www.gmofreeny.net to learn how to contact your Assembly member and Senator and what you should say when you call. Even better if you can stop by one of their offices in Albany in person!
Rally for Your Right to Know on April 28
On Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, the NY GMO Labeling Rally & Lobby Day will take place at the State Capitol in Albany, from 11:30 am – 3 pm. The rally will have food, great speakers, and like-minded people. Bus transportation is available from Manhattan, Westchester, Hudson Valley, Long Island, Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca, and Binghamton and student scholarships are available.
No matter how you get there, just get there and make some NOISE in Albany! See this flyer for more information: April28Rally
Do you know what fruit and nut exploring is? It’s adventure, detective work, and historical perserverence all rolled into one in order to bring back valuable fruit and nut genetics thought to be lost. Did you know that in the early 1900s, citizen scientists were out and about in the landscape and forests, collecting prize specimens of fruits and nuts and breeding for local site adaptability along with pest and disease resistance? One of the leaders of this movement was J. Russell Smith, a notable Quaker, horticulturalist, author, agrarian and geographer from Lincoln Virginia. His writings have inspired many progressive farmers of our time, including the fruit exploring trio of Darr, Walton and Greenman, who have been looking and finding his genetic material in Northern VA. Come to hear the story of J. Russell Smith and the living legacy he has left behind in Northern VA.
When: Sunday, April 12th @ 4pm
Who: Alexander Darr, Pete Walton, Eliza Greenman
August Sender and Lroy Meryhew of the Stone Cabin Collective (Marshfield, Vt.) will present a slideshow and discuss the connections between the history of colonization in the northeastern and southwestern United States, focusing on the Black Mesa Reservation in Arizona. Focus will be on a free clinic on the reservation, an herb garden in Maine, and how all these struggles and support models are connected.
Bring seeds for a seed swap if you have any!
$10 suggested donation – none turned away
April 17th- MOFGA Library, Unity – 2pm
April 18th – Avena Botanicals, Rockport – 10am
April 19th – Belfast Free Library, Belfast – 6pm
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.
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.