book: land justice: re-imagining land, food, and the commons

posted October 17, 2017

Usser Äbnet
credit: Friedrich-Karl Mohr

“Hunger and poverty are perpetuated by undemocratic systems of power. Now, this great new resource lifts the veil hiding the history of dispossession and unequal land access in the US.” – Frances Moore Lappé

Land access is the primary barrier for young farmers today. Ensuring access for young farmers who are passionate about the production of healthy food that helps rather than harms the planet is critical in order to address and resolve the injustices in the food system that are at the root of so many of the problems in society.

The authors of this new book Justine M. Williams and Eric Holt-Giménez begins with the history of colonialism in the southwestern US. It includes information from the important leaders within the food system With prefaces from leaders in the food justice and family farming movements, the book opens with a look at the legacies of white-settler colonialism in the southwestern United State which can be largely characterised by widespread enclosure  – and often subsequent depletion – of the rural commons through a process of privatization, that has endured until today. The history of this agricultural system is marred by racism, industrialization and destruction of ecosystems, and has concentrated much of the prosperity to be found in the food system in the hands of the few and powerful.

This book recognises what we have known for a long time: In order to move forward and achieve an equitable, sovereign and sustainable agricultural system for all, all of the players in the food movement must come together to demand land justice.

You can buy the book HERE.

 



supporting black and brown farmers: NC’s earthseed land cooperative is doing beautiful transformative work in their community, and they need our help

posted February 7, 2017

earthseed_2016-10-30_01

It’s Tuesday, and we bet that you could use your daily dose of inspiration from people doing beautiful things in the spirit of hope and transformation. It’s another day, and we have another rad collective farm for you– and for this one, we are calling on the Greenhorns community to help amplify and support the voices and work of people of color who are doing incredible work in food justice, community building, and the resistance of oppression.

Introducing Earthseed Land Cooperative! A “transformational response to oppression and collective heartbreak: a model of community resilience through cooperative ownership of land and resources,” created by a visionary group of “black and brown parents, activists, artists, educators, business owners, farmers, and researchers, who came together to remember our relationships to land, to livelihood and to each other.”

The Cooperative is committed to centering the voices of people of color and other traditionally marginalized communities. They grow food with the intention of increasing access to fresh produce, offer classes and youth programs, and offer a retreat and sanctuary space for activists and artists. In their own words, “Our work is to support our members, our compañerxs in resistance, and our broader communities: to grow food, to grow jobs, to grow movements, to grow spirit and mind; to hold ceremony, to hold our differences, and to hold our common liberation.”

I’m sorry, I just can’t write any more without a firm and capitalized, HECK YES.

And now, to the point: Earthseed Land Cooperative has recently found a new home for their Tierra Negra Farms in 48 acres of pasture and woods in North Durham, NC., and they need help to get their programming and farming firmly rooted in this new ground. 

THE CAMPAIGN
Earthseed Land Cooperative just launched a fundraising campaign to transform their barn into a community gathering space! Our plan is to start by raising $30K in 30 days
Learn more here, donate to the campaign, and consider becoming a sustaining supporter of their radical efforts.
Don’t have money to give, there are more ways to help!

AMPLIFY: Give them some love on Facebook, send out an email with our campaign info, tell your friends and family!

CONNECT: Build a bridge to people/organizations who should know about the work that we do? Share our project with your people who want to see Black and Brown folks in the South reclaiming land for our common liberation with the blessing of Indigenous community and our ancestors.


can a farmland investment company help you get access to farmland?

posted November 25, 2016

land_for_sale_in_coos_bay_area_-_nara_-_545049

A new Report by the folks of Land for Good and the University of Vermont delves deep into the complicated terrain of Farmland Investment Models, aiming to provide farmers the nitty-gritty needed to evaluate whether or not a model like this could work for them.

While Farmland Investment models are diverse, the basic idea is as follows:
1. Farmer needs land but doesn’t have the money to buy it.
2. Farmer partners with Farmland Investment Company.
3. Farmland Investment Company buys the land and a) rents-to-own to the farmer, b) owns the land until easement funds become available and the farmer can use those to purchase the property, c) rents the land to Farmer as an incubator site.

Looking to explore this model more? The report is well-researched and farmer-oriented! Read the whole document here!


agrarian trust in the news

posted November 20, 2016

hands2

You may have missed this in the swamp of election news last week: In These Times published this excellent run-down of Agrarian Trust, the recent symposium, and the land use problems that challenge regional food systems.

“Increasingly, communities recognize that a regional farm economy is more responsive, adaptive, resilient and culturally satisfying,” says von Tscharner Fleming. “We want more diverse, more local, less thirsty, more prosperous regional food systems. It is in this context that we talk about land access for incoming farmers, about successful businesses, and about land transition for existing farms and retiring farmers, as well as mechanisms for restoration of degraded ecological features and infrastructures.”


ever needed help renting farmland? then you can help these people make an app for that.

posted October 11, 2016

cafsfoodsystemsgraphictb
Farmers who have, would like to, or are currently leasing farm land, you input is needed!
Imagine that after a tiring search of rental properties, you have finally found the right plot of land to farm on, but you have little experience with legal matters and feel like your lease agreements are written in a foreign language– I know, I know, you’re saying, Imagine?! That is literally my life; just bear with me– imagine that in this moment, when it is probably a Friday night and no attorney will be available until Monday, that you can actually use a well-designed online app to get personally-tailored legal guidance.
This is exactly what researchers at Vermont Law School’s fantastic Center for Agriculture and Food Systems are working to create: a first-of-its-kind Farmland Lease Builder mobile app that will provide legal guidance tailored to individual farmer situations and draft leases to be used in conversations with attorneys and in lease negotiations. The idea is that farmers would to be able to use the free app to get as far as possible toward building a useful lease before they need to talk to an attorney. The app will be tailored to sustainable and organic operations — encouraging longer-term land tenure to facilitate stable farm businesses and investment in soil-building.

