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Low-carbon aviation fuels are on the horizon. But for now, activists say we need to stay grounded

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/11 - 6:00am

Fuel made from waste and synthetic ‘e-fuels’ could reduce emissions significantly but scaling up quickly will be an immense challenge

Why it’s so hard to electrify shipping and aviation – interactive

A powder blue airplane flew from London to Glasgow in September to deliver on a promise. Airlines around the world have committed to decarbonizing the industry – the British Airways flight was meant to demonstrate a decade of progress toward that goal.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), made partly from recycled cooking oil, along with more efficient engines, a sleeker design and improved air traffic management helped reduce the flight’s carbon emissions by 62% compared with a similar trip in 2010, according to BA. The airline was able to bill the trip as “carbon neutral” because it bought carbon credits to offset the remaining 38% of emissions.

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Categories: Environment

‘Natural Health Service’: Derby approves UK’s largest urban rewilding project

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/11 - 5:04am

Plan to transform 130 hectares of Allestree Park could see reintroduction of species such as red kite and harvest mouse

“I’m excited about the potential for large wildflower-rich grassland areas mixed with naturally regenerating scrub,” said Prof Alastair Driver, director at Rewilding Britain. “It won’t be long before these areas are ringing with warbler song and sizzling with grasshoppers and crickets.”

The source of Driver’s excitement is Allestree Park, the largest open space in Derby, to which Derby city council has given the green light this week to become what Rewilding Britain believes to be the UK’s largest urban rewilding project.

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Categories: Environment

Farm Tours are back!

Home Grown New Mexico - Sat, 2021/08/28 - 12:34pm

This year there will be two fabulous farm tours this fall in September.

The first tour is the Reunity Farm Tour on September 11 put on by Home Grown New Mexico and co-sponsored by Slow Foods Santa Fe.

The second farm tour is the Green Tractor Farm tour on September 22 put on by our friends from Slow Foods Santa Fe and co-sponsored by Home Grown NM.

We hope you can make both! Here’s the info below to sign up for either or both.

About these events:

Saturday, Sept 11, 2021
12 noon to 2 pm

Reunity Resources Farm Tour

Sponsored by Home Grown New Mexico and co-sponsored by Slow Foods Santa Fe. Visit Santa Fe’s community farm practicing organic and regenerative agriculture. Reunity Resources is working with closed loop nutrient systems using food waste from local businesses to create a variety of compost and mulch products using Aerated Static Piles and vermicomposting (worms)

The compost operation has diverted over 5 million pounds of food waste from the landfill and sequestered much of that car- bon in the soil increasing fertility and water absorption. The results are evident in the amazing variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers produced on the farm. The farm is commit- ted to serving the community through education and outreach and donates much of the produce to local hunger projects. The farm stand will be open as well.

Location: 1829 San Ysidro Crossing • Santa Fe
Fee: $5 for members/$20 for non-members

REGISTER HERE

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Wednesday, Sept 22, 2021
1 pm to 3 pm

Green Tractor Farm Tour

Slow Food Santa Fe and Home Grown New Mexico are delighted to co-sponsor a tour of Green Tractor Farm in historic La Cienega near Santa Fe. We’ll meet this multi-generational farming family, learn about the farm and its history, and hear about the current growing season and its challenges. Then we’ll take a tour of the fields and greenhouses. Before departing we’ll have an opportunity to purchase produce and flowers so bring your shopping bags! (Green Tractor takes cash and credit cards.)

Green Tractor Farm received the 2013 Santa Fe Farmer’s Market Institute “Farmer All Star” award for their contributions to the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market. And more recently Green Tractor was recognized by the Santa Fe Pojoaque Soil and Water Conservation District for managing their farm to maximize the productive capacity of their land. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this remarkable farm!

REGISTER HERE

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Green Tractor Farm received the 2013 Santa Fe Farmer’s Market Institute “Farmer All Star” award for their contributions to the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market. And more recently Green Tractor was recognized by the Santa Fe Pojoaque Soil and Water Conservation District for managing their farm to maximize the productive capacity of their land. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this remarkable farm!

Further details and directions will be sent to those registered before this event.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Dehydrating the Harvest class this Sunday August 15

Home Grown New Mexico - Tue, 2021/08/10 - 5:28pm

There are still spaces available for this class. If you ever been to one of Bob Zimmerman’s classes, you know it will be great and informative and free samples! We will have a canopy and chairs outside spaced out for safety. Plus a bonus-after the class if anyone wants to walk in the veggie garden, you are welcome to tour it with me. It is even MORE beautiful than after the last class. Sign up below to reserve your space.

