the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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sail freight projects abound! meet the new FoodBargeHack @ It Takes a Region


We are SO HAPPY to see continued discussion of SAIL FREIGHT!

As you may remember, we’ve been obsessed since our first sail freight project in VERMONT a few years ago, and then again in with Maine Sail Freight this past August.

Like they said in the Portland Press Herald:

“It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.”

AND NOW, inspired by Sail Freight and Farm Hack, there will be a FoodBarge Hack lunch Friday Nov. 13, at NEWSAG‘s It Takes a Region Conference. The event’s organizer’s write:

“Together, we will envision an energy efficient, sustainable regional food system using our waterways. We will focus on how to connect mid-sized upstate farmers with underserved NYC neighborhoods using a barge on the Hudson River, and challenge the status quo. With your help, we want take real steps towards a viable alternative to food filled trucks on our roads.”

Please note that you must be attending the conference and should RSVP to Jill Slater in advance if you would like lunch.

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hacking it out


root washer on farm hack

FarmHack, a Greenhorns open-source, easily accessible platform that allows members to interact, debate and build on each other’s innovations to common farm problems, received some great press from Holly Black of Sustainable Food Trust in regards to an event in the UK this past April.

Here is an excerpt from the full article:

Is technology the solution?

Technology is often seen as the golden ticket to problem solving. But driverless tractors, drones and robots are not necessarily the answer (despite what the Daily Mail may want you to think). Instead, we need problem-solving tools that can make a real difference in the hour you have at the end of the day when you choose either to sit at the computer or water the tomatoes. The introduction of organisational tools such as Farm at Hand, Trello and the Farmhack wiki could potentially change the face of farming. Farmbrite is designed for record keeping and is mobile enabled so it is accessible out in the field. The Open Food Network and Farmdrop support small-scale farmers by connecting customers directly with producers in their local area. And there is Buckybox, an organisational platform designed specifically for community-supported agriculture (CSA) projects – my local grower at CSA Sims Hill Shared Harvest was raving about it over the seed beds a few mornings ago. These are tools that allow CSAs to manage their members without ever seeing each other face to face.

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launch of farmhack uk in gloucestershire!

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

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pedal power farm hack: report from the feild

This past weekend, an ace team of farmers, fabricators, engineers, and pedal-powered truckers gathered at Metro Pedal Power in Somerville, MA for a weekend build event. What project would bring such an intriguing group of individuals together? Only the culticycle, a pedal-powered cultivating tractor designed by Tim Cooke, that uses human brawn and bicycle brains to replace fossil fuel powered tractors for lightweight field cultivation. Culticycle video here!

Continue reading

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make your own fuel on the farm from stuff you grow!

Meet Dorn Cox. He grows sunflowers in addition to many other things. He has figured out that four acres of sunflowers will yield 300 gallons of fuel at a cost of approximately $1 per gallon to produce. He presses the seeds for their oil while tilling the fibrous plant material back into the soil. The solid by-product (cake) of the pressing is used for animal feed.  Nothing is wasted or thrown away! The oil is refined through a multi-step process in a repurposed soda distributor’s panel truck, whose compartments afford the perfect set-up for the multiple refining tanks. The fuel moves from tank to tank by way of compressed air, so no emissions are created in the refining process. It is totally self-contained. Dorn calculates that his biodiesel gives back 3 to 5 times more energy than it takes to create it. To read more, CLICK HERE!

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reminder: mendocino farm hack this weekend!

Here is the updated schedule: Mendocino Farm Hack


Mendocino County will host its first FarmHack at the Little Lake Grange and Ridgewood Ranch in Willits, CA this December 6-7. This weekend long event will bring together business owners, engineers and mechanics, farmers and home-scale producers to learn about the possibilities of ethanol production and use. A series of workshops, panel discussions, and demonstrations will provide a comprehensive knowledge of this renewable, sustainable fuel source with an emphasis on how we as a community can collaborate and reduce our waste stream and our petroleum addiction.

For more information, contact:

Mendocino Alcohol Fuel Group at (707) 960-0717,,


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