the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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experimenting in decentralized urbanism

Piscataquis Villiage Project:

Our project was founded to establish the first compact, car free village in the United States. We will acquire a site of approximately 500 acres on which 125 acres will be developed. Regulatory approval for the project will be attained and necessary infrastructure installed in phases as needed. Though our project will not construct buildings, we will draft the street plan and simple design code, based on the best of traditional practices, that will guide the build-out of the site. Attached, durable and fire resistant buildings, no taller than a walkable height, will front on narrow streets, with continuous arcaded sidewalks offering shelter for the elderly and mobility challenged. Buildings will be arranged to create plazas, serving as markets and democratic meeting places for all classes of people, and will surround interior courtyards for more private space. All destinations will be within convenient walking distance, with vehicles garaged at the village perimeter. 375 acres of garden space, sufficiently sized for each household to raise a significant amount of food, will encompass the developed zone.

With an above average household density, this small-footprint project stands to offer steady employment in the building trades for generations, free of attendant development sprawl, and preserving the rural character of the Piscataquis River watershed. This unique mix of rural/micropolis offers the best of both worlds, inspiring to all ages, especially attractive to the self-employed, retired and mobility impaired, and is our best hope to counter the demographic winter that grips the rural counties of Maine. We are committed to the creation of a new paradigm in American urban planning. One that emphasizes humanity and human interactions to create a healthy, people-centered community. To learn more, click HERE!


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the living new deal

In the depths of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the American people a “New Deal.” Over the decade 1933-43, a constellation of federally sponsored programs put millions of jobless Americans back to work and helped to revive a moribund economy. The result was a rich landscape of public works across the nation, often of outstanding beauty, utility and craftsmanship.

No city, town, or rural area was untouched by the New Deal.  Hundreds of thousands of roads, schools, theaters, libraries, hospitals, post offices, courthouses, airports, parks, forests, gardens, and artworks—created in only one decade by our parents and grandparents—are still in use today.  The long-term payoff from this public investment helped propel American economic growth after the world war and is still working for the American people today.

Because these public works were rarely marked, the New Deal’s ongoing contribution to American life goes largely unseen. Given the scale and impact of the Roosevelt years across America, it seems inconceivable that no national register exists of what the New Deal built.  The Living New Deal is making visible that enduring legacy. Click HERE to read more!


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longest acres: a lovely blog

Nick Zigelbaum and Kate MacLean together with their young son run at small diversified Animal Welfare Approved farm on 120 acres in Chelsea, Vermont. Nick raises Milking Devon cows and Kate raises Icelandic sheep and Ossabaw pigs. The farm carries with it many chickens, dogs, a few goats, and a Jersey milking cow too.

February is my least favorite month. Fortunate then, for its 28 days. 30, or worse 31 and I would have left Vermont after that first winter. It snows every day in February. A law passed by the state legislature in 1892 requires it so. Coupled with a bone chilling cold and an utter lack of sun we spend hours looking at photos of summer wondering at the possibility.

Snow at this point in our winter has lost all novelty. Oh, its snowing says the mistress of the house as she descends in her pajamas that were yesterday’s clothes. Not, Oh! the exclamation when one has found a forgotten stash of Christmas chocolate. Rather, Oh, the resignation when your mate suggests cuddling up to The Walking Dead instead of The Good Wife.

Some afternoons, after shepherding my son from house to car to co-op to car to house the guilt of his winter imprisonment overcomes. There is a break in the snow.  I stuff his chunky appendages into tubes of wool and tunnels of down. I wedge the hand-me-down-woolen blob that was once my son into his sled and pile ratty blankets reserved for this purpose all around him. He is sufficiently shielded from Winter with only the triangle of his eyes and nose visible. The absence of any screaming tells me I can proceed. I tie the sled off to my belt and mush forth. Click HERE to read more!


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almanacs are here!

Our new Farmer’s Almanac has arrived!

In many hands already, almanac2015
It should be in yours!
Please check out our Etsy store for purchasing options.

The weather is unpredictable.
Spring is early.
Spring is late.
Hope Springs eternal.
Get an Almanac silly billy!

It’s a fun-as-heck miscellany of scar-tissue, life-slalom, and agrarian technology.

Steve Sprinkel, a local farm luminary from Farmer and The Cook in Ojai, CA says:

“The new wave resurgence in organic farming (SHOULD) interest editors at The New York Times, The Des Moines Register, Conde Nast Traveler and John Deere Tractor’s The Furrow magazine.

