the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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maine: goat intensive biochar workshop with shana hanson

 

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Dear friends,

Sunday at 8 AM Gary Masalin and Shana Hanson will lead an optimum open burn for
biochar in the Rainbow Roof house pasture (striped multicolored roof, 195 Back Belmont Rd. on the north side of the rd. just out of town from Jesse Robbins Rd. by less than half a mile).  Spectators and helpers are invited.

This practice is especially suited to goat farmers feeding high quantities of tree fodder, as we collect a surplus of brush annually, and tend not to have time to move brush to, nor size for, a retort burner.  I use the biochar to seed new pasture species into sod, and
for urine catchment and soil improvement at gates, on paths and in bedding (which later gets spread).  The (usually white) goats like to roll in the charcoal for skin mites – handy labor saver if your desired use requires the biochar to be ground up.

I have a small video camera.  I am hoping that one of you will volunteer to capture our burn process on video, to be of use to others.

RSVP if possible, but certainly you are also welcome to just show up.

Thanks, Shana


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maine history online: trade and transport

Future French Foreign Minister Charles de Talleyrand-Périgord journeyed to Maine a few years after the American Revolution scouting economic opportunities for his employers.

While he wasn’t overly impressed with some segments of Maine society –lumbermen and fishermen were particularly suspect –he was awed by its coasts, so favorable to shipping, and believed in its promise, as yet unrealized.

Hardly noticed by the rest of the country (even Massachusetts, according Talleyrand), Maine was nonetheless “destined by nature to play an important role in the American federation.”

Talleyrand explained further, “One can only auger well of a great province, which combines healthfulness and fertility, whose whole coast is one vast harbor of the sea, which is watered by rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, and streams in abundance according to the most fortunate distribution.”

Maine’s location provided not just the raw materials necessary for scraping a living from the land, but also connected vast natural enterprises – fishing, quarrying, lumbering among others – to global markets via Maine-built ships of extraordinary design.

Click HERE to read more!


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fellowship in food and farming in unity, maine

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Maine Farmland Trust has announced its new Wang Fellowship in Food and Farming, named in honor of David and Cecile Wang, long-term advocates and supporters of agricultural justice. The fellowship is one year long and appears to be geared toward young professionals and academics with an activist streak, stating (albeit vaguely) that the fellow engage in substantive programming work at MFT.

Fellows are promised:
  • a “fully-equiped residential suite” in the town of Unity, ME
  • travel reimbursement
  • local food allowance
  • a $22,500 stipend for the year
  • vast networking opportunities in Maine’s vibrant sustainable agriculture community
The fellowship looks like a prestigious gig, and the qualifications are no joke. MFT is asking that, among other things, candidates have a documented history of high achievement in academic areas, a proven commitment to food and farming issues, and the potential to become a leader in the food and farming movement.
In 2016, applications are due April 1, with a selection made by no later than May 1.  All finalists will be interviewed.  Interested applicants should submit the following by April 1 trachel@mainefarmlandtrust.org:
  • A resume or CV
  • A copy of your academic transcript from any post-secondary institutions you have attended
  • An essay of 600-1200 words outlining how you meet the qualifications listed above
  • An essay of 250-500 words describing a special project you would like to undertake and why
  • 2-4 writing samples
  • 3 references who can speak to your suitability for this fellowship


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cooperative design lab

cooperative development where ecology and economics meet

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Cooperative Design Lab (CDL) is 9-month cooperative development program serving cooperative projects in any stage of formation. Originally a collaborative between the Resilience Hub, Cooperative Fermentation, and Cooperative Development Institute, Design Lab is now in its second year running and is the only program of its kind offered in the Northeast (Gray, ME).

In CDL, participants will gain the knowledge, skills and capacity to start, operate, lead, and enliven a cooperative project. Through the course, participants will:

  • Go through a step-by-step process to make a cooperative project happen
  • Discern appropriate organizational structures for their project
  • Learn tools for cooperative leadership and management
  • Connect to mentors, coaching and technical assistance
  • Explore the role of cooperatives in building a resilient economy

Cooperative Design Lab is structured with three intensive weekends and a series of webinars. Design Lab Weekends are:

Apr. 9 + 10, Oct. 15 + 16, Jan 7+8 2016-2017

 

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