the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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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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farm hack north dakota


Farm Hack North Dakota
Sunday, June 22nd @ Bad Goat Forest Products, Missoula MN

See examples of successful DIY tools and dream up your own in Montana’s first ever Farm Hack! It’s a new event that’s sweeping the nation, bringing together farmers, builders, and tech folks to create on-farm solutions! This event will offer attendees the opportunity to learn from some of our region’s experts on tools you can use to improve your farm and reduce your equipment costs.

Two-hour workshops will be offered simultaneously by the following experts:

Blacksmithing with Mark VanderMeer of Bad Goat Forest Products: Learn the basics by developing a simple hand weeder and attaching wooden handles

Welding with Jimmy Willett: Learn the basics of welding to fix your machines and build new tools

Incorporating Bike Parts with Bob Giordano of Freecycles: Learn how to reduce equipment costs by adding cheap or free bike parts to your tool-building know-how

And You!
We’ll finish out the day with a few beers and pizza will be available from the Clove Cart Pizza Peddlers! Join us!

Cost: $30, includes lunch from Burns St Bistro

Location: 1301 Scott St., Missoula (under the Scott St. bridge on the Northside)

REGISTRATION IS LIMITED TO 30 PEOPLE! Click Here to register today – registration closes on Thursday, June 19th.

For more information, visit or contact Annie Heuscher at or 406-763-6862.


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did drought kill your trees? here’s some help…

2012 and 2013 were tough years for planting/growing anything in much of the US.  If it wasn’t flooding, it was a drought.  drought kill your trees?

Trees died.  The FSA office of USDA is here to help (with cash to recoup your losses). Even for losses you may have had two years ago!

The Details

The farm bill was recently extended, so what’s old is new again.  Here’s how it worked last time around:

1) Read the above links
2) Call your FSA office 
3) Be nice
4) File an FSA-899 form
5) IMPORTANT DETAIL: If you’re a Beginning Farmer (10 years farming or less in last 10) or Historically Underserved (look up the definition if you don’t know), you are EXEMPT from the crop insurance requirement.  THAT MEANS YOU CAN APPLY EVEN IF YOU HAD NO CROP INSURANCE.
6)Tell Grant how it goes for you.


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drones: coming to a farm near you?

From Mid-Missouri Public Radio


Unmanned aerial vehicles aren’t just for spies or for the battlefield. Farmers all over the country think drones can give them a leg up, too.

Tech-savvy farmers have been waiting for years for the government to make up its mind about the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Right now, anyone flying a drone for business instead of as a hobby is actually breaking federal law. But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which oversees U.S. airspace, says it plans to roll out rules for drones this year.

Privacy and public safety concerns abound when it comes to camera-mounted machines flying around.   That’s the primary reason the United States lags behind other nations in allowing unmanned vehicles for commercial use.  ,

Still, farmers with acres and acres of land want to keep an eye on their investment. Instead of spending days driving the edges of fields in a truck or ATV, farmers could use drone-mounted cameras to produce thermal image maps that can tell if crops aren’t properly irrigated or if they are being eaten by insects. For the complete article and to listen to the radio piece, click HERE!

This is also a Farm Hack project!


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