free high tunnels from uncle sam

posted December 30, 2009

Funding available to help farmers extend the growing season while protecting natural resources

AMHERST, Mass. (December 21, 2009) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced a new pilot project under the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative for farmers to establish high tunnels – also known as hoop houses – to increase the availability of locally grown produce in a conservation-friendly way.

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how about a crowdsource?

posted December 26, 2009

We’ve mostly stopped our shopping.

But then there is the exception: Gear.

Gear for rain
Gear for mud
Gear for thorns
Gear for maintaining fence-lines.

And frankly, it’s quite a hunt finding suitable sturdy equipment for the small heroics of farm maintenance.

At the Patagonia store everything is flash, purple and shiny. With toggles and strips of reflective tape. Not so at the hardware store. (more…)


i just met Lucien

posted December 24, 2009

who made the film Sweet Grass.


he talks well about the right wing and the left wing– both out in the wilderness, armed and unarmed
this film he recorded with a huge camera- – traveling for weeks on end with the cowboys up in the mountain ranges,
in his little talk, he said that the ratio of cowboys to sierra club members is 1: 130,000
ha!


NOFA winter conference

posted December 24, 2009

If you would like to promote at the conference, here’s your opportunity.  See you at the mixer…


As most of you are probably already aware, the NOFA winter conference will be held Jan 22-24, 2010 in Saratoga Springs. While the NOFA conferences always provide bountiful learning for new farmers, this year there will be a particular focus on this audience, with a full-day Beginning Farmer track on Friday and a new event on Thurs. Jan 21, 7-11pm: a young farmer mixer. This is a celebratory networking evening with food, drinks, live music, and fun activities, sponsored by the Greenhorns, NOFA, the Cornell Small Farms Program, and Hawthorne Valley’s Farm Beginnings Program. See attached flyer. (more…)


from iowa to rwanda

posted December 23, 2009

We met Julie Carney at the Hungry Filmmakers event last week – she’s a rockstar who works for Gardens for Health International, as the Country Director for their Rwanda program. She wrote us this nice note:

My mother grew up on farms in the midwest, but I was raised in the suburbs of the East. She likes to joke that what I am doing now in Rwanda is really a return to my Iowa roots. Maybe this is partly true, but it’s really as I’ve been growing Gardens for Health in Rwanda that I have begun to learn the power of having access to food, and the power of growing this food oneself.

(more…)



good to keep these struggles in mind

posted December 22, 2009

Love v. Vilsack could be settled by legislation
Back in 2000 Rosemary Love of Harlem, Montana brought a discrimination lawsuit with other women farmers alleging

they were denied loans by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) because they are women. The suit is known as Love v. Vilsack, and if this suit sounds familiar it is because African American farmers, Native American farmers, and Hispanic farmers have brought similar discrimination lawsuits against the USDA.

Now, as Jerry Hagstrom reports for Agweek online, House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT) has introduced legislation that “finally could bring settlement of a discrimination lawsuit” filed by Love and the other women farmers. (more…)