the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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to reduce food waste, farm insects

It’s called protaculture, and Robert Olivier has made it accessible using an invention he calls the “biopod.” The idea is simple: put food waste into an enclosed space with the black soldier fly to bioconvert the food into proteins and fats that can then be used for livestock feed. Unlike composting, the biopod can even be used to convert animals products. The paradigm shift he proposes is this, what if we didn’t need to grow corn and soy to feed livestock? What if we could do it with our food waste alone.

Tune into the Greenhorns Radio Show on Heritage Radio Network tomorrow at 4:00 to learn more when Sev interviews Robert Olivier. Or, as always, catch the podcast!

 


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when farms are not fair

Fair Food: Field To Table is a video project of the California Institute for Rural Studies, a nonprofit research organization whose mission is to “increase social justice in rural California for all residents, building sustainable communities based on a healthy agriculture.” Their research takes a keen look at the often-obscured lives of California farm workers in the form of research reports, videos, and action plans. They form strong relationships with grassroots organizations and farm worker communities in order to “turn research into action.”

Needless to say how important and progressive this work is.

Tune into the Greenhorns Radio on Heritage Radio Network tomorrow at 4:00 P.M. to hear us speak with Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, the Project Director at CIRS and learn more. Or, download the podcast any time!


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the farmers aren’t alright

Rural View - Anton Novoselov

Rural View – Anton Novoselov

We recently ran a piece from VPR on farmers and the difficulties of accessing affordable health insurance – this is surely a topic that requires some serious thought and discussion in the years to come.

Wrapped up in our general well being is the taboo topic of mental health and as we invest our bodies, savings, and futures into the land, it can be a serious challenge to keep the spirit and mind at peace. Whether you are starting or running a business, changing fields, underpaid, or just exhausted, farming can be incredibly stressful work. So following on this theme we’d like to recommend the Ruminant’s recent episode on farmers and mental health.

The Ruminant is wonderful podcast and blog that discusses ideas, issues, and inspiration for today’s agrarians.

So give yourself and hour, pour glass of wine or warm a cup of milk. curl up and listen in on what is an important conversation for all of us to be having.

You can hear the episode here

 


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the incredible american-made, open source, radically accessible, and utterly adaptable tractor

One thing that is clear when you look at Oggún’s website, watch its videos, and study its tractor, is that this a no-frills organization. No frills: just results. And that is precisely why we love them and it so much.

In his ever-relevant essay “In Distrust of Movements,” Wendell Berry writes that the local food and land movement must “content itself to be poor,” because, “We need to find cheap solutions, solutions within the reach of everybody, and the availability of a lot of money prevents the discovery of cheap solutions. The solutions of modern medicine and modern agriculture are all staggeringly expensive, and this is caused in part, and maybe altogether, because of the availability of huge sums of money for medical and agricultural research.”

What we see here, in the Oggún tractor, is exactly what kind of practical, pragmatic results come from a thrifty approach. Accessing Cuba’s local food shortage, Cuban-born  Horace Clemmons and his business partner Saul Berenthal quickly realized that Cuban farmers needed technology that was simple, rugged, and easy-to-repair. And then they asked, why don’t tractors like this already exist, tractors like the original Allis Chalmers G that farmers in the US used in the 1950s? They suspected that stock-based shareholder business models might be to blame: too much money and the input of too many people with money who just do not understand the problems of small farmers.

So, in the grand spirit of Farm Hack, they used open-source technology to build a tractor with all off-the-shelf parts. Thus, repairs can be done in the field and in small local machine shops. Oggún adapted its business model to keep over-head costs low, partner closely with other local businesses, and never develop products that are planned for obsolescence. The tractors is made in Alabama, but it’s available to and possibly revolutionary for small family farmers all around the world.

Tune into Greenhorns Radio today at 4:00 PM to hear Locky Carton, Oggún partner and graduate of the University of Iowa’s agricultural business program, speak more about this exciting project. If you can’t tune in today, don’t forget that a podcast version of our show is always available at the Heritage Radio Network!


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accelerating appalachia today on GH radio

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Accelerating Appalachia is a “word HUB for sustainable business,” providing training to, coordinate mentorship for, and encourage financial investment in organizations who are “solving big problems with their business models.” They work predominantly with women entrepreneurs, look to support students, and have even had farms in their accelerator program. If all of this sounds revolutionary for a business incubator, it is. What does this all actually look like on the ground? Tune into the Heritage News Network today at 4:00 PM to hear that and other questions answered on Greenhorns Radio.


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biodynamics in idaho on greenhorns radio this week

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In case you missed it, this week on Greenhorns Radio, we spoke to Miles Teitge, of Syringa Mountain School in Idaho about Waldorf Education, biodymanic farming, and why young farmers should think about moving to Idaho. Enjoy a bonus interlude of fun ambient noise from 8:08 to 12:46.

Miles has interned at the Herb Pharm in Williams, OR, and continued his education at Seed School (with local legend Bill McDorman), and the Fungi Perfecti mushroom cultivation course (with visionary Paul Stamets). He joined the Mountain School shortly after it opened, inspired to learn and teach principles of permaculture and the gardening arts; be it cultivating vegetables, gathering medicinal herbs, grafting trees, laying out hugelkultur beds, bee-tending, greenhouse design, poultry care, humane composting, worm wrangling or the like, there is a lifetime of learning on this path!

Listen to the full episode here: http://heritageradionetwork.org/…/miles-teitge-syringa-mou…/


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tomorrow on greenhorns radio! jeff conan on the devasting effects of palm oil production

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Palm oil plantation in Indonesia. Photo by Archbad Robin Taim.

Tomorrow January 25th on the Heritage Radio Network, Greenhorns radio talks to Jeff Conan, Senior Forest Campains Manager at Friends of the Earth, a global activist network that campaigns for international environmental and climate justice. Much of Conan’s work focusses on the toxic legacy of palm oil production in Gautemala. Maybe you already knew that the production of this oil was rapidly spurring deforestation of some of the world’s most important rain forests, but were you also aware that the byproducts of its processing have a long legacy of polluting water sources as well?

As Conan writes in a September article on Medium.com, “One year ago, a series of spills dumped toxic palm oil effluent into the Pasión River where it runs through the municipality of Sayaxché in Guatemala’s Peten region. The spills were the latest in a long history of abuses associated with Guatemala’s palm oil industry — Continue reading