What is it about the ruthless sea? An acculturation in agricultural landscapes, full of flower buds, dewdrops, fresh hay, kittens and baby lambs cannot prepare you for the hard, chilling mechanics of a mechanized fish harvest. To my tender agrarian eyes, the fishing business is brutal. We may call them “stewards of the ocean” but lets face it—they are killing fish.
-Severine on the Alaskan fishing commons in “A Farm Organizer Visits Fish Country: Part II,” for In These Times. Read the rest of the article here!
This past Fall, Severine travelled to beautiful Alaska and wrote three comprehensive articles based on her experience for In These Times. From Halibut festivals to fish processing boats to the rugged Alaskan homesteaders, she explores three questions fundamental to her journey:
- What can the farming community learn from the highly managed, and highly abundant commons of Alaska? Are these lessons applicable to land?
- What do young agrarians have to learn from the governance and politics of a wild fishery?
- What does a wild fishery have to learn from the cultural activities of agrarian organizers?
Convinced? You can read the three articles, Part I, Part II, and Part III on In These Times.
But maybe you’re still not sure why young farmers should care about the ocean? We’ll be posting a few short excerpts on the blog throughout day, and we suspect they might just change your mind.
Summit Dates: February 11-13, 2016
Summit Location: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
The San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit is back in 2016! Returning to Friday Harbor, it will take place on Friday and Saturday, February 11-13th. Join fellow farmers, regional experts, local food and farm advocates for two days of education, inspiration, and camaraderie.
Keynote speakers for 2016 will include Severine von Tscharner-Fleming, a farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Champlain Valley of New York. She is founder and director of The Greenhorns, a grassroots cultural organization with the mission to promote, recruit and support a growing movement of young farmers and ranchers in America. She also co-founded the National Young Farmers Coalition, the Agrarian Trust, and Maine Sail Freight. She is a director of the Schumacher Center for New Economics.
Listen to radio interview here: http://rootstock.coop/featured-post/rootstock-radio-severine-von-tscharner-fleming/
Rootstock CROPP Cooperative: “We recently had the great pleasure of speaking with farmer, activist and professional organizer Severine von Tscharner Fleming. This woman is a force of nature for the Millennial generation. Not only is Severine a farmer herself, when Rootstock Radio host Theresa Marquez spoke to her in mid-2015, she was also on the boards of directors for FOUR organizations that she either founded or co-founded, all working toward shared missions to recruit, promote and support the next generation of young farmers.
These organizations are the Greenhorns, which is best known for its film of the same name; Farm Hack, an online, open-source platform for affordable farm tools and technologies for young farmers; the National Young Farmers Coalition, which now has 23 state and regional coalitions; and her latest startup, Agrarian Trust, which focuses on land access for beginning farmers.
Beyond these, nearly every news or magazine article about Severine mentions a different organization that she started up. We can’t wait to see what she does for our food and farming system in the next few decades.
Please enjoy this great conversation with Severine.”
Maine-made farm goods soon will wind their way to Boston by schooner
It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.
When the wooden two-masted schooner Harvey Gamage sets sail from Portland in late August, laden with Maine farm products destined for Boston markets and restaurants, it will probably look like a historical re-enactment to those watching from shore.
But to Severine von Tscharner Fleming, it is so much more. It is performance art at sea. It is an economic experiment. It is a bridge between generations. It is both a protest of the failings of the global food system and a celebration of Maine’s regional food economy.
“We don’t need a logarithm of some venture capital-funded technology company to help us do the logistics of selling our food to Boston,” Fleming said. “We can do it with clipboards. We can do it with sailboats.”
Fleming is a community organizer working on the maiden voyage of the Maine Sail Freight project, a summer-long spectacle that will blend social media and “sailor’s gossip,” vinyl records and sea shanties, computers and cargo logs. Many pre-sail events and “side stunts” have already been held this summer to bring attention to the project, including a “teach-in,” picnic and concert in Portland last week. Still to come are a working shipyard dinner in Portland and a parade of traditional Norse wooden boats down the Kennebec River.
Sponsored by Greenhorns…. Click HERE to read more!
SEVERINE FLEMING, Agrarian
A New Economy on the Land
Severine is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Champlain Valley of New York. She is founder and director of The Greenhorns, a grassroots cultural organization with the mission to promote, recruit and support a growing movement of young farmers and ranchers in America.
The entering generation of Agrarians has demonstrated a bold vision to build thousands of farm businesses for local food security. We need many more to succeed. Many who try are confounded when they try to find durable land access and tenure. Severine argues that we need to design and enact new frameworks for community land-ownership. All of us benefit from the revival of these farm-steads, and the initiatives of young farmers, orchardists, and dairymen and women. Today, the macro-economy imposes extraction, speculation and degradation of our land, but that will not worktomorrow. How can our water-shed, our food-shed, and the historic cultural landscape inform the new economy we need? How can eaters reconnect meaningfully with both the eco-system and economic system that will sustain the quality of the places we love?
45 LEADING SCHOLARS, AUTHORS AND ACTIVISTS (including our own Severine von Tscharner-Fleming) convened at The Great Hall of Cooper Union, New York City, for a public “TEACH-IN” on the profound impacts—environmental, economic and social—of runaway technological expansionism and cyber immersion; the tendency to see technology as the savior for all problems. A change of direction is required, returning the fate of nature to the center of economic and social decision making.
Click here to listen to the amazing panel discussions by this event.
Live tweeting of the events @bioneers
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.
San Rafael, CA
After a quarter-century, the Bioneers community of leadership has learned a thing or two about breakthrough solutions and what directions to head in. Like a magnifying glass channeling sunlight, the “Growing The Movement” theme is designed to help focalize this wealth of community wisdom, skillfulness and vision into beams of action – a trellis of light on which our shared work can grow.
This year’s gathering will include a powerful cross-section of speakers including Naomi Klein, Eve Ensler, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Terry Tempest Williams, Patricia Gualinga, and Paul Stamets.
Please join us for a weekend-long revolution from the heart of nature. To register or learn more, CLICK HERE!