the irresistible fleet of bicycles


Leave a comment

talkin healthcare for farmers

Farmer Taylor Hutchinson photo credit: Kathleen Masterson/VPR

Taylor Hutchinson – photo credit: Kathleen Masterson/VPR

Folks, this is a pretty important conversation!

Already on the margins of income, new farmers face an especially challenging prospect when it comes to budgeting for health insurance.

The good people over at Vermont Public Radio recently did a show on the difficulties of trying to navigate the world of health care for farmer businesses.

UVM rural sociologist and researcher Shoshanah Inwood says when they asked farmers about issues they faced she expected to hear about cost of land, inputs, neighbors, but was surprised to learn that health care was on all the participants minds.

“The number one issue facing farmers was the cost of health insurance. They identified that as the biggest threat to their farm,” she said.

“Well, how many people know a farmer that has an injury? Or a farm family that has a chronic health issue? Or a mental health issue?’ And everybody’s hand goes up,” Inwood said. “And that’s the one issue we really never talk about, are some of those social needs that farm families have.”

Let’s just say this now: health care as a right not a privilege!

You can hear the VPR interview with farmer Taylor Hutchinson (Footprint Farm) and read the full article here 

 


Leave a comment

woman power: home to cameroon’s sustainable farming movement

victor4.JPG

Check out Woman Power, an organization started by Cameroon locals Victor (above) and Betty Kubia.

NW Cameroon is a particularly hardworking agricultural region where 90% of the farmers are women and revolution is in the air.

In this region, a culture of chemical farming (imposed during the green revolution) has created a longstanding degenerative cycle for soil health and the nutritional quality of vegetables. As it stands, many women are obligated after so many years to purchase expensive, synthetic products to even get a yield. As one woman from the town of Bafut in NW Cameroon says: “the harvest I get is not enough to pay for the fertilizers and then feed my family of seven and also pay tuition and buy school materials for my children.”

The Kubia’s seek to build the Woman Power Training Center on their own land just outside of Bamenda City strategically close to the three villages of Bafut, Ndu, and Santa. Here nearly 600 women will have access to hands-on workshops on soil health, composting, crop rotation, cover cropping, fallow cultivation as well as many traditional methods. One such method is forming the crescent moon shaped beds that are ideal for handling some 400″ of rain per month during the rainy season.

If you are interested in being a supporting member of this project you have two options!

  1. You may email Andrew at wpcameroon@gmail.com to join their emailing campaign
  2. You may click HERE to learn more about Woman Power and then Donate at least $10 to support building a Woman Power Training Center for alternative agriculture.


Leave a comment

meanwhile at standing rock

http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/10/24/standing_rock_police_arrest_100_water

The indigenous peoples and activists at Standing Rock are facing militarized police and a impenetrable silence in the mainstream media as they work to protect the indigenous rights granted by treaty and our collective water commons.

The camp still needs supplies, donations, and volunteers. If you haven’t donated yet, this is a good time. If you have already donated, consider doing so again. All the necessary info can be found here.


Leave a comment

on the front lines of the great fight of our times

The activists currently protecting the water commons, their indigenous heritage, and our planet against institutionalized corporate greed. We stand with them. See Thursday’s post for more background on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the protest again it and for ways you can help, and, at the very least, sign the petition here.


Leave a comment

dph: cool information directory

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 12.57.46 PM

The idea of the dph database of experiences was born in 1986 from the desire to link people and groups working towards the construction of a responsible world of solidarities. We hope to make both memory and experiential reflection available on this resource site. We also hope to enhance the analysis and the experiences through an easy search process and the availability of results that can prove useful to citizens’ actions.

A balance between action and reflection

dph is an initiative of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH). This Foundation has always promoted a balanced approach between action and reflection. This philosophy is underpinned by two priorities: the emphasis placed on development and dissemination of ideas, the emphasis placed on methodology.

The FPH has promoted international exchange of experience for 20 years, as a prerequisite of « usefulness to action ». This is also the underlying approach behind the creation and enriching of the dph experiential database developed in partnership with Ritimo.

To learn more, click HERE!


Leave a comment

experts call on feds to reevaluate acceptable risks

hazmat1

Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: a consensus statement

February 17, 2016, Environmental Health

The broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate (common trade name “Roundup”) was first sold to farmers in 1974. Since the late 1970s, the volume of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) applied has increased approximately 100-fold.

In response to changing GBH use patterns and advances in scientific understanding of their potential hazards, we have produced a Statement of Concern drawing on emerging science relevant to the safety of GBHs. Our Statement of Concern considers current published literature describing GBH uses, mechanisms of action, toxicity in laboratory animals, and epidemiological studies. It also examines the derivation of current human safety standards.

We conclude that:

(1) GBHs are the most heavily applied herbicide in the world and usage continues to rise.

(2) Worldwide, GBHs often contaminate drinking water sources,precipitation, and air, especially in agricultural regions.

(3) The half-life of glyphosate in water and soil is longer than previously recognized.

(4) Glyphosate and its metabolites are widely present in the global soybean supply.

(5) Human exposures to GBHs are rising.

(6) Glyphosate is now authoritatively classified as a probable human carcinogen.

(7) Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science.

Read more of the consensus statement HERE.


Leave a comment

is farming an act of public service? time to prove it.

National Young Farms Coalition survey graphic

National Young Farms Coalition survey graphic

Enter the Young Farmer Success Act, which would extend the student loan debt forgiveness granted to persons in public service by the Higher Education Act of 1965 to full time farmer and farm workers. It’s in the senate now!  What you think? Is farming an act of national service? Then join up with the folks over at FarmingIsPublicService.org.

As Eric Hansen, policy advocate for the NYFC says, “It’s incredibly valuable to invite your member of Congress out to the farm. Show them what you’re doing, what contributions you’re making to your community. You’re providing jobs, you’re producing food, and you’re helping to secure the rural economy. Show them the service you’re providing and explain your own struggle with student loan debt.”