the irresistible fleet of bicycles

1 Comment

good primer on reclaiming our soils and regenerative farming


Excerpted from Ronnie Collins’s essay Regeneration: Global Transformation in Catastrophic Times:

We must begin to connect the dots between fossil fuels, global warming and related issues, including world hunger, poverty, unemployment, toxic food and farming, extractivism, land grabbing, biodiversity, ocean destruction, deforestation, resource wars, and deteriorating public health. As we regenerate the soil and forests, and make organic and grass-fed food and fiber the norm, rather than just the alternative, we will simultaneously develop our collective capacity to address all of the globe’s interrelated problems.

The extraordinary thing about de-industrializing food and farming, restoring grasslands and reversing deforestation—moving several hundred billion tons of carbon back from the atmosphere into our soils, plants and forests—is that this regeneration process will not only reverse global warming and re-stabilize the climate, but will also stimulate hundreds of millions of rural (and urban) jobs, while qualitatively increasing soil fertility, water retention, farm yields and food quality.

Read the full essay here!

1 Comment

great listen: farming without labels

To listen to the radio piece, click HERE!

Who is a good farmer? This question of goodness has been important to the popularization of the sustainable food movement. However, consumer evaluations of so-called goodness has become increasingly reliant on labels––“Organic,” “Locally-grown,” “Certified Humane,” “GMO-Free,” the list goes on. But when these labels can be co-opted by large-scale producers, do they retain any meaning? Is the certified organic beef from the supermarket a better choice than the not-certified beef sold by a local farmer at the farmers’ markets? Intuition seems to tell us no but Shizue RocheAdachi (SHE-zoo-eh r-OH-ch a-da-chee), a student at Yale University, decided to put a story to the question and headed out to Morris, Connecticut to talk to a farmer who’s forgoing the labels.

Click here to find out more about Truelove Farms

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 Volunteers are always welcome, and we’d love to have your help. Click here to get involved

Leave a comment

talking chadwick

More than thirty years after his death, people still refer to Alan Chadwick in the present tense, a fascinating testament to the power of his personality and ideas. It is challenging, perhaps even foolhardy, to attempt to capture this complex man – such a huge person and influence – in a few web pages. 

The Talking Chadwick program features memories of pioneering organic gardener and teacher Alan Chadwick. You’ll discover stories by and about Chadwick apprentices and colleagues, both in audio clips and written narratives.

Click HERE to learn stories from Alan Chadwick’s gardening communities!

Leave a comment

saint organic: coach mark smallwood

Over the last 14 days, Mark Smallwood has been on a walk. A walk that will hopefully change the way that we look a climate change and think about how we can reverse this disastrous phenomenon.

Each day he walks ten miles, on a journey from the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA to Washington, DC. Along the way, he has had the honor of meeting with farmers, local public officials, community members, students and activists. Every person he meets is impacted by the effects of climate change. From the disastrous hail storm that occurred in Reading, PA in May to the local fisherman and their concern that Atrazine was found in spawning beds of small mouth bass in the Susquehanna River. Climate change affects us all and the impact and destruction caused by catastrophic weather events is more noticeable with each passing year.

Along the way, he continues to tell people that climate change is a gift. This is Mother Nature’s way of letting us know that she is sick. We have broken our ecological systems and only we can fix it. He has data that proves that a global transition to regenerative organic agriculture can reverse climate change.

To learn more about Mark’s delivery of this data to Washington DC and how you can help, click HERE!

Leave a comment

usda press release: organic markets are growing, 2014 farm bill funding helps access these markets

USDA organic

In today’s press release, the USDA has announced new figures that show the organic industry continues to grow domestically and internationally. Certified organic farms and businesses in the United States have witnessed a 245% increase since 2002 while consumer demand continues to increase exponentially. To help producers further access these markets, the 2014 farm bill has included provisions to support the organic community, including:

  • $20 million annually for organic research, agricultural extension programs and education.
  • $5 million to fund data collection on organic agriculture for policy reform.
  • Expanded options for organic crop insurance
  • Expanded exemptions for organic producers who are paying into commodity “check off” programs, and authority for the USDA to consider an application for the organic sector to establish its own check off.
  • Improved enforcement authority for the National Organic Program to conduct investigations.
  • $5 million for a technology upgrade of the National Organic Program to provide up-to-date information about certified organic operations across the supply chain.
  • $11.5 million annually for certification cost-share assistance, which reimburses the costs of annual certification for organic farmers and livestock producers by covering 75% of certification costs, up to $750/year.

For more information,  check out the USDA Organic Resources Page


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 688 other followers