the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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talkin healthcare for farmers

Farmer Taylor Hutchinson photo credit: Kathleen Masterson/VPR

Taylor Hutchinson – photo credit: Kathleen Masterson/VPR

Folks, this is a pretty important conversation!

Already on the margins of income, new farmers face an especially challenging prospect when it comes to budgeting for health insurance.

The good people over at Vermont Public Radio recently did a show on the difficulties of trying to navigate the world of health care for farmer businesses.

UVM rural sociologist and researcher Shoshanah Inwood says when they asked farmers about issues they faced she expected to hear about cost of land, inputs, neighbors, but was surprised to learn that health care was on all the participants minds.

“The number one issue facing farmers was the cost of health insurance. They identified that as the biggest threat to their farm,” she said.

“Well, how many people know a farmer that has an injury? Or a farm family that has a chronic health issue? Or a mental health issue?’ And everybody’s hand goes up,” Inwood said. “And that’s the one issue we really never talk about, are some of those social needs that farm families have.”

Let’s just say this now: health care as a right not a privilege!

You can hear the VPR interview with farmer Taylor Hutchinson (Footprint Farm) and read the full article here 

 


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urban farming fellowships in berkeley, california

If you’re between the ages of 21 and 31 and looking for an incredible opportunity to learn about urban farming, listen up! Urban Adamah in Berkeley, CA is now accepting applications for its three-month fellowship program. Not only do you learn the ins and outs of growing delicious organic food in the city, but the program also incorporates social justice training, mindfulness, and progressive Jewish learning and living. No prior experience is needed.

Entering its 5th year of educating young farmers, the fellowship has a fee on a sliding scale between $600 and $3000, which includes housing, food, and all program-related expenses. There are opportunities in the spring, summer, and fall, but apply soon as spots fill up quickly.

Learn more by watching the video above and clicking HERE.


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“agriculture has been one of the greatest blessings and curses to civilization”

Mark Shepard.jpg

Curious about the title to this post? An upcoming three-day workshop in Stephentown, NY will dive deep into our problematic agricultural system and how permaculture and restorative practices can provide solutions. Taught by restoration agriculture guru Mark Shepard, the workshop runs from April 28th through April 30th at beautiful Back the Land Farm.

As we have inherited the tradition, agriculture requires massive inputs of energy to sow, harvest, and spread various biocides.   This has had devastating effects on the environment and society.  Restoration Agriculture seeks to use what we know about ecology to create food-producing systems that will require no additional energy inputs and  yield an abundance for generations to come.

It will be a fun and inspirational weekend! Camping is available on site, lunch and dinner are provided, and the whole kit and caboodle costs $550 with some early bird discounts available. Learn more and buy tickets HERE and read Mark Shepard’s bio HERE.


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real leaders lovin climate

climate-lovin

In the age of twitter leadership and instagram bill signings occasionally we see something that’s worth mention.

The Swedish government has just signed a new climate action plan that commits to phasing out greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2045. Really no need to contrast that historic decision with the likes of which we have been seeing here on US soil. In fact let’s leave it to a photo which, as we know, seem to say a lot more than words these days. In the above picture Isabelle Lovin, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister, is signing the bill surrounded by her all female staff.

I don’t know, let’s just close with #realleadership

check this article out for inspiration.

 

 


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ann arbor: historic biodynamic farm seeks head farmer(s)

fruit-mantis

Photo Credit: The Community Farm of Ann Arbor

Attention all experienced biodynamic farmers! The Community Farm of Ann Arbor is seeking a head farmer or head farmers. Located in the greater Ann Arbor area, there are almost too many pros to list for this beautiful historic farm, but we’ll give it a shot:

  • established in 1988, it was the first CSA in Michigan
  • an opportunity to learn from retiring farmers Anne and Paul, who have 26 years of experience
  • they have a cow, 4 goats, bees and “a flock of chickens named Jessica”
  • they use a solar tractor!
  • the farm has a non-exempt educational arm, which means farm tours and teaching opportunities
  • serves a dedicated community of close to 80 families

Interested applicants (as an individual OR a team) should click HERE to learn more about the position and the farm. They’re looking to hire soon, pay is dependent on experience, and consider these two things while you’re applying:

The two most important aspects of the farm are that it is Biodynamic and that it is a CSA. Ideal candidates will have: a familiarity with Biodynamics and a willingness to undertake the spiritual work it requires, and a commitment to original CSA principals in operating through the development of consensus.


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new farmers almanac III release feb 14: preorder while supplies last!

gh-nfa-vol-iii

This Valentine’s Day, skip the imported roses,  bad movies, and the woeful commodification of romance: instead, pre-order the third edition of the New Farmers Almanac for your radically regenerative community-seeking friends, family, and self! The Almanac is set to release February 14, and trust us when we say that nothing else says love quite like 360 pages of original agrarian content in the search of a just alternative economy and lifestyle.

Volume III: The Commons features essays, cartoons, imagery and historical snippets and harnesses the wisdom of over 120 contributors from our community of new farmers and ranchers. This volume explores the theme of The Commons, drawing from folklore, mathematical projections, empirical, emotional, and geographical observations of theory and praxis.

This tidy volume holds a civil, lived testimony from people whose work, lifeworld, and behavior patterns beamingly subvert the normative values of the macro economy called America.


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erotic farm fiction

erotic fiction, greenhorns, farmer fiction

This weekend we would like to steer you towards Artemisia Rae’s  White Oak Summer, an erotic romance novel, that blends sex and farming into a lovely little fireside read.  When she’s not writing blush-worthy prose Rae is farming and helping run a local seed cooperative in Boise, Idaho.

The synopsis:

White Oak Summer is a story about self-discovery. To escape from a dead end job and a life without purpose, Kelsie Thompson accepts an internship on an organic farm. In lush western Oregon farm country, White Oak Farm owners Dana and Craig become Kelsie’s mentors in life and in love. Dana instructs her on the fine art of beekeeping and the luscious intricacies of the plant kingdom. Craig has different things to teach Kelsie and not all of them have to do with farming. Their neighbor – hunky goat farmer Joshua Murphy- complicates things with his own agenda, while the other interns struggle to find their own places in farm life. As the season unfolds, Kelsie learns as much about her sexual interests as she does about growing vegetables. With the inherent sensuality of the natural world as her backdrop, she reaps what she sows.

One reviewer exclaimed, “farm stories with sex scenes.” I can’t help but recall Kristin Kimball’s words from the Dirty Life when, out of sheer seasonal exhaustion, she and Mark began referring to farmer sex as touching hands… This sounds like a superb addition to farm fiction canon 🙂

click here for the book: