the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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tomorrow on greenhorns radio! jeff conan on the devasting effects of palm oil production

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Palm oil plantation in Indonesia. Photo by Archbad Robin Taim.

Tomorrow January 25th on the Heritage Radio Network, Greenhorns radio talks to Jeff Conan, Senior Forest Campains Manager at Friends of the Earth, a global activist network that campaigns for international environmental and climate justice. Much of Conan’s work focusses on the toxic legacy of palm oil production in Gautemala. Maybe you already knew that the production of this oil was rapidly spurring deforestation of some of the world’s most important rain forests, but were you also aware that the byproducts of its processing have a long legacy of polluting water sources as well?

As Conan writes in a September article on Medium.com, “One year ago, a series of spills dumped toxic palm oil effluent into the Pasión River where it runs through the municipality of Sayaxché in Guatemala’s Peten region. The spills were the latest in a long history of abuses associated with Guatemala’s palm oil industry — Continue reading


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organic grains and innovation on GH radio

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Listen to the podcast here!

Ben Dobson grew up in Hillsdale, New York, on a small organic farm and started his first agricultural business in 2001. After two years on his own, he joined forces with his father Ted Dobson and managed the fields at his salad and tomato farm in Sheffield, MA, from 2003 through 2006. Since then Ben has started, managed, and overseen the sale of two agricultural businesses: One of which, Atlantic Organics, founded in 2007, was the largest organic vegetable farm in the state of Maine. The other, a company called Locally Known LLC, founded in 2008, was a salad processing company that sold pre-packaged ready to eat salads to Whole Foods Market, Hannaford Bros. and Trader Joe’s supermarkets in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions.

In 2013, Ben joined Stone House Farm as the Organic Transition Manager, and in 2016 he became their Farm Manager. He planned and oversaw the implementation of an organic transition on the 2,200-acre Stone House Farm property, and developed a non-GMO feed and grain business to sell their grain. The farm is now expanding its grain operation to include organic grain from other farms in the region.

Ben also heads Hudson Carbon: a research project conducting long term research across several sites on Stone House Farm and two neighboring farms. Hudson Carbon monitors the economic impacts and ecological effects of organic farming systems regarding carbon sequestration. Collaborators in this project include the Rodale Institute, The Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and Scenic Hudson. This winter Hudson Carbon will be launching a website with sections dedicated to farmers, science, and the public.


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agricultural trailblazer dorn cox on GH radio tomorrow, dec. 20!

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Where does Dorn Cox find the time to get so much done? Dorn is a founding member and board president of farm hack, is director of Greenstart, and– as his bio on their webiste totes– on his 250-acre family farm in Lee, NH, “has worked to select effective cover crops, grains and oilseeds for food and energy production, and has designed, constructed, documented, and shared systems for small-scale grain and oil seeds processing, biofuel production,  and no-till and low-till equipment to reduce energy use and increase soil health.”

Also, in his spare time, Dorn find time to contribute to our Almanac. You won’t want to miss this interview. Tune in, as always, at 4:00 P.M EST to Heritage Radio Network.


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ocean forager amanda swimmer live on GH radio this tuesday

Amanda Swimmer wild-harvests local seaweed in her home in British Columbia to sell for food and medicine. She talks to Greenhorns Radio about local foods, added value products, and the value of our ocean commons on the Heritage Radio Network this TUESDAY DEC 6 at 4:00 p.m.

bellegarde


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Bellegarde Bakery

The best way to restore justice and foster equality is to remediate the land. Respect for ourselves derives from respect for nature, first and last. If we do not respect the system of life, we will have no moral ecology. Nature is a church and its rhythm a prayer. The democracy of food, that most basic human right, is the stewardship of our humanity. If we do not regain control of our food’s narrative—its quality, origin, price, preparation—we will become victims instead of protagonists. If we do not make affordable access to fresh, healthy, organic food the premise of our new system—if it remains distant, contrived, boutique—we will duplicate the systems of oppression we seek to usurp.

Graison Gill will be on Greenhorns Radio, Heritage Radio Network tomorrow 4pm EST – listen in! And for more information on Bellegarde and their process, check out this video.


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sassafras stomp tour dates!

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Remember Adam and Johanna, the sweet song birds of Songbird Farm in Unity, ME? Good. Just to keep you abreast of their happenings: you can catch Adam’s interview on the Greenhorns Radio here, order his CD here, and see him and Johanna live at the following shows!

Fri. Oct 21st.  Contradance in Brooklyn, NY
Sat.  Oct. 22nd.  CDNY Contradance.  Manhattan, NY.
Sun. Oct 23rd.  House Concert, Brooklyn, NY (email newrootmusic@gmail.com for more info)
The songbirds also report: “We’re heading out on a longer tour in late November, with shows in Kentucky, Indiana, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana.  More of these dates are contradances, though we’re hoping to add a number of concerts to the tour to promote the songs and stories on Walk These Fields.  For more information see: www.sassafrasstomp.com/schedule and to book them: song.bird farm@yahoo.com


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New financing for small farmers:

Kiva and Greenhorns working together to help small farmers grow their businesses

tinyfield-farm-bk-ghKatrina and Keely, Founders of Tinyfield Farm in Brooklyn, NY

The Greenhorns and Kiva are working together to help farmers access the capital and customers they need to successfully grow their businesses. Over the next few months, The Greenhorns will host a series of articles and podcasts about how farmers can benefit from a 0% interest, crowdfunded loan from Kiva at various stages in their business’ lifecycle.

 

Imagine the perfect growing season for your farm. It’s probably a warm, sunny one and the frost stayed away long enough for you to complete your harvest. You’re popular at your farmers markets, always selling out, and your delivery van didn’t break down once! People are raving about your produce: they’re writing great reviews and are signing up for your CSA.

It’s the type of season that fills you with pride.

Now imagine a season where things start to go wrong. The weather takes a turn for the worse and a field gets flooded, your delivery van breaks down on the way to market, the birds are more numerous than usual and are destroying your food…The list goes on and on.

Running a farm can be a stressful affair, especially when it comes to dealing with uncertainty.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Hundreds of farmers have found peace-of-mind by raising 0% interest capital for their businesses from Kiva, a nonprofit that supports U.S. entrepreneurs.

Since 2012, Kiva has helped hundreds of farmers raise over $2 million in funding – all without charging a single cent of interest or fees.

As a nonprofit, Kiva is dedicated to increasing access to capital for business owners who need it the most: people who are unable to raise money for their business from traditional sources, like banks.

With 8,000 small business loan applications rejected in the U.S. every day, more and more entrepreneurs are turning to alternative sources of financing, and Kiva is here to help.

Kiva is a crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, except instead of donations or purchases, the “crowd” makes 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs fundraising on the platform.

Kiva’s “crowd” is made up of 1.5 million supportive lenders around the world, many of whom lend locally and become business’ new customers, brand ambassadors and fans.

Like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, entrepreneurs create a campaign where they tell their story and why they’re raising money. Unlike Indiegogo and Kickstarter, entrepreneurs on Kiva have a 90% public funding success rate.

Even better, farmers have a 98% funding success rate on Kiva!

Over the next few months, The Greenhorns will post a series of articles and podcasts about how a Kiva loan can support at different stages in a farm’s lifecycle. These posts will be anchored in stories of real entrepreneurs, who have grown their business through Kiva.

 

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Theo, Co-Owner of Helios Farms                        Liz, Co-Owner of Happy Hollow Farm

These entrepreneurs are people like Liz, co-owner of Happy Hollow Farm, who borrowed $10,000 to build three high tunnels that extended her growing season; and Theo, co-owner of Helios Farms, who borrowed $5,000 to help purchase a refrigerated trailer to serve as a butcher shop and walk-in cooler.

More than just capital, Liz and Theo had 337 people from Kiva’s community lend to them! These entrepreneurs now have larger networks of people who believe in them and their businesses.

This is the power of Kiva. Kiva’s community of lenders truly believes in supporting small business owners and shows so by expecting only the money they lent in return for their investment.

Every farmer has their off-days, and Kiva is here to help them realize more perfect ones.

Check in again next week for a new story, and to learn more about Kiva, visit us.kiva.org/greenhorns or email questions to borrowers@kiva.org.