Posts Tagged ‘husbandry’

The Magic of Chickens

 

The Magic of Chickens

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Posted 20 September 2011, by Robyn Lawrence, Care2, care2.org

 

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If Harvey Ussery were stranded on a desert island and could bring only one thing, he would bring a flock of chickens.

“They would feed themselves by foraging over the island, keep me supplied with eggs, one of the most perfect foods,” says the Virginia homesteader and author of The Small-Scale Poultry Flock. “In the process, they would continually improve my island’s soil by working in plant covers and their droppings, increasing its productivity for whatever food crops I was able to grow. Hens who went broody would hatch out chicks to renew the flock each year.”

Harvey Ussery makes his chickens partners in food production. Photo courtesy of Harvey and Ellen Ussery/Mother Earth News

Harvey, a Mother Earth News writer who produces much of his own food on 3 acres, manages chickens holistically, enlisting them as partners for soil improvement, making compost, insect control and more. He’s been raising a mixed poultry flock, which he considers a key to greater food independence, for almost 30 years. “I am constantly reaching for new ways to integrate the flock with the work of food production, to make them happy and content, and to provide them more live, natural foods right on the homestead,” he says.

Harvey’s been experimenting for years to find new ways to convert organic “wastes” (chicken poop) into resources for greater soil fertility. “To truly imitate nature, we must banish all notion of ‘waste,’ remembering that in natural systems one critter’s waste is another’s priceless resource,” he says.

He’ll talk about this alchemy during his workshop, “Trash to Treasure: Bioconversion of Waste to Resources” at the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, on September 24. Harvey says he looks forward to “sharing ideas with people who are passionate about finding saner, more sustainable ways to produce our food.”

Harvey’s chickens are housed in a comfortable roost with room to roam. Photo courtesy of Harvey and Ellen Ussery/Mother Earth News

I was at the Fair last year, and I wholeheartedly agree with Harvey–there’s nothing quite like this opportunity to swap ideas and learn from masters. I can’t make it this year, but I’m having fun reading about the passionate, sane voices that will be heard there at the Mother Earth News Fair blog. Check it out to join the conversation–and possibly win free tickets if you live near Seven Springs. There’s just nothing quite like connecting with likeminded others in a beautiful mountain setting (and checking out chickens and livestock while you’re at it).

Robyn Griggs Lawrence writes the daily Natural Home Living blog for Mother Earth News, the original guide to living wisely. The editor-in-chief of Natural Home magazine from 1999 until 2010, Robyn’s goal is to help everyone create a nurturing, healthy and environmentally friendly home. Her book, Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House, introduces Americans to the 15th-century Japanese philosophy of simplicity, serenity and authenticity.

 

More on Birds (104 articles available)
More from Robyn Lawrence (31 articles available)

 

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http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-magic-of-chickens.html

 

 

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Permaculture institute celebrates 25 years in Basalt


Permaculture institute celebrates 25 years in Basalt

Basalt permaculturist Jerome Osentowski collects the fruits (and vegetables) of his labor at his greenhouses. Scott Condon/The Aspen Times

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Posted 18 September 2011, by Scott Condon, The Aspen Times (Swift Communications, Inc.), aspentimes.com

 

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BASALT — There’s a Garden of Eden carved into the piñon and juniper forest on the sunny south side of Basalt Mountain, a one-acre paradise where fruit trees and grape vines flourish outside and greenhouses cradle everything from fig trees to particularly prolific passionfruit.

The Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI) is celebrating its 25th year, an amazing feat considering permaculture’s overshadowed status in the gardening world and a catastrophic fire in October 2007.

The paradise is the creation of Jerome Osentowski, who has been involved in growing food in one way or another for more than 30 years and is recognized as an expert in building greenhouses and successfully filling them.

Perhaps the crowning achievement of his career is what he has accomplished — with staff, friends and volunteers — at the 1,800-square-foot Phoenix greenhouse, so-called because it replaced a greenhouse that burned down four years ago. It’s an amazing place, 2.5 miles from downtown Basalt, that makes visitors feel like they’re in a tropical jungle, sans the dangers.

A passionfruit vine dominates a section of the overstory, racing along 40 feet on a trellis in one direction and 20 feet in another. It was allowed to climb all over to shade the greenhouse interior from the sun and keep it cooler during the summer. The vine will be cut back this fall so the sun heats a flagstone patio and stone gabion walls on the north wall of the greenhouse. The rocks will release their heat after dark and help stabilize the greenhouse during the long nights of fall and winter.

Along with the passionfruit vine, the lush overstory in the greenhouse is completed with papaya, guava, avocado and dragonfruit plants along with four types of citrus trees. The banana plants, with huge leaves drooping down like elephant ears, command the entire west end.

The understory looks like a Rocky Mountain garden gone wild. There are common plants — peppers, cucumbers and sweet potatoes — but they reap the constant benefits of a warm, humid environment.

“We take what’s outside, put it inside and bump it up a few climate zones,” Osentowski said.

The subtropical environment of the Phoenix greenhouse won’t drop below 40 degrees at night, and it stays between 70 and 80 degrees during the day. A sauna heated by a wood stove is attached to the greenhouse. Warm air will be released from the sauna into the greenhouse during the coldest periods of winter. Numerous vents keep it cool during warm weather.

Solar panels provide the power necessary for the greenhouses; CRMPI is off the grid.

Mixed in with the veggies in the understory are exotic varieties of plants: fragrant night-blooming jasmine, Chinese date trees and aromatic medicinal plants like ginger.

Osentowski said he and his staff follow the forest-garden model where there are layers of cohabiting plants outdoors. “We try to mimic that,” he said.

All spaces are filled with plants. Sometimes they don’t work out in a particular place, but usually they find their niche.

“We’re not trying to play God,” Osentowski said. “We’re doing some logical mimicking of nature.”

The soil beds in the south section of the Phoenix greenhouse, clear of the lush overstory, is laid thick with annuals and winter salad greens. The diversity of plants means there is always something to harvest — “phases of abundance,” as Osentowski calls them. The idea, he said, is to avoid being one-dimensional like agri-business and most other greenhouses.

A smaller Mediterranean greenhouse adjacent to Phoenix is dominated by a massive fig tree that Osentowski calls “the grand dame” of CRMPI. The fig started from an 18-inch-high cutting 15 years ago and is now a twisting tree with numerous branches that take up roughly 100 square feet and produces mouth-watering fruit.

