Our friends at Kiss the Ground take the cake for this week’s most uplifting environmental video– best of all it integrates two of our favorite things: videos of goats being goats and alternatives (dare we say upgrades?) to fossil fuels in land stewardship. Also, does anyone else want this woman’s job?
Greenhorns blog reader Robin Wilson has an intriguing pitch for anyone out there who could use a free eco-village retreat. I’ve driven through West Virginia in the Spring: the rolling hills, the verdant green, me senses magic afoot there! Those of you out there who aren’t tied ball and chain to a greenhouse of needy baby plants, do it for the rest of us! (And while we’re living vicariously through you, think about riding your bike there…)
She describes the opportunity:
“Five days in rural West Virginia between May 19 and June 11, 2017
• Simple living, activist, eco-village, experience in rural West Virginia.
• Time to write, research, create. Learn or swap ideas about Appalachian history, nature, gardening, tree crops, and carbon neutral ways of life
• Room and board in exchange for three hours shared work per day – garden / orchard work, building, organizing for people and planet over profit.
• Housing: small separate bedroom and use of outhouse, Food: mostly local and mostly vegetarian
• Please send a short (max 200 words) pitch for why you’re a good fit for this idea – Robin Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org – I’ll email you back if it looks like it will work for one of the five day slots between the dates given.”
OK, gang, here’s the deal: our friends at Apple Creek Farm (run by Greenhorn Abby Sadauckus and her partner) just needs a few more eggs in their basket to be successfully funded in their Barnraiser! With three days to go, they are within 85% of their goal of funding a the construction of a chicken coop that would allow them to meet the demand for local pasture-raised eggs at their local farmers market. As Abby writes below and as every farmer can empathize, raising money is so just so much harder than the actually work of farming, so let’s help a sister out!
More info about the eggs-pansion (and I hope you’ve caught the double pun there) here!
Here’s the latest from Abby: “As we are all well aware starting a farm takes more that great products, consistent markets and energy—it takes the support of the community as well. The campaign will fund the construction of a hoop house which will serve as winter housing for our expanded flock of organic laying hens.
We’ve met our minimum funding goal of $8,000 and the remaining funds will help us purchase new nest boxes that will make egg collection easier, the lumber for constructing our end walls, and an exhaust fan to keep the house dry.
By improving the way we produce our eggs we’ll be able to offer the same unparalleled product, enhance our hen’s living conditions and double our flock without increasing our workload! Eggs are a key component of our market presence and when we run out in the first two hours of markets our customers notice! This project will enable us to sell more eggs to market shoppers, natural foods stores and through a CSA.
Since we brought all of our farming activities to Bowdoinham we’ve increased our capacity and now we’ve outgrown our current buildings and are ready to take the next step. So, we have this fundraising campaign. We’ve been pushing it for a month and to be honest, it’s harder than farming!”
Support the Greenhorns community! Donate here!
We’ve got another good one for all of our fellow map geeks out there. Sev just learned about Windy TV from the lighthouse keeper in the Azores. The website provides a real-time map visualization of wind and weather patterns around the globe. It allows the user to zero in on a specific address or to get a satellite’s-eye-view of whole continents, and it’s a great tool for educating yourself about about predominant wind patterns and their seasonal variations.
Utility aside, we’d be remiss for not mentioning that the visualization is in and of itself downright gorgeous; as far as we’re concerned this is kind of the best way to spend time on the internet since Google Earth.
Oh, and bonus? Windy TV also provides your local forecast five days out without the encroachment of ads.
It makes so much sense to be as familiar with the wind as you are with your coastline, your local watershed, your local politics…
The air is moving! Can you feel it?!
No secret that we can’t be exactly unbiased talking about the latest Our Land episode, but as a blogger who has essentially no film-making skills and had no part in the making of this video, I have to say that it’s kind of the bomb-diggity. Episode Six, “Building a Regional Food System,” which follows the Cook family of Maine. The Cooks are responsible for the first large organic potato operation in Aroostiuck County, the phenomenally innovative and inspiring Crown of Maine Co-op, and Northern Girl— a value added processing plant that provides rural farmers with access to institutional buyers across New England. The story and its footage is as poignant and hopeful as you’d like to start off your day, but the video goes so far beyond your typical feel-good foodie youtube piece and into the nitty-gritty challenges of what it actually takes to create resilient regional food systems.
Regenerative Enterprise, or the idea that business doesn’t have to suck so much. Wait! Don’t go: before you think I’m about to preach to the choir on creating businesses that go beyond the extractive model, or throw some vague “Be sustainable!” nonsense at you, don’t worry.
Enter, the Regenerative Business Institute, a nonprofit with its roots in permaculture and agriculture. The organization provides an incredible wealth of resources on “regenerative enterprise.” A lot of this, are things that small farmers have and have been doing for years: valuing social connections, social health, and the health of land as much (if not much more than) monitory profit. But, what the institute has to offer that is new are economic ways of thinking that allow us to clearly articulate our goals and create smarter systems.
For instance, download an entire book on Regenerative Enterprise for free. Or, spend some time exploring the idea that there are actually eight forms of capital (spoiler alert, only one of them is financial). Ask, how can this change our budget, goals, and planning? Or, watch this truly excellent talk on the Introduction to Seven First Principles from CAROL SANFORD on Vimeo.
After a year that put large swaths of New England in prolonged severe to extreme drought, reporter Kori Feener devoted episode two of her new podcast series to ask: what is the future of farming in New England in an increasingly erratic climate? Feener speaks to our a small farmer, the head of environmental studies at Brandies University, and our own Severine. The experts agree, the challenges are daunting but hardly insurmountable. Realistic and yet incredibly hopeful, this is great listening for long days of seeding in the greenhouse.
To that point, the new series, Under Reported, is sleek, smart, and incredibly engaging. Based out of Boston, Feener goes beneath the headlines to give voice to the personal narratives of today’s news cycle and draw attention to what the mainstream media often ignores. “Through in-depth interviews, and audio storytelling Under Reported connects with those on the front lines of change in America.”
We also highly recommend episode one, on Standing Rock, Sovereignty, and Erasure.