the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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md is the first state to ban bee killing pesticides for consumer use


Neonicotinoids are a newer class of insecticides that are chemically related to nicotine. Like nicotine, they act on certain receptors in the central nervous system. In insects, they cause paralysis and death. After becoming concerned about the use of neonicotinoids and the health risks they pose to bees, as well as local waterways and other wildlife, the state of Maryland recently decided they’ve had enough.

Research shows that toxic neonictinoid pesticides not only kill and harm bees, butterflies and birds, they also pose a serious threat to food, public health and other wildlife, and they are playing a significant role in bees dying at alarming rates around the world. According to the Maryland Pesticide Network, beekeepers in Maryland lost 61% of their bees last year, which is about twice the national average.

n an effort to save the honeybee population, the Pollinator Protection Act was created. The act aims to curb consumer purchases of products that contain neonicotinoids, and ensure that consumers are informed when plants have been grown or treated with them.

Maryland lawmakers recently passed bills that would ban stores from selling products laced with neonicotinoids to homeowners. The two bills, SB 198 and HB 211, are expected to be combined into a single piece of legislation for Governor Larry Hogan to sign within the next two weeks. Hogan’s signature would turn Maryland into the first state to ban the harmful pesticides from people who aren’t using them properly. When the law takes effect in 2018, farmers and professionals who have a better understanding of the pesticides and how to apply them in a way that poses a lesser threat to bees would be exempted.


To read more, click HERE

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pesticides show up in rainwater in four agricultural watersheds


Image from Wikipedia.

Read this 2008 study on the University of Nebraska’s Digital Commons. The study publishes research supported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program done in 2003 and 2004, which found statistically significant levels of herbicides and insecticides in rainwater in Maryland, Indiana, Nebraska, and California. We’d like to know how these levels are changing over time as high pesticides continue to be sprayed around the country.

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JOB POSTING: civic works food and farm director in baltimore, MD



Civic Works, Inc. seeks a creative, independent individual who has leadership experience and a shown passion for Food Access, Urban Greening or Farm initiatives.  This new position will work to maintain and expand programs that are working to promote urban agriculture, provide higher access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and train individuals for jobs in the community Food and Farm sectors.  The selected candidate will work 40 hours per week and receive salary plus benefits including life insurance, short and long-term disability, supported health care, vision and dental plus a 401k with a company match.  While based out of Clifton Park, the selected candidate will be required to travel to the programs often and is expected to have his/her own vehicle for which mileage will be reimbursed.


  • Coordinate and direct the Food and Farm related initiatives at Civic Works which currently include Real Food Farm, Little Gunpowder Farm, Farm Alliance, Baltimore Orchard Project, Food Forest and related activities.
  • Work with the Fund Development Director to acquire the necessary funding for Food and Farm initiatives.
  • Work with the Fund Development Director to provide timely reporting for grants, especially the AmeriCorps grants.
  • Insure that data is being properly tracked, reported and analyzed for internal planning and grant matrix.
  • Manage and track budgeting for all related programs.
  • Assist with CW wide events and integrating programs not directly related to Food and Farm.

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black farmers to buy from



The protests taking place in Baltimore are a part of an uprising for the Black Lives Matter Movement. Through protests, civil disobedience, and media, black people and allies are demanding we acknowledge and discuss the systematic racism in America that is portrayed specifically though police brutality based on race.

The actions taking place in Baltimore have proven to be extremely controversial.  Some, including large media, speak of the events though a lense of violence and fear-mongering, and dismiss the black experience. Others see the actions as a result of righteous rage and compare the protests to historically prominent moments in American history that have shaped civil rights as we know them today.

Everyone has their side. Whole Foods Market in East Baltimore publicly declared to support the National Guard during this time with sandwich donations.  Make a choice to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement through supporting black farmers.

(Post adopted from The Root Of It All Blog)


  1. Five Seeds Farms
  2. The Flower Factory
  3. The Greener Garden

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soul foods, not whole foods (staying abreast of the riots in Baltimore)


Just because Spring is the busiest time of year for farmers doesn’t mean that we’re not taking the time to keep a close eye on the riots in Baltimore. We know that the entrenched system of labor exploitation and land abuse that makes it to be a small farmer in this country is exactly the same system of greed, racism, and oppression that devalues black bodies and black life.  We understand that the success of our (and, in fact, all progressive) movements are not separate but intrinsically linked.

Whole Foods came out last week in support of The National Guard Last week. No surprise here, but we’d like to suggest that, in response, you choose not to support them. Check out this handy (though not complete) list Black Farmers to Buy from Instead of Whole Foods.

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real food farm hiring new production assistant!

Real Food Farm in Baltimore is hiring a new Production Assistant.

Under supervision of the Farm Manager, the Production Assistant assists with all daily work and food production activities at the Clifton, Perlman Place Farm or Aisquith Street site. Production Assistants are asked to devote one Saturday per month to assist with volunteer day projects or community events. Production Assistants will be engaged in all aspects of vegetable production and fieldwork, interact with volunteers and market customers, as well as provide support for Real Food Farm’s community garden project at Perlman Place.

These positions require 30-35 hours per week on average from March 2015 – September 2015. Positions available include three 900-hour and one 675-hour Civic Works AmeriCorps terms, which consist of a modest biweekly stipend, skills training, and education award upon completion of service.

You can read the full description of the position and learn how to apply HERE.

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urban ag in baltimore

by Alia Malek


BALTIMORE, Md. — In Sandtown, Douglas Wheeler looks out with satisfaction over the abandoned city-block-turned-farm where he works growing all sorts of greens and lettuce — “but never iceberg” — and remembers how it used to be.

“This lot was a garden of trash,” he says. “With rats all over the place.”

Before they were demolished in 2005, the block had 27 row houses, most of them long boarded up and abandoned, transformed from icons of Baltimore pride to casualties of the blight brought on the city by deindustrialization, unemployment, addiction and the war on drugs.

Until the 1960s, Sandtown was part of the vibrant 72 square blocks that made up a family-based, African-American community where laborers, professionals and artists all lived together across socioeconomic lines. The quarter took its name from the horse-drawn wagons that would trail sand through its streets after filling up at the local sand and gravel quarry. Thurgood Marshall graduated from Sandtown’s Frederick Douglass High School, locals Cab Calloway and Billie Holiday sang in the legendary jazz clubs on Pennsylvania Avenue, and any kid could get some wood, build a box and make a few bucks on that main drag shining shoes.

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