civil eats on showing up for racial justice

posted June 4, 2020

Want to See Food and Land Justice for Black Americans? Support These Groups.

From the editors at Civil Eats comes this list of organizations working to strengthen food justice, land access, and food access in the Black community.

SUPPORT THESE GROUPS!

“Food justice is racial justice. Food and agriculture, like everything in this country, are deeply intertwined with our nation’s entrenched history of slavery and structural racism. Our food system actively silences, marginalizes, and disproportionately impacts people of color, who are also being hardest hit by COVID-19.


greenhorns guidebook 3.0 NOW LIVE!

posted June 2, 2020

The Greenhorns Beginner’s Guide to Getting Into Farming

Visit our newly published guidebook!

Institutional violence and debt, land dispossession, food insecurity. Our present moment follows from the looting of land and the failures of American agriculture. We encourage you to donate to Black Lives Matter chapters and Bailout funds in cities or communities near you.

We may not have all the answers, but young farmers are part of the solution. Out of work and out of school–like the economic downturn of 2008, this may well be another intense period of recruitment for young people into organic agriculture.

Whether you’re trapped in your apartments without employment, or at home from school or in a cycle of uncertainty. We urge you to become a part of this necessary change.

Visit here for a PDF version of Greenhorns Beginner’s Guide to Getting Into Farming.

Click here to read our most recent e-letter, BLOOM in JUNE!

And, STAY TUNED for more Greenhorns media coming this summer!


Seasonal Gardening Position on acreage in Brookline, MA

posted May 31, 2020

SEASONAL GARDENING POSITION

Residential and private preschool property in Brookline, MA

30 hours per week, June 1 – Nov. 1, with opportunity to extend through December and return in March

Hourly pay, $19-$24 per hour, experience considered and raises offered

Pay frequency: monthly

Work in beautiful residential gardens on land farmed for a local CSA, and build your knowledge of plants and ecological landscaping. Landscape / Garden experience and horticultural / plant identification knowledge are a plus but not required, and resources are provided for your learning.

If you are interested in this position please email Martina Albright at Martina@appleorchardschool.org with a little bit about yourself along with a resume.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Aptitude for physical labor including: ability to lift, push, and pull 50lbs; endurance to walk, stand, kneel, stoop, and bend over for long periods
  • Ability to work outside in various weather conditions
  • Spoken English
  • Self-motivated and good time management skills while working alone
  • Interest in building relationships with owner of the property and employees of the school
  • Ability to use or willingness to learn to use small power equipment (push mower, weed whacker, hedge trimmer) 
  • Background or experience in gardening, farming, landscaping, or other full time outdoor work desired but not required
  • No college diploma required

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Performs a variety of manual work involved in planting, caring for, and maintaining gardens, shrubs, flowers, trees, and other plants.
  • Prunes trees and shrubs, plants and transplants flowers, cares for annual container plants.
  • Performs watering, weeding, and fertilizing in an ecological way – no pesticide or herbicide use.
  • Cares for and trims ornamental perennial beds; implements and cares for small veggie raised beds for preschool.
  • Determines care needed by plants, trees, flowers, shrubs, and lawns; with guidance of supervisors.
  • Performs related manual tasks such as cutting grass, raking, digging, and edging.
  • Uses equipment and tools necessary to gardening work.

rhubarb and resilience: women share inspiration

posted May 31, 2020

Lisa Kivirist, Senior Fellow and Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the University of Minnesota, authored a beautiful piece published in the Monroe Times:

Rhubarb and Resilience – Women Share Inspiration

And a note from Lisa:

Here in my southern Wisconsin farm-hood, with my local women farmer summer potluck scene on COVID hiatus (and unfortunately our annual Soil Sisters weekend postponed to 2021), we took another route to connect that might generate some ideas for you:  print!  
We just started a monthly women farmer-led column for our small town local paper here in southern Wisconsin.  Here’s the kick-off piece with some context:
Monroe Times Rhubarb and resilience – Women share inspiration
An idea to amplify women farmer and all voices in our rural newspapers (who generally are happy to have contributions — like ours).


grassroots media spotlight: organic hazelnuts

posted May 31, 2020

Though 99% of U.S. hazelnuts are grown in Oregon, only 1% of these are grown organically. NCAP doesn’t back down from a challenge, though, and we are proud to be working with a new cooperative, Oregon Organic Hazelnuts , to change the statistics. Taylor Larson of My Brothers’ Farm shares successes in Oregon organic hazelnut production.

