the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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community finance, resilience and agriculture

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credit: Brookford Farm 

Growing Magazine recently published a good examination of community finance, community resilience and community agriculture – the CSA model. They profile 3 different farms: Brookford Farm in NH, Norwich Meadows Farm NY, and Prairierth Farm IL, all of whom are practicing a modified, diversified form of CSA and are thriving!  Continue reading


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canada bans soylent as it is not real food

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credit: Getty Images/AFP

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency have banned food replacer Soylent as it does not meet the criteria of real food as it does “not meet a select few of the CFIA requirements for a ‘meal replacement”. The CFIA strongly recommends that it not be consumed and the meal replacement product manufactures do not understand the requirements of human nutrition.

This is not the first time the Soylent products have come under fire from the CFIA, they recalled one of their nutrition bars last year as they were making people ill. Naturally Soylent themselves naturally maintain that the problems with their products are regulatory rather than based in any fact.

Click HERE to read the full article on Eater


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faith farmers

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credit: The Common Friars/ Samantha Goresh

The Common Friars are men and women, married and single, lay and ordained, of an emerging monastic order in the Episcopal Church, seeking to understand and live out what it means to be a Christian disciple today. They do this by placing the utmost importance on being connected to the land, to each other, and to those on the margins of society. Their land that they steward and are connected to is the Good Earth Farm located in Athens. Ohio. They live and work together here and and contribute their individual talents and gifts to one another and to the broader community. Their actions are guided by the “Rule of Life” which is defined by poverty, joy and hospitality, prayer, work, the eucharist and meals and you can visit them in Ohio if you’re in the area!

Check out their blog and website HERE

 


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bad news – usda vote in favour of inclusion of hydro- and aquaponics as organic

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The Packer reports that yesterday the USDA  National Organic Standards Board voted 8 to 7 not to ban hydroponic and aquaponic production from being included under the organic umbrella. Lee Frankel, executive director for the Coalition for Sustainable Organics, shared the news today in an e-mail to members. The board did vote in favour of excluding aeroponics from the definition.

Click HERE to read the full article on the Packer and we will keep you updated once further information emerges.


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the honey locust contest revisited

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In 1926 J Russell Smith launched a contest to gather honey locust pods from across the country, the Savanna Institute are continuing what he started. 

Contest Details & Instructions

Step 1: Photograph the tree

Photograph the tree before the pods have fallen from the tree, although preferably after leaves have dropped. Include the entire tree within the photo. Prior to taking the photo, tack a standard 8.5×11″ piece of white paper to the tree trunk (scale reference). Include the ground. Use the highest resolution camera that you have access to.

Step 2: Collect 25 pods

Once the pods have fallen from the tree, collect 25 representative, dried (brown), whole pods off the ground and put them into one or more plastic grocery bags. The pods should be collected as soon as possible after they fall to the ground to prevent damage from animals. Be sure to choose a representative sample of pods – not the 25 largest! If possible, although not required, please also count the total number of pods that fell from the tree, as this will help calibrate their yield models.

Step 3: Fill out & print the entry form

Fill out the official contest entry form HERE, which includes basic information about you and the tree. You will be able to upload the tree photo here as well. This form will be submitted to the institute digitally, and you will receive a copy via email. Print a paper copy of your emailed entry to include with your pods.

Step 4: Ship your pods & entry form to the Savanna Institute 

Place your bag(s) of pods and entry form into a sturdy cardboard box. Ship your entry to:

Savanna Institute

Attn: Honey Locust Contest

1360 Regent St. #124

Madison, WI 53715

IMPORTANT: If submitting multiple trees/entries, ship each entry separately, using a different box for each. This will ensure that pods from different trees do not mix in transit.

Click HERE for the contest website where there are more details about the contest.


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gipsa decision favors big ag, harms family farmers

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photo credit: USDA/flickr

The USDA recently made their final decision on GIPSA – to pull the pending Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rules designed to level the playing field for poultry and livestock producers. These rules have been languishing since the 2008 farm bill, and today’s action firmly places this administration on the side of large meatpackers and poultry processors, not family farmers.

After years of negotiation and analysis, the rule would have protected contract livestock growers from the retaliation they have suffered after exposing financial hardship and ruin caused by large-scale poultry companies and meatpackers. If there was any hope that Secretary Perdue and this administration would stand up for small- and medium-sized family farmers and the rural communities they support, that has been dashed now.

Click HERE to read GIPSA’s full statement.


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watch: rodents of unusual size

A new documentary tells the tale of the hunters waging war against an invasive swamp rodent species, the nutria, in Louisiana. There is a government bounty on the heads (or tails) of the 20lb, orange-toothed critters – $5 for each severed 12-18in tail collected. Nutiva grazing habitats adds to coastal erosion in a region whose land is already vulnerable to hurricanes. The rodents, introduced to the region for their fur in the days of the fur trade are undermining the land for the people who live there.

The documentary explores the context of nutria in Louisiana explaining the role they play in a range of areas from ecological destruction as well as their role in the economy as a food source and clothing resource. The film premiers on Wed Nov 15, 2017, 7:15 PM at the IFC Center, NY. and you can read a full review HERE.