The Irresistible Fleet of Bicycles

home for rent in beautiful down east maine on cobscook bay

posted February 24, 2018

The view from the porch!

A wonderful and cozy home in Pembroke, Maine is available to rent for a number of weeks during the Summer of 2018. If you are hoping to attend one of our exciting upcoming events or just want to soak up the atmosphere in Downeast Maine and explore the new home of the Greenhorns this is the perfect place to stay.

These are the dates that are still available (as of 2.23.18).

– May 19th-26th

– May 26th – June 2nd

– June 2nd – 9th

– July 7th – 14th

– July 14th – 21st

– July 21st – 28th (especially relevant to anybody attending“Halls away Downeast” – A bus-tour of historic halls from Ellsworth to Eastport, Maine which takes place on July 21st and 22nd!)

– July 28th – August 2nd

The restored 1840s homestead has 450 feet of frontage on the Pennamaquan Estuary of Cobscook Bay, 10 acres of open fields, and over 40 acres of forest that include a well-marked set of hiking trails. The house is also fully equipped and can sleep eight to ten persons. Finally, the homestead is situated on the Leighton Point Road between The Reversing Hall (Greenhorns HQ) and Smithereen Farm.

For more information and photographs please contact Catherine Adelman at: adelman.cm@gmail.com.


a digital map leads to reparations for black and indigenous farmers

posted February 24, 2018

Credit: Soul Fire Farm

Check out this awesome article written by very good friend of the Greenhorns, Jean Willoughby for Yes! Magazine. Jean writes about the recent changes within the farming movement. Her article focuses on the increase in the number of voluntary transfers of land and resources to people of color as a means of reparations for past injustices.

“Last month, Dallas Robinson received an email from someone she didn’t know, asking if she would be open to receiving a large sum of money—with no strings attached. For once, it wasn’t spam. She hit reply.
Robinson is a beginning farmer with experience in organic agriculture, and has had plans to establish the Harriet Tubman Freedom Farm on 10 acres of family land near her home in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Located in an area where the poverty rate hovers at nearly 20 percent, according to census data, and where both food insecurity and obesity rates are even higher, the farm will focus on serving the needs of the surrounding community by producing vegetables, herbs, and mushrooms.
The gift from the stranger arrived thanks to a new online map, the Black-Indigenous Farmers Reparations Map, a project to promote “people-to-people” reparations.”

The email that Robinson received was from Douglass DeCandia (regular contributor to the Greenhorns New Farmers Almanac!) who had heard Robinson speak at the young farmers conference this year which featured the controversial speech from keynote Mark Bittman. Bittman’s response to those speaking truth to power at the conference was a stark awakening for many and has encouraged many of those who hold power to question how they are holding themselves accountable.

Click HERE to read the full article.


announcing our BIGGEST EVER events schedule in 2018!!

posted February 21, 2018

Greenhorns, has just turned 10, and has moved to Pembroke ME. Here, we will continue our publishing and cultural work for a national audience, as well as developing locally-oriented educational events including a ‘naturalist adventure’ summer camp series that supports the entry of young people into sustainable agriculture. Come from near, come from far – scholarships available.

We will house our offices and 8,000 volume agricultural library in the beautifully wood-panelled Odd Fellows Hall, built by the George Washington Lodge of Odd Fellows in 1896, which we have re-christened the ‘Reversing Hall’ after the Reversing Falls, which gave the Passamaquoddy name to Cobscook Bay. The Hall is protected by a Maine Preservation easement – we will seek grants to restore the hall. Our headquarters will also house the equipment of cultural production – our painting, fabric and props studio, our tool-shop, radio podcast and audio-visual editing equipment. We look forward to local, regional and intergalactic collaborations and collaborators, beginning with a workshop series in 2018.

Here is the Schedule for 2018 so far!

FEBRUARY

February 25th 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Cobscook Community Learning Centre, MOFGA and C.J Walke Present:
Pruning Demonstration
At the Cobscook Community Learning Centre

The first part of the The 7th Pruning and Downeast Scionwood Exchange/Grafting Demonstration Events features a pruning demonstration with C.J Walke from MOFGA. C.J. began working for MOFGA in 2006 as Landscape Coordinator for the Common Ground Education Center in Unity, and has held various roles within the organization since then. In his part-time role as Orchard Educator, C.J. works with farmers and gardeners to build orchard health and promote biological diversity among fruit trees.

