the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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new resource: national sustainable agriculture oral history archive

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credit: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders

The National Sustainable Agriculture Oral History Archive is a collection of interviews with people who have been instrumental in the development and implementation of public policies to advance sustainable agriculture in the United States. It was started in 2015 and has been growing ever since. Several of the interviews are with key members of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and their interviews document the process of formation and evolution that has led to the NSAC that we know today. They also discuss the federal policy reforms NSAC, its allies, and predecessor coalitions have achieved over the past four decades.

To date there are 31 interviews available in the archive, most in a video format with accompanying written transcription. The plan for the next year involves conducting 8-10 more interviews featuring  several farmer/civil rights activists in the South among others.

Among the main topics covered in the interviews are:

  • The political and social context surrounding the initial federal policy efforts in the 1970s and 1980s to advance organic and sustainable agriculture;
  • The evolution of what became the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, from its early days as an informal network of grassroots organizations, to the more formal structure of regional Sustainable Agriculture Working Groups (SAWGs) in the 1990s, to the NSAC of today with its 120 organizations from around the country;
  • A review of the policy gains that support organic and sustainable agriculture achieved through federal Farm Bills from 1985 through 2014, including a discussion of where policy proposals fell short, despite the efforts of sustainable agriculture advocates;
  • What now? Exploration of priorities going forward that are needed to strengthen organic and sustainable farming and build a healthy food system.

Check out the archive HERE

The archive is housed at the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. The interviews were conducted by Ron Kroese (rkroese@visi.com), a senior fellow with the University’s Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems. 


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mapping perennials

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Ever wish you could find every perennial farm any where you went in the country? Turns out you can. Perennial Map provides a great interactive platform for finding perennial farms across the country. Whether you’re looking to network, hire, or just learn more, farms that raise everything from maple syrup to asparagus are listed here. Is your farm missing from the list? It’s free to create a new posting!


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crop planning resources for farmers

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‘Tis the season for nailing down your crop plan for the Spring! (Hypothetically, this would have been on our to-do lists for early December ago, but I can’t be the only one whose holidays got the better of her business agenda, right?) Is this your first time crop planning? Looking to upgrade your system? Maybe you’re feeling a little lost or a little down-to-the-wire. Here’s a collection of resources to make the process a little easier:

1. Penn State’s guide to making plans for the season: specifically for CSA farms, but this advice is adaptable to market and whole sale farms as well. Basic, comprehensive, and
2.  “Crop master” spreadsheet to model off of: comprehensive, super-logical, easy to follow, and easy to replicate– provided you are familiar with inserting formulas into spreadsheets.
3. A template that you can edit: a template from Tom Becker of Sunseed Farm, which will potentially save first-time veggie farmers a lot of time and energy: the sheet includes already-made formulas and already input crop information. Note: will have to be adjusted to reflect individual USDA zones.
4. Collection of great links/resources on the subject: “everyone’s brain works differently.”


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event for landless farmers and lucky landowners, forest grove, or

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Dairy Creek Community Food Web presents:

Fields for Food
a workshop on leasing farmland
Tuesday March 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
@
St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
1609 Elm St.
Forest Grove, OR
To RSVP, call: 503-992-0078 ext. 302
Free with snacks provided!

Presentations by:
Nellie McAdams, Director of Farm Preservation Program at Rogue Farm Corps. Nellie will explain how to find farmers and craft a lease.
http://www.roguefarmcorps.org/

Greg Malinowski, farmer at Malinowski Farms and Washington County Commissioner. Greg will share his experience in leasing portions of his land to farmers for over 20 years.
http://www.friendsoffamilyfarmers.org/

Charlene Murdock, Nana Cardoon Urban Farm and local Forest Grove resident who has leased land to Adelante Mujeres Sustainable Agriculture program participants.
http://www.adelantemujeres.org/http://www.nanacardoon.com/,


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smart phones come from mountains

This video is put out by Fairphone, an Netherlands-based company that produces smart phones with opaque, open, and more socially-responsible supply chains. If this sounds like a plug for the company, it’s not, per say. If you’re going to get a smartphone, Fairphone is obviously a great alternative to larger corporations. But, what we  really appreciate about this video is that it draws our attention no only to issues of responsible sourcing but to the larger reality that every new smartphone draws precious minerals out of mountainsides.


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featured resource

Fern School.org

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Mission
To secure local food sources in the desert Southwest through educational exchanges between current producers engaged in diverse ecologically conscious agriculture, and a new generation of food producers.

Vision
We envision a network of food producers in the desert Southwest who are active in connecting students of all ages to dynamic agricultural experiences. In turn, our region’s food opportunities are enriched by supporting our current growers and a new generation of food producers through farm-based educational exchanges.


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Resources: recommended reading, viewing, listening and more

One of our goals is to provide young farmers, apprentices, and others with the resources necessary to begin farming or to expand their practice. We think that the knowledge of other Greenhorns will provide ballast and an ideal platform from which to share information. We aim to facilitate this information exchange through establishing a website as a framework for support through social networks, a comprehensive online reference manual of case studies, essays, and lists of recommended books and films.

Until this site is up and running, we will post various essays relating to themes important to The Greenhorns on pages of this blog. You can navigate via the links on the right under Essays and farther down under Recommended Online Films.

Essays on the blog so far include:

Reweaving the Fabric of Rural America: Food as a Common Thread by John Ikerd

The Story of Synthia: Craig Venter’s plan to build a synthetic life-form by ETC, art by Sig.

Please also see www.pixiepoppins.org, created several years ago by our director Severine von Tscharner Fleming as a resource hub for young agrarians.