Essays & Articles

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schumacher lectures online + upcoming!

Use this amazing resource!  The Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures (listed below) include some of the foremost voices on a new economics. Hildegarde Hannum is the editor of nearly all the lectures. Summaries of all lectures can be found here. Registration is now open for the 34th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures on November 15th, […]

Posted: November 5 2014
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call for articles: farming matters

Deadline: 1 December 2014. Farming Matters As a south Indian farmer said, “soil is the mother of agriculture, the mother of life”. And 2015 is the International Year of Soils. So now is an appropriate time to look again at soils that are so fundamental to agroecology and family farming. Soils are not only the foundation […]

Posted: October 27 2014
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faith & fears in wendell berry's kentucky

via Grist Faith and fears in Wendell Berry’s Kentucky By Darby Minow Smith Wendell Berry’s mind is preoccupied with four dead sheep. I join the 80-year-old food movement sage for a drink and a visit in the kitchen of his neat white house on the top of the hill in Henry County. The talk meanders, picks […]

Posted: October 27 2014
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greenhorns and cycle farm, among others fantastic farmers, featured in orion article "the new farmers"

November/December Orion Magazine Article Today’s green movement is considered by some Millennials and Gen Xers to be an equivalent to the Civil Rights struggle—the organizing principal propelling young people into action. Recent decades have seen unprecedented environmental demonstration in Washington, as well as committed political activism from the likes of 350.org, which is staffed almost […]

Posted: October 23 2014
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cotton: for 60 years our biggest export

powered by stolen bodies. Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts addresses the connection between today's violence against black men, and the theft of their ancestors to power our economy: The Worth of Black Men, From Slavery to Ferguson

Posted: October 20 2014
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saint organic: coach mark smallwood

Over the last 14 days, Mark Smallwood has been on a walk. A walk that will hopefully change the way that we look a climate change and think about how we can reverse this disastrous phenomenon. Each day he walks ten miles, on a journey from the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA to Washington, DC. Along […]

Posted: October 16 2014
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awesome storytelling platform!

Ensia is a magazine showcasing environmental solutions in action. Powered by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, we connect people with ideas, information and inspiration they can use to change the world. Here's an example: Zero Waste World

Posted: October 1 2014
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more on trade deals & GM standards

The European Union is negotiating the potential future of British agriculture with American corporations, developing deals that, unless tempered, could possibly threaten UK sovereignty by Samantha Lyster for Fresh Produce Journal The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US is an attempt by both parties to strip away red tape. The […]

Posted: September 27 2014
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here's what happens when a billionaire buys an island as a "hobby"

A fascinating read in the New York Times Magazine. Larry Ellison Bought an Island in Hawaii. Now What? By JON MOOALLEM; SEPT. 23, 2014 Henry Jolicoeur is a retired French Canadian hypnotherapist and a glass-products importer who enjoys making very low-budget documentary films. In the summer of 2012, Jolicoeur read that Larry Ellison, a founder of […]

Posted: September 27 2014
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maine sail freight goes public!

Meet: Severine von Tscharner Fleming of Sail Freight Maine She wants to borrow your boat, but it’s all about farming. by Mary Pols for the Portland Press Herald Severine von Tscharner Fleming recently landed a spot (No. 23) on Food & Wine and Fortune magazines’ dual list of the most powerful women in food and […]

Posted: September 25 2014
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corridors of nature...in the city

A Butterfly Species Settles in San Francisco’s Market Street Two advocates track Western tiger swallowtails through the city and use art to encourage residents to think of the fluttering creatures as welcome neighbors By Aleta George for smithsonian.com August 28, 2013 “Nature is everywhere,” says lepidopterist Liam O’Brien about the tigers of San Francisco’s Market Street—Western […]

Posted: September 22 2014
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the awful reign of the red delicious. #eatuglyapples

At the supermarket near his home in central Virginia, Tom Burford likes to loiter by the display of Red Delicious. He waits until he spots a store manager. Then he picks up one of the glossy apples and, with a flourish, scrapes his fingernail into the wax: T-O-M. “We can’t sell that now,” the manager […]

Posted: September 12 2014
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grange future!

www.uspspropertiesforsale.com It seems like a sinister art project, but it's not. The USPS is selling off properties, trying to make up for the estimated 8 billon dollar a year in losses. By some accounts, this represents a failure of state socialism, and a need for privatization. For others it represents a moment of portentous flux, where a […]

Posted: September 10 2014
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AG GAG and other thoughts, by john ikerd

10 Reasons to Oppose ‘Right to Farm’ Amendments  I grew up on a dairy farm and currently live in a small town in a farming area. I have spent my 50-year professional career working in agriculture, mostly with farmers and people in rural communities. I think farmers have the same “right to farm” as other […]

Posted: September 9 2014
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young farmers save barns!

