the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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documentary: the hand that feeds

The Hand That Feeds trailer from Robin Blotnick, a film on reforming the food system by organizing from the ground up for fair wages, fair working conditions, and collective bargaining rights. This is a rare story in which workers, with tenacity beyond imagination, are actually able to defeat the giant. It is also a good reminder that food justice work in the United Staes should be inherently intertwined with immigration reform.


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Agrarian Trust Symposium speaker Kim Stringfellow’s cool ass project!

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The Mojave Project is really just kind of the bomb-diggety. But don’t take our word for it: to learn more, we recommend this absolutely gorgeous video. The project is an “experimental transmedia documentary led by Kim Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert.” Browse the current projects here.

And while we’re talking about the Mojave Project, they’re asking you to
SAVE THE DATE!
WHAT: We pleased to send you this SAVE THE DATE announcement about our autumn program OUR LAND 2: Tracing the Acequia Commons, a series of talks, exhibits and happenings to advance the broadening discourse on land commons and farmland futures.

WHERE: New Mexico! Most events Free and open to the public.

WHEN: November 9-17th in close association with the Quivira Coalition and Biodynamic Association annual conferences, Agrarian Trust invites you to join us in fine company  to approach topics of Public Trust, Acequia traditions and commons culture, emergent urban commons, water enclosures and new topographics; through lectures, documentary films, open archive exhibits and an walk along an Acequia irrigation ditch, flowing continuously for four centuries.

WHO: Mary Wood, Rick Prelinger, Kim Stringfellow, Tezozomoc, Devon Pena, Ruth Breach, Stanley Crawford, Wes Jackson, Emily Vogler, Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, Eric Holt Gimenez, Kate Levy… and more

 


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hawaiins fight in court to preserve GMO ban

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In case you missed it, two weeks ago, our friends and allies at the Hawai’i Center for Food Safety took five cases through the 9th circuit appeals court focusing on the rights of local communities to regulate and legislate genetically engineered seed crops and pesticide use. The video embedded below has the live recording of court proceedings. Scroll to 1:40:00 to see CFS lawyer Andy Kimbrell in action in court. See fellow CFS lawyer Sylvia Wu speak about the impacts of these cases here.


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fund the library for food sovereignty!

Donate at the indigogo page here!

In the creators’ own words,

“A Growing Culture (AGC) is a global coalition that connects farmers to each other and to the resources they need to create an ecologically sound food system and prosperous planet. We are building the world’s first digital, open-access platform powered by farmers, for farmers. The Library for Food Sovereignty will make it possible for farmers to connect directly with each other for the first time, to compare ideas and approaches, and to join together to build a global food system that works for everyone without harming our planet.

We’ve already raised 2/3 of the money we need to create the Library; reaching our crowdfunding goal will enable us to finalize and perfect the basic model. We need your help to get there. Any donations above our goal will go towards the creation of more advanced functions.”


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declaration against the criminalisation, persecution and judicialization of the struggle for the defence of life, rights, land, water, seeds and mother earth

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International Conference on Agrarian Reform

La Via Campesino, The Peasant’s Movement
Marabá, 15 April 2016

From 13 to 17 April 2016, in Marabá, Pará, Brazil, more than 130 delegates from 28 countries around the world were brought together as part of La Vía Campesina and allied movements, as part of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform, a symbol of the fight for freedom for men and women in the fields, the mangroves and on the sea. The aim of the conference was to draw up a much-needed proposal for Popular Agrarian Reform to override capitalist and neoliberal expansion. 

At this time of struggle and resistance for peoples of the world, we debated thecriminalisation, persecution and judicialization of the struggle for the defense of life, rights, land, water, seeds and mother earth, promoted by capitalist interests imposing political, economic, military and social terrorism. This all occurs with the consent of State Governments by means of their lethal projects such as extraction-based infrastructure projects, or capitalist ‘development’ (tourism, carbon markets, mining, hydroelectricity, monoculture, agribusiness, industrial agriculture and mariculture), as well as the militarisation of our lands. Deprivation, social instability and repression are widespread as a result of systematic assassinations, massacres, forced disappearances, high rates of femicide, imprisonment and arbitrary detention, intimidation, harassment and threats, prosecution of leaders, forced migration and wars against ordinary people.

