farm job at Second Chance Youth Garden

posted June 25, 2020

The Second Chance Youth Garden is designed to divert youth away from the justice system, by reengaging them in the community and exposing them to meaningful work. Offering a 16 week internship program in underserved communities, the garden program aims to: make healthy food available, cultivate food justice, and help move youth to higher education and employment. The program combines hands on work experience, classroom and experiential learning, individualized case management, and leadership and development opportunities.

Visit this PDF to learn more about the Urban Farmer / Educator Position.


passamaquoddy-maliseet sweetgrass harvest video

posted June 25, 2020

SWEETGRASS (video)

Language Keepers began in 2006 as an experimental project to document endangered languages, addressing a central dilemma in endangered language work: the decline and loss of public group discourse. When a language is no longer spoken in groups outside the family or in public, it cannot be passed on or documented effectively.

In their 14 years of documentation with the Passamaquoddy and Maliseet people of Eastern Maine and New Brunswick, Language Keepers filmed more than 100 hours of natural group conversation with 85 speakers. Since 2015, documentation has been posted to the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Portal. Visit the dictionary, here.

An excerpt from the video (transcript):

It used to be so much fun when my grandmother went sweetgrass picking with my mother. And they would bring the sweetgrass to our house, they would clean the sweetgrass, and take a little and tie it up, wrap it up and hang it on a rope. The sweetgrass would be hanging everywhere in the house. As we went to bed, you’d just look up to see the sweetgrass. It smelled so nice.


elephant in the room…

posted June 22, 2020

FOOD AND EMPIRE

Image from Sylvanaqua Farm site

American food system founded on stolen lands

Read this article by Chris Newman of Sylvanaqua Farms for democracy in food and agriculture. An excerpt with some of the nitty gritty:

While other nations adopt quotas and other imperfect systems to moderate the supply of food with something more humane than unregulated free markets, the U.S. is still stuck in a Butzian hellscape of planting fencerow to fencerow just because we have the land for it. Amid chronic oversupply, during national/global emergencies or complete calm, we continue to bail out farmers, most of whom are near-millionaires (including our vaunted “small family farmers”), year after year after year. Agriculture and Defense are the only industries in America that enjoy a perennial, unconditional bailout. And they get it because they are, together, the foundation of American Imperialism.

Chris Newman is an ehakihet (farmer/land-protector) in the Northern Neck of Virginia. Acts of kindness to continue this work are always appreciated on Venmo @sylvanaquafarms

For more on the issue, listen to this episode of 1619 from the New York Times:

Episode 2: The Economy That Slavery Built

In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.

Hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, produced by Annie Brown, Adizah Eghan and Kelly Prime, with help from Jazmín Aguilera, and edited by Lisa Tobin and Lisa Chow from Friday, August 30th, 2019.


commoning and post-capitalist institutional change

posted June 20, 2020

Selgars Mill: A centre for the democratic economy, the climate emergency, and social change. In May 2020, Stir to Action opened a residential training centre for the democratic economy, the climate emergency, and social change in the heart of South West England.

Stir to Action has just launched BeyondHere, a programme of webinars that focus on international responses to the COVID-19 emergency.

JOIN IN! the first webinar with David Bollier on 22 June, 11am – 1:30pm EST, on Commoning & Post-Capitalist Institutional Change.


next generation dairy farmers

posted June 20, 2020

Food security starts here: The next generation of Berkshire dairy farmers

An article by Sarah Gardner published on The Berkshire Edge discusses how two next-generation farmers help guarantee food security in the Berkshires. Featured are Darrel Turner of Turner Farm, and Ian Allen of Balsam Hill Farm. Check it out!

Furthermore, the end of the article shares this information on state programs in Massachusetts, vital to dairy farms:

Massachusetts is supportive of its agriculture and realizes that sustaining farms and farmland is key to the state’s food security. Two state farmland protection programs are key to sustaining dairy farms like Turner Farm and Balsam Hill Farm.

The Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program makes land more affordable and available to farmers by paying farmland owners the difference between the market value and the agricultural value of the land. In exchange, the land is permanently restricted to agricultural use.

Chapter 61A  is a current use taxation program that assesses farmland for its agricultural value, thereby reducing property taxes for the landowner while supporting local agriculture. Farmers or non-farm landowners owners who lease their land to farms may enroll in Chapter 61A.

