small (and large) ways to support the native activists fighting to protect our land water commons

posted September 2, 2016

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Despite the resounding silence on the matter in mass media, the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline continues at Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Hundreds of protesters, many of them Native Americans and very notably including members of the Souix Nation whose tribal water rights are threatened by the pipeline, are camped out at the Sacred Stones Camp in North Dakota. (Their website, by the way, is wonderfully rich in resources, well-designed, and easy to navigate.)

For those of you who like to receive your news audibly, this week’s CounterSpin gives a concise run-down of the protest and then features an incredible interview with Native activist and organizer, Kandi Mosset. Mosset provides a rich historical context of the tribes who live and lived along the Missouri River and compelling arguments for why we collectively need to come together to see “the false power associated with money” and protect the water, the animals, and the people who rely on it.

These activists are on the frontlines of climate justice and put themselves on the line to protect our water commons. They ask that if you can join them at the camp, do. If you cannot go, donate to their legal defense fund. If you ain’t got the money, consider sending some supplies. They’re asking for everything from folding tables to herbal teas, and there’s a lot on the list that might be gathering dust on a shelf in the back of a barn somewhere.

 


posted July 19, 2016

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Looking for some permaculture inspiration? Well, we’ve got some for you! Bustan Qaraaqa, in the West Bank’s Jerusalem, is a “permaculture project promoting sustainable, creative solutions to problems of environmental degradation and food and water insecurity facing the local community.”

Bustan Quraaqa’s website showcases some of the most beautiful and successful permaculture installations we’ve ever seen, with a large emphasis on rainwater harvesting.

Dependence on groundwater is incompatible with a future of water and food security for Palestinian community.  It is also a daily waste of resources chronically depressing agricultural production through soil salination.  The Beit Qad Farm is designed to harvest the winter rain and build soil humidity year after year for a verdant, thriving farm with no need for other water sources.

They research ecological farming techniques, harvest rainwater, and employ a host of environmental educators that teach school and community groups and occasionally offer permaculture design certification. The farm features a tree nursery, a food forest, and structures made from 100% locally recycled products.

We think they’d be a great project to support.


Agrarian Trust Symposium speaker Kim Stringfellow’s cool ass project!

posted July 5, 2016

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The Mojave Project is really just kind of the bomb-diggety. But don’t take our word for it: to learn more, we recommend this absolutely gorgeous video. The project is an “experimental transmedia documentary led by Kim Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert.” Browse the current projects here.

And while we’re talking about the Mojave Project, they’re asking you to
SAVE THE DATE!
WHAT: We pleased to send you this SAVE THE DATE announcement about our autumn program OUR LAND 2: Tracing the Acequia Commons, a series of talks, exhibits and happenings to advance the broadening discourse on land commons and farmland futures.

WHERE: New Mexico! Most events Free and open to the public.

WHEN: November 9-17th in close association with the Quivira Coalition and Biodynamic Association annual conferences, Agrarian Trust invites you to join us in fine company  to approach topics of Public Trust, Acequia traditions and commons culture, emergent urban commons, water enclosures and new topographics; through lectures, documentary films, open archive exhibits and an walk along an Acequia irrigation ditch, flowing continuously for four centuries.

WHO: Mary Wood, Rick Prelinger, Kim Stringfellow, Tezozomoc, Devon Pena, Ruth Breach, Stanley Crawford, Wes Jackson, Emily Vogler, Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, Eric Holt Gimenez, Kate Levy… and more

 


the water grabbing begins…

posted May 14, 2016

Hank Vogler spent the last 40 years building his dream ranch in the arid lands of eastern Nevada. But a plan to transfer water from ranches like his to slake the thirst of Nevada’s largest city threatens his livelihood.  This sheep rancher says he won’t give up without a fight.


acequia poem

posted May 10, 2016

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Anyone who has farmed in New Mexico can tell you any myriad of stories about the acequia  culture that exists there. Acequias community-managed irrigation ditches that, when stopped up, flood fields along their length. This practice is centuries old and integral to the traditional ways of farming in the high desert of the region, and it closely dictates the yearly, weekly, and daily rhythms of agriculture.