CRMPI is constantly building the soil of its greenhouses with leaves from the orchard outdoors and from rotting vegetation from the indoor plants themselves. When a huge leaf falls off the banana plant, it’s best left at the base of the plant to provide nutrients rather than tossed out. Tidiness isn’t necessarily a virtue in the greenhouse. Mulch covers the soil beds and certain areas are devoted to particularly thick mulch, where worms are added in heavy concentration. They break down the mulch and create rich humus.

A small pond on the property is home for ducks and tilapia. The soil from the pond is occasionally scraped up and used as fertilizer, as is the manure from chickens and Nigerian goats on the property. The “waste” goes back into the system. That sustainability is central to the permaculture concept of whole systems management.

Osentowski teamed with other instructors to teach CRMPI’s 25th Annual Permaculture Design Certification Course in August. The two-week course teaches students the essential elements of permaculture so they can better design and maintain sustainable systems such as forest gardens and greenhouses.

Osentowski said public interest in permaculture is picking up. The New York Times ran a lengthy article this summer about its growing popularity, and Osentowski and his staff have received a book contract to write about the system and CRMPI’s history.

Still, permaculture hasn’t been embraced to the degree Osentowski thinks it deserves.

“The floodgate hasn’t opened. It’s still a small movement,” he said.

He senses it will grow, particularly if the economic challenges continue to plague the world for years to come. Osentowski is proud that CRMPI has its own woodworking shop so the staff can create what it needs. It produces its own food. Passive solar and solar electric systems supply the power.

“We’re the ultimate survivalists, really,” Osentowski said. “The beauty of CRMPI is it’s built on a shoestring budget, it works and it’s replicable.”

scondon@aspentimes.com

 

 

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http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20110918/NEWS/110919857/1077&ParentProfile=1058

Kishanganga hydel power project threatens an ancient culture


Kishanganga hydel power project threatens an ancient culture

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Posted 17 September 2011, by Iftikhar Gilani, Tehelka (Anant Media Pvt. Ltd.), tehelka.com

 

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The Dard Shin tribe of Gurez, speakers of the Shina language, are to be uprooted to Srinagar. But what is a pastoral hill community to do in the city, asks Iftikhar Gilani

Imagine the kind of uproar civil society and rights groups would have created had the Centre decided to shift the indigenous Jarawas from their native Andaman and Nicobar Islands to New Delhi. However, no such noise has been made so far even as the Dard-Shina tribe, said to be the last of the original Aryans living in the remote Gurez region is being robbed of its hearth and home. The tribal community will be relocated to Srinagar, making way for the 330-MW Kishanganga hydro-electric project in Kashmir. Away from the high-profile land acquisition cases of Bhatta Prasaul and Nandigram, this scenic place on the north-western tip of the Valley has hardly had anyone crying foul after the Centre announced relocation plans.

Since there is no land in this heavily militarised region close to Line of Control (LoC), the Government has decided to rehabilitate the tribals to Srinagar. Hyder Ali Samoon, a sub-inspector, a resident of Badwan village looks at his ancestral house with a sense of foreboding. The water from the dam will submerge what has been home to him and his ancestors. Pointing towards a nearby graveyard, where his ancestors lay buried, Samoon tells his sons and grandsons to engrave and store images of the house and the picturesque beauty of the village in their minds so that they can, at least, pass on their heritage to the future generations.

Nearly 300 families belonging to three villages of Badwan, Wanpora and Khopri are being relocated to Srinagar city. Against their peers across the Kanzalwan mountains in Bandipora, these villagers are getting a compensation of Rs 5.75 lakh per kanal (a unit of area). The farmers in Bandipora, on the other hand, with more fertile lands are being paid only Rs 2.25 lakh per kanal. Why this difference? Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Asghar Samoon, who incidentally was touring the area, told TEHELKA that Gurez tribes are being paid more because they are not only losing land but also their culture, civilisation, and will probably become extinct over the next few decades, thanks to the hustle and bustle of Srinagar.

The controversial Kishanganga project, which envisages diverting water from the Kishanganga river through tunnels to the Wullar Lake in Bandipora district of Kashmir Valley has not only come to focus due to Pakistan’s opposition invoking the clauses of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) to complain against India to the World Bank but the project has drawn enough attention to itself for being ambiguous about its nature. What is intriguing is that the National Hydel Power Company (NHPC) officials have kept the voluminous environmental assessment report of Kishanganga undertaken by the Centre, for Inter-disciplinary Studies of Mountain and Hill Environment, close to its chest. Not only has it refused to share it with the state government, but it also did not accede to the request of former Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz, when as a minister he wanted to see the report, before it went to the Cabinet.

Ed Note: Please visit the original site for a photo gallery associated with this article. Click on the image above to go to the original site.

The Rs 3642.04-crore power project will displace 362 families and consume a total of 4280 kanals (535 acres) of land. The Centre and the NHPC’s move to relocate the displaced families outside Gurez Valley were influenced by several factors. For instance, land in the mountainous valley is very limited. Some 27 revenue villages, inhabiting the region with a population of 31,900 (latest census) houses around 26,000 troops. Total land under Army occupation is 2802 kanal, out of which 918 kanals are unauthorised. Out of 1883 authorised occupation, the Army provides rent for 1140 kanals. The LoC fencing has consumed 339 kanals.

The local magistrate of Gurez Mohammad Ashraf Hakak said that the only land that was available on the foothills of mountains was prone to avalanches. Therefore, the Government, with the help of the NHPC, decided to shift the affected families to Mirgund, around 16 km from Srinagar.

At the core of this rehabilitation exercise stands the Dard Shin tribe of Gurez. Speakers of the Shina language, the rare tribals will be cut off from their culture, livelihood and roots if moved to Srinagar. Many historians and anthropologists claim that the Dard Shin people are pure Aryans.

For more than six months Gurez remains cut off from the rest of the world. Until Jammu and Kashmir was divided between India and Pakistan, Gurez was part of the Gilgit state.

“Relocating people outside Gurez is an attempt to divide and rule the people of Gurez,” said the chairman of J&K Dard-Shin tribal minorities, Mir Hamidullah. Unhappy with the plan, he said that in order to preserve their culture and language, the people of Gurez should be provided land and rehabilitated in Gurez itself. “Shina language is the mother of Sanskrit. We are a people with our own history and relocating our people outside Gurez will hurt the community,” said Mir.

