the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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the best time to plant a tree is now

So get some good advice from the experts! This is one of the best youtube planting tutorials that I’ve ever seen.

Tooley’s Trees is a retail and wholesale nursery in the beautiful Truchas, NM, on the highroad between Santa Fe and Taos, at 7,960’. They are also tree whisperers. If you don’t live in New Mexico, you maybe have never heard of them, but– as you can probably tell from the video– they are worth knowing about. Using native soil in fabric bags and root maker pots, Toooley’s Trees grows a large variety of shrubs, trees, and fruits. Being in the high desert of the Southwest, they focus on growing varieties that are drought-resistant, can tolerate high pHs, and can thrive at high elevation. They use holistic management and organic practices, which they say, “is time consuming and labor intensive, but results in healthier plants, soils, water quality and beneficial insect populations.”


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who owns organic?

Organic-chart-Jan-2016

An updated version of Dr. Phillip H. Howard’s Who Owns Organic info graphic is now available here. When Howard, who is an associate professor at Michigan State University, first made the info graphic is 2012, a number of independent organic brands had been acquired by larger food corporations. Howard updated the chart because, as he writes, “A second wave of acquisitions has been occurring since 2012. Few companies identify these ownership ties on product labels.”

For those of you out there who try to be as social responsible as possible with your dollars, information like this may be overwhelming and, perhaps disempowering– but there’s a small silver lining in this story. For your sake, we’d like to note that Howard has a different chart showing major independent organic food brands and their subsidiaries. You can still feel good about supporting these guys!

independents


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call for submissions for the new farmers almanac

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Time to submit to the NEW FARMER’S ALMANAC vol. III

Agrarians and stewards of all types, young and old, seasoned and greenhorn, we want to hear from you! We’ve begun the process of compiling submissions to the New Farmer’s Almanac: vol III. Awash in fascinating content, we want more!

The upcoming Almanac will explore the theme of The Commons, drawing from folklore, mathematical projections, empirical, emotional and geographical observations of theory and praxis. As farmers we hold space in many interwoven commons—the carbon sequestered in the soil, the water cycling through our landscapes, the biodiversity of the insect resources living among our operations, and all the other natural and human-crafted systems in which we function.

Possibilities for our shared future would seem to rest on how these intersecting commons are governed, particularly at the juncture of humanity and ecology where we make our workplace. In re-visiting the Almanac format we assert our version of Americana—one which might better lay the cultural groundwork to serve the information needs of today’s young farmers, field hands, and land workers of all kinds—and equip ourselves for the challenges of rebuilding the food system and restoring a more democratic, more diverse, and more resilient foundation for society.

We face a dystopian future, with guaranteed-unpredictable weather, the impending collapse of the fossil fuel economy, endlessly consolidating monopolies, and a country that is, for the first time in our history, majority urban. That’s why the Almanac is a utopian publication, one that reminds today’s farmers about the foundational concepts of an agrarian democracy—themselves utopian.

But we also reject the self-propelling logic of techno-utopia—dependent upon extraction economies which, through enclosure of common resources, bleed out our land, resources, and people. We orient ourselves instead toward the words of Ursula Le Guin, who reminds us that our intent in utopian thinking should not be “reactionary, nor even conservative, but simply subversive. It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth.”

We want to hear from you on your engagements with the Commons and all its intricacies—marine and terrestrial, tragic and elemental, constantly under assault and yet inexorable in the persistence of its promise. Send us astronomical data, exercises in cooperation, reading lists, games, poems, rants, historical accounts, animal handling instructions, illustrations, guides to any and all aspects of farming and stewardship, recipes, health suggestions, thoughts, dreams, plans, schematics, even computer code if you’ve got some that’s applicable. We’re open to everything!

Text submissions should be around 700 words. Visual materials should be submitted as 600 dpi grayscale images, formatted as .tiff, .psd, or .jpg files.

If you’ve got ideas and want to run them by us beforehand, please do so by Jan. 10, 2016. Submissions are due by Feb. 1, 2016!

Send submissions to almanac@thegreenhorns.net

Questions or further information needs? Email us at the above address.

Onward!

Information about the 2015 New Farmer’s Almanac here, for sale here.  More on our 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac (on sale for $20) here. Questions about the 2015 Almanac? Send us an email


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usda makes another website

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USDA has a new website and you can see it here.  Its purpose is to support new farmers and is pretty awesome.

We are thankful for the websites, USDA!

What we’d like is a national land bank that holds land in transition and allows young farmers to buy their way into ownership over the course of 30 years without having to face the rapid fire/ long waiting lists/ prejudiced bankers.

We can dream.

 

 

 


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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
 

ELECTED OFFICIALS URGE AN OPEN & TRANSPARENT 
COMMUNITY-LED PLANNING PROCESS FOR THE SOUTH STREET SEAPORT 
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.

PARTY TO SUPPORT “SIMPLY SEAFOOD”
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 9, 6PM INSIDE PIER 17 PAVILION Continue reading
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