the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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usda makes another website


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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cottage food laws


Homemade For Sale is a perfect guide to start your own at home kitchen buisness. Co-authors John Ivanko & Lisa Kivirist provide a clear roadmap as the first authoritative guide to go from idea and recipe to final product.

Widely known as “cottage food legislation,” over 42 states and various Canadian provinces currently have varying forms of laws that encourage home-cooks to create and sell to the public specific, “non-hazardous” food items, often defined as those that are high-acid, like pickles, or low moisture, like breads. In addition to this publication, provides an interactive guide to learning about the varying laws by location.

To get started, buy the book through the Homemade For Sale website and have your own copy to help you through these important issues:

• Product development and testing
• Organizing your kitchen
• Marketing and developing your niche
• Packaging and labeling
• Advertising and public relations
• Structuring your business
• Bookkeeping for your enterprise
• Managing liability, risk and government regulations
• Scaling up or staying small

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soil atlas 2015

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The Soil Atlas 2015 is a sixty-three page resource guide to all topics soil. There are many articles of extreme interest about land access, ownership, biodiversity and climate change, organic stewardship, how gender discrimination affects future of farmland ownership, to name a few.

The global significance of soils demands global responses. 2015 is the International Year of Soils. In this year, the United Nations wants to further the goal of soil protection. This Soil Atlas shows what can succeed and why the soil should concern us all.

Best of all, this is a free resource. FREE! Download the PDF here or have a copy sent in the mail.

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soul foods, not whole foods (staying abreast of the riots in Baltimore)


Just because Spring is the busiest time of year for farmers doesn’t mean that we’re not taking the time to keep a close eye on the riots in Baltimore. We know that the entrenched system of labor exploitation and land abuse that makes it to be a small farmer in this country is exactly the same system of greed, racism, and oppression that devalues black bodies and black life.  We understand that the success of our (and, in fact, all progressive) movements are not separate but intrinsically linked.

Whole Foods came out last week in support of The National Guard Last week. No surprise here, but we’d like to suggest that, in response, you choose not to support them. Check out this handy (though not complete) list Black Farmers to Buy from Instead of Whole Foods.

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a+ technology (adaptive, accessible, appropriate)

Examples of Questionable Applications of Technology:

  1. using garden sheers to trim your bangs
  2. building a forest fire to barbecue burgers for two
  3. mincing garlic with a machete
  4. driving a ton of steel to transport a 150 lbs human body across town
  5. relying on expensive, petroleum-reliant, highly-commodified tools to support innovative, unconventional, and ecologically-sound small farms


This week in the Food List, the focus is on Appropriate Technology— or, in other words, technology that suits its purposes (in scale, cost, application, etc.). The presented case studies presented prove that when it comes to sustainable, small-scale farming, bigger is not better and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.

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local dollars, local sense…guidance from Michael Shuman

24 Top Tools for Local InvestingScreen shot 2014-12-12 at 11.37.55 AM
By Michael H. Shuman 

If you’ve been told that it’s impossible to invest your life savings in anything but Wall Street, here’s some practical advice to prove the financial “experts” wrong:
  • Move Your Money – Move all your day-to-day financial activities, including your checking, loans, credit cards, and mortgage, to a local bank or credit union.  These are the institutions that recycle their capital locally—so much so that even though local and regional banks account for only 20% of the assets of all banks, they provide more than half of all the loans to small business.
  • Start A Credit Union – If your community doesn’t have a local bank or credit union, then start one.  Credit unions are easier and cheaper to launch than banks, and many communities have small credit unions managed by part-timers or volunteers.
  • Create Targeted CDs – By law, local banks and credit unions must be very conservative with their money, so they are often wary of loaning money to any local businesses without full collateral.  A few banks, such as Ithaca’s Alternatives Credit Union, have agreed to set up special certificates of deposits that fully collateralize loans to high-priority local businesses.  Eastern Bank in Boston has a CD that collateralizes a line of credit to Equal Exchange, a local fair-trade company.

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