The price of development:

Apart from jeopardising their cultural identity, the move to rehabilitate them will also risk the state of cultivable land in the area, which will be shrunk further by the dam. “This project will affect whatever little agricultural land is left in our village,” said Abdul Khaliq Ganie of Tarbal, the last village near LoC, about 20 kms from Gurez town. “We have been losing our cattle to the minefield areas every year, and now this project has added to our worries as this village remains cut off from the Kashmir Valley for most part of the year,” he added.

Known for its scenic beauty, Gurez is separated from the Valley by the north Kashmir mountain range that runs west of Zojila Pass. For more than six months Gurez remains cut off from the rest of the world. Until Jammu and Kashmir was divided between India and Pakistan, Gurez was part of the Gilgit state. The taxes would be paid at Drass, which happens to be the only area on this side of the LoC that shares its language, culture and customs with Gurez.

The compensation being offered to the people for their homes and land, the locals say, is too little. “They are giving me one lakh rupees for one kanal of land, but how am I going to survive on this little amount along with my nine children,” rued a resident of one of the affected villages in Gurez.

According to civilian officials, the NHPC has promised (under the new relief and rehabilitation plan) to pay Rs 5.57 lakh to the families whose houses will be affected by the project and construct a new house per household outside Gurez. The powerhouse will be located in Kralpora village of Bandipora. Waters from a fast flowing Kishanganga—from Teetwal to Gurez—would be stored at Gurez and diverted to the Bandipora power station. The water will then go into the Bonar Madhumati and eventually flow into the Wullar Lake.

“Shina language is the mother of Sanskrit. We are a people with our own history and relocating our people outside Gurez will hurt the community,” Slug: Kashmir

Pakistan has raised objections over the water diversion part of the project as it believes the inter-tributary transfer amounts to a violation of the IWT of 1960. Pakistan is worried that the diversion of the river will leave thousands of acres of its rice fields, fed by Neelum (that’s what Kishanganga is known as in Pakistan) dry, and impact Mangla Dam and the viability of its upcoming Neelam-Jhelum power project.

Environmental experts say that the rise in water level of Kishanganga will adversely affect the ecology of Gurez, submerging substantial plantation and leaving an impact on its agricultural land and wildlife. The dam will also affect the breeding cycle of trout fish, found in Kishanganga. “There will be no breeding of trout fish because of this dam as they need fast running water to breed,” said an official from the fisheries department. The dam will also lead to an extreme winter in Gurez, which already has a long winter, as the river will freeze because of the dam, some experts said. “There is a danger of floods too as the water level increases and this will affect other adjoining villages as well,” revealed a government official.

Work flows, unhindered:

However, despite many pitfalls, work on the power project continues on both sides of Gurez and Bandipora. The Hindustan Construction Corporation (HCC) has been allotted the EPA contract by NHPC for implementing the project. An amount of Rs 269.96 crore has been spent until March 2010, sources said.

Conceived in 1996, the work on the project began in 2007. HCC is constructing a 37m-high rock-filled dam, and a 23.50 km headrace tunnel to take water to three turbines (110 MW each) for generating 1,350 million units of energy a year. The HCC, last winter, spent a crore on the helicopter service to reach the dam site in Gurez.

In addition to the various problems associated with the project, the HCC has been accused of discriminating against Kashmiri engineers and employees. The HCC authorities, locals alleged, are forcing families in the affected villages to vacate their houses and land even before providing them with compensation.

“The affected families are asking the HCC authorities to give compensation before they vacate their lands,” said a Kashmiri engineer working for the HCC site in Bandipora. “People of Kralpora, which is the most affected village, were recently beaten up by the HCC authorities for protesting and demanding land compensation,” he added. The HCC and NHPC officials, however, refused comment.

Local labourers alleged that they are paid less than the outsiders. “NHPC did not employ the people from the villages that will be submerged because of the dam. They should have been given preference, but the project authorities brought employees from outside the valley,” a government official said.

Minefield of historical wealth:

The region with its unique history is littered with gems of archaeological interest. Archaeologists believe that there are many sites in Gurez, which have inscriptions in Kharoshthi, Brahmi, Hebrew and Tibetan. Experts are of the opinion that an archaeological investigation of Gurez valley will give further insight into the history of the Dard Shin people and about Kashmir in general.

Incidentally, Gurez valley falls along the section of the ancient Silk Route, which connected Kashmir valley with Gilgit and Kashgar. Archaeological surveys in valleys north of Gurez along the Silk Route, particularly in Chilas, have uncovered hundreds of inscriptions recorded in stone. The Kishanganga project will also affect this route, which has traditionally been crucial for trade in Central Asia. One of the three villages that will also be affected by the project is Kanzalwan, which is believed to be an archaeological site of historic importance. The last council of Buddhism is said to have been held in this village, and further down the stream, the ruins of ancient Sharada University lie preserved along the Neelum.

The toll the project is going to take on the local population is heavy. It will mostly hit people who are entirely dependent on agriculture and allied activities for their livelihood. “Those families whose livelihood is entirely dependent on agriculture will be affected more as they have to look for other avenues of employment after their land compensation is exhausted,” said a government official in Gurez.

Iftikhar Gilani is Special Correspondent with Tehelka.com.
iftikhar@tehelka.com 

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http://www.tehelka.com/story_main50.asp?filename=Ws170911Kishanganga.asp

Sowing the future: Women reconnect with natural farming

 

Sowing the future: Women reconnect with natural farming

Kristen Bowlin is one of a growing number of women who have returned to the farm to sow a future in sustainable agriculture. She and partner Kyle LaFerriere cultivate 80 acres on the Totten Family Farm in Long Valley. Top left: Bowlin feeds Ozzy, one of two draft horses that work the farm. Top center: Bowlin operates a walk-behind horse drawn cultivator. Top right: One taste of a field-fresh tomato was all it took for Bowlin to fall in love with the fruit. Bowlin today grows hundreds of variety of heirloom vegetables. / PHOTOS BY JUSTINA WONG/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

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Posted 14 September 2011, by Lorraine Ash, The Daily Record (Gannett), dailyrecord.com

 

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Atop Schooley’s Mountain, a straw-hatted Kristen Bowlin stepped into the vegetable fields on Totten Family Farm and set down two six-foot tomato cages.