The Dairy Farmer Tax Credit Program is essential to dairy farms in Massachusetts, because it’s a safety net that kicks in each month that the milk price paid to farmers drops a set amount below the cost of production. That’s been the case almost every month for the past few years. The credit is based on the amount of milk the farm produces and can be applied to the income tax or corporate excise tax. Almost every dairy farmer benefits from this program and most will tell you they wouldn’t be in business without it.


nyéléni newsletter: land grabs and land justice

posted June 19, 2020

Nyéléni Newsletter
Number 40, June 2020

From La Via Campesina: This issue of Nyéléni is the first part of two editions (June and September) dedicated to the theme of land. This issue examines the challenges of the current rush for land by financial and corporate actors, from the local to the global. It assesses current opportunities and maps out strategies and solutions to promote change. Land is a site of contention and injustice; it is also an area of struggle, and advancement, for food sovereignty and justice.

Illustration by Boy Dominguez, Journal of Peasant Studies issue on Green Grabbing (2012)

This most recent newsletter from Nyéléni includes:

Voice from the field 1
Agrarian Reform, a response to the current pandemic
Jaime Amorim, Member of the National Coordinating Body of the Brazilian Landless Peoples’ Movement and the International Coordinating Committee of La Vía Campesina.

Box 1 : Many faces of land grabs
Land grabbing is not new. But what is new is the massive scale of land grabbing that has taken place recently since the 2008 financial and food crises.
“Land grabbing takes on different forms. Women may be expelled from their land due after their husband dies, mining companies expel peasants and small farmers, as well as plantations, military bases, and eco-tourist projects. (…)

Editorial
Land grabs and land justice
Land is the basis for social life. It is a foundation not only for agricultural production, but also shapes and is shaped by societies’ political, economic, and cultural dynamics : power affects land access, and land access grants power. (…)

In the spotlight
The new global land grabbers : Wall Street
Since the 2007-2008 financial crisis farmland has increasingly become an important financial asset for corporate investors, sparking both mass protests by farmer organizations and significant attention from international institutions. But while efforts to commodify farmland are not new, there are some marked differences in the latest chapter of the land grabbing story (…)

The international Nyéléni newsletter is the voice of the international movement for Food Sovereignty. Its main goal is to strengthen the grassroots of the movement, by providing accessible material on key issues and creating a space – for individuals and organisations involved in the struggle – to exchange their experiences and share information. (https://nyeleni.org/)


national young farmers coalition, now hiring

posted June 17, 2020

VIEW CURRENT JOB POSTINGS, HERE!

Applications are due on July 13th. If you have any questions, please email sophie@youngfarmers.org. Information from NYFC below:

Young Farmers seeks a California Campaigns Director to build support and capacity for farmer-led change at the state level. We are looking for a candidate who is passionate about building power among communities that have been excluded from policy making and formal structures of power. Our ideal candidate is an experienced campaigner who understands the agricultural political landscape in California, can garner multi-stakeholder, multi-sector support for young farmer success, and can bring a strong racial equity analysis and thoughtful design process to the work of educating and motivating young farmers, particularly young farmers of color, to build power and win change.

We seek a California Organizer to work directly with young farmers, primarily young farmers of color, to organize and advocate for a brighter, more equitable future for agriculture in the state. We are looking for a candidate who has some experience as an agricultural producer and is driven to build power among communities that have been excluded from policy making and formal structures of power. Our ideal candidate is bilingual in Spanish/English and is located in the Central Valley or Southern California. This is a full-time position but we can be flexible if an active farmer is interested in part-time work.


indigenous sovereignty and black land liberation [events]

posted June 17, 2020

Image from Agrarian Trust June 17, 2020 newsletter

Agrarian Trust has centered these upcoming events in their recent newsletter. See below for details and join in the collective action and education!! Furthermore, visit this web page to view The Ultimate List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens .

Land and Freedom Now: Collective Action for Black Land Liberation
Friday, June 19th, 1:00 PM EST/10:00 AM PST
Click for details

Featuring:
Savi Horne, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, Land Loss Prevention Project
Clark R. Arrington, General Counsel for The Working World
Ed Whitfield, Co-founder and co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC)
Joe Brooks, Senior Fellow at PolicyLink
Noah McDonald, Farmer, land steward, and independent researcher working with Southeastern African American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON) 
Moderated by:
Noni Session, Executive Director of the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative
Hosted by: House of Ease

Centering Indigenous Sovereignty on Stolen Land: Indigenous Consultation and Land Access
Tuesday, June 30th, 2:30 PM EST/11:30 AM PST
Click for details

Featuring:
Chuck Sams, founder, Indian Country Conservancy
Peter Forbes, Knoll Farm, First Light Learning Journey
Hosted by: 
Stephanie Morningstar, Stephanie Morningstar, Coordinator, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust

And another event, from EcoFarm:

CELEBRATING LGBTQAI+ FARMERS
Saturday, June 20, 1:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
Click for details

June is the month to celebrate LGBTQAI+ farmers and ranchers as we commemorate the Stonewall uprising of June 1969. Join us for storytelling and connection with Karen Washington of Rise & Root Farm and Edgar Xochitl of Hummingbird Farm.

