the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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taste hunters television

Another food travel show?! Yes. But this time, it’s different. Really. Taste Hunters: Les Explorateurs du Gout is a new travel show from France, whose chef travelers seek “food rebels and good food” and farmers who produce “closer to nature.” Perhaps some members of the Greenhorns readership will find their way on to this program!

Man with hat and rubber apron at dairy in cheese making activity with quotation text that reads "The quality of our product is our best way to survive."

Taste Hunters promotional photo. Photo subject is a cheese maker at Mull Farm in the U.K., which you can learn more about here: https://www.facebook.com/isleofmullcheese

Even if you can’t watch Food Hunters as broadcast television, you can view some of their videos and follow them online via:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/tastehunters

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tastehunters.org

Tumblr: http://tastehunters.tumblr.com

Bon courage, Greenhorns. The Food Hunters appreciate your efforts.

 

 


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how to spot income inequality from space? count the trees

A few weeks ago De Chant wrote in his blog, Per Square Mile, about a research paper he had come across that presented some interesting findings about how trees can be an indicator of income inequality. De Chant explained it in his post:

“[F]or every 1 percent increase in per capita income, demand for forest cover increased by 1.76 percent. But when income dropped by the same amount, demand decreased by 1.26 percent. That’s a pretty tight correlation. The researchers reason that wealthier cities can afford more trees, both on private and public property. The well-to-do can afford larger lots, which in turn can support more trees. On the public side, cities with larger tax bases can afford to plant and maintain more trees.”

It got De Chant thinking about whether it would be possible to actually see income inequality from space. So he did some googling. And he found that not only was it very easy to spot in cities across the United States, it was also evident in cities around the globe. See for yourself. Click HERE to read more!

Oakland, California:

Piedmont

West Oakland


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would you wear yeast perfume?

Article from newscientist.com

SITTING before me is a vial of cloudy white broth. Biologist Patrick Boyle invites me to take a sniff. To my amateur nose, the liquid smells green and sweet, a little like fresh-cut grass, a little like a bunch of flowers.

The concoction is a microbial perfume. Cooked up in the laboratories of Ginkgo BioWorks in Boston, it contains yeast that has been genetically engineered to smell of roses. Its ultimate purpose: to become part of a designer fragrance, one where its presence rivals the rose oils often used in luxury scents.

The “cultured rose” was born out of a marriage between Ginkgo – which bills itself as “the world’s first organism engineering foundry” – and Robertet, a French flavours and fragrance company founded in 1850. Robertet prides itself on the natural ingredients it uses in perfumes created for clients such as Chloé and Bottega Veneta, as well as its scents for household products like detergents.

Rose oil is a classic perfume component. Traditionally, roses are grown in vast fields in Bulgaria or Turkey, then picked by hand and distilled to extract the aromatic oil. But from the fragrance companies’ perspective, this approach is unreliable. Both the quality and the price of roses can fluctuate wildly from year to year, influenced by factors such as natural disasters, labour shortages, diseases or simply a poor growing season. “You have raw materials that will go from $10 to $100 a kilo because there’s a shortage or an embargo,” says Bob Weinstein, chief operating officer at Robertet. To read more, click HERE!

P.S- In case you haven’t seen this movie, it offers a different view of yeast perfumes.


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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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