Pruning requires only a few tools, and the techniques are simple and fun to learn. If you are already an experienced grafter or orchardist, please come and share your knowledge with the group. The workshop will begin indoors with some basic information about pruning as well as information tailored to meet the interests of the group. The remainder of the day will be spent outdoors working on several trees on site to get some hands-on experience with pruning.

Register online HERE

———–

MARCH

March 18th 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Cobscook Community Learning Centre, MOFGA and C.J. Walke present:
Downeast Scionwood Exchange and Grafting Demonstration.
At the Cobscook Community Learning Centre.

Grafting is the uniting of two different tree or shrub varieties or stocks together in order to create a more desirable fruit. All named apples, such as Gala (a fairly new variety) and Wolf River (a variety from Wisconsin developed around 1875), were developed through grafting. In Maine, grafting is done later in the spring – April to May – when the tree’s sap run is more established. At the Scionwood Exchange, you will be, also doing bench grafting which is done on rootstock indoors and then planted out later in the spring. Rootstock will be provided.

Please bring scion wood from your favorite trees to share with others and dress appropriately to be outside. For more information about when and how to collect scionwood, click here

Click HERE to register online.

———–

JUNE

June 10th, 2018
Greenhorns presents:
GPS for Beginners.
At Reversing Hall, Pembroke, Maine

Our teacher is Markley Boyer, conservationist and adventurer and we will be learning how to use digital mapping, remote sensing, large-scale print-outs and plain old drafting paper to create working farm management plans. We’ll use great software to access different layers of information (soils, tax maps, etc). The resulting maps/farm plans can be used for grazing management, organic certification, trail-making, agroforestry, monitoring seaweed harvests and other aquatic users, and includes multi-layered data about weather, wildlife and other phenomenology.

We will work with a variety of tools, comparing best uses. From Open Source: Farmier, Gaiamaps, Pasturemap, Prospect, maybe even a tiny bit of googlemaps. We have a few lender-laptops for those who need, if you have a laptop please bring it. Class size is limited, scholarships available. $40 to register: office@greenhorns.org

———–

June 15th, 2018
Greenhorns and Scythe Supply present:
One day short-course in Scything
At Smithereen Farm

Taught by scything legend (and neighbor farmer) Jim Kovaleski and Carol Bryan of Scythe Supply. You will learn to manage fencerows, roads, paths, lawns, orchards – all without motor noise! Find the optimal physics, the romance of the swing, and learn some small tricks for sharpening and blade maintenance. (If you are coming from away, plan to arrive the evening of June 14th)

No purchase of Scythe is required, but all equipment will be available for sale. The daylong course costs $100 and includes camping, picnic lunch, use of outdoor kitchen.

———–

June 16th – 17th, 2018
Greenhorns, Appleseed Permaculture and Owl + Bear Tree service presents:
Trail building theory and practice workshop
with:

Brannan Buehner of Owl and Bear Tree services,
Connor Stedman of Appleseed Permaculture,
Deirdre Whitehead, Maine Coast Heritage Trust land steward

All animals and all empires understand the power of the trail – but do you? We’ll cover siting and planning, tool-use, wet-area materials, underbrush and trail-edge management. Reading slope, topography, landform– what does the land want? How can we design a sensuous slalom, with just enough intervention and design? We’ll do some wildlife trailing and tracking, noticing how animals use the landscape, where do they congregate, over-winter, nestle-down. How does this relate to our own goals, for hunting, for under-story herbalism, for siting our pathways across the forest?

Join 3 experienced trail-makers as we cover theory, tools, practices and implementation in a very beautiful Maine forest. We’ll create some trail earthworks (swales, drainages, water-bars, brush-piles and brush-gabions) that prevent erosive decline of the trail-way, and discuss remediation for old lumber roads. The techniques of trail-making can build skills relevant on self-willed as well as domesticated landscapes, today’s meadows are yesterday’s woodlands. From here, we can begin drawing the forest-habitat back out into the meadows with agroforestry planning. YES! We will actually make trails through a beautiful forest on a salt-water farm in Downeast Maine and you will gain serious confidence to make better trails in whatever forested landscapes you call home. (June 15 afternoon/evening arrival)

$250 for the two day course, includes all meals. Scholarships available, email: office@greenhorns.org

If you want to do this cool Sea Kayaking course we heard about, that could be fun too – as a combo  It takes place from June 9-16, 2018.

