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Start Farming, Start Ranching at the School of Adaptive Agriculture

posted January 12, 2019

The School of Adaptive Agriculture Practicum Program is for adults who have decided to enter the sustainable food system. You may not yet know what your role will be. But you want to be among the million new farmers, ranchers, and leaders this country needs in order to transform agriculture through creative, sustainable and profitable enterprises. Join us for a three month intensive residential training program on a 5,000 acre working ranch in Mendocino County, California. Our 2019 Practicum Programs start in April and July. Visit our website for more information.

The School of Adaptive Agriculture Practicum Program is for adults who have decided to enter the sustainable food system. You may not yet know what your role will be. But you want to be among the million new farmers, ranchers, and leaders this country needs in order to transform agriculture through creative, sustainable and profitable enterprises. Join us for a three month intensive residential training program on a 5,000 acre working ranch in Mendocino County, California. Our program combines experiential learning with living and working side-by-side with farmers and ranchers. Classroom based learning is designed to send students off with a comprehensive vocabulary, skill set, and understanding of the foundations of small scale agriculture. Weekly field trips contribute to a unique learning experience, giving students a well-rounded education that helps launch them into your career in the food system. Programs start in April and July. Visit our website for more information.

To learn more about our program please visit our website: www.adaptiveagriculture.org. Please note that applications for our 2019 Spring term are due Thursday, February 14th.


Global Challenge: Sparking the Next Agricultural Revolution

posted December 30, 2018

December 4, 2018 Steve Babin & Praveen Penmetsa

Human progression has forever been linked to our ability to find ways to more efficiently feed ourselves. From hunter gatherer to agrarian to industrial and networked, each advancement in civilization has been led by technological advancements in agriculture. 

For a historical perspective, in the United States in 1870, nearly 50% of the population was employed in agriculture. Today that number is under 2%. During the middle of the industrial revolution, there was still one worker in agriculture for every other employee in the work force. A series of global famines lead to immense focus on agricultural efficiency and application of technology in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Currently, roughly 1 employee in agriculture can feed 50 people.

However, the need for farmers can never completely disappear. As the world population increases and global food demand skyrockets, the need for higher and better food production is increasing while the margin for error is decreasing with limited arable land. Our food producers have always been at the mercy of nature. Drought, flood, heat, cold, pests, and disease are only a few of the natural phenomenon farmers have had to contend with for millennia. In addition, farmers today are facing challenges that no other generation of farmers have had to face.

Tackling modern day challenges is where the farmer is less equipped or in some cases, not at all.  The world is seeing an overall urban migration at a rate never seen before. The labor force which farmers have relied upon lately is slowly aging and disappearing as rural communities “advance” through their agrarian phase.  Urban service economies are creating high paying, high-tech jobs, leaving employment in the agricultural industry looking unexciting and unprofitable. Non-GMO and organic movements are stripping farmers of their historical weapons against nature. A focus on urban economies and urban service industries has led to government policies artificially driving up labor wages without consideration to its impact on farming communities, thus adding a new challenge in an always price driven commodity market. Other resources that feed farming, such as and especially water, are now a regulated, debated, and increasingly expensive resource. The rate of global civilization advancement coupled with the above societal shifts has left the farmer technologically behind. 

The list could go on.

All of the above has resulted in farming communities feeling threatened and marginalized at a time when we need them most. Quoting one of our clients – “…we feel like we have a target on our backs.”

There is a new movement that is countering the above, farmers and farming communities are beginning to take control of the future and pool their resources to fund the innovation they need. A major impediment has been a lack of familiarity with complex technology development at a global scale. The technology companies that do engage with farmers have ignored the generational knowledge and insights that rests with farmers and hence have failed in providing the needed advancements. Several technology companies have taken advantage of farmers whether through data rights, usage/modification restrictions, or limiting revenue trickle down to farmers. Some companies have engaged in all of these and more.

This has led to audacious farmers engaging companies like Motivo, to develop their needed solutions. Motivo’s unique commercial arrangements allows farmers and farming communities to leverage their insights by encapsulating them into unique services and products for deployment not just on their farms but globally. Early adopters and visionaries in agriculture are seeing a world of opportunity with new innovations leading to intellectual property and new revenue streams.

This is just the beginning and unless we apply the kind of societal focus and resources applied to other global challenges, our next generation will be re-introduced to the word “famine”, a word that has largely disappeared from the public vernacular. Unlike previous famines, this time around our society antipathy towards farmers and farming would be the primary cause.

