Our friends at Kiss the Ground take the cake for this week’s most uplifting environmental video– best of all it integrates two of our favorite things: videos of goats being goats and alternatives (dare we say upgrades?) to fossil fuels in land stewardship. Also, does anyone else want this woman’s job?
The world premier of the Evolution of Organic (see our previous post on this film here and here) is finally upon us! You can catch the event at the opening Night of Green Film Fest 2017 on April 20 at the Castro Theatre. Schedule as follows:
6:00pm :: Opening Night Reception with Mark Kitchell and Festival filmmakers
7:30pm :: Evolution of Organic (Mark Kitchell, USA, 2017, 82 mins)
As the Film Fest surmises, “[The Evolution of Organic] started with a motley crew of back-to-the-landers rejecting industrial farming. It went on to spawn a renewed connection with our food and land. Filmmaker Mark Kitchell (Berkeley in the Sixties; A Fierce Green Fire) presents a celebration of Californian organic farming told by the people that started it all thru to a new generation who continue to reinvent the food system.”
The film will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Mark Kitchell and special guests. Buy tickets here!
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.
Linda Hussa writes and ranches cattle and sheep in California’s farthest northeast corner, on the edge of the Black Rock Desert. She is the author of seven books of poetry and non-fiction, all of which artfully explore rural lives and work—their struggles as well as their joys. Hussa has won numerous awards, including the “Willa,” given in the name of Willa Cather by Women Writing the West. She has recently been nominated to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame for her work as a poet, writer, rancher, historian, and activist.
Hussa will read her poetry, and be joined in conversation by guest curator Lisa M. Hamilton, whose own work explores agriculture and rural communities. Hamilton features Hussa in the current photographic exhibition exploring rural California; indeed it was Hussa’s own words that gave the exhibition its title, “I See Beauty in this Life.”
Next Seed Saving class is on June 4, 3:30-5:30 in the Potrero Branch Program Room, 1616 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
Seed Lending libraries are sprouting up across the state with at least six in Northern California and one coming soon in Los Angeles. With the recent opening of two branches in San Francisco, community members are bringing food safety, biodiversity protection, and urban farming back into their own hands. The first two branches of the San Francisco Seed Library, a project of Transition SF and the San Francisco Permaculture Guild, are open for lending at Hayes Valley Farm and as a pilot project at the Potrero Branch of the San Francisco Public Library; the next seed saving class is on June 4 at 3:30 in the Potrero Branch Program Room. Continue reading
HOW IT WORKS: On-site cheesemaking classes in the Bay Area. You gather the people. I bring milk and all the supplies. Classes are suited for up to 15 students though not limited to. Choose fromclasses that last an hour to ones that last several. Learn anything from yogurt to feta to mozzarella to farmstead cheddar.
- Ricotta Clouds: This class teaches you how to make whole milk, skim milk and whey ricotta at home. Includes a taste testing of cow vs. sheep ricottas as well as a display of traditional and creative ricotta forms. Class is 2 hours long. ($300)
- Kefir and Yogurt: Learn the simplicity of homemade kefir and yogurt. Learn how to sweeten and flavor these delicious andhealthy foods. Learn about probiotics, shelf life, mother cultures and more. Participants recieve cultures to take home.Class is 3 hours long. ($335)
- Mozz Stretch: After a breeze through cheese chemistry, you’ll jump right into mozzarella stretching fun. Taste test mozzarella varieties. Be inspired with mouthwatering meal ideas. Stretch your own fresh mozzarella knots to take home and enjoy. Class lasts 1 hour. ($375)
- Mozzarella Madness: Start with some fresh milk. End with a buttery ball! This longer class teaches you how to make mozzarella curd (both the old-fashioned way and the quick methods) then moves you through curing and stretching techniques. Cultures and recipes are included. Class is 4 hours long. ($450)