———–

June 23th
Greenhorns and Maine Seaweed Exchange present:
Wild + Cultivated algae: Seaweed Workshop #1

This will include:

– A full day session with Sarah Redmond and special guest teachers which will feature:
– Presentations and Slideshows at the Reversing Hall, field study on the shore.
– Orientation to the Inter-tidal, marine biology
– Introduction to wildcrafting and farming edible seaweeds
– Look at the history of seaweed aquaculture around the world.
– Looking at the potential for seaweed aquaculture in Maine: opportunities and risks
– Introduction to the work of Elinor Ostrom on the Commons, and principles of community resource management
– Introduction to species, ecology, ethics, equipment, siting considerations, seasonality, harvest, processing.
– We’ll discuss bio-safety protocols, look at seaweed health and disease management strategies.
– We will talk about local economy, political ecology and learning our lessons from fisheries history in Maine.
– We’ll discuss what kind of policy is needed create a Maine seaweed sector inviting to young, conservation-minded mariculturists
– We’ll evaluate wild and cultivated products, discuss best practices and market potential
– We will have plenty of time for discussion.

Farm lunch provided $200/Scholarships available office@greenhorns.org to RSVP

———–

JULY

July 21-22
Friends of Liberty Hall and Greenhorns present:
“Halls away Downeast” – A bus-tour of historic halls from Ellsworth to Eastport, Maine

This course is perfect for people over 60 years old, no strenuous physical activity required!

Includes all meals, transportation, lectures and accommodations for a 2 day whistle-stop tour including wonderful guest lecturers, farm visits and adventures in historic preservation. This is a program coordinated in partnership with Friends of Liberty Hall, Machiasport, ME, Maine Preservation and Greenhorns – a young farmers group which recently moved to an Odd Fellows Hall in Washington County.

Meet 8 am at the historical society Northeast Harbor or mid morning in Ellsworth, hall to hall (Ruggles House, Cherryfield Historic District, Liberty Hall, Reversing Hall, a couple Granges and fantastic churches too.) Come explore the civic architecture of Washington County, and some of the projects and programs animating these spaces. Attend wonderful lectures and events, sleep overnight on a beautiful saltwater farm, more halls and lectures and return the next afternoon ($350 tax-deductible donation requested)

To sign up, email severine@greenhorns.org

———–

AUGUST

August 5th
Greenhorns and Jim Cornish Present:
Blueberry Wine Workshop

Join us on August 5th from noon until 4:00 pm for our Blueberry Wine making workshop with Jim Cornish. Participants are required to bring 15 pounds of blueberries and a potato masher the day of the workshop in addition to 12 pounds of sugar five teaspoons of lemon juice and five teaspoons of yeast to add on the third day after the workshop. The wine yield will be approx. 5 1/2 gallons. After the workshop spend an evening with Jim listening to and singing along to live Folk and Americana music that we all know and love sprinkled with a few original songs.

This workshop costs $50, which includes step by step instructions, a fermenting bucket, an air lock and a corker. Email office@greenhorns.org to RSVP.

———–

August 17th – 26th, 2018
Greenhorns Presents:
Sail Training Camp: Downeast Foxfire with Arista Holden

Greenhorns is pleased to present our first sail training program, a follow up on Maine Sail Freight project, which brought us to Maine! Starting at Liberty Hall in Machiasport and visiting islands, coves, and historic sites while immersing students in the wild coastal ecology of Downeast Maine, this ten day course offers a birch bark crafting workshop, traditional seamanship training and all sorts of naturalist adventure. Yes, you will learn to row and sail aboard the 18th-century Bantry Bay gigs.

Here is sign up spot: https://www.atlanticchallengeusa.com/downeast-foxfire-camp.html

For details talk to arista@greenhorns.org, $450 for 10 days, scholarships available.

