the irresistible fleet of bicycles


Leave a comment

show the country that farmer’s count!

facebook_survey

Greenhorns! It’s no secret that the National Young Farmers Coalition goes to Herculean efforts for young farmers across the country, from fighting lobbyists from big ag to make sure the farm bill addresses the needs of small farmers to advocating their chaps off for farmer student loan forgiveness programs. Now, it’s time to help them help you!

This year, like they do every five years, NYFC conducts their National Young Farmers survey in order to understand and elevate the issues that matter most to young farmers and aspiring farmers. The result of this survey help to define the organization’s policy goals and agenda. Since they launched the survey website a couple of weeks ago, a couple of thousand farmers have taken the survey, but they still need 3,000 more respondents to reach their goal of 5,000. Let’s go!

Young farmers and ranchers – what are the issues that matter most to you? What policy changes could help your business succeed? Take the National Young Farmers Survey today and let the nation know that FarmersCount! www.youngfarmers.org/survey


Leave a comment

occupied territory farmers tell their needs

Calendula seed

Calendula seed

From Via Campesina, the organization of peasants and agrarians across the world, comes a list of needs from farmers living and working in the occupied territories of Palestine. In early November a delegation of representatives from social, political, unions, and farmer organizations from Spain met with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) in Palestine to discuss needs of the rural communities.

From the statement:

[We see] the path toward Food Sovereignty as a tool for resistance, a way to feed their population and to maintain their culture and identity, to survive the violence of the occupation and to remain on their land – a path that in addition unites them in brotherhood with peasants and farmers throughout the world.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

this is what it looks like when MONSANTO rents the state house in Iowa

And this is what happens when activists like our hero Reverend Billy refuse to stand by silently. Brought to you by Occupy the World Food Prize, a response to the World Food Prize, an organization that gives millions of dollars to support agribusiness giants under the guise of trying to combat world hunger.


Leave a comment

new michael keaton film features the evolution of macdonalds

In the spirit of the old adage: If you can’t beat ’em… learn everything about ’em that you possibly can so that you can beat ’em later. “*

The Founder, written by Robert Siegel and starring Michael Keaton was in theaters everywhere last Friday.

*’Em, of course being the agribusiness giants that got us into this whole super-sized conglomerate of a food system to begin with.


Leave a comment

the conversation continues: hydroponics divorce people even further from the stewardship of the land

vertical-farm-916337_960_720

This recent submission to our series on whether or not hydroponics should be considered organic comes from Joanna Storie, a Doctoral candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of Estonian University of Life Sciences. She takes a similar stance on hydroponics to our last contributor, adding that hydroponics are not sustainable agriculture in that they divert attention from strengthening rural economies and reinforce urban ways of being that divorce people further from the land.

Have something to add? Email submissions to greenhornsblog@gmail.com.

In your recent blog you asked the question on whether hydroponics is organic or not and I have to agree that it is not. The following statement sums it up for me:


“Hydroponics may be a fine way to grow food and it might be an important part of how cities feed themselves in the future, but it’s no more a form of sustainable agriculture than producing wood fiber in a laboratory is a form of sustainable forest management.”

It also worries me that Hydoponics divorce people even further from the idea of stewardship of the land– which is something that makes the urban areas increasingly vulnerable, because– even if they can produce food in the cities using hydroponic techniques– this will not be the sum total of their food supply.

Recently I submitted an abstract for a conference, which took the position against urban-centric ways of structuring our society, arguing that “rural social networks need to be seen as inherently valuable to the resilience of the whole region.”

I think the hydroponics fits into the urban 24/7 mindset, which values cheap food and devalues rural social network,  thus exacerbating the situation of removing people further from the knowledge of healthy food and healthy environments.


Leave a comment

tomorrow on greenhorns radio! jeff conan on the devasting effects of palm oil production

oil_palm_plantation_in_cigudeg-05

Palm oil plantation in Indonesia. Photo by Archbad Robin Taim.

Tomorrow January 25th on the Heritage Radio Network, Greenhorns radio talks to Jeff Conan, Senior Forest Campains Manager at Friends of the Earth, a global activist network that campaigns for international environmental and climate justice. Much of Conan’s work focusses on the toxic legacy of palm oil production in Gautemala. Maybe you already knew that the production of this oil was rapidly spurring deforestation of some of the world’s most important rain forests, but were you also aware that the byproducts of its processing have a long legacy of polluting water sources as well?

As Conan writes in a September article on Medium.com, “One year ago, a series of spills dumped toxic palm oil effluent into the Pasión River where it runs through the municipality of Sayaxché in Guatemala’s Peten region. The spills were the latest in a long history of abuses associated with Guatemala’s palm oil industry — Continue reading


Leave a comment

walden today might have thoreau turning in his grave

samuel-oslund

In 1854 a fellow by the name of Henry David Thoreau published  a book entitled Walden, named after a small pond just outside Concord, MA. Part love letter to nature, part treatise on simplicity, Walden took the whole religion of modernity to task, from rail roads, to the media. The book mixes every day observations on simple living (cutting wood, growing beans) along with some pretty heavy philosophizing on the nature being and the joys of independence and self sufficiency.  Continue reading