They have reached out to the Greenhorns asking if there are farmers or farm advocates in our network that would be willing to be interviewed by the researchers about their leasing experiences. Are you? If so, express your interest in the comments or contact Amanda N Heyman directly at amanda@jamborheyman.com.


FREE lifetime lease on a 65 acre land trust parcel in WV [EDIT: NO LONGER AVAILABLE]

posted July 12, 2016

3 plenty of garden space

[[[[[[[THIS LAND IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT APC WITH REQUESTS FOR INFO.]]]]]]]]]

The Appalacian Catholic Worker has put out a call for someone to rent a beloved but human-starved piece of land in West Virginia. [Edit: please note that this is NOT a Greenhorns offer. The following text is from the APC, whose contact information is towards the bottom of the post.] Read on for more information:

OUR LAND TRUST HAS A 65 ACRE TRACT THAT IS CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING PEOPLELESSNESS ***** (contrary to urban homelessness, many rural homesteads suffer from peoplelessness, sometimes chronic/cyclical) One of Appalachian Catholic Worker’s community projects is being on the board of directors for the “Regional Land Trust of West Virginia.” RLTWV lands have been protected since 1969, and are close ‘cousins’ with “Trust in the Hills” land trust in WV, started by CWers, Chuck Smith and Sandy Adams (dubbed by Dorothy Day herself as the quintessential examples of CW farmers!)

Currently, RLTWV has a 65 acre tract -mostly wooded hillsides – that would be the perfect place to start your own homestead or CW community. Get a free life-time lease for: – About 10 acres of cleared flat bottom for a big garden or pasturing small livestock; – a pond up on the hill – the old hippie house needs lots of TLC and skilled handiwork or just be lived in as a new one is built – wood stove, water well and pump, electric, telephone land line, indoor compost toilet – and the land taxes this year were only $471.00 !!!

The majority of the board wants to let it go (sell it! God forbid!) because, – since this tract was annexed in 2013, we haven’t been able to find conscientious care-takers who don’t trash the place, or potential lease-holders who can stick around very long. – The board doesn’t want to have to afford (and I can’t myself) the additional taxes on top of the other lands we are responsible for. – We’re an older, or already-swamped, voluntarily-poor board, without the energy or time to clean up the messes or maintain the land.

Mission of RLTWV is … 1. Providing access to land for the landless; 2. Promoting the ecological use of land for the common good; 3. Protecting land from speculation; 4. Encouraging a new relationship with land that sees it as the common heritage of all people, not as the private property of a few, nor as a commodity to be exchanged; 5. Developing networks of support and fellowship that will strengthen those on trust lands in times of need or ecological threat to the land; 6. Supporting efforts for land reform everywhere.

Looks like a job for SUPER CWs or their counterparts!! Your new address would be: 881 Slab Fork Rd. Spencer, WV 25276 about 10 miles from town (last 2 are gravel), relatively reliable transportation would be needed. There are currently FIVE other CW houses spread out around the state of WV each doing different ministries. You’d have an automatic extended intentional community AND a wonderful, tightly knit, REGION-WIDE network of fellow radically-minded, environmentally friendly folks, catholic, not-so-Catholic, and not-Catholic.


event for landless farmers and lucky landowners, forest grove, or

posted May 16, 2016

13237830_845154058929555_8751617498929141070_n

Dairy Creek Community Food Web presents:

Fields for Food
a workshop on leasing farmland
Tuesday March 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
@
St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
1609 Elm St.
Forest Grove, OR
To RSVP, call: 503-992-0078 ext. 302
Free with snacks provided!

Presentations by:
Nellie McAdams, Director of Farm Preservation Program at Rogue Farm Corps. Nellie will explain how to find farmers and craft a lease.
http://www.roguefarmcorps.org/

Greg Malinowski, farmer at Malinowski Farms and Washington County Commissioner. Greg will share his experience in leasing portions of his land to farmers for over 20 years.
http://www.friendsoffamilyfarmers.org/

Charlene Murdock, Nana Cardoon Urban Farm and local Forest Grove resident who has leased land to Adelante Mujeres Sustainable Agriculture program participants.
http://www.adelantemujeres.org/http://www.nanacardoon.com/,


sweet little info video on efficiency on large v. small scale farms

posted April 5, 2016

This video was release in the build-up to last weekend’s World Forum on Access to Land in Spain. March 30-April 2, 400 participants from 70 countries discussed the human, economic & ecological impacts of land grabs. Was anyone out there in attendance. We’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments section!