In an adjacent field, two draft horses, Ozzy and Crystal, swished their tails and grazed. The summer sun blazed.

“The tomatoes smell great today!” Bowlin said. The 30-year-old farmer enjoys working the 80 acres she cultivates with her partner, Kyle Laferriere. But for her — and a rapidly growing number of women farmers — the certified naturally grown farm is both passion and business.

“We were at the local hardware store this morning buying mesh reinforcement wire to make our own cages,” she said. “A tomato cage is expensive, $6. Doesn’t sound like much, but if I buy 1,500 of them…”

She eyes rows of tomato plants, figuring it’ll take her and Laferriere three days to mulch and cage them. The two grabbed bales of rye straw mulch and got to it.

“Do you have a knife on you?” she asked. He handed her one. She cut open a bale and, on hands and knees, spread it among the tomato plants.

“The mulch will smother out any weeds,” she explained, wiping her face and leaving a soil streak across one cheek. “It’ll also retain moisture in the soil, and encourage microorganisms to travel up through the soil, eat some of the mulch and break it down. That improves soil structure.”

Bowlin is fussy about tomatoes. Growing up in Missouri, she despised them. But she fell in love with them during the first harvest she ever worked as an intern at Wildwood Farm in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.

“Farmer Kevin Meehan and I were harvesting the Cherokee purples,” she said. “They are beautiful, very large, deep red tomatoes. He sliced one for me. I tasted it. It was warm from the field. It was delicious. Maybe that experience gave me just a tiny bit more appreciation for the tomato over some of the other vegetables.”

Not that she doesn’t love the hundreds of other heirloom vegetables — and heritage breed animals — she and Laferriere grow and raise. Bowlin revels in the genetic diversity, healthfulness and beauty of what she grows.

Bowlin feeds Ozzy, one of two draft horses that work the farm. / Staff Photo

In that way, she typifies the growing ranks of women who run farms and do everything from the manual labor to the marketing.

From 2002 to 2007, the number of women who run farms in the United States rose by 29 percent to 306,000, according to The Census of Agriculture, taken every five years. In the 20 years from 1987 to 2007, the number of American women principal farm operators, as they’re called, rose 133 percent.

While some women embrace industrial farming, most who enter the agricultural life are the primary drivers behind the local and healthy food movements, according to Leigh Adcock, executive director of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network, an advocacy group.

“We women buy foods for our families. From that we discover that we want to grown our own,” Adcock said. “So we start out as gardeners. We end up really liking what we’re doing. We grow more. We go to farmers markets. We start selling to CSA customers, and then we quit our day job and do it full time on small-scale, diversified farms.”

For Bowlin, the path was similar. As a student at the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri, she was disturbed that the materials she used to make art were not environmentally friendly.

“I wanted to get into more natural arts,” she said.

So a search began, leading her into the world of sustainability and farming and to Central Carolina Community College, where she earned an associate degree in sustainable agriculture. It was there she met Laferriere, of Mendham. They moved to Wolcott, Vermont, a mecca of sustainable agriculture, a place where natural growers and women farmers abound.

“Lots of friendly competition going on up there,” Bowlin said, “but here natural farming is extremely lacking.”

Additionally, demand is high, she said, and New Jerseyans are willing to pay the price a natural farmer needs to get for organic produce. Last year the couple moved to Long Valley to farm.

The rise of women farmers in the Garden State is as robust as it is nationally. From 1987 to 2007, New Jersey saw a 135 percent increase in women farmers, while Morris County saw a 73 percent increase.

The state’s compactness makes it attractive to farmers, according to Robin Brumfield, a farm economist with the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. This year for the first time, she brought Annie’s Project to New Jersey; the federally sponsored education program for women farmers is now offered in 22 states. The six-session seminar was offered in Hackettstown and Cape May this past winter, and will be offered in expanded form in Somerset County this fall.

“Every county in New Jersey is considered a metropolitan area,” Brumfield said. “That’s a competitive advantage. Farmers are located next to their consumers so the thing to do is direct market and it just seems women are good at that.”

People who operate small New Jersey farms, she said, don’t have the expense of hauling their foods too far.

For Bowlin and Laferriere, who have formed a partnership with the landowners of the Totten Family Farm, the trip from Long Valley to the Mendham Farmers Market is 15 miles. Like many of the women farmers Brumfield has met, Bowlin works hard at marketing. Her duties as vendor coordinator for the new Mendham market included research, creating vendor applications, writing market bylaws and creating publicity fliers.

Additionally, the two farmers make CSA deliveries to South Orange, Montclair, Morristown and Short Hills and, when there are live-in interns, open the stand at the farm’s Naughright Road address.

Bowlin operates the walk-behind horse drawn cultivator pulled by Crystal. / Staff Photo

It’s a mistake to think women began producing fresh, natural foods and selling them locally only in recent decades.

In a paper entitled “The Contemporary American Farm Woman: 1860 to Present,” Stephanie Fisher, a NYU Gallatin School graduate, writes women were involved with growing foods naturally until the post-World War II era of large-scale animal feeding operations and factory farming.

Fisher, who plans to open a farm, said she will raise chickens in deference to the women farmers who came before her.

“Since homesteading chicken farming was the only thing women did for which they were paid actual wages, called ‘pin money,’” Fisher said. “Women lost control of chicken farming when industry caught on that chickens could be a profitable industry. That move took a lot of power away from women, who were previously selling eggs to their neighbors through rural social networks.”

For Bowlin, the chicken issue epitomizes why she devotes herself to retaining the genetic diversity of vegetables and animals instead of offering only a few hybrid genetic variations.

“The Cornish Cross chicken is the commercial breed of chicken you find in the grocery store,” she said. “It’s bred to have larger breasts because people like the breasts.”

But those chickens have a hard life, she explained. Their legs break when they try to walk under the weight of their unnaturally heavy breasts.

“They can’t reproduce a lot of times,” she said, “and they will have heart attacks. They can’t forage very well, either, so a farmer has to purchase more feed for them.”

Instead, she and Laferriere glory in raising rare-breed pastured animals — grass-fed Khatadin lamb, Large Black pigs and Belted Galloway cows — and rotating their pastures.