These old barns are good for more than reclaimed wood and weddingsBy Lori Rotenberk, 3 Sep 2014 for Grist Jeff Marshall rolls along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, counting barns on the horizon — 50 so far today, many of them disintegrating. Marshall heads the National Barn Alliance, a nonprofit that works with advocacy groups across the country. […]

Posted: September 8 2014
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the myth of america's golden age

    Joseph E. Stiglitz, Politico July/August   I hadn’t realized when I was growing up in Gary, Indiana, an industrial town on the southern shore of Lake Michigan plagued by discrimination, poverty and bouts of high unemployment, that I was living in the golden era of capitalism. It was a company town, named after […]

Posted: September 5 2014
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vandana shiva's response to the new yorker

Yes!  SEEDS OF TRUTH – A RESPONSE TO THE NEW YORKERby Dr. Vandana Shiva(A response to the article ‘Seeds of Doubt’ by Michael Specter in The New Yorker) I am glad that the future of food is being discussed, and thought about, on farms, in homes, on TV, online and in magazines, especially of The […]

Posted: September 2 2014
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pink collar is the new green collar in nyc farms

Are women more willing to nurture their communities (and also their beet greens)? Are men preoccupied with techie farm toys like aquaponics? Is gender the reason the radio at the Queens Farm washing station is always stuck on Beyoncé and Alicia Keys? More significant, if urban ag work comes to be seen as women’s work, […]

Posted: August 29 2014
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learn how to buy the media!

Read the Emails in the Hilarious Monsanto/Mo Rocca/Condé Nast Meltdownby Tom Philpott for Mother Jones Last week, Gawker uncovered a hapless tie-up between genetically modified seed/pesticide giant Monsanto and Condé Nast Media—publisher of The New Yorker, Bon Appetit, GQ, Self, Details, and other magazines—to produce "an exciting video series" on the "topics of food, food […]

Posted: August 28 2014
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high tech sailors learn how to sprout!

The Ocean Going Farmerby Nick Halmos In the fall of 2011, my fellow 11th Hour Racing teammate, Hugh Piggin and I departed from France aboard a Class 40 as competitors in the Transat Jaques Vabre. Over the course of 26 days at sea, we laid a 6000 mile track across the  Atlantic that exited the English […]

Posted: August 19 2014
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discourse between sea and shore

An older article, but so relevant. The Surf and Turf Connection By Julie Flaherty What do farmers and fishermen dream about? A bumper crop of zucchini and calm seas? Perhaps. But both lose sleep over some of the same things: finding markets for their products, transporting their goods cheaply, tapping into the local foods movement […]

Posted: August 11 2014
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land trusts: all white, top down, scenic only

This study reveals a startling and challenging truth about our tactics thus far. A great opportunity to radicalize our methodologies. Read the full paper here: http://www.yale.edu/agrarianstudies/foodsovereignty/pprs/32_Brent_2013.pdf  

Posted: August 4 2014
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small farms quarterly call for submissions

The Small Farms Quarterly is currently seeking articles for their Fall 2014 Issue. The submission deadline is August 8thonline. The target readers are Northeast region farmers and farm families who value the quality of life that smaller farms provide. It is for full-time and part-time farmers, experienced and beginning farmers, and even folks who are just […]

Posted: July 23 2014
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US bullies el salvador on gmo seed

they do not budge. Salvadoran Farmers Successfully Oppose the Use of Monsanto Seeds By Dahr Jamail, Global Research, July 09, 2014 Farmers across El Salvador united to block a stipulation in a US aid package to their country that would have indirectly required the purchase of Monsanto genetically modified (GM) seeds. Thousands of farmers, like […]

Posted: July 23 2014
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young farmer writers & artists

Here is another place for your work! The West Marin Review is seeking submissions for its next issue. Submission Deadline: September 1, 2014 For publication in 2015 West Marin Review, a literary and arts journal published by Point Reyes Books and Neighbors & Friends, is now accepting submissions of literary works, poetry, and visual art […]

Posted: July 21 2014
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factories into farms

In Japan, Idled Electronics Factories Find New Life in Farming Struggling to Compete with Rivals in South Korea or China, Fujitsu, Toshiba and Others Try Selling Vegetables, Too By Eric Pfanner and Kana Inagaki, July 6, 2014 AIZU-WAKAMATSU, Japan—Haruyasu Miyabe used to oversee a computer-chip production line at a Fujitsu Ltd. plant here. One day […]

