Thank you to FARM COMMONSfor their presentation on how to utilize PPP during this time of financial uncertainty in the face of Covid-19. PPP is a potentially forgivable loan to cover up to 2 months of payroll costs and/or self-employment income, plus portion of rent, utilities, and mortgage interest. And farm / ranch businesses are eligible!
Find a copy of presentation slides, an audio recording, and a video recording of the when, how, and why farmers can benefit from PPP at this folder link.
Farm Commons exists to empower farmers to manage their legal vulnerabilities within a community of support. Check out the podcast for more information on how COVID-19 affects farmers’ legal situations, and their website for excellent content on farm law risks overall.
(Reprint from La Via Campesina): On April 17, La Via Campesina will commemorate the International Day of Peasants’ Strugglei in a context that once again validates the historical role of the peasantry in societies and their fundamental task of feeding the people, even in times of war, fascism, authoritarianism and pandemics.
COVID-19 has crippled the world. This deadly virus has exposed the vulnerability of the current globalised food system dominated by industrial agriculture, and the dangers it poses to all life forms. We should learn from this crisis and invest in building local, resilient and diverse food systems. States must begin by implementing ‘food sovereignty’ through agroecological production and enabled by popular agrarian reforms. Again, the extraordinary circumstances facing humanity today must compel all countries to protect and guarantee the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, as articulated in the United Nations Declaration, approved in 2018 (UNDROP).
We do not want economic measures that benefit the elites as they did in the past by bailing out banks and businesses to “save the economy”. We demand justice for the peasantry and the oppressed sectors of the world. This April 17, 2020, we call upon our members and allies to be alert against all kinds of opportunism in this global crisis.
Watch LVC’s recent docufilm L’Espérance Paysanne | Globalize Hope | La Esperanza Campesina, chronicling how La Via Campesina was born more than 25 years ago, as an alternative that brings together struggles, dreams and challenges to build solidarity and secure our collective human future.
Thank you, Charles Eisenstein, for this riveting articulation and philosophical analyses of current events: The Coronation. Some snippets:
“Like all fear, the fear around the coronavirus hints at what might lie beyond it. Anyone who has experienced the passing of someone close knows that death is a portal to love. Covid-19 has elevated death to prominence in the consciousness of a society that denies it. On the other side of the fear, we can see the love that death liberates. Let it pour forth. Let it saturate the soil of our culture and fill its aquifers so that it seeps up through the cracks of our crusted institutions, our systems, and our habits. Some of these may die too.
How much of life do we want to sacrifice at the altar of security? If it keeps us safer, do we want to live in a world where human beings never congregate? Do we want to wear masks in public all the time? Do we want to be medically examined every time we travel, if that will save some number of lives a year? Are we willing to accept the medicalization of life in general, handing over final sovereignty over our bodies to medical authorities (as selected by political ones)? Do we want every event to be a virtual event? How much are we willing to live in fear?”
“If there is one thing our civilization is good at, it is fighting an enemy. We welcome opportunities to do what we are good at, which prove the validity of our technologies, systems, and worldview. And so, we manufacture enemies, cast problems like crime, terrorism, and disease into us-versus-them terms, and mobilize our collective energies toward those endeavors that can be seen that way. Thus, we single out Covid-19 as a call to arms, reorganizing society as if for a war effort, while treating as normal the possibility of nuclear armageddon, ecological collapse, and five million children starving.”
“I have my opinions, but if there is one thing I have learned through the course of this emergency is that I don’t really know what is happening. I don’t see how anyone can, amidst the seething farrago of news, fake news, rumors, suppressed information, conspiracy theories, propaganda, and politicized narratives that fill the Internet. I wish a lot more people would embrace not knowing. I say that both to those who embrace the dominant narrative, as well as to those who hew to dissenting ones. What information might we be blocking out, in order to maintain the integrity of our viewpoints? Let’s be humble in our beliefs: it is a matter of life and death.”
“In myth (as well as biology), the sea is the source that all things arise from and return to.” – Paul Pitchford
If you haven’t heard, we Greenhorns are quite the algae allies. Check out our exciting & new(ish) spin-off project, Seaweed Commons! Seeking to form ecologically minded seaweed coalitions through a commons-based approach, support and inform public discourse, increase algal literacy, and set up an appropriately scaled & just seaweed economy.
(Dear designers with laptops and time, Seaweed Commons is seeking a new logo!! Will barter designs for Maine seaweed, nutrient dense, responsibly wild-harvested, and major umami yum for your soups. Contact email@example.com if you are interested.)
