There are 9 farms in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park that are part of a special program called the Countryside Initiative. These Park farms are committed to sustainable agriculture, and work with their park partners to be good land stewards. Earlier this year, the Countryside Initiative Request For Proposals (RFP) opened for two new farms. All questions asked specific to the farm program and farm properties listed in the RFP were publicly answered here.
This is a valuable resource to those of you looking to lease land through National Parks across the country (a growing movement). Click HERE to check out the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Countryside Initiative!
- using garden sheers to trim your bangs
- building a forest fire to barbecue burgers for two
- mincing garlic with a machete
- driving a ton of steel to transport a 150 lbs human body across town
- relying on expensive, petroleum-reliant, highly-commodified tools to support innovative, unconventional, and ecologically-sound small farms
This week in the Food List, the focus is on Appropriate Technology— or, in other words, technology that suits its purposes (in scale, cost, application, etc.). The presented case studies presented prove that when it comes to sustainable, small-scale farming, bigger is not better and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.
Farmers! Did you know that New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania permits the use of brine from fracking operations to be applied to roads as a deicer? If not properly controlled, this waste can run off into adjoining property and ultimately could contaminate rivers, streams, and underground aquifers that feed local drinking water supplies. Government entities, as well as private companies, that wish to use production brine for road spreading must get permission from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to use the brine by applying for a Beneficial Use Determination (BUD). Some local governments in New York have also prohibited the practice by passing ordinances banning fracking and waste disposal.
If you’ve ever daydreamed about fleeing your desk to start a farm, or trading in your mortgage to live in a national park, doing both at the same time might feel like winning a custom-made lottery (after scratching off your bacon-scented ticket, of course).
In May, the National Park Service’s (NPS) Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio will announce its latest call for applications in a program that awards 60-year leases to farm on park land. Lease holders live in single-family renovated farm structures within the park. Only three coveted leases will be awarded in this cycle, and the NPS doesn’t see another call for applications in the foreseeable future.
The successful competitors will join 10 national park farms already established in Cuyahoga. Cuyahoga is on 33,000 protected acres nestled between Cleveland and Akron. Today, the area surrounding it is mainly suburban, but at its peak in the 19th century, the valley had 700 to 800 farms. “One of the park’s goals is preserving that rural farming landscape,” says Jennie Vasarhelyi chief of Interpretation, Education, and Visitor Services. Click HERE to read more!
ASSISTANT MANAGER FARM POSITION OPEN
Assistant Farm Manager job newly created. We are a retired couple seeking help with sheep, goats, laying hens, and land management. Housing, food, and monthly stipend to be negotiated based upon initiative and experience. Mail cover letter and resume, with background and experience to Dharma Farm, 7955 Horn Road, Gambier, OH, 43022. Or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A conference coming right up – Feb. 18-20, 2011 at Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio.
The hope of this conference is to incorporate the conceptual themes of shalom, community, justice and stewardship and link them with the actions of gardening locally and globally, responding to hunger, eating sustainably, decreasing waste and composting.
Find more information here: http://www.bluffton.edu/icpf/