the irresistible fleet of bicycles


Leave a comment

action alert! upcoming farm bill listening sessions.

unnamed (1)

pictured: Colin Thompson, a Community Food Systems Educator for Michigan State University Extension credit: OFRF

As the next Farm Bill approaches, the House Agriculture Committee members are beginning to gather input from farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders. As you may know, several current programmes that contribute to the success of organic agriculture are under threat of elimination as so it is imperative that policy makers hear directly from organic farmers, researchers and organic farming advocates.

There are three upcoming listening sessions in the next week organised by the Organic Farming Research Foundation.

Monday July 31 2017 – 1.00 pm. Texas

Angelo State University,
C.J. Davidson Conference Centre,
1910 Rosemont Drive,
San Angelo, Texas

Thursday, August 3, 2017 – 9:30 a.m. Minnesota 

Farmfest,
Gilfillan Estates,
28366 Co. Hwy 13,
Morgan, Minnesota

Saturday, August 5, 2017 – 9:00 a.m. Modesto, California
Address to yet to be announced.

If you are hoping to speak at one of the listening sessions, arrive early as the opportunity to speak will be decided on a first come first served basis and speaking time will likely be restricted to approximately 2 minutes.

Recently, at OFRF’s recommendation, Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced H.R. 2436, the Organic Agriculture Research Act (OARA). This historic bipartisan legislation reauthorizes USDA’s flagship organic research program, the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), and increases its mandatory funding from $20 million to $50 million annually. If passed, the Organic Agriculture Research Act would become part of the 2018 Farm Bill. It is important to show your support now.

If you would like more information about the listening sessions or the issues at stake, please email policy@ofrf.org.


Leave a comment

sisters’ camelot free fresh organic produce

Since 1997, we have distributed millions of dollars worth of free fresh organic produce and whole foods through our Food Share program. Maybe you’ve seen us around Minneapolis and St. Paul, out in our brightly painted former Metro Transit bus, distributing the kinds of foods you could buy at the Seward Co-op or the Wedge. We make weekly rounds to distributors – Co-op Partners, Albert’s Organics, and other organic food distribution centers.  On any given day, we may pick up and then distribute fresh ripe organic produce, prepackaged whole foods, bulk goods, and other items that may be overstock or approaching their expiration dates. The food share coordinator and volunteers make random stops where we share food unannounced at a busy intersection or neighborhood park in low-income neighborhoods around the Twin Cities metro area. We meet people, discuss good nutrition, and share food. After sharing, cardboard boxes are recycled and overripe produce is composted at local community gardens, with minimal waste going into the waste stream.

Food Share happens twice a week in the winter and three times a week during the growing season, when we add a Farmers’ Market pick-up to our schedule.  Every week we distribute thousands of pounds of fresh, organic produce.

Foodshare can be reached at foodsharebus@sisterscamelot.org. Volunteers are always welcome, and we’d love to have your help. Click here to get involved


Leave a comment

it is our human right to save seed and distribute it for free. minnesota doesn’t think so

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)

The Duluth Seed Library is under fire from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for illegally distributing seeds.

The seed library, located within Duluth’s Public Library has been operating for about a year, distributing seeds for gardeners to grow, harvest the produce, and return new seeds to the library.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture contacted the Seed Library in Mid-September to notify it that the law prohibits the transfer of ownership of seeds without proper labeling and testing of seeds to make sure they germinate.

The Seed Library has said they do not receive enough seeds of certain varieties to allow for accurate testing. The MDA has stated the law is intended to create a level playing field for seed companies and to protect consumers.

“Humans have been exchanging seeds for thousands of years and the idea that even if I grew something in my garden and saved a handful of seeds and passed them over to you, that would be illegal, just seems not very reasonable” said Duluth Public Library Manager, Carla Powers. To view this article, click HERE.

 

The Greenhorns are in total support of world-wide seed sovereignty. These threats are on a humanitarian level. If you would like to see how you can help mobilize and support your local seed sources, please contact Eliza: egreenman (at) gmail (dot) com.


Leave a comment

women in sustainable agriculture fall gathering. save the date!

wfan
Some of us farm and some of us want to farm but we all enjoy sharing and learning from each other at the annual Fall Harvest Gathering for Women in Sustainable Agriculture. PLEASE PLAN TO JOIN US AND SAVE THE DATE!!!   November 7-8-9, 2014 at Cedar Valley Resort in Whalen, MN.Costs are reasonable and scholarships are available. All women are welcome!
Highlights will include:
·        Three (!) virtual farm tours
·        Lively discussion on soil health, what to look for, and how to keep it!
·        Panel discussion on passing on the farm
·        Excellent potluck lunch Saturday (and great food throughout the weekend!)
·        Music, campfire, silent auction
·        Time to walk (or bike) the Root River trail
·        Time to talk casually with women who share your passion!
More details to come! Please contact staceyleighbrown@gmail.com if you have any questions.


Leave a comment

young candidate on agricultural platform

Kevin Labenz.  Here’s his pitch:
On June 12th, I officially launched my campaign for Minnesota State House of Representatives in the newly outlined District 23A.

Many of you know me well and have graciously supported me over the past month as my campaign took off. A big hearty thank you for your time, donations, and words of encouragement. I couldn’t do any of this without you!

To those who are just getting to know me, I am a long time resident of the district; I grew up on a farm outside of Welcome and went to Martin County West High School in Sherburn. I graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul and subsequently spent 5 years teaching English in Japan before returning home to the farm in 2009.

Spending time with family and old friends, working again in agriculture, and reconnecting with the communities that nurtured me, I was reminded why Southern Minnesota is a wonderful place to live and raise families. Our values and way of life remain attractive, but I have grown increasingly concerned about the ability for young people to stay and make a living in the community they grew up in. Continue reading