Additionally, here is a list of resources from Agrarian Trust to “do the work to become antiracist”:

Educational Resources
The Groundwater Approach: Building a Practical Understanding of Structural Racism
The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture from Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun
Antiracist Reading List
Resources for BIPOC Organizers & Allies
Resources for White People
Farms and Organizations 
Black/Land Project
Acres of Ancestry
Black Urban Growers
Detroit Food Security Network
Garden Variety Harvests 
Maggie Walker Community Land Trust 
Liberation Farms 
Somali Bantu Community Association
Black Belt Justice 
Zaytuna College
Strength to Love II Farm
Good Tree Farm
Faithfull Farms
Northeast Farmers of Color 
Land Trust 
Soul Fire Farm 
F.A.R.M.S.

upcoming virtual garden workshops

posted June 17, 2020

From the Trustees Boston Community Gardens, check out their virtual workshop offerings to stay engaged and learning this growing season!

Know your Weeds
Tonight! 6/17 6-7PM – FREELearn how to identify common garden weeds, know if they’re edible or medicinal, and manage them if they’re troublemakers. 
Pre-register for zoom link


Trellising 101
Tuesday, 6/23 5-6PM – FREEReview of a variety of trellising techniques for tomatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, and squash. We will discuss recommended materials and have a live demonstration on how to construct them yourself. 
Pre-register for zoom link

Herbal Extracts: Tinctures, Elixirs & Oxymels
Wednesday, 6/24 5-6PM – FREEJoin Roxbury-based herbalist-in-training and urban gardener Taina Vargas to learn how to make a variety of extracts with medicinal and culinary herbs to support your health. 
Pre-register for zoom link

Cooking the Harvest Series, For Kids
Thursdays 6/25-7/16 4:30-5:30PM – FREEA series of interactive virtual cooking classes focused on cooking fresh, seasonal harvests from the garden, hosted by a different guest gardener/chef each week. Make sure to Pre-register for zoom link and ingredients lists ahead of time!

Vegetable Garden Q&A w/ Michelle
Wednesday, 7/1 5-6PM – FREEMichelle de Lima, Trustees Boston Community Gardens staffer and longtime organic gardener/farmer, will be available to answer any gardening questions, from pest identification to plant maintenance. 
Pre-register for zoom link


online event, sending hope: women warriors by Sogorea Te Land Trust

posted June 14, 2020

Art By Inés Ixierda

event link: Women Warriors: Indigenous Women Protecting The Sacred

Hosted by Sogorea Te Land Trust, join this FREE online event Wednesday June 24, 6:00-8:00PM PST // 9:00-11:00 PM EST. Facilitated by Dr. Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu and Nazshonnii Brown.

Description from event site: “At this time of pandemic and unrelenting settler colonial violence in our world, we invite you and your families to join our conversation with three internationally recognized Indigenous women leaders at the forefront of decolonization movements.”

“Please join us for Women Warriors: Indigenous Women protecting the sacred with Chief Caleen Sisk, (Winnemem Wintu), Kumu Pua Case (Kanaka Maoli) and Tribal Spokeperson Corrina Gould, (Lisjan Ohlone).”

“Through their respective and collective work, they protect their ancestral Sacred sites: Hawaiʻi’s Mauna Kea, the McCloud River in Northern California, and the West Berkeley Shellmound located in the Bay Area, California. These Indigenous women leaders will talk about their formative work as culture bearers in Indigenous-led movements that center Indigenous knowledges and protocols, land rematriation, and Indigenous cultural practices. Through their work they build and inspire intergenerational, multi-racial, local, and global movements to protect the Sacred in their various homelands. Most importantly, these leaders will highlight the significance of creating collective and collaborative movements that honor Indigenous women’s leadership, and they will show examples of their collaborations and relationships of reciprocity.”