———–

All of August, 2017

Blueberry camp!  Arrange to camp at Smithereen Farm to harvest your own blueberries and make your own jam in our beautiful new timber-frame kitchen. DIY Blueberry Commons. Bring your own tent, jars and sugar, come explore the beautiful Cobscook Region on a low impact family holiday! You can enjoy the Greenhorns Agricultural Library and our little improvised tourist office at the 1901 Odd Fellows Hall, go hiking, biking, kayaking, exploring New Brunswick and etc! I made a little tourist page on the website: www.smithereenfarm.com

—> Buy your provisions locally at Whole Life Machias, Machias Marketplace, Eat Local Eastport, Lubec and Eastport Farmers Markets and at the Tide Mill Farm farm stand! Washington County is far away, but this landscape is wealthy in wild foods, and utterly worth the trip up. “Drive like a champ, eat like a king.”

$50/ night includes, tent platform, use of the timber-frame kitchen+ stove, composting toilet + hot shower bathhouse, and all-access to the blueberry commons. For Bookings contact severine@smithereenfarm.com

———–

SEPTEMBER

September 7th – 9th
Greenhorns and Eat Local Eastport present:
Shiitake + Chaga Focused: Forest Mycology in the Maine Woodlands And Wildlands
Taught by Radical Mycology author and educator Peter McCoy and Russ Cohen, naturalist, seed-saver, wildcrafting educator.

MUSHROOMS! Besides logging, how can we interact with woodlands in ways that sustain us? MUSHROOMS! This homesteader-oriented program looks at mycological practices and practical considerations for tending the wild, managing the forest commons for multiple human uses as well as for animal + insect users. Downeast Maine is home to over sixty species of edible wild plants, some of which are more nutritious and/or flavorful than their cultivated counterparts. Join Russ Cohen (invited), wild foods enthusiast and author of the book Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, to explore several Downeast properties and varied habitats to encounter at least two dozen species of edible wild plants. 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 on safe and environmentally responsible foraging.

Topics include:
– Wild harvest ethics, discussion of Chaga – life cycle, tincturing and value added.
– Learning about lichens, for natural dye and medicine.
– Using mushrooms to read the forest health.

We’ll have a major focus on Shiitake! The thousand-year old Japanese tradition of growing mushroom logs outdoors in the woods including site selection, methods and doing it ourselves. You’ll learn hands-on how to create a fruiting mini-forest that produced pounds of shiitake mushrooms, on demand! We’ll talk about logging roads, how they fruit and what they can become. We’ll do a few wild forays, learning these woods and identification of best practices. While we’re hitting the mushroom trail, we’ll also visit the fruiting, blooming, rooting wild foods with Russ Cohen, naturalist educator.

3 day program – limited spaces, $250 scholarships available. Please email office@greenhorns.org to RSVP/pre pay

———–

OCTOBER

October 13th, 2018
Greenhorns presents:
Wild fruit vinega! Making Apple cider vinegar on a homestead scale.
Half day session at the Pembroke Reversing Hall – (Odd Fellows Hall 4 Leighton Point Road, Pembroke ME 04666)

Workshop will include:

– Making apple cider vinegar for your own use. We’ll be Gathering wild + heirloom Apples.
– Tasting varieties and learning how the different flavor profiles impact flavor outcome in cider, generating a ‘data sheet’ on the prolific trees in the area.
– Pressing- best sanitation practices, relevant rules.
– Fermenting- materials provided, space provided, you will end up with your own carboy of vinegar. We will go through value added, fire cider, vinaigrette, herbal vinegar etc.
– Other considerations, labels, sales rules, MOFGA etc.

Course costs sliding scale $50- $100 (includes the glass carboy), scholarships available. For information or to sign up email office@greenhorns.org

Thats all thats confirmed – in all likelihood we’ll add a few more details, and some events to the schedule and will keep you all updated as we do! 

If you are unable to attend any of our events this year but still wish to donate to help support the Greenhorns please click HERE to donate online or alternatively you can make a check out to our new fiscal sponsor MOFGA (Maine Farmers and Gardeners Association) with Greenhorns in the memo line.

This can be mailed to:

MOFGA
PO 170
Unity Maine 04988


four farm school fellowships available – apply before february 15th!!

posted February 8, 2018

The Farm School is offering 4 exciting new fellowship positions in 2018!

