The widespread food revolution being spearheaded by Severine von Tscharner Fleming

Enter on stage Severine von Tscharner Fleming, executive director of Greenhorns in the United States. Her name might be a mouthful - but her message is simple: supporting young farmers in America to build a career and livelihood in farming.

Litfest 2017 was another eye opening, motivational and inspirational weekend. Greenhorns founder Severine von Tscharner-Fleming, chef Christian Puglisi and urban farmer Alice Holden all highlighted, for me, the reality that the gap is widening between farmer and consumer.

L’Atelier Paysan is a French cooperative that works with farmers to design machines and buildings adapted to the specific practices of small farm agroecology. In addition to distributing free plans on its website, L’Atelier Paysan organizes winter self-help training sessions, during which farmers train in metalworking and build tools which they can then use on their own farms. L’Atelier Paysan works to develop the technological sovereignty of farmers by helping them to become more autonomous through learning and regain knowledge and skills.

In this episode of Under Reported I speak with Farmer Chris, the man behind a small farm in Massachusetts called Vanguarden, Severine von Tscharner Fleming founder of The Greenhorns and Brian Donahue, Chair of Environmental Studies at Brandeis University.

Activist Severine von Tscharner Fleming is fighting the agricultural crisis of a lifetime—protecting retired farmland from developers for the organic farmers of the future.

Severine Fleming, Kim Stringfellow and Rick Prelinger talk OUR LAND 2 on KVSF

The supply of land is fixed, so who owns it matters. Much has changed since the feudal days of medieval Europe, but if you want to own some acreage in the United States—the kind of swath an agribusiness corporation or mining company might also covet—your best bet is to marry into or inherit it. This reality is particularly problematic for the next generation of American farmers and, by extension, the future of our food system.

GMCR is proud to present Earth Matters – our 1st full length, locally produced and regularly scheduled program. Earth Matters is a collaborative effort between New Mexico Wilderness Alliance,Gila Resources Information Project and Upper Gila Watershed Alliance and addresses environmental issues at the local, national and international levels. Allyson Siwik – Executive Director of GRIP, Nathan Newcomer – Silver City Grassroots Organizer for NM Wild and Donna Stevens – Executive Director of UGWA, rotate as the hosts of the program.

Severine Fleming on American Family Farmer

The Greenhorns, a nonprofit dedicated to young agrarians, is updating one of America’s oldest ag publications.

Sustainable Futures – these are social movements to build more just and sustainable futures. One example is the U.S.-based Farm Hack project that was founded in 2010 by farmers and organizers who use the internet to share new ideas about food production and innovative tools to increase the resilience of sustainable agriculture and rural economies. One example is a bicycle-powered root washer.

“Grange Future” celebrates the history and contemporary expression of ‘the grange idea.’ From the 19th century populist movement that backed the early campaign for an “information commons” in the form of Rural Free Mail delivery, to public banking and Farmers co-op banks, this vital movement is re-emerging to confront information and agricultural monopolists of our own era. Severine Fleming of Greenhorns leads a panel discussion with the Internet Archive's Brewster Kahle and Matt Senate from the Omni Commons and Sudo Room Hackerspace.

ACCORDING TO THE U.N. FOOD and Agriculture Organization, women represent 43 percent of the world’s agricultural labor force and 47 percent of the global fisheries labor force. They produce more than half of the world’s food, despite being less than half of the labor force, and account for 60 to 80 percent of food production in developing countries.

While we unfortunately can’t recognize all of the hard-working women in agriculture, here’s just a few of the influential women who are working diligently to better our food systems around the world.

Wind is power, and the fate of nations hung on its clever use for untold thousands of years. It's still there, as it was through the eons when wind meant every bit as much to global trade as oil does today. To a small -- but apparently growing -- number, however, wind power is looking like the once and future king.

New farmers need support, and that’s just what the Greenhorns aims to provide. The nonprofit organization produces podcasts, radio programs, web series, videos, books, blog posts and events, all aimed at helping new farmers access information and create peer networks.

This issue will mark our tenth year of OCEAN, the environmental education publication of Safe Harbor.This is your publication and we are grateful for your support in sharing each issue. OCEAN 30 begins a two part article on oyster farming and Climate Change Impacts. We are also sharing an extraordinary learning tool: the Earth Null link. You can immediately use the link to track our article on one of the strongest El Ninos on record. Thank you to Associate Editor and Research Coordinator Samantha Thywissen for her contributions to this issue.

Severine Fleming speaks on Radio Dubuque

"The landscape behind me is full of barns and farm houses  and based on the  statistics that we have about  seventy percent of those farms are gonna be changing hands in the next twenty years,"

On average, Michigan’s farmers are 56 years old, according to the state Farm Bureau. But an interest in local and organic food might yield a younger, fresher crop of farmers.

The Grand Traverse region's farming community is watching the farm-to-table movement grow, but it's taking off at a time when many farmers are planning retirement — and fewer young people are stepping onto the fields to take their place.

TheLocal Growers’ Guild began in 2004 with a handful of farmers, restauranteurs, retailers, and other community members who organized to educate the public on the importance of buying local and sustainable farm products, and to support each other in their endeavors.

“We are interested in a different system that orients the wealth more locally, that ships the product less far, that makes use of a broader range of products and processes, a more diverse use of the landscape and one that is sustainable and sustaining for the producers,” Fleming said in an interview during a community fish fry hosted by the Alaska Marine Conservation Council on the Homer Spit.