If you are lucky to live coastally…and the shore in your home place is not over crowded…this could be a great place for escaping shelter-in-place: take up contemplative tide pooling, salt-air-breathing, paradigm shift reimagining, and (when back at home) supporting the online sales efforts of any number of responsible edible seaweed producers! Salt Point Seaweed — epic Recipe Collection recetly released, Maine Seaweed LLC, and Greenhorns director Severine’s very own Smithereen Farm — visit the dreamy web shop!
Ready to deep dive into the world of seaweed? Sign up for this Introduction to Algae Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) produced by the Algae Technology Educational Consortium and UC San Diego with funding from the Algae Foundation, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Recent in seaweed scholarship, “Seaweed in the time of Covid” from the illustrious Josie Iselin, author of The Curious World of Seaweed. View her gorgeous website here (and purchase her book if you want to learn more about specific algae species! In a stunning coffee-table-book format).
We hope you’ll take some time to look through our knowledge sharing site, seaweedcommons.org. Marine algae case studies from around the world illustrate the full range of issues from small scale wild harvest of edible seaweeds, traditional uses in Asia and Europe for fertilizer, large scale cutting and machine-harvest of rockweeds, the international corporate players, the range of approaches undertaken by fisheries ministries and the complaints of local communities. We have information about traditional net-based aquaculture systems for nori in Asia and large scale biofuel kelp farms proposed by the US department of energy for federal waters off the Eastern Seaboard. We look into toxic algae blooms, the cultivation of seaweed for biofuels, aquaculture, and the IMTA (Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture) designed to capture the runoff / nutrients from salmon pens around the world. The ‘global archives’ section is especially slimy with diverse seaweed learning!!
We are in a “fascinating moment to talk about the future of land use and the emergence of new customary rights in response to the crises that we face”.
Her talk highlights case studies and proposals “to think about reorganization and reorientation and reformatting of social economic and legal regimes”.
Severine asks the crucial questions. Theoretically and philosphically speaking, what is the scale of the repsonse that is needed in these times? “How, especially in this time of crisis, are we thinking more boldly about the reconfiguration of our social institutions and economic forms to respond to the unfolding climate — and of course health — crisis? The level of engagement and response that we could enact to build local food reslieice and rediversify the use of our landscape, and repair the ecological degradation that we see on our lands in the same way that we are approaching the preservation of human life — that would be the scale of repsonse that is needed.”
Severine von Tscharner Fleming, the Executive Director of Greenhorns and a leading organizer and cultural worker within the young farmer movement for 12+ years, co-founded the National Young Farmers Coalition, FarmHack and Agrarian Trust. A part-time farmer and board member of the Schumacher Center for New Economics, her work has spanned many media to celebrate, bundle and broadcast the voices and life-ways of young agrarians.
Visual Artists Poets Writers Agricultural/Natural Historians Research Practices Social + Community Practices Artists Agrarian Activists
We have created a new residency program in Downeasternmost Maine, in the little historic town of Pembroke and are pleased to open up for proposals for the 2020 Summer season.
Greenhorns,an organization focused on the incoming generation of agro-ecological farmers, is pleased to announce this Agrarian residency program. Founded in 2008, and based here in Maine since fall of 2017, we have been hosting workshops, trainings, and running our small publishing organization from this rapturously beautiful rural headquarters and are pleased to have expanded our campus to be able to host more visitors. We run a small, highly diverse salt-water farm (Smithereen Farm) a large research library housed in a 1896 Odd Fellows hall (Instagram @reversinghall).
We invite applicants to look at the materials and photos on our sites. If you feel that this would be a place you’d like to come and work, be in touch with a letter of interest and a resume or C.V. of your previous work. Our aim is to cultivate long lasting, reciprocal and intersectional relationships with those we work with, those we host, and those whose work and intentions are aligned with ours.
Our mission is to create a hospitable, resilient culture with those pursuing agriculture and land-based livelihoods; we want it to be fun, intersectional, irreverent and powerfully effective.
Description of site and opportunities: 1. Pennamaquan site: two 1800’s historic houses looking out onto the river, one with kitchen and shower the other only bedrooms, Heated wood shop, Mushroom lab, Large Barn, 1 mile of river frontage, trails network, massive spring run of Alewives. 2. Reversing Hall: 1896 Odd Fellows hall, contains Research Library, performance and studio space, art materials, projector and upstairs theater, large indoor working spaces 3. Smithereen Farm home site: Organic farm and gardens, U Pick strawberries, blueberries, cane fruit etc. Coastal meadows and seashore access. 150 acres forest and trails, back cove, timber frame outdoor kitchen, herb and seaweed drying facilities, smokehouse, composting toilet, hot shower, tipis, campsites, parking etc.