Program for Visiting Schools Fellowship for Farm-Based Education Leaders:

Two of the new Fellowships available from The Farm School invest in training and mentoring the next generation of farm-based education leaders. The focus of the fellowship is on developing practical agricultural skills, production experience and exposure to The Farm School’s nationally recognized Program for Visiting Schools.

The Farm School will award up to two full scholarships (including tuition, room and board, books and materials) to our year-long practical training in sustainable farming to compelling applicants who communicate a clear vision for connecting young people to the land through farming. They should also demonstrate that they possess leadership potential to either start a farm-based education organization in the future, or to manage and shape an existing program at another institution.

Doune Trust Fellowship for Community Agricultural Leaders:

One full scholarship is available for a uniquely bright and compelling student representing an underserved community. The recipient of this fellowship should have great potential to serve or lead that community agriculturally. This scholarship carries the full value of the student farmer tuition contribution, including room, board, books and materials.

Willow Tree Fellowship for African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx and Indigenous Farmers:

One full scholarship is available for a student who identifies as African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx or Indigenous and who demonstrates particular promise to make good use of the Learn to Farm Program’s agricultural training. This scholarship carries the full value of the student farmer tuition contribution, including room, board, books and materials.

The closing date for these fellowships is FEBRUARY 15th SO DON’T DELAY!
Click HERE for more information on eligibility and how to apply.


the quivira coalition seeks an education and outreach coordinator.

posted February 5, 2018

The Quivira Coalition, a Santa Fe­ based nonprofit that builds resilience by fostering ecological, economic and social health on Western working lands, is seeking an Education and Outreach Coordinator. The chosen candidate should understand the connections between land health, working watersheds, and good food. In addition, they should also have a genuine passion for helping others develop the knowledge and skills to contribute to vital food and agriculture systems and healthy watersheds and soil.

The coordinator should be a people­ oriented organizer who has worked with agricultural producers and/or in experiential education. They should possess strong communications, logistics, and event management skills. An ideal candidate would enjoy working with ranchers, land managers, farmers, and the public and is dedicated to about solving
current food production, agriculture, and land health challenges. This person should also live in or near Santa Fe, New Mexico (or be willing to relocate), have the flexibility to travel to farms and ranches, and have experience in large and small event management.

The coordinator will work closely with Quivira staff to support successful educational programming. This includes land health workshops, a variety of agrarian trainings and the annual Quivira Conference (conference coordination comprises approximately 50% of this position). Additionally, this person will work closely with director to build capacity in the Education and Outreach program and expand its scope. Specific duties and responsibilities include: (more…)


farminaries – from souls to stomachs, seminaries are looking to expand their reach

posted February 1, 2018

credit: CasarsaGuru / iStock

There is a growing recognition in both the faith and farming communities, of the opportunities for both to work together. Greenhorns recognized this and partnered with members from a diverse range of faith communities to hold our Faith Lands conference in California this coming March. We have connected with farmers and faith leaders from all over the country. Together we will discover what works and what does not with these two communities come together. Our partner in this work Rev. Nurya Parish of Plainsong Farm & Ministry  drew our attention to a recent article written by Kendall Vanderslice for Christianity Today about this idea of Farminaries that is spreading across the country.

Farminary

“Throughout his time in seminary, Stucky had dreamed of teaching theology on a farm—or a “farminary,” his colleagues joked. Intrigued by this vision, Barnes began to explore rumors that the seminary owned a nearby piece of empty property. The seminary purchased the plot in 2010 from a friend of the school, hoping that one day the property could somehow contribute to the mission. For four years, it remained nothing more than an asset on a spreadsheet. As Barnes later discovered, the 21-acre field was already zoned for agriculture, and Princeton’s Farminary Program was born.”

Click HERE to read the full article.


grass roots farmers’ cooperative guide to overcoming the barriers for beginning farmers

posted January 24, 2018

credit: Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative

Howdy! Cody Hopkins, here. I’m thrilled to be guest blogging for the Greenhorns on behalf of Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative. We’re a group of pasture-based livestock farmers operating under a single set of animal husbandry standards and selling our meats under the same brand. Of the many exciting endeavors our cooperative has set out to accomplish, the one I want to focus on here is our efforts to breakdown the daunting barriers to entry for beginning farmers.

