the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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sail freight projects abound! meet the new FoodBargeHack @ It Takes a Region


We are SO HAPPY to see continued discussion of SAIL FREIGHT!

As you may remember, we’ve been obsessed since our first sail freight project in VERMONT a few years ago, and then again in with Maine Sail Freight this past August.

Like they said in the Portland Press Herald:

“It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.”

AND NOW, inspired by Sail Freight and Farm Hack, there will be a FoodBarge Hack lunch Friday Nov. 13, at NEWSAG‘s It Takes a Region Conference. The event’s organizer’s write:

“Together, we will envision an energy efficient, sustainable regional food system using our waterways. We will focus on how to connect mid-sized upstate farmers with underserved NYC neighborhoods using a barge on the Hudson River, and challenge the status quo. With your help, we want take real steps towards a viable alternative to food filled trucks on our roads.”

Please note that you must be attending the conference and should RSVP to Jill Slater in advance if you would like lunch.

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SARE grant proposals due nov 12


Every year the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture and Research and Education (SARE) offer grants capping at $15,000 to commercial farmers who are looking to explore and innovate. Last years winners included projects so wonderfully creative that they bordered on zany– such as using mustard cover crops to biofumigate strawberries, pasturing rabbits for profit, and (my favorite) designing a low-impact amphibious vehicle for oyster harvesting.

This year’s deadline is in less than two weeks– on midnight Nov. 12! If you have an idea that you’d like to try out, you can download the application materials here, and there is a wealth of knowledge to gleaned from the grant page on SARE’s website.

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it takes a region, saratoga springs, nov. 12-14

NESAWG Conference Logo

Back in June, we posted about the upcoming NESAWG (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group) It Takes a Region Conference. And maybe, at that moment, you thought that this year’s theme of “Putting MOVE in the Movement” was so freaking great that you signed up immediately. If so, good for you! But maybe you, like me, were busy planting kale starts, packing for market, coordinating campaigns, or any of the many other June activities that might keep a Greenhorn busy and, planning to sign up later, left the conference page open in a tab on your browser for months. If so, I wanted to gently remind you that It Takes A Region is in THREE WEEKS: Nov. 12-14 in Saratoga Springs, NY. And, phew, it is not too late to register!

This year’s conference will focus on studying social movements of the recent past in relation to our current work in sustainable food systems and food justice. Examples of workshops include sessions on: Addressing Racism in the Food System, Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast, and Food Hubs. The conference is geared towards farmers, nonprofit professionals, activists, and journalists alike, and there is ample discussion time built into the conference schedule.

A few more logistical things to consider: the deadline to book hotels rooms with the special conference discount is October 28, and there are ride and roommate boards available for those looking to share rooms and/or carpool. For all other information, check out the exceptionally-easy-to-navigate conference website.

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online courses from NE beginning farmers

Terrific offerings and a guide to choosing which courses are best for you.


With the growing season at its peak, it’s hard to believe that the “down” season is just a couple months away. Use that slow season wisely to continue your farming education with a selection of 12 online courses. Registration is open now and some courses fill quickly, so be sure to check them out soon!

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small farms quarterly seeks writers

Small Farms QuarterlyPicture 1
As the new farmer editor I invite anyone who is located in the Northeast (Maine-Pennsylvania & points east) to submit an article. These can be focused on beginning farmers you work with, or yourself as a beginning farmer, with a story to tell about an innovation in production, marketing, new varieties, use of technology, etc… These should be timely topics and those with stories others can learn from. You can find more information on writing styles, guidelines and more at: The deadline for submission is August 2nd through the online submission form located here: online submission form with several pictures. The word length and other details are addressed in the first link. I hope you will consider submitting a piece.
Laura Biasillo
Agricultural Economic Development Specialist
Cornell Cooperative Extension-Broome County

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