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Sunday, August 15, 2021
12 noon to 2 pm

Dehydrating the Harvest

Have you thought about getting a food dehydrator to preserve seasonal produce? Do you already have a dehydrator and want to learn more ways to use your dehydrator than just drying apples? In this class, Bob will demonstrate how to preserve all kinds of food, complete with recipes and tips for getting the most out of your dehydrator. Here are just some of the unique and tasty treats that we will explore-fruit chips, beef,& turkey jerky, Parmesan, tomato & zucchini chips, sun-dried tomato crackers and fruit rollups.

Instructor: Bob Zimmerman and Mike McGeary
Location: 56 Coyote Crossing • Santa Fe (Tomato Lady’s property)
Fee: $5 for members/$20 for non-members

REGISTER HERE

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Superfood Security is a Seed Away: Doug Fine’s AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is here.

Doug Fine - Mon, 2020/04/13 - 2:54pm

 

Doug Fine’s AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is here.

As are many of us, I’m feeling grateful for a lot of things at the moment. In particular, I’m sure glad it struck the three-years-ago-version-of-me as a fun idea to write an optimistic, humorous book that also provides a blueprint for establishing food security in your backyard.

For whatever reason, folks seem to want “funny” and “uplifting” at the moment. And laughing your way to food security? Seemed like a pleasant route. Still does. I’m doing it today – my fingers are still dank with humus as I type. Hemp farming is pretty easy, it attracts bees, and it’s all around about the most fun you can have outside the bedroom.

What I’m describing (and living) is  my new book, AMERICAN HEMP FARMER. It details a season in the burgeoning and newly-legalized hemp industry from a regenerative farmer perspective. The premise is this: a billion-dollar industry is great, but only meaningful if the actual farmers benefit at the retail level from the hemp renaissance.

For customers, the  win-win is that regenerative farming modes result in by-far the best hemp products. It’s not even close. Like fresh squeezed OJ beats frozen concentrate. All while sequestering carbon.

Turns out we have friends in low places. In nurturing a hemp field, we’re not the only species midwifing our hemp crop by planting time. To name one of a few hundred million, I recently gathered and brewed some fluffy white steaks of my watershed’s mycelium allies (fungus), which my family and I applying to our preseason soil in a compost tea this week.

Which leads to the core reason I wrote the book, from the introduction:

Six years ago, a bear fleeing a wildfire in our New Mexico backyard killed nearly all of my family’s goats in front of our eyes. It wasn’t the bear’s fault: he was a climate refugee. It was June of 2013, and drought had weakened the ponderosa pines and Douglas fir surrounding our remote Funky Butte Ranch. Beetles took advantage, and all of southern New Mexico was a tinderbox. Ho hum, just another climate event that until recently would have been called a “millennial” fire.

That’s the paramount reason I’m an overworked employee of the hemp plant: The people I care about most are one blaze away from joining the world’s 20 million climate refugees. At least I get the pleasure of putting “goat sitter” under occupation on my tax form.

The conflagration convinced me that I had to do something, personally, to work on this climate change problem. After some research about carbon sequestration through soil building, it became clear that planting as much hemp as possible was the best way to actively mitigate climate change and help restore normal rainfall cycles to our ecosystem.

This is why I treasure much more than just hemp’s flower gold rush (CBD, CBG, etc.). I also love hemp seed’s superfood and hemp fiber. It’s why I carry a 3D printed hemp plastic goat nearly everywhere I go.

A biomaterials-based economy doesn’t just perform better in our stuff, it means goodbye Pacific Garbage Patch. That is, when everything, even our batteries, is compostable or reusable (I mention batteries because next-generation hemp-based supercapacitors are discussed in AMERICAN HEMP FARMER).

We actually have been given a realistic opportunity to bridge humanity’s climate stabilization mission with its digital trajectory. In AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, I endeavor to connect the dots in my work, my food, and my whole life, with the thinking that if enough of us do the same, humanity’s got a shot in this here bottom of the climactic ninth.

It’s a solution-based book. Which is to say, it’s chock full of my own mistakes, as well as the triumphs and travails of many of my regenerative farmer friends and colleagues. Michael Pollan argues that we have co-evolved with certain plants, including cannabis. To be sure, hemp/human relations do go back 8,000 years. AMERICAN HEMP FARMER broaches the proud history of government-supported Hemp For Victory gardens going beyond the well-known World War II “Hemp For Victory” effort, all the way back to George Washington himself: in fact, at Mount Vernon last fall, I helped harvest the first hemp crop since President Washington’s time – I did this in colonial clothing and with (trust me) a very sharp sickle.