Similarly, Bowlin prefers hundreds of kinds of tomatoes to the thick-skinned hybrid supermarket tomato engineered to ship well and have a long shelf life.

Like many women farmers, she lives her goal every day when she produces healthy food for her family and the community. For the moment, she does not experience many of the factors that stress some women farmers, such as social isolation, lack of acknowledgment, farm loan discrimination or role overload.

“Thank goodness I don’t have a family of children now because I don’t know how I would manage that,” she said.

Eventually, Bowlin wants to offer workshops in the potato barn about natural arts and home arts — exactly what she sought when she left art school. Only after she attains stability and owns her own land will she have a child, she said.

In the meantime, she lives outside daily in a world of baby doll sheep and sungold tomatoes she plucks off the vine and pops into her mouth. A world of heirloom vegetables and flowers give her joy, including arugula; cantaloupe; yellow, purple, red, and orange carrots; cilantro; pumpkins; green, golden, and eight ball zucchini; Georgia collards, frisée, escarole, and much more.

Indulging Laferriere’s interest in medicinal and edible herbs, the couple also grows calendula, chamomile, comfrey, elecampane, wormword, sweet marjoram, and much more. They use the herbs to make tinctures and salves that they sell.

The bounty makes for long days filled with manual labor. A typical workday for Bowlin and Laferriere lasts 16 hours. Recently, she planted lettuce in a lightning storm, staying as close to the ground as she could.

“The lettuce needed to be planted,” she said. “Constantly, there’s something that needs to be done. If you miss one thing throughout your day, it’s going to be difficult to fit it in some other time because our days are always full.”

Sometimes even after the sun sets, Bowlin still hasn’t had enough of nature. She sinks into a hot bath in a $75 outdoor vintage clawfoot tub and, surrounded by pots of her own flowers, looks up at the stars.

 

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http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20110915/GRASSROOTS/309150006/Sowing-future-Women-reconnect-natural-farming

Book Reviews – Newly Received Titles: “The Biodynamic Farm – Developing a Holistic Organism” and “Biodynamics in Practice – Life on a Community Owned Farm”

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Book Reviews – Newly Received Titles:

“The Biodynamic Farm – Developing a Holistic Organism” and “Biodynamics in Practice – Life on a Community Owned Farm”

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Posted 14 September 2011, by Staff, Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Bio-Dynamics, Inc., jpibiodynamics.org

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BOOK REVIEWS – NEWLY RECEIVED TITLES:

JPI (Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Bio-Dynamics, Inc.) has recently added the following new titles

Osthaus, Karl-Ernst, The Biodynamic Farm – Developing a Holistic Organism, Floris Books, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2010. (First published in German in 2004). 93 pp. $14.95

To my knowledge this is one of the few available titles in biodynamic literature that makes an effort to address Rudolf Steiner’s concern that the farm “individuality” ought to possess the ‘due amount of cattle.’ Steiner expressed that concern at the very beginning of the second lecture of the Agriculture course, and while many people have subsequently spoken and written about the farm individuality, the author of this book has managed to translate that term into a practical example of how that individuality manifests through the animal kingdom on a specific farm. In developing his own farm, Karl-Ernst Osthaus apparently took very seriously the question of determining the “due’ number of cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and other animal members of proper biodynamic farm individuality.

While his experience must be seen in the context of his particular farm, it is most helpful to have such a picture available in developing one’s own farm. He gives a very specific emphasis to the development of hedgerows between fields not only as a “fence” to separate pastures, but also as important forage for the livestock and habitat for the birds, insects and other wild animals.

It would have been most helpful if the author had provided more details on exactly how he arrived at the several livestock populations. Regrettably, he is deceased, and one cannot seek answers to some of the questions that might arise when reading some of his statements and conclusions. However, that forces one to arrive at answers for one’s own farm individuality, which is precisely how it should be for the biodynamic practitioner.

The one major criticism of the book I found is his description of the production of the preparations in the latter part of the book. In several instances, his description deviates from Steiner’s indications in ways that I would judge quite serious and such as would affect the ultimate efficacy of the finished preparation. Digging up BD #501 at Michaelmas does not qualify as “late fall” as Steiner’s instructions state. BD #502 is made in early summer, hung in a sunny place, buried around Michaelmas and dug up at Easter, and the contents of the bladder are stored in an earthenware pot. This is a process which ignores Steiner’s requirement that the yarrow spend a full year in the bladder. Unfortunately, the time frame described seems to be a practice that is widely followed among biodynamic practitioners, to the probable detriment of the finished preparation. In like manner, the author’s description of the making of BD #504 omits the indication Steiner gave that the stinging nettle should spend the winter in the earth and through the following summer. I believe most sincerely that we cannot allow ourselves to blithely ignore the complete indications Steiner gave for the making of the biodynamic preparations. To do so can only be a detriment to achieving the maximum quality and effectiveness of the resultant preparations. It is most distressing to realize that somehow over the years certain modifications have crept into the instructions for making the preparations and are subsequently perpetuated in otherwise valuable biodynamic writings.

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Petherick, Tom, Biodynamics in Practice – Life on a Community Owned Farm, Impressions of Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch, Sussex, England. Photography by Will Heap. Sophia Books (an imprint of Rudolf Steiner Press), Forest Row, England. 132 pp. $38.00

This book features an abundance of photographs (thus the expense) detailing the transition of two struggling farms to ownership by an entire community. These two farms in the immediate neighborhood of Emerson College in England formed a cooperative beginning in 1995 with the people living in their vicinity to establish themselves as a major focal point of the community. The text and the photographs describe the many aspects of both farms and the important role they have within the surrounding community. The message of the book is stated as follows: ‘Biodynamics seeks the holistic and interrelate health of the diverse creatures and beings composing a farm, including human beings and the wider, surrounding community.’ Biodynamics is identified as not just a “method” but a whole approach to life. The model developed here is one that may be highly appropriate for emulation in England, but it is probable that other parts of the world will need to develop their own unique models of biodynamic farming support within a surrounding community. One such example that comes to mind is the Sekem endeavor in Egypt.

The lack of captions for the photos in at least a few cases is a drawback to the message being communicated, but altogether the book presents a very positive case for biodynamic agriculture as an important factor in influencing the culture within society as a whole.

