the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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save the date for the 23rd annual dairy sheep symposium in quebec

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The 23rd Annual Dairy Sheep Symposium is taking place from Nov 30th – Dec 2nd this year at the Estrimont Suites and Spas, Orford (near Sherbrooke), Quebec.  The title of this year’s symposium is “Profitability in Dairy Sheep Production”, and it will focus on genetics and nutrition of dairy sheep flocks.  Each year the Dairy Sheep Association of North America travels to a different North American location  for this event. Quebec is one of the perfect spots for an event like this to be held as it has a vibrant community of sheep-milk producers and artisan cheesemakers.  The 2017 symposium will feature discussions on the development of long-term breeding plans, using milk data, the diet of dairy sheep, and the nutrition of youngstock; producer and cheesemaker panels; and presentations from dairy sheep researchers in Canada and the Roquefort region of France.  There will also be visits to Quebec dairy sheep and cheesemaking operations — and don’t forget the banquet with dozens of DSANA members’ sheeps-milk cheeses!

For more information click HERE or contact the organisers directly.

Laurel Kieffer (DSANA President):  715-797-3909

Maria-Chantal Houde (2017 Symposium Chair):  819-578-7234

Bee Tolman: 315-760-2766 (Dairy Sheep Association member): 315-760-2766


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growing true blue indigo dye in a closed loop system

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As part of their True Blue project, Fibershed, have recently released a report on the processes and practices involved in the making of blue indigo dye.  They explain the idea of a closed-loop ideal indigo dye production system which “moves from soil to dye to textiles and back to soil.” The basis for the report is multifaceted, including academic literature reviews, books on natural dyeing and personal interviews with skilled artisan dyers including  Rowland Ricketts, Jane Palmer, and Kori Hargreaves.

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watch: island earth

To feed all the humans on the planet, we are going to have to grow as much food in the next 35 years as we have grown since the beginning of civilization.

Shocked when he found out that chemical companies were using Hawaii as the testing ground for their GMO crops, director Cyrus Sutton decided to take action. This film documents the three year journey that he embarked on. Island Earth tells the stories of Malia Chun, Cliff Kapono, and Dustin Barca – three Hawaiians seeking to make Hawaii a beacon of hope for an uncertain future.  Their journey takes us from GMO corn fields to traditional loi patches in order to uncover the modern truths and ancient values and wisdom that will help us to halt our unsustainable depletion of the earth’s natural resources and to discover how we can feed the world without destroying the planet.

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request for proposals: the fifth annual yale food systems symposium

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With the 5th annual Yale Food Symposium taking place this September, the organisers are putting out a final call to farmers and activists to submit proposals. The aim of the gathering is to create a platform to share research and knowledge between scholars and those who are tangibly involved in the food system in order to create meaningful and fruitful relationships across disciplines.

Relevant topics range from indigenous food sovereignty and food justice to nutrition, ethics and religion and everything in between! There is a comprehensive list of topics and requirements for proposals on their website however they welcome proposal on other relevant topics not listed.. Closing date for submissions is July 15th so don’t delay!

To submit a proposal click HERE and for more information about the previous symposiums click HERE


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calling all artists: remembrance day for lost species needs your help!

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The ONCA are looking for contributions for Remembrance Day for Lost Species 2017. Human created pollution, climate change and deforestation is causing unprecedented species loss. 40% of the wildlife on earth has disappeared in the last 40 years. Remembrance Day for Lost Species is a chance each year to learn and tell the stories of species driven extinct by human activities, and commit anew to what remains.

The theme of this years remembrance is extinction- and pollinators, a topic close to all of our hearts.  Contributions will be shared on the ONCA website, and potentially in the gallery and they welcome all mediums including visual art, performance, creative writing, historical accounts and artefacts. They are also calling for artists, companies, schools and communities to hold memorial events on and around November 30th 2017. These could take the form of processions, “funerals” or participatory events marking the extinction of pollinator species and/or the ongoing threats which human activity poses to surviving pollinators.

If you have a proposal idea or wish to discuss your proposal at any time please contact persephone@onca.org.uk

To read more about Remembrance day click HERE


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poem: born yesterday by philip larkin

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Tightly-folded bud,
I have wished you something
None of the others would:
Not the usual stuff
About being beautiful,
Or running off a spring
Of innocence and love —
They will all wish you that,
And should it prove possible,
Well, you’re a lucky girl.

But if it shouldn’t, then
May you be ordinary;
Have, like other women,
An average of talents:
Not ugly, not good-looking,
Nothing uncustomary
To pull you off your balance,
That, unworkable itself,
Stops all the rest from working.
In fact, may you be dull —
If that is what a skilled,
Vigilant, flexible,
Unemphasised, enthralled
Catching of happiness is called