They’ll all want a copy of the Greenhorn’s recently published 2015 New Farmer’s Almanac because this tidy journal reveals why so many kids are heading back to the land. The Almanac trumpets their successes and confesses their failures. Their hopes and plans, observations, dreams and art have been dug and washed, laid in glowing, handy rows that make for a reader’s simple harvest. Find out why our perfectly intelligent youth are drawn to harsh, poorly-compensated labor performed in inclement weather: they believe you deserve something good. Community is calling”.

It has a lot going for it, 344 pages in total, locally printed, lovingly laid out, and ready for you.

Buy a box of them and sell them!


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audio from the techno utopia conference is now available online

45 LEADING SCHOLARS, AUTHORS AND ACTIVISTS (including our own Severine von Tscharner-Fleming) convened at The Great Hall of Cooper Union, New York City, for a public “TEACH-IN” on the profound impacts—environmental, economic and social—of runaway technological expansionism and cyber immersion; the tendency to see technology as the savior for all problems. A change of direction is required, returning the fate of nature to the center of economic and social decision making.

Click here to listen to the amazing panel discussions by this event.


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techno-utopia reading list!

Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures:
Cold Evil: Technology and Modern Ethics by Andrew Kimbrell
Buddhist Technology: Bringing a New Consciousness to Our Technological Future by Arthur Zajonc
The Community’s Role in Appropriate Technology by George McRobie
Books:
New Dimensions of Appropriate Technology: Selected Proceedings of the 1979 Symposium by Alfred L. Edwards
Appropriate Technology and Social Values: A Critical Appraisal by the American Academy Of Arts and Sciences, edited by Franklin A. Long and Alexandra Oleson
Soft Energy Paths: Towards a Durable Peace by Amory Lovins
Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy Of Industrial Agriculture by Andrew Kimbrell
Sowing Resistance: The Third World Speaks Out on Genetic Engineering by Anuradha Mittal and Ellen Hickey
The Future in the Balance: Essays on Globalization and Resistance by Anuradha Mittal and Walden Bello
The Culture of Technology by Arnold Pacey
Making Peace With the Planet by Barry Commoner
The End of Nature by Bill McKibben
The Age of Missing Information by Bill McKibben
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben
Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution by Brian Czech and Herman Daly
The Resurgence Of The Real: Body, Nature, And Place In A Hypermodern World by Charlene Spretnak
When Technology Wounds: The Human Consequences of Progress by Chellis Glendinning
Let Them Eat Data: How Computers Affect Education, Cultural Diversity, and the Prospects of Ecological Sustainability  by Chet A. Bowers
Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators by Clay Shirky
Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change by Clive Hamilton
Growth Fetish by Clive Hamilton
The God That Limps: Science and Technology in the Eighties by Colin Norman
The Circle by Dave Eggers
The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us To Choose Between Privacy And Freedom? By David Brin
The Arrogance of Humanism by David Ehrenfeld
Swimming Lessons: Keeping Afloat in the Age of Technology by David Ehrenfeld
Beginning Again: People and Nature in the New Millennium by David Ehrenfeld
The Uncertain Promise: Value Conflicts in Technology Transfer by Denis Goulet
Rays of Hope: The Transition to a Post-Petroleum World by Denis Hayes
Energy: Crisis or Opportunity?: An Introduction to Energy Studies by Diana Schumacher
Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age by Douglas Rushkoff
Schumacher on Energy by E. F. Schumacher
Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E. F. Schumacher
Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences by Edward Tenner
Gaia in Turmoil: Climate Change, Biodepletion, and Earth Ethics in an Age of Crisis by Eileen Crist and H. Rinker
Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation by Eileen Crist and Philip Cafaro
The Revolution of Hope: Toward a Humanized Technology by Erich Fromm
Ecotopia Emerging by Ernest Callenbach
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth by Gar Smith
Small Is Possible by George McRobie
Technophobia: Getting Out of the Technology Trap by Harold Hellman
Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer by Helen Caldicott
Ancient Futures: Lessons from Ladakh for a Globalizing World by Helena Norberg-Hodge
The Future of Progess: Reflections on Environment and Development by Helena Norberg-Hodge and Edward Goldsmith
From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture by Helena Norberg-Hodge and John Page
The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul
Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation by James Howard Kunstler
World Made by Hand: The World Made by Hand Novels, Book 1 by James Howard Kunstler and Jim Meskimen
The End of the Future: The Waning of the High-Tech World by Jean Gimpel
The Coming Energy Revolution: The Search for Free Energy by Jeane Manning
The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System by Jerry Mander
In the Absence of the Sacred by Jerry Mander
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander
Machina Ex Dea: Feminist Perspectives on Technology by Joan Rothschild
Green Wizardry: Conservation, Solar Power, Organic Gardening, and Other Hands-On Skills From the Appropriate Tech Toolkit by John Michael Greer
Not the Future We Ordered: Peak Oil, Psychology, and the Myth of Progress by John Michael Greer
Questioning Technology: Tool, Toy or Tyrant? by John Zerzan and Alice Carnes
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
An Electronic Silent Spring: Facing the Dangers and Creating Safe Limits by Katie Singer
Appropriate Technology Sourcebook: A Guide to Practical Books for Village and Small Community Technology by Ken Darrow and Mike Saxenian
Human Scale by Kirkpatrick Sale
Stepping Stones: Appropriate Technology and Beyond by Lane De Moll and Gigi Coe
Autonomous Technology: Technics-Out-Of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought by Langdon Winner
The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology by Langdon Winner
Proving Up: Domesticating Land in U.S. History by Lisi Krall
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy #1) by Margaret Atwood
The AT Reader: Theory and Practice in Appropriate Technology by Marilyn Carr
Tinker, Tiller, Technical Change by Matthew Gamser
Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us Or the Environment by Michael Huesemann and Joyce Huesemann
Architect or Bee?: The Human/Technology Relationship by Mike Cooley
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
Appropriate Technology: Problems and Promises by Nicolas Jéquier
Technology, Transfer and Human Values: Concepts, Applications, Cases by Peter B. Heller
Appropriate Technology: Technology with a Human Face by Peter D. Dunn
Radical Technology by Peter Harper
Earthwalk by Philip Slater
Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth by R. Buckminster Fuller
Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State by Ralph Nader
Unsafe at Any Speed by Ralph Nader
Appropriate Technology: Precepts And Practices by Ram Dass and Richard Alpert
Appropriate Visions: Technology, the Environment, and the Individual by Richard C. Dorf
The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies by Richard Heinberg
Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg
Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World by Richard Heinberg
Turning Away from Technology: A New Vision for the 21st Century by Stephanie Mills
On Gandhi’s Path: Bob Swann’s Work for Peace and Community Economics by Stephanie Mills
In Praise of Nature by Stephanie Mills
Epicurean Simplicity by Stephanie Mills
Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth by Tom Butler
Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit by Vandana Shiva
Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply by Vandana Shiva
Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis by Vandana Shiva
Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge by Vandana Shiva
Village Technology Handbook by the Volunteers In Technical Assistance (VITA), edited by Leonard Doak
New Roots for Agriculture by Wes Jackson
Becoming Native to This Place by Wes Jackson
Altars Of Unhewn Stone: Science And The Earth by Wes Jackson
Appropriate Technology in Industrialized Countries by Willem Riedijk
Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming by Winona LaDuke
All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life by Winona LaDuke
Taming the Tiger: The Struggle to Control Technology by Witold Rybczynski
Paper Heroes: A Review Of Appropriate Technology by Witold Rybczynski
Film/TV:
Surviving Progress (2011) written/directed by Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks
“The rise of personal robots.” 2010 by Cynthia Breazeal at TEDWomen.
“The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance.” (2014) by Hugh Herr at TED2014
Next Generation TV: Standing Up for Our Future (www.nextgeneration.tv)
Magazine:
Geez founded by Aiden Enns and Will Braun


