Bread and Puppet Theater, in Glover, Vermont, is looking for an organic gardener to assist the head gardener in the theater’s gardens which total about an acre.The position is for mid April to mid October of 2018. At the height of the season (June-August) the farm feeds 80-150 people. Storage crops and preserves from the garden are provisions for a small company of 2-12 during the rest of the year.
Applicants should have experience working on an organic farm and managing volunteers. Bread and Puppet Theater are looking for a candidate with good communication and self directed organizational skills as well as an enthusiasm for the grassroots life. The successful candidate will work closely on a daily basis with the head gardener, helping manage all aspects of the garden’s operation including planning in the spring, planting, cultivation, guiding volunteers, harvesting, maintaining a close association with the kitchen and community, and closing down the garden in the fall. This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in living communally in a vibrant, socially active artist collective. Food, housing, and a small stipend are provided.
Ideally, interested candidates would be free to go to the far this summer to see the farm and meet the head gardener.
If you or somebody you know is interested in applying for this position, please send a letter of introduction which details your experience and interest in addition to your resume and contact information for two references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Though those who live farther away from the muddy melting snow of Southern New England, may not have caught wind of the migrant rights struggle that has been playing out between farms and courthouses around the region, it’s worth everyone’s attention.
Since the ICE arrest and detention of farmworkers and Migrant Justice leaders Jose Enrique “Kike” Balcazar Sanchez and Zully Palacios Rodriguez on March 16, hundreds of people have gathered aroundVermont and in Boston to demand the young activists release. Migrant Justice is a Vermont-based organization that organizes three regional migrant worker communities to advocate for human rights and economic justice. Especially considering some of the anecdotes in this excellent piece by LatinoUSA.org on their case, it is hard to imagine a scenario in which immigration officials are not intentionally targeting human rights leaders for deportation.
Both are in their early twenties, neither with any prior arrests, and they were on their way home from the Migrant Justice center when they were stopped. Balcazar, as LatinoUSA reports, “is an active community organizer in Vermont, and served on Vermont attorney general T.J. Donovan’s Immigrant Task Force, which was created in January as a response to President Trump’s immigration executive orders.”
Taylor Hutchinson – photo credit: Kathleen Masterson/VPR
Folks, this is a pretty important conversation!
Already on the margins of income, new farmers face an especially challenging prospect when it comes to budgeting for health insurance.
The good people over at Vermont Public Radio recently did a show on the difficulties of trying to navigate the world of health care for farmer businesses.
UVM rural sociologist and researcher Shoshanah Inwood says when they asked farmers about issues they faced she expected to hear about cost of land, inputs, neighbors, but was surprised to learn that health care was on all the participants minds.
“The number one issue facing farmers was the cost of health insurance. They identified that as the biggest threat to their farm,” she said.
“Well, how many people know a farmer that has an injury? Or a farm family that has a chronic health issue? Or a mental health issue?’ And everybody’s hand goes up,” Inwood said. “And that’s the one issue we really never talk about, are some of those social needs that farm families have.”
Let’s just say this now: health care as a right not a privilege!
You can hear the VPR interview with farmer Taylor Hutchinson (Footprint Farm) and read the full article here
Can produce grown in a soilless medium be called organic? Vermont-based “Keep the Soil in Organic” says HECK, NO. Growing rapidly, this grassroots movement is drawing attention to the degradation of organic certification by big money and corporate interest in hydroponics. Started with a petition by two small-scale organic farmers, Dave Chapman and David Miskell, “Keep the Soil in Organic” has gained traction nation wide and around the world. Organic has always been about the health of the soil, so why change now?
The hydroponic invasion started as a tiny exception here and there years ago. Now it has become the dominant form of production for certified “organic” tomatoes and berries in the US. What began as a minor trickle has become a major flood, as the hydroponic greenhouse producers of the world have discovered that the USDA will allow them entry into the coveted organic market. By changing the fertilizer brew in their mixing tanks to “natural” (but highly processed) soluble fertilizers, and then switching to “approved” pesticides, the hydroponic producers can miraculously become “organic” overnight.
Growing soilless plants with force fed organic nutrients is a step backwards. Perhaps it is a technological innovation, but not an organic innovation. Call it what you want, but it is not organic.
To learn more about the “Keep the Soil in Organic” movement, check out their website HERE for more information, petitions to sign, actionable steps to take, and videos of a recent farmer-led rally in Vermont. In their words, “Organic without soil is like democracy without people!”
Farmers who have, would like to, or are currently leasing farm land, you input is needed!
Imagine that after a tiring search of rental properties, you have finally found the right plot of land to farm on, but you have little experience with legal matters and feel like your lease agreements are written in a foreign language– I know, I know, you’re saying, Imagine?! That is literally my life; just bear with me– imagine that in this moment, when it is probably a Friday night and no attorney will be available until Monday, that you can actually use a well-designed online app to get personally-tailored legal guidance.
This is exactly what researchers at Vermont Law School’s fantastic Center for Agriculture and Food Systems are working to create: a first-of-its-kind Farmland Lease Builder mobile app that will provide legal guidance tailored to individual farmer situations and draft leases to be used in conversations with attorneys and in lease negotiations. The idea is that farmers would to be able to use the free app to get as far as possible toward building a useful lease before they need to talk to an attorney. The app will be tailored to sustainable and organic operations — encouraging longer-term land tenure to facilitate stable farm businesses and investment in soil-building.
