the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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find a treasure trove of old maine seed catalogs online

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Mary Pols, Jan. 17, 2016, Portland Press Herald

An amazing cache of old seed catalogs – many of them local, beautifully rendered and full of clues to vintage varieties and growing methods – is now digitized and available to anyone with Internet access. And if it weren’t for a Mainer, the collection might not even exist.

The Internet Archive is a nonprofit digital archive that houses an astonishing collection of material, all downloadable, from Grateful Dead bootlegs to Charlie Chaplin movies to random 20th century software programs. Archive.org is like a flea market in the cloud, without price tags.

Among that ephemera is a treasure trove of more than 18,000 seed and nursery catalogs dating back to the 18th century, all digitized and uploaded by the National Agricultural Library over the last two years. Eventually, the entirety of the Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection of more than 200,000 catalogs will be available for the public to browse electronically.

These catalogs, many of them beautifully illustrated, are more than just charming – they represent agricultural history. Their pages are littered with lost varieties and clues to how and what we grew in earlier centuries. They’ve always been available to the public, but until being digitized, that meant a trip to the fifth floor of the National Agricultural Library’s building in Beltsville, Maryland, where the originals are stored in an environment carefully controlled to high archival standards.

Now anyone with Internet access can see them. But if it weren’t for a Mainer born in Brunswick in 1878, this collection might not exist at all.

Continue reading HERE.


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here we go magic

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Tim Meyers, Meyers Farm. Bethel, Alaska. Photo: Meyers Farm website

NPR’s The Salt: “Alaskan Farmer Turns Icy Patch of Tundra Patch into a Breadbasket.”

But tapping that ultra-rich soil takes time. To prepare the land for farming, Meyers starts in June when the permafrost ground begins to melt a bit. He uses a tractor to clear the low-lying mossy lichen and other tundra plantlife that act as an insulator to keep the permafrost cold. Then, in July, he plows fields to loosen the soil and dislodge the remaining native plant roots.

In all, Meyers must spend as much as two years working a piece of land before he can plant it. And even then, the ground below the soil in which he farms is still ice.

Leif Albertson, who worked for Meyers for three summers prior to his current post as a Bethel-based extension agent for the University of Alaska, says Meyers’ farm is as magical as “Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. ” Visitors can transport themselves from the tundra to the jungle just by stepping into one of Meyers’ greenhouses. It could mean a difference of 40 degrees between the chilly tundra air and in the greenhouse.

If you’re curious about learning more, check out Meyer’s Farm website, which has photos, press, and audio from an interview with the farmer.


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handmade makers market ojai, ca

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Ojai, California.

Get your canned goods, pottery, organic body products, cards, handwoven and local plant dyed clothing, essential oil blends, local organic seeds, handmade sandals, fermented foods, goat milk soap, and so much more! Some makers will be demonstrating their crafts. Local nonprofits will have information and opportunites to donate to a good cause in the name of a loved one. Sip Coffee Connection organic coffee and local beverages, munch on tasty local, organic food and sweets and enjoy music by Todd Hannigan and friends. You can have your holiday card photo taken by tintype photographer Lindsey Ross (to sign up call 805.453.6927)

Poco Farm is a very magical place run by some very magical people. You won’t want to miss it!


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In case your family/ friends want to go on a trip… with food first!

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Our Tours

Food Sovereignty Tours offer you an opportunity to travel to international destinations to experience local food systems and the food sovereignty movement first-hand. Through one- to two-week educational tours, you will learn how you are connected to the global food system and acquire knowledge and strategies you can use to create just, sustainable and healthy food systems in your own community. On each tour, local hosts provide an overview of their country’s history, culture, politics, ecology and agriculture. We also meet with specialists to provide background on specific topics relating to the tour’s theme. With a firm commitment to sustainability and justice, Food Sovereignty Tours connects you to the farmers, consumers, activists, NGOs, policy-makers and experts working to transform the global food system. Check out our FAQ for additional information. In addition to the public tours listed below, we also offer private tours for your group of 8 or more.

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