the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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new york farm workers rally and walk for bargaining rights and decent working conditions


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Walking the 200 miles from Long Island to Albany, protesters stopped at City Hall in New York City last Saturday chanting si se puede. According to Democracy Now!the protesters are walking in support of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act (more about this from the ACLU), asking that farm workers have the right to collective bargaining, an optional day off every week, and overtime pay– rights people in virtually every other industry in the US take for granted. The walkers are led by Rural and Migrant Minstry, a NY-based nonprofit that supports rural and migrant communities in the state.

“I would like to say, each time you are eating, or each time you have something in your hands that you are going to eat, remember us, who do not have the rights that other workers have. And if you can, support us. We are going to be marching for another week and a few days. If you see us, it would be good if you support us by walking with us, maybe a couple of hours, one hour, for a day if you can. That would be very good.”

Heriberto Gonzalez, former farm worker, and fellow at Rural & Migrant Ministry

Greenhorns! Let us join them where we can! They will be marching until May 31 and you can find their schedule, route, and updates here.

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podcast spreads a brief history of butter in ireland



“If you have this much milk on your  hands, you’re likely to make good use of it.” Ireland, with its lush vibrant farmland, was once the global hub of butter production. Food comes from and for people, and dairy is embedded in the history of the place as it weathered the Middle Ages, British colonization, and perhaps its most formidable enemy, the anti-butter movement of my parents’ generation. The earliest vernacular writing on milk, cheese, and butter comes from Ireland, dating back to the early Middle Ages. Today, it is an indispensable everyday food for many and a living, changing account of Irish culture.

Butter Enthusiasts and skeptics alike: listen to the Eat This podcast, “A Brief History of Butter,” HERE !


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the water grabbing begins…

Hank Vogler spent the last 40 years building his dream ranch in the arid lands of eastern Nevada. But a plan to transfer water from ranches like his to slake the thirst of Nevada’s largest city threatens his livelihood.  This sheep rancher says he won’t give up without a fight.

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crop insurance reform

Federal crop insurance is the major farm safety net program. It is also the costliest program outside the nutrition title of the federal Farm Bill. Unlike most other Farm Bill programs, there are no limits on crop insurance subsidies and only minimal conservation requirements.
This makes the program ripe for reform. We predict action on federal crop insurance will be among the most contentious issues during the 2018 Farm Bill debate. We have identified 4 key areas for changes, click HERE.

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need more acres: great farm name, sweet video

Need More Acres farm owners Nathan and Michelle discuss the necessity of diversified vegetable farms and increasing food access. This is a beautiful and heart-felt little video about a family passionate about the work that they do: providing a multi-farm CSA to 35 families; organizing a community market to make more food available in their region; and engaging in the slow, sometimes tedious, but ultimately critical work of reforming our food system from the roots up.

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I first came across David Mas Masumoto’s memoir Epitaph for a Peach a few years ago, lucky enough be required to read it in a lit class. In sympathetic prose Matsumoto describes learning the hard, slow way–by trial and sometimes devastating error–how to maintain a viable business for his family’s organic fussy stunningly delicious peaches.

Now, whenever I eat a peach, the farmer’s reverent descriptions of the fruit run in the sticky fragrant juice down my wrists. The floral, heady sweetness of a summer’s harvest have become no less compelling for Masumoto, who is the third generation in a Japanese family’s American tale of running their peach farm in central California.

And the good news is! : Throughout May,  PBS is screening the story of his daughter Nakiko’s homecoming to the family farm. A year-in-the-life is marked by the changing seasons and beginnings of a changing of hands as Nakiko prepares to step into her father’s boots.

Check your local PBS Station for show times (they vary by location) or find them listed on the Masumotos’ website HERE.


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