On top of this there is political instability with the purpose of maintaining an imbalance among populations over the world, as well as frequent coups on the US government’s radar, a state which begins by creating unstable, failed states, as is the case in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, South Africa, and the current attempted coup against the Brazilian people and the systematic meddling in the Venezuelan process.

We see collusion between the State, private companies, corporations and elites who create a culture of impunity that allows perpetrators to escape unpunished.

Faced with this wave of unbridled criminalisation of those of us who defend water, land, mangroves, sea, territory and life, we denounce and call for the punishment of those responsible for thousands of assassinations of social leaders, we denounce the legal prosecution of thousands of campaigners, we call for the liberation of thousands of political prisoners, we denounce the extreme case of the assassination of Berta Cáceres, one of the most symbolic leaders in the fight against capital plundering and a campaigner for peace in Honduras. We urgently need an end to the criminalization of the fight for land, mangroves and sea, and the social struggle.

Today, more than ever, we reaffirm that our fight is part of the defence of human rights and life. For life we give everything, for death we give nothing.

Throughout our lifelong struggle, not one moment of silence for our dead!

 

La Via Campesino is an international movement  that seeks to unite peasants, landless, woman farmers, and rural youth to fight to defend and promote small-scale sustainable agriculture as a lifestyle and livelihood. Read more about their work here! And check out our 2011 blog post about their food sovereignty youth training program.


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real estate boom pinches a produce supply in the hudson valley

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Photo by Preston Schlebusch for The New York Times 

STONE RIDGE, N.Y. — Apple trees have blossomed, and soon fruit will begin emerging at Elizabeth Ryan’s orchard in the Hudson Valley. Before long, her harvest will head south to Manhattan, where Miro Uskokovic, the pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern, will use it to create an apple and carob cake, while Michael Anthony, the executive chef at the Studio Cafe inside the Whitney Museum of American Art, will turn it into an apple compote spread over pie dough and covered with a streusel.

Ms. Ryan’s apples are also on school-lunch menus and sold at farmers markets all over the city. Her farm, Stone Ridge Orchard in Ulster County, is part of a rapidly expanding pipeline that carries fruits and vegetables from farms across New York State to consumers clamoring for fresh ingredients grown in soil not far away.

But the demand for locally grown foods is colliding with another powerful force: a booming real estate market, particularly in the Hudson Valley, driven by waves of newcomers from New York City, perhaps drawn by the region’s natural beauty, more relaxed pace and less expensive housing. The boom is gobbling up family farms as owners choose to cash in on the surging value of land rather than grapple with the perennial challenges of slim profit margins, high taxes, long hours and fickle weather.

The number of farms in New York State has been declining steadily, to 35,537 in 2012 from 38,264 in 1997, according to the most recent five-year census conducted by the Department of Agriculture. And since 1982, real estate development has swallowed more than 471,000 acres of the state’s farmland, according to data compiled by the American Farmland Trust, a preservation group.

Now a group of New York City lawmakers has teamed up with another preservation group, the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, to create a plan to preserve the region’s existing food system. As part of the initiative, lawmakers are seeking for the first time to set aside money in the municipal budget for the preservation of farmland in the Hudson Valley.

“The risk to farmland is a risk to healthy food for New York City residents,” Councilman Daniel R. Garodnick, Democrat of Manhattan, said.

Get the full story HERE!


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“this soil is fertile.”

Artists from South Sudan, a new country fraught with internal conflict, make a case for the power of community agriculture in their music video. As they sing, rap, and comb through fields of corn, okra, and sorghum, their message is clear: There’s rich soil in Sudan, and it will improve the lives of people if they decide to use it–but it’s up to them to start digging.

Check out the behind-the-scenes interviews, too, for words from The Jay Family about why they feel farming can help the people of Sudan. Yuppie Jay says, “People blame the governor when something goes wrong. But at our homes we need to put things right. We need to go, to present to the government that we have made this, we have crops, we have farms. Then the government can support with money for roads, for tractors. But we can’t wait for the government to fix all our problems. We need to arrange ourselves and be where we are.”

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