Yellow Seed, a nonprofit organization that facilitates connections between farmers and fair markets, recently partnered with Impact Hub Berkley, a social impact working hub out of the Bay Area, to host six curated working groups to focus on Collaborative Trade. The project was called From the Ground Up: Change Accelerator and aimed to “design healthy, global food supply chains where farmers are treated as equal partners and like-minded organizations work together to accelerate the shift towards sustainability.”
Small farmers, social justice groups, and some big names of the chocolate industry participated. (See the Yellow Seed blog for more detailed information!) To bring the sessions to a close, the groups are inviting anyone interested to take place in a webinar that will present the key findings of the working groups. The “welcome all curious minds, open hearts and everyone interested in learning about how we can revolutionize our global food supply chains together.”
Anyone interested has the choice of joining either of the two webinars:
Session A: Fri, Apr. 8, 2016 12:00PM – 1:30PM PDT
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/521009293
You can also dial in using your phone: United States +1 (312) 757-3121
Access Code: 521-009-293
Session B: Mon, Apr. 11, 2016 6:30pm – 8:00pm PDT
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/413804301
You can also dial in using your phone: United States +1 (224) 501-3212
Access Code: 413-804-301
A nature story is unfolding above San Francisco’s chaotic Market Street. The Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly and its allies – Peregrine Falcons, Red-masked Parakeets, Bumblebees, Echo Blues, Red Rock Skimmers, and other urban creature – are making habitat along San Francisco’s civic spine.
This accidental ecosystem is missing something: nectar-producing flowers to feed adult butterflies and other wildlife.
But you can help: sponsor a plant! For every $5 raised, Nature in the City will plant Zinnia, Verbena, Statice, Echinacea, and Tithonia (all preferred nectar flowers) from seed; we will care for the seedling until maturity and then give it a permanent home. Plants destined for Market Street will flood rooftop and community gardens, nearby parks, sidewalk planters, medians, and public plazas. A donation of $50 dollars will sponsor 10 plants, and a donation of $1000 will sponsor 200. What’s more, a generous Nature in the City donor (Kindy French) has offered to match all donations up to $5000, meaning that when we reach our goal, 2000 new flowering plants will support wildlife on Market Street!
With a nod from nature, let’s help build a beautiful Market Street, feed the Western Tiger Swallowtail, and create lasting ecological integrity together.
Visit natureinthecity.org to learn more about this project, and sponsor a plant today!
Visit their indiegogo site to contribute more!
Here at the Greenhorns love art and we love farmıng and we love creative subversive people, and so you might imagine that we really love creative subversive art about farming. We’ve blogged about these guys a few times before, and we are delighted to remind you that they’re still creating great art all the time. The above image is from their beautiful 2014 Annual Harvest project in which empty fruit boxes were placed near an apple farm in the Flemish countryside and painted with text that emerged from conversations with a local farmer. Check out the wonderful photographs of the process and instillation here!
Futurefarmers describes itself as ”a group of diverse practitioners aligned through an interest in making work that is relevant to the time and place surrounding us. Founded in 1995, the design studio serves as a platform to support art projects, an artist in residence program and our research interests. We are artists, researchers, designers, architects, scientists and farmers with a common interest in creating frameworks for exchange that catalyze moments of ‘not knowing’.”
A casual stroll through their webpage is highly encouraged Saturday morning activity.
Check out this inspiring and practical presentation from our very own Severine von Tscharner Fleming at the Bioneers Conference in October!
Tigers on Market Street!
The Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio rutulus) has found habitat on San Francisco’s Market Street. Over the next two years, while Market Street’s ultimate design is in the lurch, the City’s “Make Your Market Street” campaign has invited us to tell this unique story of urban ecological adaptation. The Action Grant will be used towards engaging the public in understanding this unique butterfly phenomenon, create pilot methods for placemaking, and connect people to wildlife in one of the densest urban areas. These interventions will ultimately test ideas that may be integrated into the permanent design of Market Street.
For the past year or so, a group of urban agriculture activists here in SF, has been working to push forward the idea of incentivizing urban property owners to sign long term leases with farmers by offering an adjusted property tax rate. If a property owner agrees to put their land into long-term agricultural use (10 years or more), the county could opt to assess the property at a lower rate based on it’s agricultural use instead of its market value. Over the year, we’ve had countless meetings discussing the idea, brainstorming its implications, and researching similar models (there are few, but a helpful starting point was California’s Williamson Act). Fortunately, State Assemblymember Phil Ting (former SF Tax Assessor), looking for ways to promote urban agriculture at the state level, has recently adopted the idea and has officially introduced statewide legislation known as Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act (AB 551).
You can find the current draft of the legislation here, along with a comprehensive FAQ about the bill here. It should be noted that the legislation is still in draft form, and our group of SF urban ag activists is strongly pushing for a few key changes to the draft before it’s finalized. We’ll post updated language to the draft as it unfolds.
This legislation could directly affect the sustainability of projects like ours, and even more importantly, could generate opportunities for more self-sustaining commercial farms to sprout up in cities throughout California. I think this could be a promising step toward the viability of urban farming, as well as toward widening its accessibility by lowering a significant financial barrier. And, more broadly, if this legislation passes and is put into use, it could help bridge the gap between urban and rural food production and consumption, and California’s cities could be on a path to becoming stronger and better-informed allies in advocating for a healthier agricultural system overall.