Commons Based DIY Farm Tool Production, ‘AutoConstruction’

posted July 27, 2019

Spearheading the movement for cooperative, user-led tool production in Quebec’s farming community is CAPÉ, la Cooperatif pour Agriculture de Proximité biologique et Écologique. “AutoConstruction” in French, collective, DIY tool production allows farmers to save money by working together and buying materials in bulk. These projects allow participants to enjoy a dynamic workspace and the expertise of an entire group, in addition to manufacturing unique tools that do not exist on the market yet allow for better farming practices.

Farmer, researcher, traveler and writer Samuel Oslund published this beautiful photo essay while researching L’Atelier Paysan in 2016. According to Samuel, “Whether in France, Quebec, the US, or Italy, I have observed that a common theme of this movement is inclusion and participation. Rather than creating uncomfortable, exclusive or intimidating spaces, the hackathons and builds I’ve observed and participated in are always filled with a mix of ages, genders, and people from different experience.”

“This model gives communities direct access to tools created specifically for their needs, and at the core of the designs is the knowledge that they will be hacked, tweaked, and rethought by each user. This has the added benefit of prompting quicker innovation in future and diverse iterations of the tools as they are adapted to suit different needs.”

When evaluating the success of these projects there are many variables to take into consideration from labor, coordination and design, to development and prototyping. With a hackathon it can be difficult to quantify some of these values, because the events are aimed at actively building skills and knowledge through hands-on practice. In the cold and somewhat isolating months of the Quebec winter, these workshops also serve as an excuse to gather together old and new friends from across the province.

Follow CAPÉ’s AutoConstruction Facebook page to learn more, watch inspiring build videos, and get invoved in the movement!


sweet herbal remedy book and GH almanac release party, brooklyn, dec. 10!

posted December 9, 2016

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Dec 10th Book Release Party: Nature’s Remedies & New Farmers Almanac

Calling all fellow Greenhorns, plant lovers, and herb nerds! 

It’s Jean Willoughby here, and I can easily be described by all three of those lovely, earthbound designations. I hope you’ll join me and an amazing group of folks at the Third Root Community Health Center, a worker-owned cooperative in Brooklyn, for a book release party this Saturday, December 10th.

We’re getting together to celebrate the launch of my book Nature’s Remedies: An Illustrated Guide to Healing Herbs (Chronicle Books). We’ve also teamed up with Greenhorns folks to usher in the release of the latest edition of The New Farmers Almanac.

I’m planning to give a short talk, sort of a ‘people’s history of herbal medicine,’ that I’m excited to share with the Greenhorns community. We’re also going to be joined by a few herbalists, who will be on hand with their wares. Come get some healing, nourishing, and delicious gifts for your loved ones and learn more about medicinal herbs.

Nature’s Remedies & New Farmers Almanac
Book Release Party
Saturday, Dec. 10th, 2016
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Third Root Community Health Center
380 Marlborough Rd, Brooklyn, New York 

+ Food & Drink
+ Herb-infused Meads
+ Meet farmers, medicine makers, and herbalists who will be there with their wares
+ 100% of Nature’s Remedies book sales will benefit Third Root!

Get more event info or RSVP: http://bit.ly/dec10releaseparty

I hope to see you there!
Green forever,

Jean

Ps. Our new site for herb curious folks: www.HerbCurious.com


color au natural

posted August 2, 2016

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I know there are some serious DYIers in the audience– and I bet that if I were to draw a ven diagram with DIY folks in one circle and who would rather walk around naked than put chemical dyes close to their skin, those two circles might just have some overlap…

Those in this middle area of the graph might seriously want to check out this new book by Sasha Duerr. Natural Color is a comprehensive guide to plant dyes and compost coloring. (Sasha taught a great Greenhorns workshop years ago in Pescadero on using weeds and farm bi-products to make natural dyes, so we feel as though we are in a position to give her advice our personal stamp of approval.) Copies of the book are available to preorder from Penguin Random House today.


vt: hands on workshop weekend (aug 25th-28th)

posted April 28, 2016

Ever wonder how milk becomes cheese and yogurt? What the difference between bacon, pancetta and prosicutto is? How an IPA differs from a regular Pale Ale?

 Roll up your sleeves and pack your apron!

