the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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letter sent to pope francis regarding GMOs

At the request of major peasant organizations, a group of scientists and agricultural experts sent a letter and document on the problem of genetically modified seeds to the Vatican on April 30, 2014.  Signed by eight experts from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, India and Canada, the letter and accompanying document call upon His Holiness to speak out against the negative impacts of GM seeds on the world’s peasants and    global food security. 
The document questions the scientific basis of GM technology, its failure to increase yields, the exponential increase in pesticide use, the dangers of transgenic  contamination of peasant crops, the threat to human health and the concern that GM seeds are patented and monopolized by a handful of transnational corporations. To read more and follow this letter’s progress, CLICK HERE—->

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the greenhorns sign and support the petition to stop development on the gill tract farm

A Food Initiative on the Gill Tract Farm

>> Sign Here << Gill Tract Farm

We urge UC Berkeley administration, the UC Regents, and President Napolitano to halt the current development plan for the Gill Tract Farm and enter into a collaborative design process with students and community for the entire Gill Tract Farm.

For over 15 years, faculty, students, and local community have protested the commercial development of the historic Gill Tract Farm and research site, managed by UC Berkeley. These concerned stakeholders have crafted several alternative proposals, advocating for its preservation as an educational resource.  In 2012, after neighbors and students occupied the land in protest of its commercial development, a 1.5 acre section called “Area A” was saved and became a pilot project for a new community-UC collaboration.  That project is flourishing, and we hope to see it grow to all 20 acres rather than the commercial development.

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how to help the seaport and municipal market

New Market Building

Last week, city and state elected officials representing Lower Manhattan sent a strongly worded letter to the New York City Economic Development Corporation urging an open and transparent, community-led planning process for all public assets at the South Street Seaport, including the Fulton Fish Market Tin Building and New Market Building.  We regard this as a first and vital step towards rejecting any plans already made for these sites without public input, and ensuring they remain dedicated to the public purpose.
Read the original letter here.
View the public assets assets in question here.

HOW TO HELP: Read an excellent summary by Terese Loeb Kreuzer here, and make sure to “like” the article to show just how many supporters endorse our elected officials on this issue.


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audio trawl

Hello loyal blog readers, 200

Our occasional, random requests have been so fruitful that we’re coming back for more!
Can you send in  your favorite:
1. Farm / farm-affiliated bands
3. Sea Shanties/ pirate songs
4. Topic songs about farming
Please email We’ve got such a great start on this.
Here are some sources for you to start with if you are still a greenhorn to ag audio:

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support food entrepreneurship on Kiva Zip

seedstarta note from friend of the Greenhorns, Johnny Price, project director of Kiva Zip

Dear friends,

I’m writing to you as great innovators, entrepreneurs and organizers in the food / agriculture space, who have expressed support and interest in our Kiva Zip project.
I wanted to flag one loan in particular to you in Vallejo CA. Of his business Vallejo Gardens, Kip (the borrower) writes: “Vallejo Gardens mission is to be a beacon of restoration, creativity and good food in the historic downtown area of Vallejo, CA. Vallejo Gardens promises a commitment to a local living, thriving economy, by keeping our dollars in our beloved city and its food choices closer to home.”
Unfortunately Kip has not been getting a great deal of funding — he is currently only 20% of the way to his goal, and his loan is set to expire on February 6th. If you want to help Kip out, you can make a $25 loan to him by clicking on the link above. Any help you can give Kip in promoting his loan to your networks, e.g. through social media, would be greatly appreciated. He promises to repay you over time.
If you haven’t become a lender on Kiva Zip yet, this one would be a great one to start on!
Hope you’re enjoying your starts to 2013!

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high altitude farmer training

a note to all you lovely readers from Dana, friend of the greenhorns, asking for your help and willingness to share your wells of knowledge. to reply, email


I am writing to ask if any readers out there have any resources, statistics, or insight into the growth in demand for farmer training and education.  I am part of a group that calls itself FEED (farmer education and economic development) and we are working on a few programs for our area to increase farmer training, specifically in the niche environment of high altitude farming.  We are currently drafting proposals and having meetings with administration at the local junior college to create a sustainable ag. certification through the junior college.  In addition, an awesome woman here has also just received a grant for 2 years of funding to orchestrate an intensive farmer training program for 3 people per year.

Specifically, I would be interested in what you have to say about the rise in interest and demand for small-scale farming.  We have a meeting next Friday with college administration and would like to present them with some data like: what type of jobs will be available to students after they receive a certificate, the rise in interest in small-scale farming (why we think we will actually be able to classes), etc. The ultimate goal: sustainable high altitude farming training and eventual cooperative that links in with slow food and culinary training/endeavors and is sourced to a future local hostel/brew pub and other young entrepreneur restauranteurs.  Far fetch and far away but EXCITING!

Thanks for your help, Dana —


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