the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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jackson county oregon ban on GE alfalfa settlement reached

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After months of negotiations, OFFC and the Center for Food Safety have reached a proposed settlement with the two GE alfalfa growers that had sued to overturn Jackson County’s ban on genetically engineered crops. The settlement still needs to be approved by the County and federal court, but we expect it will be.
Under the settlement, the Jackson County ban passed by voters will stand and the federal court’s opinion upholding the measure will not be appealed! This will leave the will of Jackson County voters in place and protect family farmers growing traditional crops from contamination by genetically engineered crops.
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a land built by gravity

Oregon-based young farmer and photographer Nolan Caldish takes beautiful photographs, often pertaining to agricultural subjects. Several of the projects up on his website, both independent and commissioned feature vegetables, fruits, and land use issues. The three images above come the from “A Land Built By Gravity,” which explores America with stark realism, the intersection of the land and its people. Give it a peek!


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young farmers! rouge farm corps is hiring

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Rogue Farm Corps is now accepting applications for the 2016 season.

FarmsNext is a full season entry-level residential internship program that combines hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture. As a student intern, you will live and work full-time on a host farm, receiving up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from your mentor. Your residential farm training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as opportunities for independent study. Student interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities.

The FarmsNOW apprenticeship program is for those with some farm experience who are seeking mastery in the art and business of sustainable agriculture. Hands-on training, classes, seminars, and guidance on farm business development will help you gain the skills to plan, design, and run integrated farming systems on your own. This full-immersion program is designed those who have completed the FarmsNext internship program, or have two years of on-farm experience. You will live and work full-time on a host farm, receive up to two seasons of on-farm training, and learn in-depth skills from their mentor farmer.

For more information and applications click HERE!


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monsanto defeated! court ruling in oregon allows ban on GMO crops.

Message from the Our Family Farms Coalition:

May 29, 2015 – CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR SUPPORTERS! We have DEFEATED the first major stage of the Monsanto-backed legal challenge that attempted to overturn our Jackson County ban on genetically engineered crops!!!!  This is a huge win for family farmers threatened by GMO contamination and a win for everyone who cares about the future of our food supply!

Here’s a link to the well-written decision by Federal Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke that at just 11 pages is a very readable decision even for us non-lawyers!  The court upheld the Ordinance on the grounds that it was intended to protect against damage to commercial agricultural products, which is allowed under the Right to Farm Act, and because it was expressly allowed by the Oregon Legislature.

Thank you all so much for everything you have done to make our collective victory today possible.  We simply couldn’t have done it without your help and support.   There’s a lot happening right now with media releases and related work, but I’ll send another update soon on when the victory party will be which we hope you all can make.

Also, while this is an incredible victory for family farmers standing up to GMOs, we do know there is a real chance Monsanto and their ilk could appeal this decision, so the battle is not really over yet.  Also, the Plaintiffs’ claims that the GMO ban constitutes a constitutional “taking” will now have to be litigated in the second phase of the case, so we hope you will join us in celebrating, but with the understanding that there is more left to do on the incredible team effort we’ve all been a part of.

Finally, we are still working to raise funds to pay off our legal expenses to date, so yes… you can still donate to the cause through our website.

Thanks again for your support!

Congratulations again for your work,

Elise Higley, Director Our Family Farms Coalition


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farming with draft horses workshop, oregon

workhorse

The farming with draft horses workshop is designed for participants, who have some experience in working with draft horses and would like to learn methods and skills so that they can use their horse(s) for farm related tasks. Walt and Kris, of Ruby and Amber’s Organic Oasis, a certified organic and biodynamic farm, personally conduct the workshop.  The workshop is limited to 6 hands on participants to ensure plenty of hands on learning.  There are a limited number of observer slots available at each workshop. Observers are allowed to observe, and ask questions at the workshop, but are not allowed direct participation with the animals or equipment.

Topics include:
• Safety tips for working around horses and equipment
• Harnessing and harness adjustment to insure proper angle of draft for different equipment
• Driving lines (reins) setup and adjustment to position horses in proper relationship to the work at hand
• Plowing with a team or single, including plow adjustment
• Discing, harrowing, and using sweeps with a team or single horse and adjustment of equipment
• Single horse cultivation and team riding cultivator use and adjustment
• Introduction to the mower and hay rake
• Other farm implements
• Information, resources, publication discussions
• Equipment for farming and logging discussions

The workshop price is 250.00 per person.
For more information contact: walt@workhorseworkshops.com.


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intern with rogue farm corps!

image via roguefarmcorps.org

 Entry-level and advanced farm internships still available throughout Oregon

Rogue Farm Corps trains the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational programs. Our host farms are located in four cluster around Oregon: the Rogue Valley, the Portland Metro Area, the South Willamette Valley, and Central Oregon.

The entry-level FarmsNext program is an entire season of hands-on training and skill-based education in sustainable agriculture for aspiring farmers and ranchers. This immersive on-farm experience combines field training with a mentor farmer, classroom learning with agricultural professionals and expert farmers, tours of local farms, and opportunities for farm-based independent study. Positions available on a diverse network of commercial family farms in four communities across Oregon. No experience necessary to apply. Applications accepted on a rolling basis until March 1, 2015. Get them in early!

FarmsNOW is a two-year advanced training program designed for those with a solid foundation of farm experience, and the goal of managing a farm operation. This program will propel beginning/intermediate farmers to the next level of planning, designing and running integrated farming systems. FarmsNOW is for those seeking mastery in the art and business of farming. Candidates must have two years, or equivalent, of vegetable production experience. Application deadline is February 1, 2015. Don’t delay!

For complete program descriptions, testimonials, information on our host farms, and applications, please visit our website: roguefarmcorps.org

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