On this day in 1845, Westminster, the UK Parliament passed the 1845 enclosure act. Although not the first step in the enclosure of the commons, this act created enclosure commissioners who were given the authority to enclose land without prior parliamentary approval. In total, over the course of 300 years, the British government enclosed nearly 7 million acres of the commons in Britain alone. In doing so they created the ‘working class’ and systematic private property in one fell swoop. This model became a worldwide blueprint that has led us to the situation in which we find ourselves today. Enclosure of the commons, coupled with imperialism has ensured that hundreds of millions of people are unable to access agricultural land and billions more live in abject poverty, despite living in regions of abundance. Continue reading
John Ikerd, August 3rd, 2017, In These Times
“The sense of impotence and dread in rural America is a consequence of decades of economic extraction and exploitation carried out in the guise of rural economic development. Rural areas are suffering the consequences of prolonged “economic colonization”—a term typically used in reference to neoliberal economic development in nations previously colonized politically. Rather than being colonized by national governments, most economic colonization today in rural America, and indeed in rural communities around the world, is carried out by multinational corporations.
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
Sound Vegetables’ based in Redmond, Washington are looking for an intern!
Sound Vegetables’ market garden grows over 35 varieties of fresh produce and free range poultry. Their minimal soil disturbance techniques follow developing best management practices for local vegetable production. They specialize in mesclun salad mix, tomatoes and fresh root crops and they raise pastured poultry and free-range chicken eggs for the local community. You won’t see them riding around on a tractor, but you will see some of the earliest and freshest produce available in Seattle grown intensively on our 1.6 acre patch just north of Redmond, WA.
Internships last 8-12 weeks and offer the opportunity to gain insight on the techniques and the day-to-day business model of Market Gardens. On a farm, hands on experimentation and familiarity with the plants, animals and seasons provides valuable experience and are supervised for the duration of the internship. Sound Vegetables’ want their interns to learn proficiency in their areas of interest and they prioritize mastery of those during the internship. The curriculum includes a curation of reading assignments with discussions on various literature to guide the learning process for all partners and unlock the experience of those on the sustainable path before them. Interns are encouraged to offer ideas to improve workflow on the farm and find new and innovative techniques and ways of doing things.
Typical Tasks & Activities will include:
- Assist with farm organization and upkeep
- Pruning and training vining crops
- Garden bed preparation
- Transplanting and seed sowing
- Building irrigation systems
- Caring for chickens
- Harvesting crops
- Developing markets and marketing with photography, writing, and documentation
- Creating written records of farm operations
- Inspecting crops to maintain quality
- Educational curriculum includes authors JM Fortier, Joel Salatin, David Madison, Helen and Scott Nearing, Mark Shepard, Eric Brende and others depending on the focus of the internship
- Community research and developing knowledge of local supply chains
To apply, send a cover letter to Soundvegetables@gmail.com with your interest in local, sustainable, organic, fresh foods and mention any skills or passions which you possess or would like to develop.
President Donald Trump has today endorsed legislation proposed by two republican senators (David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas), which would introduce new limits on legal immigration. The new system would be based on merit over any other criteria, which means that highly skilled workers will receive priority over lower skilled workers or potential immigrants who have family members already residing within the United States. If passed, it would also reduce the number of refugees accepted by half, at a time when the world is facing the worst refugee crisis since WWII due to a complex combination of factors which include climate change and conflict.
Bread and Puppet Theater, in Glover, Vermont, is looking for an organic gardener to assist the head gardener in the theater’s gardens which total about an acre.The position is for mid April to mid October of 2018. At the height of the season (June-August) the farm feeds 80-150 people. Storage crops and preserves from the garden are provisions for a small company of 2-12 during the rest of the year.
Applicants should have experience working on an organic farm and managing volunteers. Bread and Puppet Theater are looking for a candidate with good communication and self directed organizational skills as well as an enthusiasm for the grassroots life. The successful candidate will work closely on a daily basis with the head gardener, helping manage all aspects of the garden’s operation including planning in the spring, planting, cultivation, guiding volunteers, harvesting, maintaining a close association with the kitchen and community, and closing down the garden in the fall. This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in living communally in a vibrant, socially active artist collective. Food, housing, and a small stipend are provided.
Ideally, interested candidates would be free to go to the far this summer to see the farm and meet the head gardener.
If you or somebody you know is interested in applying for this position, please send a letter of introduction which details your experience and interest in addition to your resume and contact information for two references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the next Farm Bill approaches, the House Agriculture Committee members are beginning to gather input from farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders. As you may know, several current programmes that contribute to the success of organic agriculture are under threat of elimination as so it is imperative that policy makers hear directly from organic farmers, researchers and organic farming advocates.
There are three upcoming listening sessions in the next week organised by the Organic Farming Research Foundation.
Monday July 31 2017 – 1.00 pm. Texas
Angelo State University,
C.J. Davidson Conference Centre,
1910 Rosemont Drive,
San Angelo, Texas
Thursday, August 3, 2017 – 9:30 a.m. Minnesota
28366 Co. Hwy 13,
Saturday, August 5, 2017 – 9:00 a.m. Modesto, California
Address to yet to be announced.
If you are hoping to speak at one of the listening sessions, arrive early as the opportunity to speak will be decided on a first come first served basis and speaking time will likely be restricted to approximately 2 minutes.
Recently, at OFRF’s recommendation, Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced H.R. 2436, the Organic Agriculture Research Act (OARA). This historic bipartisan legislation reauthorizes USDA’s flagship organic research program, the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), and increases its mandatory funding from $20 million to $50 million annually. If passed, the Organic Agriculture Research Act would become part of the 2018 Farm Bill. It is important to show your support now.
If you would like more information about the listening sessions or the issues at stake, please email email@example.com.