ann arbor: historic biodynamic farm seeks head farmer(s)

posted February 8, 2017

fruit-mantis

Photo Credit: The Community Farm of Ann Arbor

Attention all experienced biodynamic farmers! The Community Farm of Ann Arbor is seeking a head farmer or head farmers. Located in the greater Ann Arbor area, there are almost too many pros to list for this beautiful historic farm, but we’ll give it a shot:

  • established in 1988, it was the first CSA in Michigan
  • an opportunity to learn from retiring farmers Anne and Paul, who have 26 years of experience
  • they have a cow, 4 goats, bees and “a flock of chickens named Jessica”
  • they use a solar tractor!
  • the farm has a non-exempt educational arm, which means farm tours and teaching opportunities
  • serves a dedicated community of close to 80 families

Interested applicants (as an individual OR a team) should click HERE to learn more about the position and the farm. They’re looking to hire soon, pay is dependent on experience, and consider these two things while you’re applying:

The two most important aspects of the farm are that it is Biodynamic and that it is a CSA. Ideal candidates will have: a familiarity with Biodynamics and a willingness to undertake the spiritual work it requires, and a commitment to original CSA principals in operating through the development of consensus.


making the dreamgoats come true

posted April 24, 2016

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In a world that needs new farmers, on land that needs new ways of raising food, and among bodies that need new ways of being nourished, the Dreamgoats aim to maintain natural systems, recycle waste, build soil fertility, and add value to the lives of other beings.

THE DREAM

1. To purchase 3 goat kids & solar-electric fencing & to construct a 4-season, mobile goat-shed
2. To grow the goatherd & the health of the land
using creative grazing strategies
3. To launch a herd-share program by which to share our dairy confections with the community

Learn More HERE

Visit Kickstarter page HERE


who owns organic?

posted February 7, 2016

Organic-chart-Jan-2016

An updated version of Dr. Phillip H. Howard’s Who Owns Organic info graphic is now available here. When Howard, who is an associate professor at Michigan State University, first made the info graphic is 2012, a number of independent organic brands had been acquired by larger food corporations. Howard updated the chart because, as he writes, “A second wave of acquisitions has been occurring since 2012. Few companies identify these ownership ties on product labels.”

For those of you out there who try to be as social responsible as possible with your dollars, information like this may be overwhelming and, perhaps disempowering– but there’s a small silver lining in this story. For your sake, we’d like to note that Howard has a different chart showing major independent organic food brands and their subsidiaries. You can still feel good about supporting these guys!

independents


we are all flint

posted January 31, 2016

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The same forces that have made the Flint disaster possible are the same ones
that are bent on privatizing public water supplies and preventing a just
resolution to the growing world climate disaster.

The following is an excerpt from a Statement from SxSW Experiment about the water crisis in Flint, MI. The experiment is a powerful grassroots coalition of Latino, African American, and low income communities hailing from the American South and Southwest and working to incur racial and socio-economic justice in their regions and across the country. (Sidenote: Their website contains a wealth of amazing resources and information for social justice activism.)

Read the entirety of “We are All Flint” here.

There is another critical question: How do we address the infrastructure
crisis throughout the United States? As in Flint, this issue
disproportionately burdens communities of people of color and of
low-wealth. This is not simply a question of failure of public
investment. It reflects a deep structural problem that threatens to
create future public health disasters.

The deeper message of Flint goes beyond the dangers of human error or
even negligence, and beyond the actions of state governments that would
facilitate the impoverishment of our people. It is about a crisis in the
U.S. that threatens the lives and well-being of a growing majority of
the population.

The neoliberal model of development that underlies the strategic
political policies in Michigan that led to this crisis has as its
cornerstone the privatization of public resources and public services.
This model is supported by both major political parties and bankrolled
by those who have accumulated tremendous wealth at the direct expense of
people of color and of low-wealth.

It is a mode of development that is rooted in the systematic undermining
of the right to democratic participation by limiting the capacity of
local people to impact the formation and implementation of public policy
… whether in Flint, across the US, or in other parts of the world. The
same forces that have made the Flint disaster possible are the same ones
that are bent on privatizing public water supplies and preventing a just
resolution to the growing world climate disaster.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Flint, who are on the
frontlines of the struggle for democracy. We share their struggle for
democracy and for a transition to a just society that more fully values
human life and development.


market grower position, detroit, MI

posted December 27, 2015

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GrowTown is currently implementing an entrepreneurial market garden business in Detroit, Michigan. The Penrose Market Garden is being developed by GrowTown under a 2015 Kresge grant to be a profitable sub-acre urban market garden business that generates significant income for a market grower. The GrowTown model integrates this local food business into an urban affordable housing development and neighborhood.