First thing in the Spring, before they even think of planting, farmers across New Mexico go out with spades to participate in a ditch cleaning. They elect a majordomo (from the same root as mayor) to manage the flow of water to each farm, and they irrigate only on their allotted day. Sometimes, in the heat of noon, your majordomo will appear out of no where waving his arms frantically yelling that Ayy! There are gophers in the ditch, and you’ll grab your boots and a shovel, and drive out right quick to plug those holes up. It’s a beautiful, sometimes comical, and sometimes dramatic (seriously, they could write soap operas about this stuff) practice in which citizens co-manage their common resource of water.

In Taos County, NM, however, some believe the practice to be under threat from corporate and state infringement on water rights. The following poem was written in response to the Abeyta Settlement of 2012, which you can read more about here. You can see the original post of this poem and read the poet’s notes, on Robert Mirabal’s website.

Acequia Poem 
By Chris Pieper

I am water, I transport the light of the heavens into the earth into all
I am the transporter of delight, I am Acequia,
I am not owned or to be taken prisoner for foreign minds,lands,

Behind master-locks, concrete walls and the pegged barb-wire strands,
Beneath tall laws and secret negotiations,
you lock me up
is this your meaning of autonomy?
to me its a meaning of captivity, locked up tonight once again
You can explain to children’s, children how we lost our fight;
that is the cuento’s you will recite to-night

They’ll never know the shame that brands–
Dark-shame on mocking the gifts from the heavens,
One day maybe they’ll get those draggin’ days all right,
Sent from foreign commands from our future children,
to set me free once again and hopefully the men who turned the keys and sold me’s children will recognize me still. 

I am water i transport the light of the heavens into the earth into all
I am the transporter of delight, I am Acequia,
I am not owned or to be taken prisoner for foreign minds,lands,


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.


want to add fish to your csa offering?

posted September 22, 2015

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Here’s the place where you can find your local fisher people who would be happy to partner with you in bringing local fish to your local community. With provided maps, vendor locators, resource guides, how-to’s and newsletters LocalCatch.org can help you become a role-player in the sustainable fishery movement!

Stay informed about our waters and click here!


next weekend in providence, ri: land and water conference

posted August 26, 2015

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Activists working on issues related to land and water and academics from the humanities and social sciences will gather to discuss tensions between environmental stress, ecological realities, and human institutions.

Find out more here: http://landandwaterconference.com/


solutions for self reliance

posted August 19, 2015

 

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Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 8.21.55 AMRESILIENCE

http://waldenlabs.com/about/


DIG cooperative is growing!

posted July 21, 2015

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After 10 years of pioneering cutting-edge water catchment and reuse systems in the Bay Area, longtime Greenhorn Anya and her colleauge at DIG Cooperative are excited to announce that they have begun a new phase of growth. They are partnering with KivaZip to help us raise $15,000 to meet the growing demand for services amidst increased awareness of the severe drought conditions we are faced with in California. This is the first time the cooperative has applied for any outside funding since the inception and they are eager to begin working with the community to help launch themselves into this new era!

Anya and Maria and have split the loan request into two based on needs:
* Maria is taking on raising $7,000 to invest in marketing materials and activities along with providing much needed seed funding for a new office and storage space. Click here to learn more about this campaign and lend to Maria!
* Anya is taking on raising $8,000 to invest in tools and safety equipment as well as necessary hardware and software for design and administrative activities. Click here to learn more about this campaign and lend to Anya!

KivaZip makes 0% interest loans to small businesses like DIG that generate positive social impact in their communities. Lenders can provide contributions from $5 and up and all you need is to create a KivaZip account and have/create a Paypal account to get started. As a bonus, for every contribution under $100, KivaZip will match it for us! This makes your lending that much more powerful.

Thank you for supporting a business that promotes integrated water conservation systems in California during this fragile time!