the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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beet clock- an app that tracks how much you invest in a crop

BeetClock allows farmers to easily keep track of the labor and equipment hours that go into every crop.  The app was developed by a diversified organic vegetable farmer in order to quickly record the resources invested in each crop from seeding to sale. This is essential in order to see which crops are profitable. Do you want to figure out if you are really making money on snap peas after all that time spent harvesting? BeetClock can help! Users enjoy these features and more:

–        Keep track of the labor hours invested in each crop from seeding to sale

–        Record tractors and implements used in each job

–        Keep track of any number of ongoing jobs at one time

–        Record jobs after the fact

–        Customize crops, jobs and equipment

–        Summarize records by crop, job and equipment used

–        Send reports to your email inbox as a spreadsheet file

–        Integrate data with the NOFA Enterprise Analysis Workbook developed by Richard Wiswall

To learn more, click HERE!

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how big money buys off criticism

Robert Reich has a recent post called The Big Chill: How Big Money Is Buying Off Criticism of Big Money. It describes the subtle yet insidious ways in which big money controls forums in which conversations of change might otherwise take place, and the silence that is purchased from non-profits and universities who have wealthy donors to please.

Photo of Robert Reich

As Reich writes:

“It’s bad enough big money is buying off politicians. It’s also buying off nonprofits that used to be sources of investigation, information, and social change, from criticizing big money.”

It’s well worth reading. The allies we may think we have may have strings attached.

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coop 57: is it possible to undertake projects outside the market?

Greenhorns- this is a model to watch! Coop 57 gathers organizations from different fields with the aim of promoting a financial model based on ethics, solidarity and self-management that represent an alternative to traditional banking. Coop 57 offers loans and subsidies for the co-operative partners to be able to develop feasible projects that rest on sustainable development, labor rights and service to society. The partners decide which projects will contribute to a new model of “market”. One built upon social networks that allow people to have direct control of what is done with their savings. The difference between “micro-lending” and Coop 57 is that Coop 57 loans incur “social” interest rather than monetary.

Since January 2005, loans worth more than 10 million euros have been granted to projects in the social Catalan (Spain) economy directly tied to the promotion of cooperativism, employment, ecological sustainability, culture and education.. These monies have funded specialized schools, publishers, child care centers, social centers, bicycle repair projects, guerilla theater and street education.

To read more of this interview between Amy Franceschini of Futurefarmers and Javier Perez of Esosecha organic farm, CLICK HERE! 

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farm advocacy 101

upcoming webinar from RAFI USA


Farm Advocacy 101
Tuesday, March 11th, 3:00 – 3:45 pm ET
>> Click here to register.

Sitting across the table from a banker or a loan officer is often intimidating and scary, especially when the farm is on the line. Who can farmers depend on to sit on their side of the table and provide guidance, or at least act as a witness, a note-taker, a second set of eyes and ears? Since the Farm Crisis of the 1980s, farm advocates have helped farmers navigate the maze of regulations that govern agriculture and access to farm credit. Continue reading

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a young farmer designing/running a profitable perennial farm

For those of you out there  interested in permaculture and needing camaraderie in the young farmers growing perennials for a living realm, meet Grant Schultz of Versaland. He’s transforming a 145 acre corn and soybean farm in Iowa into a broad acre perennial farm, capturing grants from the USDA,  implementing farm hack strategies (electric tractor), and offering workshops.

grant schultz1

He was recently interviewed on the Permaculture Voices Podcast. Click to learn more about Grant and how he’s making it all happen.


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food business planning 101

Fare Resources is a Bay Area-based food and farm business consultancy building strong communities through food business consulting, company fare, and education. In March we are launching a 10-class business planning series for start-up and new food business entrepreneurs. In this series we will guide you through the process of writing a business plan and making your lofty IDEA a practical, possible REALITY. We feel strongly about offering business planning services at a fraction of the cost of the consulting work we do.  Continue reading