the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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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.”


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seven ways to be a better leader in systems change

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Oh man, we just love this: Seven Lessons for Leaders in Systems Change. Great for educators, activists, community leaders, farmers, and– generally– everyone who gives a damn.

Here’s a taste, but please click-through to read the full piece at at the Center for Ecoliteracy.

Lesson #1:  To promote systems change, foster community and cultivate networks.

Most of the qualities of a living system, notes Fritjof Capra, are aspects of a single fundamental network pattern: nature sustains life by creating and nurturing communities. Lasting change frequently requires a critical mass or density of interrelationships within a community. For instance, we’ve seen from research and our experience that curricular innovation at a school usually becomes sustainable only when at least a third of the faculty are engaged and committed.

“If nothing exists in isolation,” writes famed essayist Wendell Berry, “then all problems are circumstantial; no problem resides, or can be solved, in anybody’s department.” Even if problems defy solution by a single department, school districts are often structured so that responsibilities are assigned to isolated and unconnected divisions. Nutrition services may report to the business manager, while academic concerns lie within the domain of the director of curriculum. To achieve systems change, leaders must cross department boundaries and bring people addressing parts of the problem around the same table. For example, we’re currently coordinating a feasibility study with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). It requires looking simultaneously at ten aspects of school food operations (from teaching and learning to finance and facilities) identified in our Rethinking School Lunch framework.

In the push to make decisions and produce results quickly, it’s easy to bypass people — often the very people, such as food service staff and custodians, who will have the task of implementing changes and whose cooperation is key to success. It’s necessary to keep asking: “Who’s being left out?” and “Who should be in the room?”


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what kind of farming will we have in the next century??

Seriously, we really want to know, and so do these film makers. Specifically, they’re focussing on the chicken industry, asking, if chicken is America’s favorite meat, generating more than $30 billion a year in revenue, but who benefits from this multi-billion dollar industry?

Spoiler alert! It’s not the farmers. This is a story that we hadn’t heard yet of the greed of large industrial ag companies, and it’s absolutely repulsive.


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slow money decelorator, boulder, co, oct. 21

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Slow Money is hosting the world’s first Decelerator on October 21st, bringing together all who care about Colorado food systems and want to find new ways to invest in them!
The day-long event will take place at beautiful Lone Hawk Farm, just north of Boulder. Learn more and register at www.decelerator.org.