the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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action alert! upcoming farm bill listening sessions.

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pictured: Colin Thompson, a Community Food Systems Educator for Michigan State University Extension credit: OFRF

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 

Farmfest,
Gilfillan Estates,
28366 Co. Hwy 13,
Morgan, Minnesota

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 policy@ofrf.org.


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crops of the future.

Coffee Beans

When portrayed by the film and TV media, the one thing that all fictional futures seem to have in common is a coffee shortage. Only the elite and the lucky manage to get their hands on a coveted cup of joe. In the dystopian fictional future, coffee is a black market product and in the wake of climate change, future coffee shortages may not be such a far-fetched concept after all. In 2016, Climate Institute, an Australian non-profit released a report that stated that in the next number of decades, the area of land suitable for growing coffee will decrease by about 50%. In addition to this, increased temperatures in the southern hemisphere, where much of our coffee comes from, encourages the spread of diseases and pests that affect the coffee plant, which can only grow well in a stable climate with steady levels of both heat and water.  If you are anything like me, the thought of having to start your day without a cup of freshly brewed coffee may strike fear in your heartbut fear not!

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queer ecojustice project summer reading group

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Are you dreaming, planting, and tending visions of a queer ecological future? Are you looking to connect with kindred spirits in your region and across the country to share resources to support these visions of collective liberation? Join Queer Ecojustice Project for our first ONLINE reading community!

Most gatherings will be local in your region (we call these regional groups, “nodes”). Monthly online community gatherings will occur in June, July, August, and September.

Already interested? Sign-up HERE.

Read on below for more information about the organizers, facilitators, QTPOC reading group nodes in Oakland and Seattle, and QTPOC community land projects that need your support.

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goats in the city

Our friends at Kiss the Ground take the cake for this week’s most uplifting environmental video– best of all it integrates two of our favorite things: videos of goats being goats and alternatives (dare we say upgrades?) to fossil fuels in land stewardship. Also, does anyone else want this woman’s job?


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evolution of organic hits theaters this month!

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The world premier of the Evolution of Organic (see our previous post on this film here and here) is finally upon us! You can catch the event at the opening Night of Green Film Fest 2017 on April 20 at the Castro Theatre. Schedule as follows:

6:00pm  ::  Opening Night Reception with Mark Kitchell and Festival filmmakers
7:30pm  ::  Evolution of Organic (Mark Kitchell, USA, 2017, 82 mins)

As the Film Fest surmises, “[The Evolution of Organic] started with a motley crew of back-to-the-landers rejecting industrial farming. It went on to spawn a renewed connection with our food and land. Filmmaker Mark Kitchell (Berkeley in the Sixties; A Fierce Green Fire) presents a celebration of Californian organic farming told by the people that started it all thru to a new generation who continue to reinvent the food system.”

The film will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Mark Kitchell and special guests. Buy tickets here!


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historic cover cropping

Do we like preaching to the choir? Sure do! Enter, this week’s installment from Kiss the Ground on using cover cropping for carbon sequestration. Now, can I get an Amen?!

This video features Jeff Borum, Soil Health Coordinator East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District , who mentions that some of the oldest records of cover cropping come from Virgil. Our interest piqued, we did a little digging to confirm this fact and unearthed some trivia about the history of cover cropping from this UC Davis article, but we know there’s more out there. Can anyone point us in the right direction??