the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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announcing the release of the new farmer’s almanac, Volume III!

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It’s nearly here: the much-anticipated Greenhorns’ New Farmer’s Almanac, Vol. III: Commons of Sky, Knowledge, Land, Water is due out imminently from our amazing distributor, Chelsea Green Publishing.

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The New Farmer’s Almanac, Vol. III is a collection of articles written by new economists, working agrarians, poets, agri-philosophers, and activists, lovingly compiled by the Greenhorns. Our Almanac focuses on today’s most fascinating and relevant issues in evolving agricultural technology, food systems, agroecology, politics, and innovations in sustainability.

Volume III centers around the idea of the commons, the shared resources—land, water, heritage—that we  are all a part of, and features new and original content, including:

  • Expert essays, practical how-to articles, poetry, and opinion pieces on topics ranging from biochar to beekeeping
  • 70+ contributing authors from diverse backgrounds and perspectives
  • Pen-and-ink illustration, historical imagery and snippets

The Almanac transcends the boundaries of genre and will interest anyone who cares about conservation and ecology, food politics, poetry and literature, urban farming, sustainability and agriculture, or just simple holistic living. As a book that integrates traditional techniques and craftsmanship with new innovations and revolutionary politics, the New Farmer’s Almanac is a unique addition for anyone interested in the critical issues of today’s food system.

Please support the new agrarian movement by purchasing an Almanac for yourself or a friend, or by buying a case to resell at your organization, farm or shop.

Join us in celebrating the momentum of the new farming movement by supporting the pioneers, experts and true believers who have generously shared their knowledge in the New Farmer’s Almanac, Vol. III!


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crop planning resources for farmers

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‘Tis the season for nailing down your crop plan for the Spring! (Hypothetically, this would have been on our to-do lists for early December ago, but I can’t be the only one whose holidays got the better of her business agenda, right?) Is this your first time crop planning? Looking to upgrade your system? Maybe you’re feeling a little lost or a little down-to-the-wire. Here’s a collection of resources to make the process a little easier:

1. Penn State’s guide to making plans for the season: specifically for CSA farms, but this advice is adaptable to market and whole sale farms as well. Basic, comprehensive, and
2.  “Crop master” spreadsheet to model off of: comprehensive, super-logical, easy to follow, and easy to replicate– provided you are familiar with inserting formulas into spreadsheets.
3. A template that you can edit: a template from Tom Becker of Sunseed Farm, which will potentially save first-time veggie farmers a lot of time and energy: the sheet includes already-made formulas and already input crop information. Note: will have to be adjusted to reflect individual USDA zones.
4. Collection of great links/resources on the subject: “everyone’s brain works differently.”


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farm hack needs you! help fun the patriot weeder!

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In the grand tradition and the innovative spirit of Farm Hack, Lu Yoder is embarking on an engineering adventure to respond to the lack of  effective, versatile, adaptive, and cheap weeding systems for smaller-scale farms. The goal is to produce an open-source mechanical weeder that can be easily replicated with common materials and scaled up or down depending on each individual farmer’s needs. Hypothetically, this could be mounted on a tractor, walking tractor, or bicycle-powered cultivator.

On the project’s gofundme.com page, you can find more detailed information and a breakdown of costs. They are trying to raise $7,500 in the next month, which, we want to point out, is very little compared to the possible savings for farms across the country. Come on Greenhorns community! We can do this!

For more information on Farmhack in general, check out the website!

 

 


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great reasons (and three well- paid positions) to move to the Catskills (for)

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Image from the Otswego Land Trust. P.S. They’re hiring for an Executive Director.

Tianna Kennedy, of Star Route Farm in the Catskills of NY, contributed this compelling argument to young agrarians and agrarian-minded professionals. She says, so you think rural areas like the Catskills are a dead-end: you’re wrong. Make sure to read beyond the break to see the three amazing farm positions she’s spotlighted– two “professional” jobs and one farming incubator.

“So many great Ag jobs up at the moment in the Catskills.

People, it is time we for real reverse the trend towards urbanization – strong self-sufficient local communities and the thriving informal economies and the distribution routes they engender are more resilient than vulnerable urban centers.   They are pockets of resistance and value. Quality of life skyrockets proportionate to distance from urban centers.  Plus, the clean air, water (to swim in as well as to drink), farm-fresh food, views! The country has it all.  Continue reading


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another model for financing farm starts

Kristopher Flack from 2015 New Farmers Almanac

Kristopher Flack from 2015 New Farmers Almanac

Let’s talk about money folks.

How do we go about starting farms? Some of the main barriers new farmers face are access to training, access to land, access to funding. We’ve definitely noticed that in the last 10 years there has certainly been an increase in training opportunities, from more farms offering better employment, institutions offering curriculum around sustainable ag, and organizations, with as similar mandate to ours, helping connect budding agrarians.

But land access and funding remain serious challenges. While farmers continue to create novel approaches to financing their operations (CSA’s, community borrowing) we clearly need more recognition and support from the financial industry to help get new farms off the ground. Continue reading


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dogfish: a shark for breakfast?

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A shark called Dogfish. Photo by Ben de la Cruz/NPR.

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/508538671/508668113

Currently one of the most plentiful fished fish on the East Coast is actually a shark called dogfish, and yet most Americans have hardly even heard of it. So where are the catches going? Turns out, 90% of the fish Americans eat is imported, whereas 99% of dogfish is exported other places.