the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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call for film submissions for change making tool-kits

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Real Food Films is calling for filmmakers to submit projects by April 1st that correspond to the themes of:

  • Crafting Public Policies for Public Health: Taking on Big Soda
  • Building Power with Food Workers
  • Tackling Climate Change Through Food

Selected films will be included in their 2017 Organizing Toolkits, which will be jam-packed with educational materials for groups and individuals interested in working in food system reform.


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maine asks trump to make sail freight a reality

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Or, well, almost. As you may remember, two summers ago, the Greenhorns loaded a schooner with 10 tons– $70,000 worth of cargo– and sailed it from Maine to Boston to sell at markets in the city. And then, the NEWSAG conference held a “FoodBarge Hack” lunch at their annual conference. The Portland Press Herald said of the project, “It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.”

It looks like Maine’s Department of Transportation might actually agree. As BDN Maine reports, “The National Governor’s Association submitted its members’ wish lists to the Trump administration last week. The overall list isn’t being made public, but the Maine Department of Transportation is releasing its proposal: almost half a billion dollars for improving the state’s roads and bridges and to jump-start a project that would revive a long-dormant coastal barge route, from Maine to New York City.” They’re calling it the “New England Marine Highway.”

Though the Greenhorns would like to see a less fossil-fuel dependent model than tug-boat-pulled barges, we’re glad to see people thinking more creatively about viable ways to move goods from agricultural areas to regional markets. Put a sail on that barge— or, oh we don’t know, a solar panel, a hydrokinetic turbine, or some draft power— and we’re all for it!

Missed Maine Sail Freight, read more here!


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what an english sheep farmer has to say about rural america

Wood Farm Barn Rustic Weathered Old Barn Wood

“But for my entire life, my own country has apathetically accepted an American model of farming and food retailing, mostly through a belief that it was the way of progress and the natural course of economic development. As a result, America’s future is the default for us all.

It is a future in which farming and food have changed and are changing radically — in my view, for the worse. Thus I look at the future with a skeptical eye. We have all become such suckers for a bargain that we take the low prices of our foodstuffs for granted and are somehow unable to connect these bargain-basement prices to our children’s inability to find meaningful work at a decently paid job.”

James Rebanks in the New York Times op-eds last week explaining why the stakes are so high, but missing all the reasons to hope… (This is the part where we say, YOU, Greenhorns! From your draft-powered farms to your new resilient corporative models, there are a lot of new energy in rural America. And, thank you!)


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food system fellowship in virginia

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Growing Food, Building Community

AMI Fellowship Program: 2017 Applications Available

Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) is seeking inspiring individuals to participate in the sixth cohort of our AMI Fellowship program. The 18-month Fellowship prepares and empowers individuals to become teachers and ambassadors for a more vibrant and accessible local food system.  The Fellowship is a program of AMI, an educational non-profit organization with the mission to cultivate healthy communities through food and education.

Phase I (April 30-November 1, 2017)

In the first phase of the program, Fellows connect with the food system as they live, work and study on the mountain farm campus in rural Highland County, Virginia.  Fellows gain a full season of experience in sustainable growing methods, small animal husbandry, and rotational livestock grazing on a diversified farm.  In addition, Fellows study topics such as permaculture design, whole foods preparation and preservation, wellness and nutrition, land stewardship, leadership, and community development through hands-on experience on the farm, expert guest instructors, field trips and daily educational sessions.  Upon successful completion of their Phase I training, AMI Fellows receive a $1,000 stipend.

Phase II (January 1- December 31, 2018)

AMI Fellows apply their Phase I training as they work on community projects focused on building healthy communities through food and education. Working with AMI and other Partner Organizations, Senior Fellows build organizational capacity and launch new programs such as: building community gardens, developing school gardens and site-based curriculum, advocating for sustainable land use, and teaching nutrition and cooking for a healthy lifestyle.  Supported by the AMI network, Senior Fellows continue to meet regularly for leadership and professional development. Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $1,500 (subject to payroll taxes) and a Permaculture Design Certificate upon successful completion of the year.

Applicants must be physically fit, able to lift 50 pounds, walk distances up and down steep hills, work outdoors for extended periods of the day, and be comfortable living and working communally as a team in a remote, mountain setting.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis (Deadline: February 19) and are available at: www.alleghenymountaininstitute.org

For more information and questions, please visit www.alleghenymountaininstitute.org, the Allegheny Mountain Institute Facebook page or email us at info@alleghenymountainschool.org.

 


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dogfish: a shark for breakfast?

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A shark called Dogfish. Photo by Ben de la Cruz/NPR.

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/508538671/508668113

Currently one of the most plentiful fished fish on the East Coast is actually a shark called dogfish, and yet most Americans have hardly even heard of it. So where are the catches going? Turns out, 90% of the fish Americans eat is imported, whereas 99% of dogfish is exported other places.

 


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get active in SF: people’s harvest forum

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and food justice, food sovereignty, and veganism are your bag, check out the People’s Harvest Forum. Tickets are still available to this four-day event in San Francisco’s Mission District starting this Friday, December 9th. The conference is organized by Seed the Commons and includes a diverse group of speakers, journalists, and grassroots activists with a focus on enacting change through the political process.

Topics this year will include the impacts of corporate control of our food systems; food sovereignty and agroecology; land reform and urban agriculture; building food justice and health equity through local, state and national policy advocacy; improving foodscapes without contributing to gentrification; growing the veganic movement, and more!

What: People’s Harvest Forum

When: Friday, Dec. 9th through Monday, Dec. 12th, 2016

Where: Mission Neighborhood Center, San Francisco, CA

Learn more and buy tickets HERE


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agrarian trust in the news

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You may have missed this in the swamp of election news last week: In These Times published this excellent run-down of Agrarian Trust, the recent symposium, and the land use problems that challenge regional food systems.

“Increasingly, communities recognize that a regional farm economy is more responsive, adaptive, resilient and culturally satisfying,” says von Tscharner Fleming. “We want more diverse, more local, less thirsty, more prosperous regional food systems. It is in this context that we talk about land access for incoming farmers, about successful businesses, and about land transition for existing farms and retiring farmers, as well as mechanisms for restoration of degraded ecological features and infrastructures.”