the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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mendocino permaculture’s 33rh annual winter abundance workshop

OFH-045_Pteris_aquilina_rootstock

Mendocino Permaculture’s 33rd Annual
Winter Abundance Workshop

Saturday January 30, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the Fairgrounds in Boonville

Just a little less a week now until the Mendocino Permaculture’s Winder Abundance Workshop! The event is free and fantastic! Head on over to the Facebook event page for a schedule of events, carpooling schemes, and volunteering information. Among other great offerings, the workshop hosts an extensive seed and scion exchange and sells over 500 different kinds of root stocks of fruit and plants specifically selected for the climate range.

Food and beverages will be available to purchase and organizers are asking everyone to bring their own ware for eating. For more information please call Barbara/Rob at 707 895-3897, Richard 459-5926, or Mark at 463-8672.


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sewing the seeds of syria: farming group rescues plant species threatened by war

The Experimental Farm Network seeks to preserve the world’s biodiversity one seed at a time. The best case for a plant’s survival is for people to grow it widely.

Lettuce seeds

Taylor is part of the Experimental Farm Network, a New Jersey-based group that connects farmers and gardeners to exchange rare and threatened varieties of plants, including those from a Syria upended by war. The network is concerned with plummeting biodiversity, and encourages collaborators to develop new types of fruits and vegetables in a kind of democratization of rare genetic material.

This year, he became especially interested in Syrian seeds. Most of us don’t think about agriculture as one of the losses of war. We think of the loss of human life, the rubbled cities and the looted archaeological sites.

But agriculture, too, is an ancient heritage that can be vulnerable. In Syria, some farmers cannot access the seeds they need, fertilizer or irrigation, according to several Syrian agricultural experts and a July report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

To read more of this article from the Guardian, CLICK HERE!

To donate to their IndieGogo campaign, click HERE


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going to seed

Basket with a variety of green beansphoto from EdiblePortland

Anthony said: Look at this bean. We need several things from this bean. We need this bean to stand up straight, to be interested in climbing the pole like it’s supposed to. Not, I’ll climb the pole some years, and other years, it’s too much work. We need this bean to be able to be picked by hand. We don’t need this bean to be strong enough to be thrown into a huge truck, transported, and put through some heavy machinery. We need it to be soft enough to be edible—you want it to taste great. We need a short season, because this is where we live. We need this bean to be comfortable in our zip code. And I never thought you could ask all of these things from one plant.

An interview by Lolo Milholland in The Lucky Peach goes in depth to a remarkable seed savers strategy. Her interview with Anthony shows innovation and precession in the fine world of plants. Read the full feature article Going To Seed!


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vandana shiva’s response to the new yorker

Yes! vandana

SEEDS OF TRUTH – A RESPONSE TO THE NEW YORKER
by Dr. Vandana Shiva
(A response to the article ‘Seeds of Doubt’ by Michael Specter in The New Yorker)

I am glad that the future of food is being discussed, and thought about, on farms, in homes, on TV, online and in magazines, especially of The New Yorker’s caliber. The New Yorker has held its content and readership in high regard for so long. The challenge of feeding a growing population with the added obstacle of climate change is an important issue. Specter’s piece, however, is poor journalism. I wonder why a journalist who has been Bureau Chief in Moscow for The New York Times and Bureau Chief in New York for the Washington Post, and clearly is an experienced reporter, would submit such a misleading piece. Or why The New Yorker would allow it to be published as honest reporting, with so many fraudulent assertions and deliberate attempts to skew reality. ‘Seeds of Doubt’ contains many lies and inaccuracies that range from the mundane (we never met in a café but in the lobby of my hotel where I had just arrived from India to attend a High Level Round Table for the post 2015 SDGs of the UN) to grave fallacies that affect people’s lives. The piece has now become fodder for the social media supporting the Biotech Industry. Could it be that rather than serious journalism, the article was intended as a means to strengthen the biotechnology industry’s push to ‘engage consumers’? Although creative license is part of the art of writing, Michael Specter cleverly takes it to another level, by assuming a very clear position without spelling it out.

continue reading here

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