4. Large woodlands and trails networks, places to collect materials for art + studio practices 5. Kayaks and small boats for aquatic experiments, sound and other digital media tools, bikes. 6. We have 2 Aquaculture lease sites where we are doing ‘alternatives to plastic’ materials research projects. Would love to work with more artists/ designers on this project to discover and perfect use of biomaterials for flotation. 7. Many boulders and elfin forests on the U Pick blueberry land, perfect for building fantasy art cabins. 8. There are 3 large community halls in our town, and the oldest continuously operated county fairgrounds in the state of Maine. We have incredible infrastructure here for social gatherings, exhibits and large format happenings. Let’s enliven these spaces!
We invite those interested in a residency to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org(subject line: SUMMER 2020 RESIDENCY), and arrange for a visit to the site and an exchange about what kind of project you’d like to undertake. We have good camping facilities and luxurious tipis. As we are at the very beginning of this residency process, we’re quite flexible. We offer housing, studio space, kitchen, facilities and vegetables from the garden. In the first years of the residency there will be a work-trade aspect for residents to help us get studio spaces painted and fixed up. There is much opportunity downEast.
Discover Bold Coast Maine. Visitors are invited to experience the gentle pull of this magical landscape, to create memories with their local hosts and newfound friends.
Tides Institute and Museum of Art, Eastport, ME. Located directly on the U.S./Canada border between New England and the Atlantic Provinces, the Tides Institute & Museum of Art weaves together a range of regional artifacts and historic restoration projects.
Its about 6 hours drive from Boston Logan to Smithereen Farm. If you want you can come by bus CONCORD TRAILWAYS to Bangor then WEST BUS to Pembroke. Some sites along the way: Cambridge. Peabody Glass flower museum, Formaggio Kitche Portland – Tandem coffee, eventide/ honeypaw restaurants, okay coop, Rosemont – Market, eco groovy shopping zone, heritage seaweed shop, SPACE gallery and Art Museum downtown and across the road amazing consignment store to buy (but not sell). Vinland restaurant, other slow food restaurants, fermentors and beers etc. Brunswick, Coop and nice bean factory, Bowdoin College museum and campus. Maine Maritime Museum – BATH, also Coop and historic downtown and waterfront, good stop for a walk, pee, nibble. Rockland – Fancy food store, marjuana store, tides institute gift shop, Museums ( especially the Sail and Steam museum which is not in downtown but just nearby) Tern in the Road Coop-BEST! And amazing old book store on main street. Belfast – Coop, Nice hardware store and eco store on Main Street Maine Marine Museum- Searsport, awesome kid friendly exhibits. Ellsworth – wonderful library and walkable riverfront, fancy food store, ATM machines, Mac store, antique shop that is good. Skowhegan – Amazing mill and store next to historic grange, cool town and art residency that you aren’t supposed to visit but can. Bangor – Tiller and Rye Natural foods, best downeast for prices, selection. BlueHill – if you must, COOP and wine shop and cuties. Machias – Wine/Cheese shop, last ATM Take the back way ( after Ellsworth at the Tideway market turn LEFT towards Franklin). Cherryfield – nice town along river, do a circle and nice antiques shop. Columbia Falls – visit nice farmy general store and Ruggles house and Downeast Salmon offices. Millbridge – beloved for authentic Mexican Burritos. Whiting/ Edmunds – Tide Mill Farm stand. Lubec – Brewery , Sardine Museum, Farmstands galore, feral apple collections down North Lubec Road. Eastport – Awesome library and downtown arts, tides institute, lobster by the water, local foods at Coop and IGA.
Huge gratitude to the National Family Farm Coalition, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, WhyHunger, FarmAid, the HEAL Food Alliance and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy for putting together these policy recommendations responding to the $2 trillion Senate stimulus bill.
These coalitions are concerned that the stimulus bill “and other existing proposals have too few protections for working families, too many corporate bailouts, and limited language on supporting food producers and food workers through this crisis.”
Their message to congress emphasiezs that “farmers, ranchers, and fishermen need (to name a few) emergency payments, debt relief, access to zero interest credit, and support to adapt their markets and distribution, and that these short-term provisions should be linked to systemic reforms. Farm, fish and food workers should also receive a range of protections including unemployment assistance, paid sick leave and access to healthcare.”
The policy recommendations are organized by three headers: (1) ENSURE A FAIR LIVELIHOOD FOR FARMERS, RANCHERS, FISHERMEN AND ALL FARM, FISH AND FOOD WORKERS, (2) BOLSTER LOCAL & REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS POISED TO FEED COMMUNITIES, and (3) ENACT SYSTEMIC REFORM TO BUILD RESILIENCE FOR ALL FOOD PRODUCERS, WORKERS AND EATERS.
