the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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crop planning resources for farmers

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‘Tis the season for nailing down your crop plan for the Spring! (Hypothetically, this would have been on our to-do lists for early December ago, but I can’t be the only one whose holidays got the better of her business agenda, right?) Is this your first time crop planning? Looking to upgrade your system? Maybe you’re feeling a little lost or a little down-to-the-wire. Here’s a collection of resources to make the process a little easier:

1. Penn State’s guide to making plans for the season: specifically for CSA farms, but this advice is adaptable to market and whole sale farms as well. Basic, comprehensive, and
2.  “Crop master” spreadsheet to model off of: comprehensive, super-logical, easy to follow, and easy to replicate– provided you are familiar with inserting formulas into spreadsheets.
3. A template that you can edit: a template from Tom Becker of Sunseed Farm, which will potentially save first-time veggie farmers a lot of time and energy: the sheet includes already-made formulas and already input crop information. Note: will have to be adjusted to reflect individual USDA zones.
4. Collection of great links/resources on the subject: “everyone’s brain works differently.”


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according to tech wizard lu yoder, this is the machine that he’s recommend if living in a boat, small apparent, or out of a station wagon in winters

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This vintage machine with heavy gauge steel mechanics is on long-term loan to AMT. It is installed in a cabinet specifically for sewing (do not remove). The Singer 401-A is a good strong machine capable of sewing heavy materials such as Canvas, Denim, Sunbrella, Duck Canvas, & leather as well as light weight materials. Before using please attend the short training.

Tool lead: Crafty Rachel

Training: Every other monday, during the textiles lab hours (see calendar)

Maintenance: Monthly = Oil and run according to the instructions in the manual. Annually (with heavy use) – Proffessional service which usually runs about $135.

Maintenance log: July 9, 2012 – Service at Berkeley Vacuum and Sewing Center $150

Manual: External link to PDF

Features:

  • Slant Needle
  • drop in bobbin
  • twin/double needle stitching capable
  • adjustable needle position
  • 28 built in stitches
  • Singer Stitch
  • (and a bunch more stuff)

Attachments:

  • 5 Bobbins
  • Straight stitch foot
  • throat plate
  • Button foot
  • Special Purpose foot
  • Seam Guide
  • Narrow Hemmer
  • Ruffler,
  • Singer stitch discs numbers 1 thru 5


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developing the grape cultivars of the future

With a focus on disease resistance and hardiness, researchers are hard at work developing the grape cultivars of the future.

Through a multidisciplinary collaborative project called VitisGen, researchers are are working to decrease the time, effort, and cost of developing these new grapes.

According to the VitisGen website, the project “incorporates cutting-edge genomics technology and socioeconomic research into the traditional grape breeding and evaluation process, which will speed up the ability to identify important genes related consumer-valued traits like disease resistance, low temperature tolerance and enhanced fruit quality.”

To learn more about VitisGen, click HERE!

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Today, in incredibly awesome things made available by the internet, a new(ish) website  called Vintage Aerial provides access to over 5 million photos, taken in 41 states over the second half of the twentieth century.

Looking to find an aerial photograph of a specific farm, homestead, or rural township? The librarians at the site are nearly positive that they can find it for you, and for no cost! Prints of the photographs are then made available.

Just looking to browse the visual rural history of this country? Many of the prints are available to view online— many accompanied by stories from current or previous owners.


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call out for great holiday gifts

It may not be a samurai sword, but these tools are about as close to one as you can get! Hida Tool and Hardware Company features exceptional tools from Japan. Hida Tool is your source for woodworking tools, gardening tools, and kitchen knives that continue the metalworking traditions of the samurai sword makers.

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History of Japanese Tools:

In Japan during the period when samurai existed, katana (Japanese swords) were commonly used and increased in popularity as close-combat warfare evolved.

The swords were hand forged from professional blacksmiths (sword smiths). The steel (combined carbon steels) gets hammered and heated numerous times to increase the sword’s durability. This process of pounding and other techniques used to create a sword eventually was utilized for manufacturing many tools in Japan.

In 1876 the Meiji Government issued an edict to outlaw Japanese swords. It was a hard time for samurai, but the blacksmiths who produced swords were also out of business.

As a way to pass down the skill of tool forging and continue business, many blacksmiths decided to create woodworking, gardening tools and kitchen cutlery instead. Around this period, woodworking in Japan was also going through changes; high-quality tools to increase efficiency were in demand. Combining the skills of Japanese sword forging, the tools evolved in the quality of their cutting edges and durability.

Order your Hida Tool HERE!


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patagonia starts to sell peasants’ food

What we eat does more than just fill our stomachs and nourish our bodies; good food lifts our spirits and helps us understand the world a little better.

We aim to make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and perhaps most important, inspire solutions to the environmental crisis. And nowhere is the crisis more pressing than in the food industry.

To get your hands on fruit & almond bars made only from organic fruit, nuts, seeds and juice,buffalo jerky sourced from free-roaming American bison, soup deliciously good in every way and lightly smoked wild sockeye salmon, click HERE.