And that was before nutritionists knew about hemp’s ideal Omega 9-6-3 balance, high mineral content, and rare amount of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) — a fatty acid associated with anti-inflammatory properties, Whereas my family’s own hemp diet once bankrolled the Canadian economy, for the past there years it’s been free. Hemp got federally legalized in the 2014 Farm Bill, and I and my sons get in the soil at this time every year and grow it ourselves. In AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, you’ll even read about a study that indicates a hemp diet might combat obesity.

Sowing hemp is pretty easy, and the harvest is both copious (around 1,000 pounds per acre) and extremely delicious. And I eat a lot of it. Easily a cup a day. As do both my human kids and my goat kids. Indeed it’s very hard to keep the goats out of the field. Hemp seeds are an essential part not just of my family’s health maintenance plan, but of our food security plan. And anyone can do it.

AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is available everywhere now in book, e-book and audiobook form (I narrated the audiobook, which was super fun). And I hope that you find yourself at once giggling and learning as you read it. You can order it here.

Please feel free to share this Dispatch with your friends, family and professional networks. It would be great for folks everywhere to know that not just food security, but superfood security, is a seed (and a permit) away.

Meanwhile, it’s spring on the Funky Butte Ranch, and as AMERICAN HEMP FARMER advises, I’ve got my own hemp permit application filed, I’m building soil (just as the Funky Butte apricots burst into bloom), and I’m ready to grow another scrumptious crop. I like the feeling of knowing my family will thrive for another year no matter what.  When you read AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, you’ll see that you and yours can too. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Some reviews follow below, and I’m sending immense thanks for your support/ in ordering this book and telling your friends. OK, I’m off to the field to dump more goat poop and alfalfa on the soon-to-be-planted Funky Butte Ranch hemp field

-Doug Fine

Funky Butte Ranch, New Mexico

April 13, 2020

Order AMERICAN HEMP FARMER here

Book Doug’s Live Event here.

 Subscribe to the Dispatches From the Funky Butte Ranch newsletter and follow Doug on Instagram and Twitter @organiccowboy

 

Reviews of AMERICAN HEMP FARMER

American Hemp Farmer would have been in George Washington’s library. President Washington grew hemp and was a passionate, regenerative agriculturist. Washington sought advice from those that practiced their trade. Doug Fine‘s American Hemp Farmer is a scholarly, practical and impeccably enjoyable work and a must-read for those who cultivate hemp or are interested in leaping in.”  –J. Dean Norton, Director of Horticulture, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate.

“With American Hemp Farmer, Doug Fine shows he is not just our preeminent hemp author, he is one of the most important authors of our time. As I’ve watched him leap between tending goats on his Funky Butte Ranch and hemp fields in Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and who-knows-where else, it sometimes occurs to me that he might be the most interesting man alive. The resulting book is an absolute must read.  –Eric Steenstra, Executive Director, VoteHemp

“A fantastic piece of Americana that shows the way to a sustainable future.” -David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner’s Soaps

“I hope every hemp farmer and policymaker reads this book carefully. It details a roadmap for success, for farmers and the planet. And that’s probably because Doug doesn’t just write about hemp, he lives it.” —Cary Giguere, State Hemp Program Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

                                  Further Praise for Doug’s Work
“Fine is a writer in he mold of Douglas Adams.” —Washington Post

“Fine is Bryson funny.” —Santa Cruz Sentinel

Doug has written the best book of the year and a blueprint for the future of America.”                       –Willie Nelson

About Doug Fine

Doug Fine is a comedic investigative journalist, bestselling author, and a solar-powered goat herder. He has cultivated hemp for food, farm-to-table products and seed-building in four U.S. states, and teaches a college hemp class. Willie Nelson calls Doug’s work “a blueprint for the America of the future.” The Washington Post says, “Fine is a storyteller in the mold of Douglas Adams.”  A website of Doug’s print, radio and television work, United Nations testimony, Conan and Tonight Show appearances and TED Talk is at dougfine.com and his social media handle is @organiccowboy.

Book Doug’s Live Event here.

 Subscribe to the Dispatches From the Funky Butte Ranch newsletter and follow Doug on Instagram and Twitter @organiccowboy

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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