the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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accessible innovation

Haven’t we been hearing or a long time that that human innovation and technology will be the thing that gets us through the projected crisis’ ahead, from the environmental, to the social and political. Yet even as we are seeing an unprecedented increase in affordable technologies, these solutions still tend to consolidate power in the hands of a few as most are proprietary by design.

Wasn’t it Wendell Berry that said a solution is not a solution if it is not available to all? It’s a rational that resonates with a lot of the opensource and farmhack ethos of simple, user designed, accessible technologies and practices. Because beyond just being accessible, open source innovations respond to the needs of a community rather than being prescriptive solutions coming from outside.

We’re excited about this little project by some folks from France called The Gold of Bengal. The group has been sailing a boat made of recycled material, navigating the the world in search of different interesting initiatives. Their current voyage began in 2015 and for the next 3 years they are documenting low-technology innovations that they encounter along the way.

Three cheers for community led, decentralized, open innovation!

You can find out more info about the Nomade des Mers voyage here and look at some of their low-tech lab documentation here. And while you’re feeling inspired maybe you want to contribute some of your own low tech solutions to the farmhack tool list.


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sail powered rum

Tres Hombres is an initiative that thrives on combined passions; sailing, traditional ships, shipbuilding, crew training, a Screen shot 2014-08-26 at 9.19.08 PMhealthy environment, good harmony and of course rum! Tres Hombres stands for enjoying life. Like a message in a bottle, the ship contains a dream about reviving traditional sailed cargo shipping, a dream that has already partly been fulfilled.

In the sixteenth century, when excise taxes were standardized, the illegal transport and trade of rum, known as rum running came to life. During the American prohibition in the twenties this trade form reached its climax. Tres Hombres follows this line of business, but contrary to what was the case with traditional rum running, this is a legal trade. However, the title rumrunner perfectly illustrates the buccaneer’s style and bravery of this entrepreneurship.

Tres Hombres ships rum from the Caribbean without fuel or an engine in the tradition of the old rumrunners, creating the world’s only Fairtransport rum. This is done by the ship: rumrunner ‘Tres Hombres’. It’s the first and only authentic rum runner to exist in this millennium! Since 2010, this ship transports specially produced editions of rum, making Fairtransport rum available only in Europe! The limited edition rum is loaded into the ship’s belly by hand. Depending on the weather, the rum spends up to two months in the hold of this engineless cargo ship. Man and ship fight the elements the way it used to be done in the old days, delivering their cargo safe, sound and dry at the homeport. All this is done by an environmentally friendly journey over the Atlantic Ocean.

This sustainable initiative is creating a name for itself within the international rum scene, with its premium rum, specially bottled and shipped, emission-free, from the Caribbean.