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http://www.jpibiodynamics.org/node/461

Caravan to Black Mesa 2011

Caravan to Black Mesa 2011

Join the Caravan in Support of Indigenous Communities Who Are in Their Fourth Decade of Resisting Massive Coal Mining Operations on Their Ancestral Homelands of Big Mountain; Black Mesa, AZ. November 19th – 26th, 2011

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Posted 13 September 2011, by Brenda Norrell, Censored News, bsnorrell.blogspot.com
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Communities of Black Mesa Have Always Maintained That Their Struggle for Life, Land; Future Generations Is For Our Collective Survival.

Greetings from Black Mesa Indigenous Support,

We are excited to once again extend the invitation from Dineh resisters of the Big Mountain regions of Black Mesa in joining a caravan of work crews in support of the on-going struggle to protect their communities, ancestral homelands, future generations and planet that we all share. These communities are in their fourth decade year of resistance against the US Government’s forced relocation policies, Peabody Coal’s financial interests, and an unsustainable fossil fuel based economy.

Participating in this caravan is one small way in supporting these courageous communities who are serving as the very blockade to massive coal mining on Black Mesa. The aim of this caravan is to honor the requests and words of the elders and their families. With their guidance we will carry their wishes & demands far beyond just the annual caravans and link this struggle with social, environmental, and climate justice movements that participants may be a part of.

By assisting with direct on-land projects you are supporting families on their ancestral homelands in resistance to an illegal occupation and destruction of sacred sites by Peabody Energy. We will be chopping and hauling firewood, doing minor repair work, offering holistic health care, and sheep-herding before the approaching freezing winter months.

Indigenous nations are disproportionately targeted by fossil fuel extraction & environmental devastation; Black Mesa is no exception. Peabody Energy, previously Peabody Coal Company (the world’s largest private-sector coal company) is continuing to scheme for ways to continue their occupation of tribal lands under the guise of extracting “clean coal”.

Peabody’s Black Mesa mine has been the source of an estimated 325 million tons of greenhouse gases that have been discharged into the atmosphere.* In the 30+ years of disastrous operations, Dineh and Hopi communities in Arizona have been ravaged by Peabody’s coal mining. As a result of the massive mining operation, thousands of families have had their land taken away and been forcibly relocated. Peabody has drained 2.5 million gallons of water daily from the only community water supply and has left a monstrous toxic legacy along an abandoned 273-mile coal slurry pipeline. Furthermore, Peabody has desecrated & completely dug up burials, sacred areas, and shrines designated specifically for offerings, preventing religious practices. The continued mining by Peabody has devastating environmental and cultural impacts on local communities and significantly exacerbates global climate chaos.

A trench carved out by a Peabody dragline in order to access coal seams. Photo: Jonathan LeFaive

Relocation laws have made it nearly impossible for younger generations to continue living on their homelands. Institutional racism has fueled neglect and abandonment of public services such as water, maintenance of roads, health care, and schools. Many of the residents in the regions of Black Mesa that we’ll be visiting are elderly and winters can be extremely rough on them in this remote high desert terrain. Due to lack of local job opportunities and federal strangulation on Indian self-sufficiency, extended families are forced to live many miles away to earn incomes and have all the social amenities (which include choices in mandatory American education).

It is increasingly difficult for families to come back to visit their relatives in these remote areas due to the unmaintained roads and the rising cost of transportation. As one of their resistance strategies they call upon outside support as they maintain their traditional way of life in the face of the largest relocation of indigenous people in the US since the Trail of Tears.

May we stand strong with the elders & families of Black Mesa in their declaration that “Coal is the Mother Earth’s liver” and join them in action to ensure that coal remains in the ground! Families of Black Mesa are determined to repair and end the devastating impacts of colonialism, coal mining, and forced relocation of their communities, sacred lands, and our planet. False solutions to climate change and large scale coal extraction must be stopped!

Drawing on the inspiration of the elders & families of Black Mesa, they offer us a transformative model for the strategic, visionary change that is needed to re-harmonize our relationships with one another and with the planet. But too often Black Mesa becomes invisibilized as other human rights, environmental justice and climate justice struggles are showcased and highlighted in both the mainstream & progressive media. The truth is that all of these struggles are interconnected and central to our collective survival is the need to increase the visibility of struggles such as Black Mesa, a decades-long indigenous-led resistance to the fossil fuel industry, in related movements for human rights, environmental, climate & social justice.

Forging links between people grounded in movements based on social and ecological justice and the Black Mesa resisters (who are also grounded in these movements) is essential to address the disproportionate problems of poverty and disenfranchisement to achieve social, environmental, & climate justice.

On-Going Resistance To The Continued Desecration Of The Sacred San Francisco Peaks:

Blockade Halts Ski Resort Destruction & Desecration of Holy Mountain. Photo: www.indigenousaction.org

The struggle to protect the San Francisco Peaks is part of an international movement to protect sacred sites and is intricately connected with the struggle to protect the sacred places of Big Mountain & Black Mesa, AZ. The San Francisco Peaks has considerable religious significance to thirteen local Indigenous nations (including the Havasupai, Dine’ {Navajo}, Hopi, and Zuni.) In particular, it forms the Dine’ sacred mountain of the west, called the Dook’o’oosłííd.

In recent months the San Francisco Peaks has been desecrated by Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort with permission from the US Forest Service by cutting 40 acres of pristine forest and laying miles of pipeline to spray artificial snow made of sewage water that would be bought from the City of Flagstaff. In response, there has been a convergence on the peaks to protect what has yet to be desecrated and create a long term form of protection for the Mountain including demonstrations, encampments, multiple lockdowns, further litigation, and tribes filing a human rights complaint with the United Nations.
If you’re visiting Black Mesa, then you will be likely be traveling through the vicinity of the holy San Francisco Peaks which is located just outside of Flagstaff, AZ. Stay posted for updates & how you can support the protection of the Peaks at http://www.truesnow.org and http://www.indigenousaction.org

Support the Action in Stopping the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) “States & Nation Policy Summit” in Scottsdale, AZ; Nov 30 – Dec 2, 2011:

ALEC- a conglomerate of legislators and corporate sponsors is planning to meet for their “States and Nation Policy Summit” just outside of Phoenix, AZ (Scottsdale) from November 30-December 2, 2011 . “The group’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on draft legislation. ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months for its role in crafting bills to attack worker rights, to roll back environmental regulations, privatize education, deregulate major industries, and pass voter ID laws”.** Arizona politicians and the private prison industry, under ALEC, finalized the model legislation which became SB 1070, the harshest anti- immigrant measure in the country and a license for racial profiling.
Thanks to ALEC, at least a dozen states have recently adopted a nearly identical resolution asking Congress to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop regulating carbon emissions (which they recently did): http://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/7/smog_v_jobs_is_obama_admin”.
A Peabody Energy representative is on the Corporate Board of ALEC. Kelly Mader, the Vice President of State Government Affairs at Peabody was given ALEC’s 2011 Private Sector Member of the Year Award. In these closed door ALEC meetings, it is no wonder that corporations such as Peabody serve state legislators their agendas on legislation which directly benefit their bottom line. Mader is due to attend the ALEC meeting in Phoenix.

