the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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DO YOU YUZU?

yuzufruit

Besides laying claim to the coolest name we can imagine for a citrus fruit, the Yuzu, a small citrus hailing from Japan and China, is renowned for its ability to withstand temperatures as cold as 10 degrees F. In Japan, chefs use the tart fruit for quintessential condiments including the Ponzu sauce you dip your dumplings into. Growers in the US might become excited about the tree as a citrus variety that it may conceivably be possible to grow in colder climates.

Four Winds Growers in Winters, CA provides Yuzu trees for sale, as well as a brilliant fact sheet on the fruit and several condiment recipes. Three cheers for cold-hearty citrus! Three cheers for making your own outrageously wonderful condiments!


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indispensable new guidebook for farms offering apprenticeship program

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There are two things that it is important for you to know before I say the following sentence: 1.the subject at hand is one that I have considered at great length and that is enormously near and dear to me hear; 2. bomb-diggity is not a phrase that I use lightly. Keeping that in mind, the Quivira Coalition’s new guidebook on agricultural apprenticeships is unequivocally the bomb-diggity. First of all, the PDF is free (though you can order a hard copy for $30). Secondly, unlike a few other guides and databases out there, the Quiviera Coalition’s publication speaks more to the would-be-farming mentors than to potential apprentices. Complete with a thoughtful foreword and introduction, teary-eye-inducing essays on what it means to be a mentor, a collection of case studies of apprenticeship programs in the US, and thoroughly useful appendices, it gets our “must read” stamp of approval for farmers and apprentices alike.

The agricultural apprenticeship sits simultaneously as one of the most beloved and also one of the most contentious institutions in new American sustainable agriculture. Almost every young farmer I know has done at least one apprenticeship. It acts as entryway, proving ground, and foundational base for careers in agriculture. However, at the same time, the past few years have seen debates over fairness and legality of apprenticeships on farms. Are they exploitative of workers? Do they place an undue and uncompensated burden on the farm?

One has to commit to the idea of practical education both for the apprentice and yourself. Remember, you are learning at least as much as the person you are teaching, just at different levels.

These people will:

  • Pester you with endless questions
  • Break your shovel handles
  • Burn up your clutch
  • Spoil your dog

    They will also:

  • Give you their heart and soul
  • Make you a much better manager
  • Teach you how to turn anger into teachable moments
  • Add to your life in ways that will astonish you.”

    – George Whitten, San Juan Ranch and NAP mentor

It is our belief that candid conversations and a defined set of standards within our community are necessary to foster apprenticeship programs that are mutually beneficial to farm, farmer, and apprentice. We need clear expectations, clear goals, and a lot of love for each other  in order to ensure that the knowledge this movement has gleaned over the last half century is passed down to, built upon, and carefully stewarded by the next generation. To this end, the Quivira Coalition has taken a large step: their guidebook should become a time-honored resource.

In their own words:

Effecting change at a systemic level requires widespread participation and dedicated effort, and yet none of us need singlehandedly change the world. By growing a strongly collaborative network of small, regional programs at work within their own communities and by learning from one another, we can make a significant difference for ranchers and farmers throughout the country. Our hope is that this guidebook will serve as a catalyst to develop this national network of people committed to agricultural apprenticeships and to growing the next generation of ranchers and farmers.


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Looking for some permaculture inspiration? Well, we’ve got some for you! Bustan Qaraaqa, in the West Bank’s Jerusalem, is a “permaculture project promoting sustainable, creative solutions to problems of environmental degradation and food and water insecurity facing the local community.”

Bustan Quraaqa’s website showcases some of the most beautiful and successful permaculture installations we’ve ever seen, with a large emphasis on rainwater harvesting.

Dependence on groundwater is incompatible with a future of water and food security for Palestinian community.  It is also a daily waste of resources chronically depressing agricultural production through soil salination.  The Beit Qad Farm is designed to harvest the winter rain and build soil humidity year after year for a verdant, thriving farm with no need for other water sources.

They research ecological farming techniques, harvest rainwater, and employ a host of environmental educators that teach school and community groups and occasionally offer permaculture design certification. The farm features a tree nursery, a food forest, and structures made from 100% locally recycled products.

We think they’d be a great project to support.


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Agrarian Trust Symposium speaker Kim Stringfellow’s cool ass project!

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The Mojave Project is really just kind of the bomb-diggety. But don’t take our word for it: to learn more, we recommend this absolutely gorgeous video. The project is an “experimental transmedia documentary led by Kim Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert.” Browse the current projects here.

And while we’re talking about the Mojave Project, they’re asking you to
SAVE THE DATE!
WHAT: We pleased to send you this SAVE THE DATE announcement about our autumn program OUR LAND 2: Tracing the Acequia Commons, a series of talks, exhibits and happenings to advance the broadening discourse on land commons and farmland futures.

WHERE: New Mexico! Most events Free and open to the public.

WHEN: November 9-17th in close association with the Quivira Coalition and Biodynamic Association annual conferences, Agrarian Trust invites you to join us in fine company  to approach topics of Public Trust, Acequia traditions and commons culture, emergent urban commons, water enclosures and new topographics; through lectures, documentary films, open archive exhibits and an walk along an Acequia irrigation ditch, flowing continuously for four centuries.

WHO: Mary Wood, Rick Prelinger, Kim Stringfellow, Tezozomoc, Devon Pena, Ruth Breach, Stanley Crawford, Wes Jackson, Emily Vogler, Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, Eric Holt Gimenez, Kate Levy… and more

 


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fund the library for food sovereignty!

Donate at the indigogo page here!

In the creators’ own words,

“A Growing Culture (AGC) is a global coalition that connects farmers to each other and to the resources they need to create an ecologically sound food system and prosperous planet. We are building the world’s first digital, open-access platform powered by farmers, for farmers. The Library for Food Sovereignty will make it possible for farmers to connect directly with each other for the first time, to compare ideas and approaches, and to join together to build a global food system that works for everyone without harming our planet.

We’ve already raised 2/3 of the money we need to create the Library; reaching our crowdfunding goal will enable us to finalize and perfect the basic model. We need your help to get there. Any donations above our goal will go towards the creation of more advanced functions.”