They have reached out to the Greenhorns asking if there are farmers or farm advocates in our network that would be willing to be interviewed by the researchers about their leasing experiences. Are you? If so, express your interest in the comments or contact Amanda N Heyman directly at email@example.com.
The following message is from our friends at the Cornucopia Institute and references the recent GMO labeling law, so called the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, which purports to mandate GMO labeling while, in reality, does not give the FDA the ability to enforce the act, allows companies to opt for labeling practices that are not –er– exactlylabeling, and (perhaps most dangerously) takes the right away from states such as Vermont to enact their own GMO labeling laws.
Attention Northeastern meat eaters! These beautiful farmers, and our friends, over at Cairncrest sell sustainably-raised, small-scale, hand-processed pork (raised on forages, local non-GMO grains, and whey from yogurt manufacturing) and 100% grass fed beef at locations in NY, PA, and VT. Highest quality meat from caring and skilled farmers. Order what you want online and choose a pick-up location!
They are also looking for individuals or groups who might be interested in setting up buyers clubs in the Hudson Valley. So if you are a passionate foodie go-getter in the that area, contact the farm!
Ever wonder how milk becomes cheese and yogurt? What the difference between bacon, pancetta and prosicutto is? How an IPA differs from a regular Pale Ale?
Roll up your sleeves and pack your apron!
During this four-day tour, you will be introduced to various food production methods through hands-on workshops, tastings and innovative farm tours around Vermont’s Champlain Valley. From the cheesemaking that Vermont is famous for to traditional Italian charcuterie, from ancient yogurt and kombucha fermentation methods to the top craft beers, ciders, wine and spirits, our aim is to show you as much behind the scenes artisanal food production as possible in one weekend!
To learn more about this extended workshop weekend, click HERE!
Reliable sources say that the DARK Act will soon be up for another vote.
Last time, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) didn’t have the votes to pass his bill to take away states’ rights to label GMOs. Many of those who voted against the bill were pro-GMO Senators who take campaign contributions (and their talking points) from companies like Monsanto. But realizing they would take a lot of heat from their constituents, they voted no in the hope that a more palatable “compromise” bill might come along.
The Senators who voted against the DARK Act last time could easily flip their votes to support a “compromise” (capitulation) to block Vermont’s law and replace it with a weak federal standard, because of—what else?—pressure from the big corporations who profit from toxic pesticides and GMO foods.
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!
Photo by Jim Pepper, compliments of Hakai Magazine
Andrus is the kind of guy who puzzles over why, in the face of tremendous evidence, people continue to do things they know are ultimately maladaptive.
You followed our great journey from Maine to Boston all summer, but do you know where all this Sail Freight business started? With a Vermont grain farmer named Erik Andrus and a forward-thinking sailor Steve Schwartz, who took on the incredible challenge of sailing a season’s crop down the Hudson River to sell at markets in New York City.
Lina Zeldovitch over at Hakai Magazine, a Journal of Coastal Science and Societies, published this beautiful piece on Vermont Sail Freight in April. It’s a great story that ties together the environmental effects of our current shipping methods, the health of our coastal communities, and what unflinching optimistic realism can accomplish.
Greetings from Twig Farm! We’re a small goat dairy in West Cornwall, Vermont. Kidding season will soon be upon us, and while baby goats are unquestionably most adorable animals of all time, sadly we cannot keep all of our darling doelings. That’s where you come in! Our registered Alpines boast superb genetics, bred for hardiness and superior milk production. (Papers and milk records available upon request.) We’re asking $50 per doeling and are willing to negotiate a reduced fee for larger orders. Happy to disbud them for you free of charge if you like. These ladies will certainly be incredible additions to your herd, enviable backyard milkers or the most personable pets you’ve ever had.
They’ll be available beginning the week of March 7th. To reserve your babies, email firstname.lastname@example.org with Twig Farm Doelings in the subject. We will notify you when your kiddos have arrived, after which time, you will have a week’s window to retrieve them. For each additional day that we hold them, a small surcharge for food and care will be added to your total. We look forward to hearing from you!
Applications are currently being accepted for UVM’s farmer training program! The six-month program offers a certificate in Sustainable Agriculture and provides students with a combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience managing the school’s 10-acre education farm. Each year, 25 students are accepted and learn everything from crop rotation to marketing. If you’re looking for an learning experience that is more formally structured (and probably more comprehensive) than the traditional farm apprenticeship, this program might be right for you!
The program runs May-October and is “designed for people interested in immersing themselves in sustainable, local food systems in a hands-on educational setting. Candidates include, but are not limited to: new and beginning farmers, urban and community gardeners, farm educators and students interested in deepening their understanding of sustainable farming systems in an intensive and focused learning environment.”
You can learn more at UVM‘s website and order an information packet for the program. Admission is given on a rolling basis.
Next week, in conjunction with its current exhibition Eyes on the Land, the Shelburne Museum in Vermont is holding a Working the Land Symposium. From 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Sunday, October 10, regional scholars will present on the histories, stories, archeology, and symbolism of the working landscapes of New England. These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion by the artists featured in the exhibition.