Posted: July 12 2014
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the shape of crisis, a historical perspective

via the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) Economic Crises, Land Use Vulnerabilities, Climate Variability, Food Security and Population Declines: Will History Repeat Itself or Will Our Society Adapt to Climate Change? by Evan D. G. Fraser, March, 2009 Abstract Although many of today’s ecological, climatic and socio-economic problems seem unprecedented, similar events have occurred in the […]

Posted: July 7 2014
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As part of our effort to report more on issues shared by immigrant as well as citizen farmers

this story about indignities suffered by Basque, Maori and other herders. Federal Appeals Court Invalidates Department of Labor Rules That Set Unfair Employment Standards for Sheep and Cattle Herders Government Must Undertake New Rulemaking to Set Herders’ Wages and Housing Conditions June 13, 2014 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. and foreign herders will benefit from a […]

Posted: June 16 2014
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young farmers in the news

Organic agriculture attracts a new generation of farmers by Ricardo Lopez for the LA Times By 9 a.m., Jack Motter had been planting peas for hours. He pushed a two-wheeled contraption that deposited a seed every few inches along neat rows at Ellwood Canyon Farms, just outside Santa Barbara. As clouds gathered overhead, he picked […]

Posted: June 11 2014
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china's new agrarians

How China's young idealists are turning to the soil by Carrie Gracie for the BBC In June 1989, on the orders of China's ruling Communist Party, the army crushed pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds of people. Twenty-five years on, a different type of protest against the values of modern China has emerged. My […]

Posted: June 3 2014
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farmers organizing in nebraska

Jane Kleeb vs. the Keystone Pipelineby Saul Elbein, May 16, 2014 Terry Van Housen had a question. What he wanted to know from the 30 or so other Nebraska farmers and ranchers gathered in February at the York Community Center was this: What do you do with 10,000 dead cows? continue reading HERE

Posted: May 27 2014
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urban ag in baltimore

URBAN GREEN: HOOP HOUSES REPLACE ROW HOUSES IN BALTIMORE'S SANDTOWN by Alia Malek BALTIMORE, Md. — In Sandtown, Douglas Wheeler looks out with satisfaction over the abandoned city-block-turned-farm where he works growing all sorts of greens and lettuce — “but never iceberg” — and remembers how it used to be. “This lot was a garden […]

Posted: May 20 2014
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is it in the gluten or is it the glyphosate (round-up)?

  From Examiner.com, February 18, 2014 New evidence points to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as the culprit in the rise of gluten intolerance, celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. A study just published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Toxicology (Vol. 6(4): 159–184 ) by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff explains how the nearly ubiquitous use of […]

Posted: May 15 2014
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important article

Realities of Shifting to a Sustainable Economy by John Fullerton “The true nature of the international system under which we were living was not realized until it failed.”  —Karl Polanyi A transition to a sustainable economy requires not only population stabilization, breakthroughs in resource productivity and checks on material consumption, but also constraints on aggregate […]

Posted: May 14 2014
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nice thinking!

The Leap to Biosphere Consciousness and Collaboration: An Interview With Author Jeremy Rifkin Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism, describes a world where privatized monopolies yield to collaborative Commons. Over the last two hundred and fifty years, various social thinkers […]

Posted: May 14 2014
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the quinoa quarrel

Lisa Hamilton has written an excellent article, The Quinoa Quarrel - as of a collaboration between FERN and Harper's Magazine. You must be a Harper's subscriber to read the article online, but FERN has published a beautiful photo essay by Hamilton: Native Lands: The Birthplace Of Quinoa by Lisa Hamilton Many people consider quinoa to be […]

Posted: May 12 2014
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who's behind the farm bureau?

A perspective from 1943. Download the pdf: Kansas Union Farmer

Posted: May 5 2014
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where are the cider apples?

Do any of you annual farmers ever get tired of bending over all day and dream of growing food whilst standing? There is a solution- you can grow food (and drink) on trees! The US is currently witnessing a booming growth in hard cider production that shows no chance of slowing anytime soon. The demand for cider […]

Posted: May 2 2014
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guess which corporations are donating millions towards the future farmers of america (ffa)

According to the FFA website, Monsanto, Pfizer (Monsanto's pharmaceutical business), Cargill, Dupont and Syngenta donated millions of dollars to the FFA in 2013, and have been awarded "Platinum" and "Gold" sponsorship titles by the organization.  In 2012, a press release from the FFA stated that these companies (and some others) had donated 16.8 million dollars to help "create […]

Posted: May 2 2014
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great words from raj

Thoughts on Land Reform Summits in San Francisco By Raj Patel, 04/19/2014 In San Francisco, from April 25-28, 400 people from across the country and around the world gathered to discuss an awkward problem – land reform in America. Land reform is a loaded term, one that reeled conference participants’ imaginations toward the antics of Third […]

Posted: April 28 2014
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