My wife Andrea and I are fortunate to have been farming for 11 years now. When we first founded Falling Sky Farm, we had a lot of support from friends and family. But not everyone is so lucky. And even though we had relatively easy access to leased land (a barrier that’s insurmountable to a lot of folks looking to get started in agriculture). Dealing with the lack of access to processing and cold storage services, combined with managing the complexity of operating a fast-growing small business, was extremely overwhelming.
(more…)


downeast foxfire camp registration now open!

posted January 23, 2018

Downeast Foxfire Camp is a ten-day rowing and sailing expedition in eastern Maine that is being hosted by the Greenhorns and taught by the wonderful and talented Arista Holden. The expedition will take place from August 17th – 26th 2018. 

In addition to travelling in a Bantry Bay gig to rugged, spruce-covered islands and peninsulas, we will be celebrating the folk traditions of the Maine coast and practicing our best “Leave No Trace” camp craft techniques. Together we will learn traditional crafts, sustainable forestry techniques and island farming. Expect to be challenged, inspired and to make life-long friends as we ebb and flow along with the 12 foot tides in an environment of support, safety and encouragement. 

The course boh starts and Ends in Machiasport, Maine – 44 ̊37’15” N  67 ̊23’03” W 

The cost of this expedition is $450 which includes:

– Three meals a day with snacks
Training in:
– Traditional seamanship: rowing, sailing, navigation, knots, tide and weather
– Spoon carving and birch bark containers
– Sustainable firewood lot management
– Salt water farming
– Leave No Trace camp craft techniques
– Foxfire oral story collection
– Lots of smiles, support and spontaneous fun.

*Not Included:
Getting to/from Machiasport. (However we will help you connect with other participants to carpool)
The nearest International airport and bus station with connections to major US cities is in Bangor.

Group size: 15-25 people​

Have ​questions? Please contact:
Arista Holden
Trainer and Program Director of Downeast Foxfire Camp.
arista@greenhorns.org

Click HERE to find out more about the Downeast Foxfire Camp!


Submit to The New Farmer’s Almanac!

posted January 3, 2018

Greetings writers, artists, photographers, and agrarians! It’s almanac time again! If you would like to contribute, now is the time to get thinking, writing, and creating. This year we have a wonderful new editor, Briana Olson. Contact her with your ideas and submissions at almanac@greenhorns.org. Please see below for more details about the submissions process as well as our guidelines for themes for the upcoming Almanac.

Submission Guidelines: 

Query before submitting at almanac@greenhorns.org.

Written Submissions
Send us essays, interviews, recipes, ruminations, reading lists, rants, star charts, stories, instructions, jokes, thoughts, dreams, or other curious textual things. For prose, 700 words (give or take) is our preferred length. If you’re submitting poems, give us up to three to consider. If your work defies such categories, aim for one page, or two, or three (but no more than that unless we ask).

Visual Arts Submissions
Send us your photographs, original art, illustrations, picture essays, flowcharts, diagrams, maps, doodles, or natural world paraphernalia. Whatever your medium, materials should be submitted as 300 dpi grayscale images, formatted as .tiff, .png, or .jpg files. With each piece, please specify artist name, name of work, and medium.

Farmers React
We will solicit your reactions to selected art works early in 2018. Let us know if this form of writing calls to you.

Themes & Questions
As usual we have laid out some themes as a scaffold to inspire and provoke your Almanac contributions. You can ignore them, or you can rebut them–but it does seem to work well when we have some consonance within the chapters.

The overarching theme of this year’s Almanac is a bigger, broader, more inclusive understanding of who we are as Americans, as humans, and as agrarians. As Marada Cook says, “Food is physical” — the physical proof of a series of interlinked land actors. When Aldo Leopold talks about “land as a community to which we all belong,” we can recognize ourselves and each other as inextricably connected beneficiaries and victims of land-use decisions. Directly or indirectly. Now or sometime soon. The fictional and exclusive “we” that sees itself set apart from the coiling, uncoiling, and recoiling of nature’s laws and our society’s inequities may exist in television and consumerist narratives, but it is a shrinking and fortified minority.

We therefore challenge ourselves to look directly at the questions: “Who are we? And how can we work together?”

