the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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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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proving that not all farmers are luddites

farmOS1

Young farmers aren’t just going back to the land, we’re also headed back to the future. Case in point? Last week, the open source web-based platform for  farm management FarmOS released its second edition, Beta2. (For some background, read our post about Beta 1.) The new edition boasts easier navigation and many new and useful features, such as its “Clone” button, which allows users to create new logs from preexisting ones.

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launch of farmhack uk in gloucestershire!

On Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th April 2015 The Landworkers Alliance will be hosting the first ever FarmHack event outside of North America at Ruskin Mill Farm, Gloucestershire, UK. The event will bring together farmers, growers, fabricators, engineers and IT programmers to demonstrate and share tools, skills and ideas. Over the two days there will be field demonstrations, practical workshops, seminars, entertainment, good food, local ale and a stomping ceilidh. 

FarmHack is a community of farmers and growers developing appropriate tools for small scale ecological farming. It was co-founded by The Greenhorns, Greenstart, and The National Young Farmers Colation in the U.S. in 2010 and has since held regular events to bring the community together on farms and in workshops across the USA. FarmHack is founded on the principles of open source technology meaning that tools and techniques are also shared and developed on the online forum farmhack.net.


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listen! bbc interviews common ground, the arts and environment organization

Click HERE to listen to this radio program

For thirty years, the arts and environment organization Common Ground has used Dorset as a kind of laboratory for its work celebrating local distinctiveness, before rolling their projects out elsewhere around the UK. Helen Mark hears from Common Ground co-founder Sue Clifford why they began Apple Day events near her home in Shaftesbury, as a way of celebrating and protecting old apple orchards. Helen also meets the sculptor Peter Randall-Page who was commissioned to carve some small wayside sculptures along a footpath above Lulworth Cove, and the composer Karen Wimhurst reflects on Confluence, the three year music project she was involved in that celebrated the river Stour, from its source to the sea.


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the classic american glyphosate meal

Go to a local fast food joint, get the classic American meal of a double bacon cheeseburger, fries and a soda and you are participating in a glyphosate-based food system. The cows (producers of the beef and milk for the processed cheese product) and the pigs (source of the bacon, all ate genetically modified Roundup Ready corn, soybeans and/or alfalfa.

The bun is made wheat that was sprayed with glyphosate just before harvest. The sweeteners in the bun, the ketchup, and the soda are made from genetically-modified corn or sugar beets. The fries are usually cooked in one or more of the following oils, cottonseed, canola and/or soy – all genetically engineered to resist death by Roundup. Even the bubbles in the soda come from genetically modified corn sprayed with glyphosate!

Currently, almost all non-organic animal products, processed foods, vegetable oils and lots of food additives depend on crops sprayed with glyphosate. To read more about glyphosate and it’s effects, click HERE!


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the ultimate woman farmer romance!

Far from the Madding Crowd is perhaps the most pastoral of Hardy’s Wessex novels. It tells the story of the young farmer Gabriel Oak and his love for and pursuit of the elusive Bathsheba Everdene, whose wayward nature leads her to both tragedy and true love. It tells of the dashing Sergeant Troy whose rakish philosophy of life was ‘…the past was yesterday; never, the day after’. And lastly, of the introverted and reclusive gentleman farmer, Mr Boldwood, whose love fills him with ‘…a fearful sense of exposure’, when he first sets eyes on Bathsheba.

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