the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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farmer fundraiser in santa fe for a lending tool library

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The Northern New Mexico Young Farmers Alliance, (affiliate of the National Young Farmers Coalition and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union) is hosting a “Farmer Fundraiser” next week in support of a greater-Santa Fe Tool Lending Library next week. There will be a local food supper, beer and entertainment provided and it takes place on Thursday, October 12th from 6-9 pm at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Building in Downtown Santa Fe. Tickets are $35 for non-members and $15 for members of National Young Farmers Coalition and/or Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

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solar cookers, the simple solution to a host of complex challenges?

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Solar cookers could not be more simple in many ways, their basic means of operation catches the suns rays and uses this heat to cook food. Some use aluminium coated plastic to do this while others other means to achieve the same effect. Either way, the opportunities afforded by solar cookers go far beyond household cooking, particularly in parts of the world experiencing a multitude of complex social, economic and environmental issues. Continue reading


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the right to repair and the role of open source technology.

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The right to repair movement is gaining traction across the globe despite pushback from powerful industries, however there is little dispute that it is being led by farmers seeking alternatives to costly licensing restrictions. Farm Hacks and open source technology are issues that are close to our hearts here at Greenhorns and we are delighted to see the continual growth of the movement.

“Imagine that you’re a farmer who bought a John Deere tractor for $25,000 – or perhaps a big, heavy-duty model for $125,000 or more.  Then something goes wrong with the computer software inside the tractor (its “firmware”).  Thanks to a new licensing scheme, only John Deere can legally fix the tractor – for exorbitant repair prices.  Or maybe you want to modify the tractor so it can do different things in different ways.  So sorry:  the license prohibits you from bypassing the encryption, taking it to an independent repair shop, or fixing it yourself.” 

– An excerpt from David Bollier’s recent article about open source technology and the right to repair.

To read the full article click HERE


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an alternative route to farm financing

 

photo credit – Don Graham

Recently a friend of mine ran a pretty successful crowdfunding campaign to help secure a startup loan for her and her partners farm. I had heard of Kiva before (socially focused micro loans) but this was the first time I actually checked the organization out.

Crowd-sourcing has it’s detractors. For a while there it seemed like kickstarter was set to be the worlds largest purveyors of ‘knick-knacks with a purpose’. But given barriers to finance, they actually can be useful tools. It takes town and a community to grow food and it makes sense to have communities and people directly invested in the success of farms and businesses in their regions.

Kiva has a fairly simple concept and for folks that want to go around traditional forms of debt, ie banks, this could be another option. The part of this organization that makes the most sense is that there is 0% interest. Even though I am not a financial specialist, I can state pretty unequivocally that’s a pretty good percent rate for interest! It’s also a unique way to get community buy in for your farm without having to secure 1000 individual small contributions (and the paperwork and legalities that would entail).

Other social, agriculture, and community related crowd financing platforms exist as well. The slow money movement’s Beetcoin is a good example.

So, if you have been looking into different financing to help get things off the ground take a second to look into this organizations and some of the other successful small farms that have used the tool for funding their projects.

you can check Kiva’s site here


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according to tech wizard lu yoder, this is the machine that he’s recommend if living in a boat, small apparent, or out of a station wagon in winters

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This vintage machine with heavy gauge steel mechanics is on long-term loan to AMT. It is installed in a cabinet specifically for sewing (do not remove). The Singer 401-A is a good strong machine capable of sewing heavy materials such as Canvas, Denim, Sunbrella, Duck Canvas, & leather as well as light weight materials. Before using please attend the short training.

Tool lead: Crafty Rachel

Training: Every other monday, during the textiles lab hours (see calendar)

Maintenance: Monthly = Oil and run according to the instructions in the manual. Annually (with heavy use) – Proffessional service which usually runs about $135.

Maintenance log: July 9, 2012 – Service at Berkeley Vacuum and Sewing Center $150

Manual: External link to PDF

Features:

  • Slant Needle
  • drop in bobbin
  • twin/double needle stitching capable
  • adjustable needle position
  • 28 built in stitches
  • Singer Stitch
  • (and a bunch more stuff)

Attachments:

  • 5 Bobbins
  • Straight stitch foot
  • throat plate
  • Button foot
  • Special Purpose foot
  • Seam Guide
  • Narrow Hemmer
  • Ruffler,
  • Singer stitch discs numbers 1 thru 5