In our upcoming blogs we shall examine additional ways to overcome the highlighted food security challenges and accelerate a future where farming is viewed as an exciting and profitable profession globally.

A future where society has advanced by taking the next giant leap in agriculture.


Steve Babin is a Product Manager at Motivo who grew up working on and around farms in rural Northern Idaho where he now resides. After 12 years working in aerospace maintenance, production, and R&D, Steve joined Motivo after noticing the work they were doing in the AgTech space.

Praveen Penmetsa is the CEO and founder of Motivo Engineering.

Motivo Engineering is an innovation engineering firm headquartered in California, USA and has executed numerous projects in mobility, aerospace and AgTech. Motivo’s unique innovation framework and phased product development approach has reduced the risk in transformative product development for audacious visionaries. Motivo projects range from innovation and intellectual property development to low volume manufacturing of these transformative products. Several Motivo clients are now leveraging these technology solutions for additional future revenue through licensing or by selling these unique products.

Motivo will be at the 2019 World Ag Expo, February 12-14 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare.

 www.motivo.com


Rogue Farm Corps Internships & Apprenticeships for 2019 – Oregon

posted November 22, 2018

Rogue Farm Corps helps train the next generation of farmers via hands-on immersive training on sustainable farms in Oregon. Live and learn side-by-side with a mentor farmer. Take part in classes, farm tours, and discussion circles. Learn more and apply today for the 2019 season: http://roguefarmcorps.org

Rogue Farm Corps Internship Program is a full season entry-level residential internship that combines hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture.

Participants live and learn on a host farm, receiving up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from their mentor farmer over the course of a farming season. The hands-on, residential training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as an independent study project, and access to lots of resources for further learning. Interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities.

The Apprenticeship Program is an advanced program for those with farming experience who are seeking mastery in the art and business of sustainable agriculture. Hands-on training, classes, weekend workshops around the state, an independent study project, and guidance in farm business development will allow participants to gain the skills to plan, design, and run integrated farming systems on their own.

This full-immersion program is designed for those who have completed an internship program with RFC or a similar organization, or have two years of on-farm experience. Apprentices live and learn on a host farm, receive up to two seasons of on-farm training, and learn in-depth skills from their mentor farmer. The rotating two-year curriculum focuses on advanced farming techniques and business planning and management.

Rogue Farm Corps is the only organization in Oregon that offers structured, entry-level and advanced farmer education and training programs rooted in real-world farm businesses. The program works with host farms located in the Rogue Valley, the Portland Metro Area, the South Willamette Valley, and Central Oregon and offer experiences with vegetable production, animal husbandry, dairy, mixed operations, and more. For complete program descriptions, host farm profiles, and applications visit http://roguefarmcorps.org


Eat, pray, farm, Manitoba Cooperator, October 10, 2018

posted November 21, 2018

Eat, pray, farm

U.S. churches turn faith lands into food

Many Christian denominations around the world have massive landholdings which can be put to productive use. Kenya’s Catholic Church, for example, made 3,000 acres (1,214 hectares) of land available to commercial farming in 2015 to fight hunger.

And decades of declining congregations in the United States offer an opportunity to faith communities interested in farming.

“Western North Carolina is predicted to have 40 per cent of its churches close in the next 10 years because of lack of parishioners,” said Severine von Tscharner Fleming, director of Greenhorns, a non-profit that supports young farmers.

“What will happen to that land?”

Von Tscharner Fleming co-organized the first FaithLands conference last year, bringing together land activists and the faithful to improve the health of both people and the planet.

“These are people who are interested in activating their land portfolio for good… For many of these groups, the answer is food charity, and that’s been a long-standing tradition within the church,” she said.

“But increasingly it’s also a question of food justice, local economic development and environmental stewardship.”

To consolidate this new movement, FaithLands supporters are studying the extent of church-owned properties in the United States, she said.

Click here to read the full article.


Mountain Roots in CO seeks rising Farm Manager

posted November 9, 2018

Mountain Roots Food Project is a local food systems initiative in the beautiful Rocky Mountain community of Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado. At Mountain Roots we have a newly established community farm (2 years old) and manage six community /school gardens.
We are seeking a full time Farm & Gardens Manager to start in 2019 and help take our programs to the next level.
This is a perfect role for someone who has been an apprentice or assistant under an older farm manager for a couple of years and feels ready to step into a management and leadership role. The ideal candidate has enough experience to confidently manage a start-to-finish growing season for 2 acres of crops and a pastured poultry project and teach/mentor new/emerging farmers in internships, apprenticeships, and entry-level community garden coordinator. The job description can be found on Indeed, our website, and Facebook.
Mountain Roots will be accepting applications through Wednesday Nov 21 for a mid-January start.