Aren’t we the successors of the oppressors and the oppressed? Aren’t we the inheritors and en-actors of their historical legacies? Aren’t we the offspring of homesteaders, of slaves, of indentured servants, of the dispossessed Irish, Scottish, Chinese, Mexican, African, Japanese, and Caribbean diasporas? Aren’t we descended from the trail-guard cavalry or the buckboard opportunists with a pick-axe? Aren’t we the H2A guest workers, or undocumented and fearing the traffic cop? Aren’t we the kids on the Reservation, or orphaned from it by bureaucracy? Aren’t we those chased over the border by structural adjustments, refugees of the “Green Revolution”? Aren’t we citizens of this same landscape, voters in our watersheds, stewards in the neighborhood, committee members to a changing climate? Isn’t that the we that we are talking about?

As in nature, our diversity will always be our strength. It will take all of us working together–and valuing our differences as much as our commonalities–to turn our world’s situation around. Our hearts and minds, shovels and sandbags, our libraries and schools, our relief efforts and common grounds are more crucial now than ever to address crises near and far.

The editors of The New Farmer’s Almanac challenge you, dear authors and agrarians, to consider the many that make up the WE, the many that create US as collaborators in our shared project of survival. We invite you to name your subject, your object, your actions, and your place in the ecosystem of succeeding, emergent, spontaneous, collaborative future-making that lies ahead.

January

What story are WE?

Reflections on the Trump era, local practices, resilience-based organizing. Tuning in, Tuning out–coping strategies, adrenaline and keeping it real.

– Peace Economy, relations in a small town.

– Peace Economy, relations in the big city.

– Peace culture, non-violence and relating through conflict.

– Peace culture–relating across histories with hispano/indigenous water rights.

– Radical Extension–a thought experiment on how the Extension service might operate in the future, imagine the role of community testing plots for new crops and varieties.

– Punk Extension–a thought experiment on how communities might self organize to do crop research and form adaptation strategies on next crops…

February

Age of SAIL

Looking across the bow at a new economy–a report from the International Sail Freight Alliance.

– How do we orient (post-colonially) to the logic of the landscape, the harbor, the river-system, the portages and canal-making.

– Bodies in Motion/Thoughts on animal movement, human migrations, and the finding of habitable habitats in our beleaguered world.

– Re-negotiating terms of trade.

– Re-negotiating settlement norms.

– Looking at the cargos pre-diesel:Sandalwood, Potatoes and Sardines to the California Gold Rush, Opium and tea Trades, Chilean Nitrate, Russian Hemps, Chinese Silks, Tropical Hardwoods, Masts and lumber, Molasses and Rum, Ice to India. Pick a story, go research it– and tell us what you learn of its enduring consequence.

– Wobbling docks, longshoremen, and the Wobblies.

– Some thoughts on Partnerships and LLCs.

Book Review.

March

Age of TRAIL

Criss-crossing the plains and passes. Please choose one and teach us about it.

– The role of the US cavalry, native treaty negotiations, and broken promises. Fort Laramie.

– The history of trade along the Santa Fe Trail.

– Jedediah Smith and the Beaver trade.

– Forts–Fort theory.

– Fording the rivers, taxes, veins, caches, the Cumberland Gap.

– Research Project: Comparative legal infrastructures of Pastoralism (i.e. Seven North African nations agree to allow their pastoralists to travel freely between the nations without harm).

– Forgotten words, “Land Marks” of animal passage.

– Beginners’ guide to Fruit Exploring.

– Tracking on the farm, using spoor and knowing the wild life.

– Quaker Underground, apples, and peace.

Book Review.

April

Age of RAIL

Farmers Cooperatives, especially the sheep/goat cooperatives of Texas and Colorado, a micro history.

– Hoard’s Dairy, the Wisconsin cooperative milk delivery history.

– The Oak Savanna, and its analogues (Savanna Institute).

– Cattle hubs and spokes, slaughter, hides, buffalo robes.

– Oil Trains, a report from Wisconsin on the rail freight of fracked shale gas.

– Vision for bio-myco-remediation of contaminated railroad lands.

Book Review.

May

FAIL

Failure

Failing

Exploring trauma in relation to extreme weather.

– Fraternity, exploring the themes, rituals, economic relations and underlying lessons of Fraternal orders in the US.

– Stories from Grange revivals and dissolutions.

– Healing from Lyme.

