the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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new video in the works on the organic movement

“California Green Fire” is built on “A Fierce Green Fire” — filmmaker Mark Kitchell’s big-picture exploration of environmental activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. Now we want to bring it home, to the cutting edge where movements got started and pushed the farthest. The film will tell three environmental epics: 1) saving the redwoods; 2) the rise of organic agriculture; and 3) air pollution and clean renewable energy, from L.A. smog to climate solutions. This sample suggests what could be, for the organic story. It’s only a beginning. Find out more at our website:

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I first came across David Mas Masumoto’s memoir Epitaph for a Peach a few years ago, lucky enough be required to read it in a lit class. In sympathetic prose Matsumoto describes learning the hard, slow way–by trial and sometimes devastating error–how to maintain a viable business for his family’s organic fussy stunningly delicious peaches.

Now, whenever I eat a peach, the farmer’s reverent descriptions of the fruit run in the sticky fragrant juice down my wrists. The floral, heady sweetness of a summer’s harvest have become no less compelling for Masumoto, who is the third generation in a Japanese family’s American tale of running their peach farm in central California.

And the good news is! : Throughout May,  PBS is screening the story of his daughter Nakiko’s homecoming to the family farm. A year-in-the-life is marked by the changing seasons and beginnings of a changing of hands as Nakiko prepares to step into her father’s boots.

Check your local PBS Station for show times (they vary by location) or find them listed on the Masumotos’ website HERE.

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grange school of adaptive agriculture, open for applications

Are you ready to be a part of the dynamic future of food?
Grange School of Adaptive Agriculture programs recognize that food production will never be the same again. We are looking for people who are determined and creative. Students should have a desire to enter into a career equipped with essential skills in the science, art, and business of food production.
Our 14 week Practicum Student Program is an adult, residential program. You will be fully immersed in the daily life of a beautiful 5,000 acre working ranch in Mendocino County, California. We believe there is no silver bullet to solving the food crisis facing our world, so we teach the spectrum of sustainable agricultural theory. We also teach engine repair, carpentry, animal husbandry, soil and ecology, crop production, entrepreneurial skills, and much, much more. Our curriculum is comprehensive as well as adaptive to individual interests.

You will leave with hands-on practical experience, a network of mentors and peers, and a sense of the nobility of this profession. You are the next generation of food security. We can’t wait to meet you!
Are you ready to join? Take the next step by visiting our website:

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a new california homemade food act?

Sustainable Economies Law Center
In late February of this year California State Assembly member Cheryl Brown introduced AB 2593, a bill to legalize the sales of homemade food, including hot meals, within certain limits. The bill would provide a dramatic expansion of California citizens’ ability to legally sell homemade food. If you are receiving this message, you are likely a supporter of the California Homemade Food Act, a.k.a the cottage food law, authored by Assemblymember Mike Gatto or other food-related policy campaigns that SELC has led. So we wanted to let you know about this new bill, although SELC is not sponsoring or supporting it at this time.


Assemblymember Brown’s new bill is sponsored by a web startup company called Josephine, which is headquartered in Oakland, California. Although homemade meals have been shared in many ways for millennia, recently there has been a growing trend of purchasing homemade meals through websites that advertise the sale of meals and facilitate payment processing. Josephine operates one such website. California law (like other state laws) does not allow these these types of transactions, but many of them are happening anyway. The proliferation of websites selling meals has the potential to grow the popularity of buying homemade meals – something many of us in the food movement are excited about – but this also raises concerns for us here at SELC when we think about what happens when tech companies spur rapid new trends that defy consumer protection or public safety laws.


To discuss all of the above, SELC and Josephine will be hosting a town hall style event together on Wednesday, April 20 in Oakland and we’d like you to join us!


Event details:
Date: Wednesday, April 20
Time: 6:30 to 8:30pm
Location: Oakstop Coworking + Event Space, 1721 Broadway #201, Oakland, CA, 94612

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Ojai CITRUS HAPPENINGS next weekend!

Hey Greenhorns…What is the Future of Citrus? Have you been wondering? We’re sponsoring two great events this weekend in Ojai related to this question.
Saturday 23rd April
2pm Community Rights Workshop at Oak Grove School
with Javan Briggs
Sunday 24th April
2pm Citrus Grafting working at Poco Farm
with John Valenzuela RSVP HERE.
Specifically, we’re asking:
All these commodity oranges that grow in our valley, where to they go?
Can our region afford to water these trees?
What is in all these spraying regimes?
What is the history of the Sunkist cooperative and how can the industry adapt to drought?
What is the future of citrus in southern California?
Join Greenhorns special guests to discuss and explore the future of fruit 
from an ecological, community health, and resilience perspective.
We will learn how to organize to protect ourselves from poison drift
We will learn how to graft citrus trees from one variety to another.
We will discuss strategies other drought-stricken regions have used to adapt to new conditions.
Events are FREE! and scheduled to align with Ojai Earth Day at Oak Grove School
where international eco-hero Vandana Shiva will be speaking.

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des colores kites

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Meg Hiesinger is a kite maker who sees her craft as a way to help deepen people’s connections to nature through play. Meg began making kites after pulling a broken factory-made plastic  kite out of a stand of cactus near her home in Laguna Beach, California. It made her wonder how a kite might look if its mass-produced materials were replaced with something more beautiful and environmentally friendly like her own handmade fabrics. She currently sells her kites under the brand “Des Colores,” Des Colores, “made of colors,” is a phrase that describes Meg’s visual response to the earth and its inhabitants.

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