December 21, 2012, Hudson Valley, New York
Today, the Greenhorns publication The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac goes to print for young farmers who intend to build a new food system, one farm at a time.
“A lot has changed for American agriculture since Ben Franklin wrote his, we wonder how much will change yet. With this almanac we assert our voices as new agrarians. No matter what the weather holds, we seek “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and farming is the way to get there” says editor-in-chief, Severine von Tscharner Fleming.
The 2013 New Farmers Almanac is a publication with its eye fixed sharply on the farmers of a future America — how will we reclaim a landscape, dominated by monoculture, how will we accommodate the coming population megaflux, how will our nation change now that the majority of its citizens live urban lives?
“Bursting with essays, aphorisms, poems, lunar information, and excerpts from historic moments, this volume will delight and excite both new and old farmers, and perhaps convince a few of you to reconsider the the career you have chosen, and switch over to good, tech-savvy, sustainable farming.”
At 336 pages, with a hole punch at the top to hang it in an outdoor toilet, this almanac is filled with essays by young agrarian writers, illustrations, both contemporary and historical, and with an annotated collection of historic excerpts meant to empower the reader with a more personal experience of American agricultural history. That history is rich with ambition, with cooperation, with systems-literacy — in such a short time we have installed a startlingly rich diversity of farming practices on this great continent, from palm trees for dates, to sorghum for molasses, to cranberries in bogs, to shitake mushroom plantations and silvopasture. Corn and soybeans may dominate our prime acreage and distort farm politics, but America has a rich and full tradition of innovation, both agronomic and institutional and we’re working to give that history as a context to our readership, both farmers and non farmers.
Rick Prelinger, founder of Prelinger Library says about our Almanac:
“It is the greatest of compendia, the nicest form of anthology, the perfect medium for information-sharing and the propagation of ideas that need to live for a year, two, or more. Naturally it is also a pleasure to see library material popping up from page to page.”
Malcolm Margolin, of Heyday Books says:
“A wonderful, lively, full, varied, and delightful piece of work.”
Distributed via farmers conferences, feed stores, independent bookshops and online — The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac is an experiment in old publishing undertaken by a six year old grassroots organization based in the Hudson Valley of New York. Our mission is to promote, recruit and support the growing movement of new and sustainable farmers in this country. The average age of the American farmer is 58. It’s not politically correct to call that “old”, but certainly we have a demographic crisis going on in rural America, and one that requires many new brains, bodies and businesses — ambitious ones too! We need about 100,000 – 600,000 more farmers within the decade, and reviving the tradition of cultural magazines for farmers is the contribution we’d lit upon this year. That the boldness of our forefathers should embolden us now.
The Greenhorns has also produced a documentary film, a popular radio show, a book of essays Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement through Storey Publishing in 2011, and hundreds of events for farmers including a Seed Circus, Farm Hack, young farmer’s mixers and various workshops around the nation.
Since our background is in new media production, we couldn’t help doing a podcast version, an “audio almanac” to accompany this printed publication. There we’ve got a collection of 57 worksongs, exciting interviews, songs by Brian Dewan about threshing machines and sausage machines, grange songs, and songs about keeping bees like an anarchist, and a whole bunch of links to freely downloadable farm lectures, content, folksongs, and economic theory — for those moments in the car, when young farmer minds are most available.
To pre-order The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac, you can use Etsy or donate $20 per copy to Paypal or the old fashioned way by sending a check or money order to PO BOX 13 Hudson, NY 12534 (please make check out to SEE, memo: Almanac and include your shipping address) They will be sent out at the end of January.
For information on bulk rates and further discounts in special cases, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. No returns accepted.
Check out a sneak peek of some excerpts below: