the irresistible fleet of bicycles


Leave a comment

write 200 words, take an eco-retreat in beautiful appalachia

PocahontasCounty.wmg

Greenhorns blog reader Robin Wilson has an intriguing pitch for anyone out there who could use a free eco-village retreat. I’ve driven through West Virginia in the Spring: the rolling hills, the verdant green, me senses magic afoot there! Those of you out there who aren’t tied ball and chain to a greenhouse of needy baby plants, do it for the rest of us! (And while we’re living vicariously through you, think about riding your bike there…)

She describes the opportunity:

“Five days in rural West Virginia between May 19 and June 11, 2017
• Simple living, activist, eco-village, experience in rural West Virginia.
• Time to write, research, create. Learn or swap ideas about Appalachian history, nature, gardening, tree crops, and carbon neutral ways of life
• Room and board in exchange for three hours shared work per day – garden / orchard work, building, organizing for people and planet over profit.
• Housing: small separate bedroom and use of outhouse, Food: mostly local and mostly vegetarian
• Please send a short (max 200 words) pitch for why you’re a good fit for this idea – Robin Wilson robin@wvcag.org – I’ll email you back if it looks like it will work for one of the five day slots between the dates given.”

 


Leave a comment

sharpen your pencils: essay contest for a dream farm

farmcontest

Did you have the experience of entering a coloring contest to win an over-sized Easter bunny, or perhaps a pie baking competition for gift basket filled with all manner of goodies? I clearly remember those moments from my childhood – moments that now seem quite unrealistic in terms of how things actually work in the world.

But wait!

Here’s the equivalent over-sized Easter bunny for the young agrarian: Award-winning architect-turned-farmer Norma Burns has decided to give her beautiful farm away in an essay contest.  Norma has been growing herbs, vegetables, and cut flowers on the certified organic, 13 acre farm for the last eighteen years. Continue reading


1 Comment

$200 cash prize for the largest chestnut tree in new york

PSM_V84_D563_American_chestnut_central_maryland

The New York Chapter of the American Chestnut Federation (ACF) is offering a $200 reward for the discovery of the largest living Chestnut tree in New York. And $50 for any trees that are over 14″ DBH!

As Jerry Henkin, librarian for the Northern Nut Grower’s Association (NNGA) writes, “There is a tradition for this type of contest.  In the early years of the NNGA Willard Bixby, a nut tree nurseryman from Baldwin, NY (on Long Island) and President of the NNGA, offered a cash prize for the beech tree that produced the largest nuts.  As a result, the Jenner beech, and other cultivars were selected and propagated.”

Contests like this were popular during the Great Depression, and many of the marketable pecans and walnuts grown today are progeny from breeding efforts from these finds. More initiates of this kind could increase genetic diversity in our orchards and be used to make more cultivars available– and likely ones that are more pest and disease-resistant.

This all being said, we’re posting this contest with one rather large caveat: the NY ACF intends to use the nuts and pollen from the trees to cross-breed with its genetically-engineered blight-resistant American Chestnut, posing a small ethical conundrum for those of us who support the proliferation of more native species but generally oppose all GMO projects. Proceed with your own disgression. (We’d really like to hear your thoughts on this one. If you have any, please leave a comment!)

 

 

 


Leave a comment

found food / dirt diving

Once you start looking, food is all around you, much of it as daily annoyances: blackberries, dandelions, pigeons and possum, deer, elk and porcupine.

The Bear Deluxe MagazineThe Bear Deluxe Magazine, published by ORLO, an Oregon den of art + enviro-ethos, calls for your found recipes. “What about the fresh, free range and seasonably produced food sources that go unclaimed, unharvested, and, most importantly, undigested?” they ask in response to the locavore movement.

Enter the contest with your grandmother’s recipe for those berries in the back or your uncle’s venison sausage or your own cream of mushroom-from-the-driveway soup and a short narrative about why it’s important to eat these things. Your recipe could go out to its 50,000 readers this spring. Deadline Feb 15. Email bear@orlo.org for more information.