the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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“ditching NAFTA” may hurt american farmers, but which ones?

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/515380213/515638250

NPR’s The Salt spoke to American farmers growing products (strawberries) in and outsourcing their products (milk, powdered) to Mexico. And no doubt, these industrial farmers will either pay more to import and export their crops and could lose potential markets. Given, however, that NAFTA’s effect on small and medium farms in this country– which we rarely mentioned in the discussion– has been largely detrimental, and NAFTA’s effect on small farmers in Mexico has been unequivocally disastrous, we wonder how this conversation could be extended to address small-scale sustainable agriculture.  Greenhorns, policy buffs, what do you think? Surely, it is not always true that what is bad for industrialized ag is good for sustainable ag, but….

What do you think, Greenhorns, specifically our economics buffs out there, what will it mean for young agrarians and small farms if the US “ditches NAFTA?”


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tomorrow on greenhorns radio! jeff conan on the devasting effects of palm oil production

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Palm oil plantation in Indonesia. Photo by Archbad Robin Taim.

Tomorrow January 25th on the Heritage Radio Network, Greenhorns radio talks to Jeff Conan, Senior Forest Campains Manager at Friends of the Earth, a global activist network that campaigns for international environmental and climate justice. Much of Conan’s work focusses on the toxic legacy of palm oil production in Gautemala. Maybe you already knew that the production of this oil was rapidly spurring deforestation of some of the world’s most important rain forests, but were you also aware that the byproducts of its processing have a long legacy of polluting water sources as well?

As Conan writes in a September article on Medium.com, “One year ago, a series of spills dumped toxic palm oil effluent into the Pasión River where it runs through the municipality of Sayaxché in Guatemala’s Peten region. The spills were the latest in a long history of abuses associated with Guatemala’s palm oil industry — Continue reading


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dogfish: a shark for breakfast?

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A shark called Dogfish. Photo by Ben de la Cruz/NPR.

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/508538671/508668113

Currently one of the most plentiful fished fish on the East Coast is actually a shark called dogfish, and yet most Americans have hardly even heard of it. So where are the catches going? Turns out, 90% of the fish Americans eat is imported, whereas 99% of dogfish is exported other places.

 


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radio interview with draft-horse vegetable farmer

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Farmer David Fisher with his draft horses. Photo by David Charles/NPR.

The GH radio is still on break, so if you need to satiate your weekly hunger for radio stories about farming, let me suggest this great piece by NPR’s the Salt about Natural Roots Farm, a CSA farm in western Massachusetts that uses smart systems, ecological growing techniques, and draft power to create self-reliant farm systems that rely as little on fossil fuels as possible.

Though short, the interview with farmers David Fisher and Anna Maclay touches on the discontent with consumer society that drives many of us into the fields, the idea of right work, and the emotional tolls that perfectionism can have on a farmer’s relationships. In fact, we can’t help but wish that the interview could somehow open up to explore these topics in more depth.

Oh, and breaking news! NPR reports that small-scale vegetable farmers are perfection-seeking idealists.

 

 

 


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What creates a high-engagement high-productivity work system?

“Create an alignment of strengths that make the weaknesses irrelevant.”

This short video with Professor Cooperridder,  Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, has some powerful insights to offer. We wonder how this kind of thinking could be applied to farms and to farmers markets?


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easy steps you can take to reduce your electromagnetic pollution exposure

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Photo from Flickr account Arralyn!

Every little bit helps! These fifteen steps from Katie Singer are also good initiatives towards reducing energy usage, reconnecting with the physical world, and saving your sanity.

I like number 5 the best:

5. Think of your mobile phone as a message-taker. Program it to let you know every two hours whether or not you’ve got a message. (This way, you won’t get zapped 24/7; and you’ll get more work done, since you won’t have to respond to constant messages.) Turn off the bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennas. Keep them off. If you must make a call, keep the phone in speakerphone mode. Do not keep the phone near your head, in your bra or pants pocket.