Families of Black Mesa may need supporters to watch over their home and animals so that they can attend the ALEC demonstrations. Please contact BMIS if you can help with this as well as additional logistics such as funds, transportation, and lodging. Thank you!

The struggles on Big Mountain are directly connected to the struggles on the San Francisco Peaks and the movement to stop ALEC. Stay tuned for possible actions and protests in support of struggles to protect ancestral homelands & sacred sites, to stop corporate profiteering off the exploitation, suffering and degradation of us all -particularly indigenous peoples, migrants, the working class, prisoners, and essentially all of Mother Earth.

“Arizona Says NO to Criminalization, Incarceration, & Corporate Profiteering at the Expense of Our Communities” http://azresistsalec.wordpress.com/ *
For additional info on ALEC: http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

Ways you can support:
Join the Caravan: Connect with a coordinator or create a work crew in your region. Contact BMIS so that we can connect you with others who may be in your region. So far caravan coordinators are located in Prescott, Phoenix and Flagstaff, AZ; Denver, CO; Santa Cruz, CA; Eugene and Portland, OR; and the San Francisco’s Bay Area. Meeting locations and dates will be posted on the BMIS website & our facebook page as coordinators set them up. This caravan will be in collaboration with the annual Clan Dyken Fall Food and Supply Run on Black Mesa. It is of the utmost importance that each guest understands and respects the ways of the communities that we will be visiting. Prior to visiting Black Mesa, all guests must read and sign the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guide: http://blackmesais.org/tag/cultural-sensitivity/

Host or attend regional organizational meetings in your area: We strongly urge participants to attend or organize regional meetings. Due to the large number of caravan participants in past years, we are limiting the number to just under 100 this fall. Please register early and plan on attending meetings held in your region. There you’ll engage in political education work and help regional coordinators plan logistics, fundraisers, and collect donated food and supplies ahead of time.

Trucks, chainsaws, & supplies are integral to the success of the caravan. The more trucks we have, the more wood, water and other heavy loads we can transport. Axes, mauls, axe handles, shovels, tools of all kinds, organic food, warm blankets, and did we mention trucks? — either to donate to families or to use for the week of the caravan–are greatly needed on the land to make this caravan work! We’ve got a 501-C3 tax-deductible number, so if you need that contact us. Please keep checking the BMIS website for an ongoing list of specific requests by Black Mesa residents.

A Navajo man holds up a piece of coal that is spotted with “fool’s gold”. Photo: Jonathan LeFaive

Challenge Colonialism! One of our main organizing goal’s is to highlight anti-colonial education within all the regional meetings leading up to the caravan. In addition to the Cultural Sensitivity Guide, we encourage you to bring articles, films, and other resources to your regional meetings & host discussions that further our collective understanding for transforming colonialism, white supremacy, genocide, & all intersections of oppression. We have started a resources list, which is now on the website.  Feel free to share with us any resources that you like so that we can build upon this list & strengthen our growing support network! In addition please check out our Points Of Unity.

Fundraise! Fundraise! Fundraise! As a grassroots, all-volunteer network, we do not receive nor rely on any institutional funding for these support efforts, but instead count on each person’s ingenuity, creativity, and hard work to make it all come together. We are hoping to raise enough money through our community connections for gas, specifically for collecting wood and food for host families, and for work projects.   Host events, hit up non-profits, generous food vendors, and folks in your own networks. An article that we want to highlight is ‘8 Ways to Raise $2,500 in 10 Days’. Check our website soon for this document, template letters to vendors, fundraising guidelines, and more. You can Donate here: http://blackmesais.org/donate/

Stay with a family any time of the year: Families living in resistance to coal mining and relocation laws are requesting self-sufficient guests who are willing to give three or more weeks of their time, especially in the winter. Contact BMIS in advance so that we can make arrangements prior to your stay, to answer any questions that you may have, and so we can help put you in touch with a family. It is of the utmost importance that each guest understands and respects the ways of the communities that we will be visiting. Prior to visiting Black Mesa, all guests must read and sign the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guide: http://blackmesais.org/tag/cultural-sensitivity/
Give back to the Earth! Give to future generations!
May the resistance of Big Mountain and surrounding communities on Black Mesa always be remembered, and supported!

With love,
Black Mesa Indigenous Support

Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is a grassroots, all-volunteer collective committed to supporting the indigenous peoples of Black Mesa in their resistance to massive coal mining operations and to the forced relocation policies of the US government. We see ourselves as a part of a people powered uprising for a healthy planet liberated from fossil fuel extraction, exploitative economies, racism, and oppression for our generation and generations to come. BMIS stands with the elders of Black Mesa in their declaration that “Coal is the Mother Earth’s liver” and joins them in action to ensure that coal remains in the ground.
Address: P.O. Box 23501, Flagstaff, Arizona 86002
Voice Mail: 928.773.8086
Email: blackmesais@gmail.com
Web: www.blackmesais.org

Facebook: Black Mesa Indigenous Support
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(Ed Note: Missing photographs were missing from the original article at the time this post was accessed.)

(Ed Note: Please visit the original site for more content associated with this article.)

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http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/09/caravan-to-black-mesa-2011.html

Sustainability gets cozy and to the point

 

Sustainability gets cozy and to the point

 

Posted 04 September 2011, by Curtis Wackerle, Aspen Daily News, aspendailynews.com

 

One problem with the environmental movement, according to Eden Vardy, founder of the nonprofit Aspen T.R.E.E., is that it’s too often focused on energy, which is an abstract, intangible concept to most people.