– What went down with the California “Green Grange Movement.”

Farmers react: ART PIECE.

June

Faith Lands
Testimony from farmers working within religious communities, or on church-owned lands.

– A report from the Catholic Workers Movement.

– Report from Puerto Rico/Caribbean relief work.

– Report from the American Friends Service Committee.

– Culinary Seed Breeders Network.

– Sandhill Cranes, migration and the Federal Wildlife Reserve system (GMOs?).

– Super PACs–back to the land as a progressive political strategy, Brian Donahue…

Farmers react: ART PIECE.

July

Labor forms, Labor arrangements, Negotiating power.
Sharecropping

– Illustration: Comparative value systems for shared profit models (East India Company, Letters of Marque, Whalers, Merchant-ships, Sharecropping arrangements) (cotton, pecans, wheat ground, marijuana cartel). *Will require some research and interviews.

– Illustration: Peasant holidays secured in different feudal arrangements, concessions for subsistence alongside service to the estate/center of power.

– Overview of the H2A system.

– Description of the Student Loan Forgiveness program.

– Illustration: Photos of Sharecropper houses, photos of sugar cane workers, photos of Mockabee farmworker houses, photos of farm apprenticeship housing, photos of mini-houses, photos of prairie homesteads, photos of worker trailers.

– Sharecroppers Union formed Southern Federation of Cooperatives, the legacy and the work ahead.

Farmers react: ART PIECE.

August

Reparations

What would a Restoration Economy look like? And would it pay as much as videography?

– Confronting racism in the food system.

– Sherman’s Order.

– Solidarity practices.

– Thought experiment: What would it look like if the Food Deserts got a Land Trust, and elected to protect their agricultural foodshed?

– Intersectionality.

– Acequia stories: Hispano/Indigenous water rights issues in the Southwest.

Book Review.

September

Marijuana culture

– Marijuana philanthropy, small town politics.

– Market limits…Who will smoke it all?

– Race and enforcement, legalization for whom?

– CBD recipes and markets.

– Venture stoners.

– Discussions about warehouses, hydroponics, and the future of ‘organic’.

Book Review.

October

Genetics

– Population breeding, a report on the work in Italy.

– Adaptation, how does nature learn?

– Assisted migration theory, SW Seed Partnership botanists explain their work collecting seed from native populations for restoration practices.

– Personal audit, who are my people? Which WEs am I?

November

Native Sovereignty Movements

– The work ahead.

– Native food products, aggregation.

– The story of Chimayó chiles.

– ‘First foods’.

– About the Huckleberry Commons of Mt. Hood.

Book Review.

December

Scar Commons

Looking at the forms of human coping post-crisis, post-displacement. How we reformulate ourselves into coherence. Reactive institution-making.

– Refugee farms, Alcoholics Anonymous, Syrian Seed bank project, Community Centers in the old rural schools, and on.

– Personal reflections on healing from trauma.

With thanks,

Briana Olson – Lead Editor
Severine vT Fleming – Director of the Greenhorns
Katie Eberle – Visual Editor
Emma O’Leary – Office Manager


Agriculture Conference 2018

posted December 21, 2017

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Agriculture Conference 2018 will take place from the 7th to 10th of February at the Goetheanum in Dornach.

The biodynamic preparations bring vitality to the earth, its fruits, the farms and their communities. They inspire our actions and bring concrete benefits to nature as a whole. They also present us with big questions. At the conference insights will be shared from all over the world and in order to inspire and encourage, there will be an intensive exchange of experiences. Those invited include farmers, gardeners, wine growers, orchardists, herb growers, advisors, researchers, students and apprentices, food processors, traders, cooks, nature educators and also consumers and friends of the biodynamic impulse. The plenary sessions will explore the preparations in all their breadth and depth, in the parallel themed sessions specialists will be able to share experiences and deepen their work while in the workshops intensive personal dialogue will be encouraged. To complete the programme there will be music, artistic courses, guided tours of the Goetheanum and an exhibition. 

The conference includes: Themed sessions on biodynamic preparations for viticulture, food, tropical agriculture, preparations in daily life, soil fertility, medicinal plants and herbs, plus 23 workshops, 14 artistic courses and 15 guided tours. All are welcome.

Click HERE for the Programme and HERE to register.