As part of their 2017 speaker series, Wright-Locke Farm are hosting their second monthly speaker, Molly Anderson, on July 19th. Molly is a professor of food studies at Middlebury College, a member of the Network Design Team of Food Solutions in New England and is co-author of A New England Food Vision 2060: Healthy Food for All, Sustainable Farming and Fishing, Thriving Communities, which explores that potential futures of the food system in New England which can support a high quality of life for everybody by supplying food that can nourish a social, environmental and economic landscape that works for everybody.
Location: Wright – Locke Farm, 82 Ridge Street, Winchester, MA
Time: 7.30 PM
Other Details: Cost is free however the organisers request that you email them to reserve a seat on firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find the full paper A New England Food Vision 2060 HERE
As part of their True Blue project, Fibershed, have recently released a report on the processes and practices involved in the making of blue indigo dye. They explain the idea of a closed-loop ideal indigo dye production system which “moves from soil to dye to textiles and back to soil.” The basis for the report is multifaceted, including academic literature reviews, books on natural dyeing and personal interviews with skilled artisan dyers including Rowland Ricketts, Jane Palmer, and Kori Hargreaves.
To feed all the humans on the planet, we are going to have to grow as much food in the next 35 years as we have grown since the beginning of civilization.
Shocked when he found out that chemical companies were using Hawaii as the testing ground for their GMO crops, director Cyrus Sutton decided to take action. This film documents the three year journey that he embarked on. Island Earth tells the stories of Malia Chun, Cliff Kapono, and Dustin Barca – three Hawaiians seeking to make Hawaii a beacon of hope for an uncertain future. Their journey takes us from GMO corn fields to traditional loi patches in order to uncover the modern truths and ancient values and wisdom that will help us to halt our unsustainable depletion of the earth’s natural resources and to discover how we can feed the world without destroying the planet.
Delegate Registration for Slow Food Nations is now open. Before the Slow Food Festival opens to the general public on July 15 in Denver, CO, 400 delegates from around the world will meet for a summit of delegates on July 14. Delegates meet with each other, connect, discuss the needs in their countries, and “shape the future of Slow Food.” Delegate tickets are $200 for Slow Food members and $25o for others, but scholarships might be available based on need.
Conference leaders write, “We are currently seeking funds for scholarships to assist limited resource individuals to attend as delegates who represent youth, First Nations, advocates of color, and the Ark of Taste.For more information, please email email@example.com.”
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?”
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 →
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.
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.
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?
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.
Ryan Wirick, a documentary filmmaker is looking for help supporting and funding his new feature-length documentary, The Need To GROW, a “solution-packed journey into the lives of those working to fix our broken food system in the US. It focuses on SOLUTIONS (activism, permaculture, farmer’s markets and many many more), to localize food and regenerate our planet’s dying soil.”
The Kickstarter expires in two weeks and still has $20,000 left to go.
Ryan writes, “What we have made with this film is the furthest thing from a boring talking-head-style documentary of doom and gloom. It’s a story-driven, funny, dramatic, informative roller coaster with unexpected twists and turns that is ultimately hopeful and inspiring.”
We have a stubborn and delicious dream that farming can evolve to exist without a constant input of fossil fuels, and Peace of Earth Farm in Albany, VT is dreaming it too! Farmer Rebecca Beidler, has put out a call for support on a super innovative research project to combine the technologies of root cellars and ice houses to create an alternative to energy-reliant walk-in coolers. The farmers need money to complete this project, and they deserve your consideration!
“Peace of Earth Farm is looking to take the principle of using earth as a constant insulator a step farther by adding tanks of water inside the cellar that will freeze during the cold months,utilizing a passive heat exchange system of copper pipes filled with butane. The frozen tanks will slowly melt and cool the space in the summer months in order to meet the cooling needs of the farm year round without electricity.”
While the farm has launched its indiegogo campaign to meet its own needs for cold storage, the farmers have pledged to share all information about the design and outcome with anyone interested. Think of it as a community-backed “grass roots research” that could take us one step closer to reducing our alliance with and dependence on the oil and gas industry.
More information, detailed diagrams, and the opportunity to help are here!
I can almost hear organic farmers across the country rolling their eyes, cover cropping: this is news? And, I know, I know, you’ve been doing this for years— but, yes, actually there’s some real good news here: New York Times writer Stephanie Strom’s report, “Cover Cropping: A Farming Revolution with Deep Roots in the Past,” indicates that the tide of mainstream agriculture may be moving towards more sustainable practices.
Case-in-point #1: Some large-scale midwestern grain growers are actively working cover crops into their rotation.
Case-in-point #2: In Maryland, “the state reimburses farmers for the cost of cover crop seed and has been informing them about the impact that fertilizer runoff has on Chesapeake Bay.”
Case-in-point #3: Even Monsanto is investigating cover crops. “Monsanto, together with the Walton Family Foundation, recently put up the money to support the Soil Health Partnership, a five-year project of the National Corn Growers Association to identify, test and measure the impact of cover cropping and other practices to improve soil health.”
We were skeptical of a few of the articles claims– namely that “new” no-till technology contributes to erosion and degrade microbiology in the soil– but we’re still ready to count this article as a victory for all the extension agents and small-scale farmers who have been championing this technology from the beginning.
“We’ve never seen anything taken up as rapidly as using cover crops,” said Barry Fisher, a soil health specialist at the Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency within the Agriculture Department.