SHARE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS WITH YOUR CONGRESS MEMBERS AND NETWORKS! Copy & paste below:
Dear ____________, Thank you for your hard work during this crisis. While some of the proposed measures in the existing stimulus packages will help to boost the economy and provide some aid to households and industries, they fall short with respect to protections for food producers and workers. Several leading organizations, including NAMA, the National Family Farm Coalition, WhyHunger, FarmAid, the HEAL Food Alliance and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy came together to address the issues that producers and workers are currently facing. Attached are policy recommendations for a stimulus package to support the food system. They include measures to:
Protect the livelihoods of food producers and workers
Bolster local & regional food systems that are poised to feed communities, and
Create systemic changes that build resilience of food producers, workers and eaters
Thanks for your consideration and please let me know if you have any questions. Sincerely, ___________________
How might we make the most of these unfolding, uncertain times? In the face of COVID-19, folks across the country find themselves holed up, whether self-isolating, quarantining, or social distancing — the jargon goes on.
We at the greenhorns propose to YOU: allow these mandates to motivate your homesteading genius! If you are fortunate to have a safe home space to operate in, we inspire you to pick up and start off in your very own kitchens. Extra time in the house means extra time to invest in trying new recipes, going deeper into fermentation projects, harvesting seasonal greens from your neighborhood and making pesto — the list goes on. Farmer’s markets are largely being kept open: support local and stock up on nutrient-dense produce. Whatever slew of culinary, carpentry or other crafty projects you’ve been eager to take a stab at: there is no time like the present!!
Distract your brain by working with your hands (an effective way to process anxiety and bottled up emotions, not to mention). Rake the backyard and finally hang some lights! Sow some seeds! Read on for project ideas from your’s truly, as well as urban homesteader friends across the country. (Email email@example.com with more project ideas, and she will add them to this post for the world to discover).
Nasturtium Greens Pesto Needed: Food processor or blender Local nasturtium plants to harvest from Ingredients: Freshly harvested nasturtium leaves Olive oil Minced garlic, OR fresh green garlic (chopped into small rounds) Nutritional yeast, OR grated parmesan cheese Nut or seed of choice (pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower, walnuts or pecans, all great!) Fresh lemon juice (of 1-2 lemons) Salt & Pepper For more flavor: dash of curry powder, small pinch of dried thyme, and a little cayenne pepper. Blend together all ingredients for a peppery, bright-green, immune-boosting, delicious pesto!! Add a dollop to just about any savory dish for zest and zeal. Nasturtium greens contain vitamin C and iron, and have antibiotic properties (at their most effective just before the plant flowers).
Butternut Squash Seed Milk Needed: Blender, nut milk strainer bag or cheese cloth, butternut squash Instructions: Hollow out 1-2 butternut squashes, plopping the seeds into a bowl of water. Cover completely with water and let soak overnight for slight sprouting effect. After soak, separate seeds from squash flesh, lay in a baking tray (atop parchment paper recommended) and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Let cool, and place in a jar for storage in the fridge. When desired, blend seeds with hot water (+honey, a little salt, and spices of choice! such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, turmeric) and strain through a nut-milk bag or cheese cloth (or, enjoy chunky!). Add to your favorite hot tea for a delicious, nutty, nutrient-dense non-dairy milk. Butternut seeds are rich in zinc, calcium, and also contain magnesium, vitamin A & C, potassium and iron.
Ophir’s Tahini Oat Bread Small loaf recipe: 3/4 cup oat flour from ground oats 1/4 cup oats 1 tsp baking powder 1 tbsp salt 1/2 cup tahini (can substitute with other seed or nut butter) 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup 3 tbsp olive oil (or other oil) 4 eggs Optional: 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamom Extra seeds or nuts as you like Process: Combine in separete bowls your dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Helpful to gently heat (I.e. double boil) your wet ingredients to thoroughly mix together. Tenderly and with love, sprinkle dry ingredients incrementally into wet ingredients, folding together to create a beautiful batter. Pour into baking dish, and decorate with seeds and spices on top. Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until loaf has fully risen and become golden brown around all edges! (Check for a baked inside by inserting toothpick, bread done when only tiny crumbs remain).
From author and fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz: Sweet Potato Fly! A delicious tonic beverage native to Guyana. Follow link for the recipe. Consider making a simple rennet or farmer’s cheese to obtain whey, which you can use as a starter for your Sweet Potato Fly.
From herbalist Aisling Badger of Urban Moonshine, a beautiful recipe for Immune Tonic Soup.
From herbalist Rosemary Gladstar and Mountain Rose Herbs, spicy and powerful Fire Cider Recipes. Hop to it!
Mike DeMunn is a prominent forester and conservationist who has managed thousands of acres of forest across the Eastern US. Mike is of French-English and Seneca-Onondaga Iroquois heritage and is a person who has walked the edge between two worlds, combining understanding of forest from both perspectives, an expert in forest ecology and ancient tradition of indigenous practice.