 During this four-day tour, you will be introduced to various food production methods through hands-on workshops, tastings and innovative farm tours around Vermont’s Champlain Valley. From the cheesemaking that Vermont is famous for to traditional Italian charcuterie, from ancient yogurt and kombucha fermentation methods to the top craft beers, ciders, wine and spirits, our aim is to show you as much behind the scenes artisanal food production as possible in one weekend!

To learn more about this extended workshop weekend, click HERE!


rewild! escape from monomania

posted October 20, 2015

monoculture_image_481_320Rewild! Escape from Monomania

by: George Monbiot

October 17, 2015, Rural America

Most human endeavours, unless checked by public dissent, evolve into monocultures. Money seeks out a region’s comparative advantage—the field in which it competes most successfully—and promotes it to the exclusion of all else. Every landscape or seascape, if this process is loosed, performs just one function.

This greatly taxes the natural world. An aquifer might contain enough water to allow some farmers to grow alfalfa, but perhaps not all of them. A loch or bay or fjord might have room for wild salmon and a few salmon farms, but if too many cages are built, the parasites that infest them will overwhelm the wild fish. Many farmland birds can survive in a mixed landscape of pasture and arable crops, hedgerows and woodlands, but not in a boundless field of wheat or soybeans.

Some enthusiasts for rewilding see reserves of self-willed land as an exchange for featureless monocultures elsewhere. I believe that pockets of wild land—small in some places, large in others—should be accessible to everyone: no one should have to travel far to seek refuge from the ordered world…

Read on here!


solutions for self reliance

posted August 19, 2015

 

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http://waldenlabs.com/about/



transformational workshop on transformational landscapes

posted June 22, 2015

imageWhile we’re on the subject of Orchards, this is a great time to remind you that the next workshop in Eliza Greenman’s Home Orchard Series is coming up! See details below.

August 8th: Fruit Exploring and Summer Grafting

Learning from the landscape is one of our best tools in combating climate change and forming a more sustainable agricultural future. If you know where to look and what to look for, the landscape transforms itself into a realm of purposeful human legacies and thriving natural adaptations. Fruit Explorer/Orchardist Eliza Greenman will teach you how to track human legacy through trees, select for wild and thriving genetics, and how to propagate it all through summer bud grafting.
When: August 8th: 9-4
Where: Greenhorns Headquarters: 5797 Rt. 22. Westport, NY
Cost: $25 per person. 25 slots available.
What to Bring: Camera, notebook, single beveled knife (grafting knife preferred), footwear and clothing for walking outside, sun protection.
How to register: Email Eliza Greenman to reserve a spot:egreenman (at) gmail.com with “WORKSHOP” as the subject


Severine, greenhorns founder, to be keynote speaker and panelist at bioneers conference

posted October 9, 2014

Live tweeting of the events @bioneersBioneers

October 17-19, 2014

Keynote:  Millions of Acres: Young Agrarians Needed (Oct. 17)

In the next 20 years, farmland ownership will shift on a continental scale—400 million acres, yet 70% of American farmland is owned by people 65 and older. How can we help young, motivated agrarians survive daunting structural obstacles and become successful farmers to whom retiring organic farmers can transmit their wisdom? How can we invest in the democratization of our land base? These questions drive Agrarian Trust, started by by Greenhorns founder Severine v T Fleming, one of the most dynamic leaders in the young farmers’ movement.

Three leading innovators show how to transform the food system to expand local economies and nurture vibrant community cultures. Hosted by Arty Mangan, Director, Bioneers Restorative Food Systems program. With: Michael H. Shuman, expert on community economics, author of Local Dollars, Local Sense; Severine v T Fleming, farmer, activist, filmmaker, founder of Greenhorns; Karen Brown, Creative Director of Center for Ecoliteracy.

Activists, scientists and grassroots groups are leveraging new technology and collaborative networks to accurately monitor the quality of the environment, expose governmental and corporate abuses, and enable large-scale ecological research to understand the web of life in the age of climate disruption. Hosted by Teo Grossman, Bioneers Director of Strategic Network Initiatives. With: Severine v T Fleming, Farm Hack; Shannon Dosemagen, founder/President, New Orleans-based Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science; Brian Haggerty, co-designer, USA National Phenology Network, a multisectoral climate change research program using citizen scientists to monitor seasonal behavior of U.S. flora and fauna.
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