So that’s why getting your hands dirty at T.R.E.E.’s Cozy Point Ranch Sustainable Farmyard is so important, and instructive, to the hundreds of kids who have come through in the demonstration project’s first year as part of the ranch’s summer camp programs.

The plot of land carved out of horse pasture next to Cozy Point’s equestrian facilities, which is owned by the city of Aspen, located off of Highway 82 just downvalley of Brush Creek Road, is an outdoor classroom. The curriculum is the philosophy of permaculture, which teaches that agricultural ecosystems should be self-sustaining and self-sufficient. Some 50 varieties of plants, along with chickens, turkeys, pigs and goats are the textbooks.

Anything that might be thought of as waste has a purpose, such as the animal poop used for fertilizer and the compost piles that add nutrients to the soil. Smelly and spicy plants like arugula are planted next to more sensitive ones like tomatoes to deter pests. There also are techniques to adapt to Aspen’s high-altitude climate, such as lining the raised garden beds with basketball-sized rocks, which act as thermal insulators, trapping in enough heat to extend the growing season by a week or two, Vardy said.

A young boy used to joke with his father upon returning from the supermarket with a car full of groceries — “Hunt good. Many buffalo,” the boy would say, in a faux-Native American voice.

Fact is, the joke was about as close as the boy came to grasping the disconnect most people have between their food and its source.

Vardy, 25, who was raised in Aspen, founded Aspen T.R.E.E. three years ago to address that disconnect between modern society and the natural world and animal kingdom that surrounds and supports it. Critically, the organization focuses on positive solutions, as Vardy identifies too much negativity as another of the environmental movement’s ails.

“We focus on sustainable solutions,” he said. It doesn’t hurt to be creative and artistic while you are at it either, Vardy, believes, as “that will inspire people.”

T.R.E.E. stands for “together regenerating the environment through education.” The nonprofit is responsible for the annual Tuesday-before-Thanksgiving free organic community meal served at Aspen High School (this year’s birds are trotting around Cozy Point right now) that serves up to 700. It also offers programs such as custom garden consulting and “nature nannies,” which is basically a child care service that specializes in introducing kids to the outdoors and wholesome foods. T.R.E.E. also will build you an earthen pizza oven.

Vardy became interested in the concepts that would form T.R.E.E. a decade ago as an Aspen High School student. He took science teacher Travis Moore’s ecological literacy and resource efficiency course “and got really excited,” he said, and pursued the field in college. At Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., Vardy earned a degree in sustainable food systems, and he has a master’s in integrative ecosocial design with a focus on regenerative leadership and nonprofit management from Gaia University. Part of his master’s coursework with the nontraditional university included setting up a permaculture demonstration site at a school for AIDS orphans in Uganda. He also has worked in Asia and Israel on sustainable farms.

Aspen called Vardy back, however.

Eden Vardy, director of Aspen T.R.E.E., explains the unique features of the garden. Raised garden beds are curved to mimic nature and maximize capacity in a minimal space while improving nutrient control, as well as providing easier access to participants in the program. Designed as a sheet mulch garden, soil is comprised of composted manure, topsoil and peat moss from the Ice Age dig in Snowmass. The large rocks bordering the garden help contain heat and extend the growing season in Aspen’s colder climate.. Photo: Chris Council/Aspen Daily News.

“It’s so beautiful here, it touches my heart,” Vardy said.

Aspen also is  “such a magnifying glass,” he said. The idea was that if he could get T.R.E.E. successfully off the ground here, the concept could be packaged and exported to other communities. One day, Vardy hopes to see, for example, a Los Angeles T.R.E.E. and a Miami T.R.E.E.

He has now returned to Aspen High School and Moore’s classroom, where he is leading 72 hours of coursework on permaculture design, as part of the ecological literacy class.

“It’s quite an honor to go back to the class that started it all,” Vardy said.

T.R.E.E. had a similar permaculture demonstration site last summer at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ Rock Bottom Ranch near Carbondale, which it still maintains.

Earlier this year, Monroe Summers, head of the company that manages Cozy Point Ranch for the city, contacted Vardy about setting up a demonstration site at the ranch and contributing to the ranch’s summer camp offerings.

The reality is that Cozy Point’s equestrian focus only appeals to a certain segment of the community, Summers said, so the ranch tries to broaden its outreach when possible. T.R.E.E. and Vardy, who were introduced to Summers by Seth Sachson of the Aspen Animal Shelter, seemed like a good fit, he said.

T.R.E.E. was established and working with the campers by July. Summers gives T.R.E.E. the land for its demonstration project at no cost, and in exchange, T.R.E.E. provides instruction in “healthy living, local foods, animal husbandry and so forth” for interested campers, Summers said. The “We-Green-Riders” program in particular, which introduces 4- to 6-year-olds to basic equestrian skills while getting them some time in the garden, “took off like gangbusters,” Summers said. Cozy Point’s summer camp business this year was double or triple what it was last year, which was the camp’s first year, Summers said.

The nonprofit has similarly grown, with a budget that has doubled in the last year, Vardy said. He brought on six interns to help out this summer, and the organization is overseen by a five-member board of directors and an advisory committee that includes pro skier Nick DeVore and former Pitkin County Commissioner Patty Clapper.

T.R.E.E. is currently funded by about a 50-50 split of donations and earned income for products and services. Vardy said he’d like to see that become more of a two-thirds, one-third breakdown in favor of earned income.

With school back in session, the summer camp programs at the ranch have wrapped up. In the coming weeks, Summers said he plans to sit down with Vardy to debrief on the season and talk about how to improve and grow the partnership.

Ideas in the works include building a four-season greenhouse at the ranch, to add some variety to the concept of eating local in the winter months — otherwise true locavores don’t have much to choose from other than eggs and hunted game meat.

Other ideas include a Cozy Point farmers market, a bigger community garden and collaboration with the “slow foods movement.” Vardy also is testing out a number of different strains of quinoa in the garden, to determine what is best suited to grow in the high country elements.

“We have the sunshine, we have the land, the soil and good fertilizer — and we’re looking for ways to capitalize on that,” Summers said. In regards to T.R.E.E., “We see our role as a facilitator and a sort of big brother, to help them reach their goals and aspirations. They are young and just getting started, but they are doing some things that are really important.”


curtis@aspendailynews.com



http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/148902