the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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maine asks trump to make sail freight a reality

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Or, well, almost. As you may remember, two summers ago, the Greenhorns loaded a schooner with 10 tons– $70,000 worth of cargo– and sailed it from Maine to Boston to sell at markets in the city. And then, the NEWSAG conference held a “FoodBarge Hack” lunch at their annual conference. The Portland Press Herald said of the project, “It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.”

It looks like Maine’s Department of Transportation might actually agree. As BDN Maine reports, “The National Governor’s Association submitted its members’ wish lists to the Trump administration last week. The overall list isn’t being made public, but the Maine Department of Transportation is releasing its proposal: almost half a billion dollars for improving the state’s roads and bridges and to jump-start a project that would revive a long-dormant coastal barge route, from Maine to New York City.” They’re calling it the “New England Marine Highway.”

Though the Greenhorns would like to see a less fossil-fuel dependent model than tug-boat-pulled barges, we’re glad to see people thinking more creatively about viable ways to move goods from agricultural areas to regional markets. Put a sail on that barge— or, oh we don’t know, a solar panel, a hydrokinetic turbine, or some draft power— and we’re all for it!

Missed Maine Sail Freight, read more here!


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greenhorns releases: MANIFESTA!

We are so proud of this awesome collaboration. If you’ve been wondering how a maritime art stunt fits into the mission of an organization that supports farmers (I mean, talk about your landlubbers!), this publication is for you! Manifesta lays out the story, history, discourse, and activism behind the Maine Sail Freight project last summer! The un-monograph is a fun and galvanizing read, and we think it is going to make a real believer out of you!

This is a story about a group of young farmers staging a pageant-like protest about the terms of trade in our agricultural economy, and the nature of transportation and exchange within that model.

It’s an elaborate stunt, invoking colonial history and the maritime ex- traction economy of coastal Maine as a platform for discourse on a more regional, more prosperous, and more diverse food economy for the future.

We claim the ocean as an ally and a commons—a venue to imagine what a world where 60% of the retail price goes to the farmer, and view- point from which to watch the farmers of the region operate, and co-oper- ate to circulate wealth and add value. We raise a flag for food sovereignty on the mast of our sail boat.

We are not content to labor where 70% of the agricultural work is performed by those without citizenship. We are not content to operate
in a high-volume, low-value commodity extraction economy. We are not content to be silent while our nation negotiates yet more free trade agree- ments freeing only those at the top of the capitalist slag heap and chaining the rest of us to their terms.

This project is our retort!


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free webinar on collaborative trade and fair markets

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Yellow Seed, a nonprofit organization that facilitates connections between farmers and fair markets, recently partnered with Impact Hub Berkley, a social impact working hub out of the Bay Area, to host six curated working groups to focus on Collaborative Trade. The project was called From the Ground Up: Change Accelerator and aimed to “design healthy, global food supply chains where farmers are treated as equal partners and like-minded organizations work together to accelerate the shift towards sustainability.”

Small farmers, social justice groups, and some big names of the chocolate industry participated. (See the Yellow Seed blog for more detailed information!) To bring the sessions to a close, the groups are inviting anyone interested to take place in a webinar that will present the key findings of the working groups. The “welcome all curious minds, open hearts and everyone interested in learning about how we can revolutionize our global food supply chains together.”

Anyone interested has the choice of joining either of the two webinars:

Session A: Fri, Apr. 8, 2016 12:00PM – 1:30PM PDT

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/521009293
You can also dial in using your phone: United States +1 (312) 757-3121
Access Code: 521-009-293

Session B: Mon, Apr. 11, 2016 6:30pm – 8:00pm PDT
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/413804301
You can also dial in using your phone: United States +1 (224) 501-3212
Access Code: 413-804-301


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maine history online: trade and transport

Future French Foreign Minister Charles de Talleyrand-Périgord journeyed to Maine a few years after the American Revolution scouting economic opportunities for his employers.

While he wasn’t overly impressed with some segments of Maine society –lumbermen and fishermen were particularly suspect –he was awed by its coasts, so favorable to shipping, and believed in its promise, as yet unrealized.

Hardly noticed by the rest of the country (even Massachusetts, according Talleyrand), Maine was nonetheless “destined by nature to play an important role in the American federation.”

Talleyrand explained further, “One can only auger well of a great province, which combines healthfulness and fertility, whose whole coast is one vast harbor of the sea, which is watered by rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, and streams in abundance according to the most fortunate distribution.”

Maine’s location provided not just the raw materials necessary for scraping a living from the land, but also connected vast natural enterprises – fishing, quarrying, lumbering among others – to global markets via Maine-built ships of extraordinary design.

Click HERE to read more!


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foodbargehack: planning a new food waterway

Sunday March 13th at the 2016 Just Food Conference
New York City

The FoodBargeHack is a brainstorming and educational event sponsored by the Lower Hudson Long Island Resource Conservation & Development Council (LHLIRCD), bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders and passionate participants. We seek experts in transportation logistics, food distribution, agricultural product aggregation, food hubs, sustainable technologies and/or regional food systems.

Join us at the 2016 Just Food Conference on Sunday March 13th, where we will host two campaign action sessions with the goal of planting the seeds for a new food waterway.

Together, we will envision an energy efficient, sustainable regional food transportation system via our state’s waterways. We will focus on how to connect mid-sized upstate farmers with underserved NYC neighborhoods using a barge on the Hudson River, and challenge the status quo. With your help, we will achieve a viable alternative to food filled trucks on our roads.
Just Food is an incredible NYC based non-profit that supports community leaders to advocate for and increase access to healthy, locally-grown food, especially in underserved NYC neighborhoods. Every year, in addition to producing an expansive, educational and empowering food conference, Just Food connects a quarter million New Yorkers to fresh food in their neighborhood through its network of community food projects.