Greenhorns presents: Wild fruit vinega! Making Apple cider vinegar on a homestead scale

Join us for a half day session where we will be learning how to make apple cider vinegar on a homestead scale!

Over the course of the workshop we will be covering all of the essentials of vinegar making. This will include:

  • Learning how to make ACV for your own use. We’ll be Gathering wild and heirloom apples which we will then turn into vinegar.
  • We will be tasting various varieties of apples and learning how the different flavor profiles in the fruit impact the flavor outcome in the cider. We will use this info to generate a ‘data sheet’ on the prolific wild and cultivated trees in the area.
  • Learning the best means for pressing apples, as well as the essentials of sanitation practices and other relevant rules.
  • We will learn the basics of fermentation.
  • Both materials and space will be provided and you will end up with your own carboy of vinegar. We will go through the production methods for producing fire cider, vinaigrette, herbal vinegar and other value added products.
  • Other considerations such as labels, sales rules, MOFGA regulations etc will also be covered.
Important Info:

Date: October 13th

TIme: 1-4 PM

Location: 4 Leighton Point Rd, Reversing Hall

Cost: sliding scale, $10

RSVP requested, email office@greenhorns.org


Maine Outdoor Film Festival Screening in Belfast

Join us at the Maine Outdoor Film Festival for an evening of films, shown outdoors at Waterfall Arts, Belfast. This evening’s selection will feature conservation and outdoor adventure shorts. This year they have opted to include episode 6 of Greenhorn’s OurLand – The Crown of Maine

The total running time of the film festival is 84 minutes. There will also be a brief intermission with a free door prize raffle.

Details

Date: Saturday, September 8, 2018
Time: 30 minutes after sunset (about 8:00PM)
Cost: $10 suggested donation
Location: Waterfall Arts – 256 High St, Belfast, Maine 04915

Presented in partnership with: Waterfall Arts

FILMS TO BE SCREENED (in no particular order):

Film Name  – Director – Running Time
Yojani | A Cuba Skate Story – Makewild – 2:00
Wild Ice – Backcountry Skating Alaska – Cale Green Sockeye Red Services & Paxson Woelber – 3:00
Bailey and the Alewives – Molly Haley Molly Haley Photography & David Meiklejohn – 5:19
Playing on the Pinn – Rob Johnson – 10:50
Our Land: The Crown of Maine – The Greenhorns – 11:51
This Place Called Nuka: Courting Adventure in Wild Alaska – Dave Weich – 22:20
Bears Ears – Hank Leukart Without Baggage – 28:45

*Screening schedule is subject to change*


Maine Outdoor Film Festival in Fort Kent

Join us at the Maine Outdoor Film Festival for an evening of outdoor films under the stars at Riverside Park Pavillion. The total running time for the film festival is 61 minutes and there will also be a brief intermission with a free door prize raffle.

Details:

Date: Thursday, September 13th, 2018
Time: Doors: 6:45 PM. Films 7:45PM
Admission: Free
Location: Riverside Park Pavillion

Presented in partnership with: BikeMaine

FILMS TO BE SCREENED (in no particular order):

Film Name – Director- Running Time
Jimmy Smith – Chris Olson, Austin Elliott – 2:30
Nick Livesey – My Mountain Healing – Rob Johnson – 5:31
One Week At A Time – No Umbrella Media – 11:17
Our Land: The Crown of MaineThe Greenhorns – 11:51
Guanaco – Pedro McCardell – 15:00
Ride the Rhine – Joe Enoch – 9:57

*Screening schedule is subject to change*


Greenhorns Presents: Forest Mycology and Wild Edibles in the Maine Woodlands And Wildlands

September 7th-9th Greenhorns and Eat Local Eastport present: Forest Mycology and Wild Edibles in the Maine Woodlands And Wildlands with Russ Cohen and Peter McCoy.

Join Russ Cohen and Peter McCoy for a weekend in the Maine wildlands and woodlands. Russ and Peter will teach us how to interact with and feed ourselves from the wild world around us – sustainably.