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sail powered rum

Tres Hombres is an initiative that thrives on combined passions; sailing, traditional ships, shipbuilding, crew training, a Screen shot 2014-08-26 at 9.19.08 PMhealthy environment, good harmony and of course rum! Tres Hombres stands for enjoying life. Like a message in a bottle, the ship contains a dream about reviving traditional sailed cargo shipping, a dream that has already partly been fulfilled.

In the sixteenth century, when excise taxes were standardized, the illegal transport and trade of rum, known as rum running came to life. During the American prohibition in the twenties this trade form reached its climax. Tres Hombres follows this line of business, but contrary to what was the case with traditional rum running, this is a legal trade. However, the title rumrunner perfectly illustrates the buccaneer’s style and bravery of this entrepreneurship.

Tres Hombres ships rum from the Caribbean without fuel or an engine in the tradition of the old rumrunners, creating the world’s only Fairtransport rum. This is done by the ship: rumrunner ‘Tres Hombres’. It’s the first and only authentic rum runner to exist in this millennium! Since 2010, this ship transports specially produced editions of rum, making Fairtransport rum available only in Europe! The limited edition rum is loaded into the ship’s belly by hand. Depending on the weather, the rum spends up to two months in the hold of this engineless cargo ship. Man and ship fight the elements the way it used to be done in the old days, delivering their cargo safe, sound and dry at the homeport. All this is done by an environmentally friendly journey over the Atlantic Ocean.

This sustainable initiative is creating a name for itself within the international rum scene, with its premium rum, specially bottled and shipped, emission-free, from the Caribbean.

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