From the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides! (NCAP)

Successes in Organic Hazelnut Production:
Biodiversity and Management of Filbert Moth

Description from NCAP’s Action Newsletter May 2020: NCAP is proud to release a new 5-minute video called “Successes in Organic Hazelnut Production: Biodiversity and Management of Filbert Moths.” Grower Taylor Larson of My Brothers’ Farm in Creswell, Oregon demonstrates how to manage hazelnut orchards for increased biodiversity and healthy soil. This video was created with support from Western SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education), and in cooperation with the Oregon Organic Hazelnut Cooperative.


Native food sovereignty in the face of coronavirus

posted May 26, 2020

A “Seeds and Sheep” project in Utah is one of many innovative programs seeking to help Native communities become more food sovereign and self-reliant.

A beautiful article from writer Erik Ortiz, As the coronavirus pandemic strains supplies, Native Americans fight food insecurity. Read to discover the initiatives in food and seed sovereignty in Native communities across the country, to develop “resiliency gardens” and a stronger local food supply.

Photo from Cynthia Wilson, originally published on NBC

“Across the country, as households turn to planting and gardening as a relaxing hobby or to become more self-sufficient during turbulent times, the act of cultivating one’s own food has taken on a greater significance among Native American communities where the pandemic has laid bare an enduring food crisis and a desire to return to customs and traditions some fear are slowly being lost.”


USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Applications Open Today

posted May 26, 2020

From FUTURE HARVEST, the Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture:

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to provide $16 billion in aid to farmers who suffered economic losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, making it the largest single payment in history to our nation’s farmers.

Today through August 28, 2020, farmers that meet eligibility requirements may apply. Funds will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis, so if you do, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. 

The following summary is based on information provided by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Read more about required documentation,  expected payouts, farmer eligibility requirements, and what to prepare before applying, click here


boston area gleaners hiring distribution manager

posted May 26, 2020

From the Boston Area Gleaners:

BAG, a nonprofit hunger relief organization dedicated to rescuing surplus farm crops for people in need, is looking to hire a Distribution Manager to join our operations team.

The Distribution Manager fulfills the mission as established by the Board of Directors, which is to rescue surplus farm crops for people in need.  In doing so, we are building a reliable supply chain of agricultural surplus to regional hunger relief food agencies. A very high degree of accountability is required in order to provide excellent customer service and outcomes to our partner farms, recipient agencies, volunteers, donor base, and our primary beneficiaries – food insecure people in eastern MA.

The Distribution Manager oversees receiving, inventory management, order coordination and fulfillment, as well as truck loading, deliveries and other tasks as necessary. This position also works closely with the Operations Director and the Operations Manager to continuously to improve operations.

If you are interested in helping us supply fresh local produce to people facing food insecurity in eastern Massachusetts, please consider applying.

 After reviewing the full job descriptions through this link, interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to admin@bostonareagleaners.org.


weekend reading: Coronavirus, meat, and food systems

posted May 23, 2020

From Marion Nestle’s remarkable blog Food Politics, three articles not to miss out on this weekend: “Three exceptionally thoughtful and interesting pieces by people who have been writing about food and food systems for a long time”….

Jane Ziegelman in the New York Times: America’s Obsession With Cheap Meat

Eric Schlosser in The Atlantic:  America’s Slaughterhouses Aren’t Just Killing Animals

Michael Pollan  in the New York Review of Books: The Sickness in Our Food Supply


what to make of this?

posted May 23, 2020

From Vice: Man Who Has Never Had an Actual Job Encourages Laid-Off Workers to Pick Fruit

Some have criticized Prince Charles’ suggestion that people out of work due to coronavirus sign up for underpaid physical labor.

“Charles name dropped Pick for Britain, the government’s newly launched campaign to find seasonal help for farms and farmers who desperately need it. According to The Guardian, 98 percent of the United Kingdom’s fruit pickers came from countries elsewhere in Europe last year, with the majority of them arriving from Bulgaria and Romania. In late March, before the UK locked itself down, the Concordia charity had secured the services of more than 10,000 foreign workers, but only a handful of them were allowed to travel in time.”

“Due to a combination of coronavirus-related travel restrictions, a controversial immigration bill that targets so-called “unskilled” workers, and good old fashioned xenophobia, there are anywhere between 70,000 and 90,000 seasonal positions that still need to be filled—and fast. On Tuesday, Environment Secretary George Eustice introduced the shiny new Pick for Britain website for job-seekers who are ready to be up to their elbows in broad beans.”