the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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our land 2: moving towards an autonomous food system, NM, nov 9-15

November 9-17th, in Albuquerque and Santa Fe New Mexico.
This will be the second Agrarian Trust OUR LAND symposium, and once again we’ve got speakers from around the country and around the region focusing our attention, analysis, activism and collective agency on issues relevant to your regional foodshed.
This event is presented by Agrarian Trust and has a focus on Land access, land transition and the issues underlying ownership and management of the territory required for an autonomous and sovereign food system.
The central themes of this symposium center on land-use and governance regimes of the southwest region.  We will learn about the acequias, a system of irrigation ditch commons brought by the Spanish. The history, management regimes and future prospects of this system represent a powerful curriculum for other commons-based systems. Can these ditch commons be explained to include their uplands and headwaters, or will ditch rights be lost to privatization and sold to developers?

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slow money decelorator, boulder, co, oct. 21


Slow Money is hosting the world’s first Decelerator on October 21st, bringing together all who care about Colorado food systems and want to find new ways to invest in them!
The day-long event will take place at beautiful Lone Hawk Farm, just north of Boulder. Learn more and register at

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eeee, acequias! our land symposium, northern NM, nov. 9-17


OUR LAND 2: Tracing the Acequia Commons

A Symposium about land transition, continuity, and commons.

NOVEMBER 9-17th 2016
Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico

Films. Talks. Exhibit. Acequia Walk.

  • Can our regions shift towards food sovereignty?

    Can our agrarian systems become more harmonious with their wild habitat?

    Can we maintain our traditional commons?

The complete program, speakers bios, schedule and locations are all on the website (or scroll down to see the full schedule of events)

You can learn about the work of the speakers at the event’s facebook page, where we’ve posted videos, articles, and links.

Speakers include:  Mary Wood, Ruth Breach, Rick Prelinger, Kim Stringfellow, Sylvia Rodriguez, Allyson Siwik, Tezozomoc, Eric Holt-Gimenez, Miguel Santiestevan, Devon Pina, Stanley Crawford, and Alex Pino.

Artists include: Sharon Steward, Kim Stringfellow, Emily Volger, Ildi Carlise-Cummings, Kaitlin Bryson, Nancy Dewhurst, Erin Fussell, Bill Gilbert, Andrea Gohl, Ryan Henel, Catherine Harris, Jeanette Hart-Mann, Cecilia McKinnon, Sarah Molina, Hollis Moore, Hamshya Rajkumar, Kacie Smith, Molly Zimmer, Rachel Zollinger, and more!

OUR LAND 2 has a focus on the lessons of the acequia irrigation commons, a 400 year old system that supports dryland agriculture.




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



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.