This is a unique opportunity to be a part of an innovative community development project. Our work environment is highly disciplined and entrepreneurial. We are looking for a grower or partner growers to bring their skills and enthusiasm to the Penrose Market Garden and participate in building a successful urban agriculture model.

Grower(s) will work under GrowTown’s leadership to realize the Kresge grant commitment to implement a SPIN-Farming demonstration project at Penrose that is documented and replicable by others.

This opportunity is for growers ready to take initiative and who can work collaboratively with GrowTown and other community stakeholders towards an extraordinary outcome and exciting urban agriculture model.

To download the application, click here. Visit growtown.org for additional information


great michigan resource for new farmers

posted October 5, 2015

MSUThe MSU Farmer Field School is comprised of intensive one and two day hands-on workshops. They are tailored to deliver in-depth, practical information building on the decade of farmer training on-going at the MSU Student Organic Farm and the wealth of knowledge in Michigan’s farming community.

Experienced farmers and premier agriculture educators from our region are teaming up to co-lead and deliver workshops in the Farmer Field School. Each workshop also includes group-based learning processes where diverse approaches to farming challenges can be shared and discussed by both participants and workshop presenters and demonstrated at host farm sites. For the current cycle, workshops will take place on select farms in southern Michigan with a goal of expanding the workshops to other regions of the state as the program develops.

With an emphasis on vegetable production, the Field School is designed to help improve the profitability of diversified, sustainable, Michigan farmers in their first 10 years of farming who serve local and regional markets. The Field School is part of a broader vision and collaboration among statewide organizations including the MSU Center forRegional Food Systems and Michigan Food and Farming Systems to help increase new farm success by working to make farming a more prosperous, secure, and sustainable career choice for the many beginning as well as future farmers here in Michigan– to keep farmers farming, farmland in production, and food local and regional.

For more information on workshop details and to register click HERE.


application for 2015 msu farmer training program now open

posted November 11, 2014

msu flowers

Michigan State University is ready to accept applications for their 2015 farmer training program! Looks like a really exciting opportunity.

Here’s what they have to say:

“The Organic Farmer Training Program offers nine months of intensive instruction in year-round organic farming.  The program focuses on diversified production of vegetables, livestock, flowers, fruits and herbs for local markets.  Participants manage all aspects of a 15-acre certified organic farm, including passive solar greenhouses used for year-round production in cold climates.  Participants also manage the Student Organic Farm’s field and hoophouse production. Produce is grown for the farm’s primary markets, including a 48-week CSA, seven-month on-campus farm stand, and sales to campus dining services.

“Participants develop competencies in farm skills and business planning through trainings, individual advising meetings, and engagement in the daily operations of the farm and.  Hands-on training is combined with workshops, lectures, readings and assignments that build participants’ knowledge and understanding of organic farming principles and practices.  The program is designed to give participants a strong background in production skills as well as the knowledge, management, and decision-making skills necessary to operate a diversified small farming business. ”

They also provide scholarship opportunities:

MSU- RHS Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships will be awarded based on assessed financial need and merit. Need and merit based scholarships will range from $1,000 to $5,000 and will be applied immediately and directly towards the cost of the program.

Michigan Good Food Charter Scholarship for People of Color

One to two scholarships totaling $10,000 will be granted each year. The Michigan Good Food Charter Scholarships will be disbursed directly to the participant.
Visit our website for full program description, application and scholarship information: http://msuorganicfarm.org/organic-farmer-training-program


foreclosure tips & adopting vacant lots

posted September 10, 2014

The Genesee County Land Bank is great model for dealing with foreclosures and vacant lots. Check them out!
The Land Bank’s mission is to restore value to the community by acquiring, developing and selling vacant and abandoned properties in cooperation with stakeholders who value responsible land ownership.

Adopt A Lot program (pdf)

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farm-based festival alert!

posted August 8, 2014

September 19-21. 2014

Lake City, Michigan

The Earthwork Harvest Gathering is a celebration of food and music, featuring the freshest of local ingredients and fine imported specialties. A family-friendly Gathering bringing us into contact with the abundance of our community, the Earthwork Harvest Gathering has ripened Michigan’s artisan culture for 13 years and running, and hosts 2500+ attendees, who camp in the mixed hardwood forests and open meadows of Earthwork Farm every third weekend in September, annually.

FREE water, FREE showers, FREE camping and parking! Click HERE to find out more information!


fundraise with local food, not candy bars!

posted June 19, 2014

farmraiser

A FarmRaiser is a powerful and innovative way to raise money for your project while helping to build a stronger, healthier community. We use technology and old fashioned organizing to create product-based fundraisers that allow students to sell healthy products from local businesses.

These programs are currently in Michigan and Washington State. If you are a farmer and interested in learning more about this program, visit HERE. If you are a student or teacher and looking to find out more, click HERE.