On Friday evening, we will all come together to learn the theoretical aspects of foraging for wild plants and mushrooms, this includes processes for identifying wild plants in the region as well as instructions for sustainable harvesting of wild edibles. Maine is home to over 100 species of edible wild plants. Many of these species are more nutritious and/or flavorful than their cultivated counterparts. These include native species like Black Raspberry and Shagbark Hickory, non-native weeds like Burdock and Chicory, and exotic invasive species like Dame’s Rocket and Japanese Knotweed. The Pine Tree State is also home to dozens of species of edible mushrooms. Russ’ evening talk will cover at least four dozen of the tastiest species the region has to offer. These include species everyone knows well, like Daisies and Dandelions, plus species they may never have even heard of, like Calamus and Carrion Flower.  At least a dozen of the easier-to-recognize edible mushrooms will be covered too, from Morels in the spring, to Black Trumpets in the summer, to Hen-of-the-Woods mushrooms in the fall. Keys to the identification of each species will be provided, along with info on edible portion(s), season(s) of availability and preparation methods, as well as guidelines for safe and environmentally responsible foraging. Russ will also include a few details regarding some native edible plants he has grown successfully from seed, and the partnerships he has made with conservation groups and others to add edible native plants to their landscapes. Last but not least, Russ will accompany his talk with handouts and several foraged goodies made with wild ingredients. There will be ample time for questions and discussions.

On Saturday Peter will begin with a talk and presentation focused on mushrooms. He will cover Fungal biology, ecology, and cultural history of mushrooms, Mushroom and lichen identification and wild harvesting ethics, tactics for measuring forest health with lichens and mushrooms, and habitat regeneration with fungi. Later in the day Russ will lead a guided wild plant and edible walk. We will spend the afternoon exploring the Downeast landscapes in search of edible wild plants and putting the theory that we learn on Friday and Saturday morning into action. While it’s never possible to predict exactly what types of wild edibles that we might encounter,  given the time of year, Russ expects to encounter and share the delicious details about at least two dozen species. These could include edible farm weeds like Lamb’s Quarters and Purslane, edible roadside weeds like Curly Dock and Wild Parsnip, edible coastal plants, like Beach Rose and Beach Pea, and edible native plants preferring damp, sunny habitats, like Cattail, Elderberry and Groundnut. Mushrooms are even more elusive than their wild plant counterparts, however following on from his presentation in the morning Peter will teach us how to identify and harvest and mushrooms and lichens that we encounter and will explain the role that these fungus play in their environment.

On Sunday Peter will focus on the thousand-year old Japanese tradition of Shiitake log cultivation. He will cover best practices for site selection, inoculation, and harvesting in depth. You’ll learn hands-on how to create a productive, and low input mini-mushroom farm to produce pounds of Shiitake mushrooms on demand! He will also guide us through the processes involved in processing mushrooms and lichens for natural medicines and dyes.

Both Peter and Russ are passionate about sustainability and environmental responsibility so in addition to tips on identification of wild species there will also be a focus on safe and environmentally responsible foraging throughout the weekend. This workshop is not suitable for, or intended to be a guide or training course for those looking to harvest wild plants for commercial sale.

Every Participant will receive a signed copy of Russ Cohen’s best selling book Wild Plants I Have Known….And Eaten.

Important info: 
Date: 7th-9th September
Location: Reversing Hall and Smithereen Farm, Pembroke ME 04666 (Camping spaces available)
Cost:
$40 for weekend (downeasters)
$150 for weekend  (from away, includes meals and camping)

 

3 day programme – limited spaces, RSVP required, email office@greenhorns.org.

Greenhorns Presents: BUZZ BUZZ Natural Beekeeping with Tucka B

Interested in natural beekeeping? It seems like summer, but winter is coming! Learn to prepare your bees for the long dark days by starting early.

This course will cover natural beekeeping basics, observation practices and bee walks as well as lecture in the hall. Using live hives and working directly with the bees, Tucka will teach us how to complete a live late-summer inspection and will give relevant advice and tips on feeding, treating and other fall activities. Please bring your protective gear as well as an inquiring mind. Stings do happen!

About our Teacher, Tucka.
It all started with the Natural Beekeeping Trust in England, where a swarm flew away with her heart. Since then, she’s worked with a series of mentors, most notably the bees themselves. Tucka currently raises queens in box hives in upstate NY, and works for Mike Palmer – legendary beekeeper in upstate VT. Her operation is strongly influenced by the survivor stock and radical ideas of Sam Comfort from anarchy apiaries.

@tuckabee
@comforthive

Email office@greenhorns.org asap to register.