the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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new michael keaton film features the evolution of macdonalds

In the spirit of the old adage: If you can’t beat ’em… learn everything about ’em that you possibly can so that you can beat ’em later. “*

The Founder, written by Robert Siegel and starring Michael Keaton was in theaters everywhere last Friday.

*’Em, of course being the agribusiness giants that got us into this whole super-sized conglomerate of a food system to begin with.


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organic grains and innovation on GH radio

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Listen to the podcast here!

Ben Dobson grew up in Hillsdale, New York, on a small organic farm and started his first agricultural business in 2001. After two years on his own, he joined forces with his father Ted Dobson and managed the fields at his salad and tomato farm in Sheffield, MA, from 2003 through 2006. Since then Ben has started, managed, and overseen the sale of two agricultural businesses: One of which, Atlantic Organics, founded in 2007, was the largest organic vegetable farm in the state of Maine. The other, a company called Locally Known LLC, founded in 2008, was a salad processing company that sold pre-packaged ready to eat salads to Whole Foods Market, Hannaford Bros. and Trader Joe’s supermarkets in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions.

In 2013, Ben joined Stone House Farm as the Organic Transition Manager, and in 2016 he became their Farm Manager. He planned and oversaw the implementation of an organic transition on the 2,200-acre Stone House Farm property, and developed a non-GMO feed and grain business to sell their grain. The farm is now expanding its grain operation to include organic grain from other farms in the region.

Ben also heads Hudson Carbon: a research project conducting long term research across several sites on Stone House Farm and two neighboring farms. Hudson Carbon monitors the economic impacts and ecological effects of organic farming systems regarding carbon sequestration. Collaborators in this project include the Rodale Institute, The Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and Scenic Hudson. This winter Hudson Carbon will be launching a website with sections dedicated to farmers, science, and the public.


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What creates a high-engagement high-productivity work system?

“Create an alignment of strengths that make the weaknesses irrelevant.”

This short video with Professor Cooperridder,  Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, has some powerful insights to offer. We wonder how this kind of thinking could be applied to farms and to farmers markets?


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“the farmer’s office”

Outdoor_office

Are you feeling cool, calm, collected? If not, try reading Julia Shenk’s “ The Farmers Office: Tools tips and templates to successfully manage a growing farm business”.

Comprehensive, logical, holistic and witty— she lays out the steps and frameworks for a solvent and sustainable farm business. She’s got the chops, and she’s witty. Thats already a lot when you have to learn the terminology, how to run the software, implications for record-keeping and cash flow management, and testing questions. Farming may be hard, honest work— it is also a hard business, and one that must be mastered.  Dear Greenhorns:

Use this book, stay in business, for the earth!


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free webinar on collaborative trade and fair markets

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Yellow Seed, a nonprofit organization that facilitates connections between farmers and fair markets, recently partnered with Impact Hub Berkley, a social impact working hub out of the Bay Area, to host six curated working groups to focus on Collaborative Trade. The project was called From the Ground Up: Change Accelerator and aimed to “design healthy, global food supply chains where farmers are treated as equal partners and like-minded organizations work together to accelerate the shift towards sustainability.”

Small farmers, social justice groups, and some big names of the chocolate industry participated. (See the Yellow Seed blog for more detailed information!) To bring the sessions to a close, the groups are inviting anyone interested to take place in a webinar that will present the key findings of the working groups. The “welcome all curious minds, open hearts and everyone interested in learning about how we can revolutionize our global food supply chains together.”

Anyone interested has the choice of joining either of the two webinars:

Session A: Fri, Apr. 8, 2016 12:00PM – 1:30PM PDT

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/521009293
You can also dial in using your phone: United States +1 (312) 757-3121
Access Code: 521-009-293

Session B: Mon, Apr. 11, 2016 6:30pm – 8:00pm PDT
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/413804301
You can also dial in using your phone: United States +1 (224) 501-3212
Access Code: 413-804-301