Halibut ecology, economics and policy, a community fish fry, a 5K run on the Homer Spit and were all part of the festivities Sept. 19-20 as the halibut fishing capital of the world celebrated its first Homer Halibut Festival. - See more at:

The maritime workforce is Alaska’s largest private sector employer. From harvesters to processors, ship builders, maintenance and fisheries researchers and industry suppliers, a report compiled by the state, university and industry groups says the workforce represents 70,000 jobs. The aging of many in the maritime trade is of concern for the future of the industry. What’s the plan for attracting more young Alaskans to this area of the economy as well as drawing the next generation of farmers to the agriculture industry?

A nationally renowned agrarian, Severine Von Tscharner Fleming, is entering the conversation on food security in Alaska.

Fleming is making two stops on the Kenai Peninsula during a 9-day speaking tour around the state, starting at 7 p.m. today, at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai for a discussion she has titled “Growing Local Food Systems: Tales from the Frontlines.”

Maine Sail Freight, a pop-up selling goods from small farms throughout the northernmost New England state, will be anchored inside the Boston Public Market during September. The stash of nonperishable organic cargo — 6,400 pounds — sailed from Portland, Maine, on the schooner Adventure in late August.

In the next 20 years, farmland ownership in the U.S. 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 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 Greenhorns founder Severine v T Fleming, one of the most visionary leaders in the young farmers’ movement.

“So who is schlepping?” she asked of almost a dozen volunteer stevedores helping to go back to the future of seafaring with Maine Sail Freight, a project designed to get consumers and producers to re-examine sustainable interstate trade.

The 131-foot topsail schooner Harvey Gamage is scheduled to put in at Brown’s Boatyard on the island of North Haven, Maine, on Aug. 23 to pick up a half-ton of locally grown produce — grains and beans, mainly — and specialty foods, then sail on to Portland to pick up 9.5 tons more of Maine farm products before sailing to Boston.

On the day in September 2003 when Mark and Kristin Kimball pulled their bicycles off an Amtrak train and wheeled their way into the town of Essex, New York, no one would have guessed that one of the most important experiments in contemporary American agriculture was about to begin. Young and idealistic, the Kimballs had big dreams about coming to this town on the shores of Lake Champlain and starting a farm unlike any in America. The vision had all started with an apple pie. “I got this nutty idea to make an apple pie that I had completely grown myself,” Mark says. “Everything. Apples, wheat, lard, maple syrup, everything.”

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. - See more at:

A 90-year-old schooner with North Shore origins is headed back home, laden with three tons of Maine-grown farm produce.

The Adventure, as she’s called, set sail from Portland, Maine, at first light Friday morning.

PORTLAND, Maine - A 90-year-old, twin-masted schooner sailed into Portland harbor Thursday morning. The "Adventure," as she's called, arrived to pick up three tons of Maine-grown farm produce. She'll then depart for Boston at first light on Friday.

PORTLAND, Maine — As a truck full of agricultural goods packed in wooden barrels and boxes landed on the pier Thursday afternoon, a cluster of people gathered in the hot sun let out a cheer. The first leg of Maine Sail Freight was under way.

The Eastern Seaboard is about to take a trip back in time with Maine Sail Freight‘s quest to deliver goods from Maine to Boston. The adventure starts in Portland on August 27th, with the loading of foods made by small local trades and farmers to be sailed down to Boston by the evening of the 29th, along with many activities planned in celebration. The project is not just to relive the good ‘ol days but explore how we make, move, and consume– and how to reevaluate the hyper-complexity of the world trade network. The project is put together by the Greenhorns, named after the young farmers they aim to support.

PORTLAND, Maine — Take a bunch of farm activists, a 130-foot wooden schooner, 11 tons of Maine agrarian products, a 20-hour sail from Portland to Boston and you’ve got the elements of the most radical art project to date. Or is this a politico-economic act?

Shipping Maine farm produce by sail

It’s been about a hundred years since cargo schooners sailed the waters of Penobscot Bay with any regularity, but this Sunday, August 23, the two-mastedHarvey Gamage will set off from the Fox Islands Thorofare at North Haven, loaded up with a ton of locally produced food. The 19th-century replica schooner will make a stop in Portland for a dinner party, where it will load another 10 tons of cargo on August 27 before making its final stop at Long Wharf in Boston Harbor on August 29.

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.

What do we who produce food from the land and sea have in common? For one thing, a changing climate. Changes in the weather have big impacts on the businesses and industries that straddle nature and the market.

Another challenge is that farmers and fisher people are getting older, and both industries are critically reliant on young people entering the work.

But both farming and fishing show there are new ways forward, including alternative value-chains that respect the people and places involved.

Organic farms in Maine will supply agricultural cargo, making the broader case for “a more direct economy, a more transparent economy,” Fleming said.

For hundreds of years Mainers shipped their goods on big, wooden sailboats. Those schooners in the bays of Rockland, Bath, Portland, Kennebunkport and between were the 18-wheelers of their day (minus all the fossil fuels). A few organizations are contemplating bringing back the old ways by enlisting a boat or barge to pick up food from farms along the Maine coast and delivering them to people along the way to a larger city, like Boston or New York.

New entrants to farming in Britain are often faced with a long list of challenges before they even put their wellies on. Defra’s 2013 report,Future of Farming Review, details a vast array of barriers faced by new entrants to farming, and highlights the shocking figure that only 8% of British farmers are first generation.

The Amos Fortune Forum will welcome their sixth speaker on Friday night. Noted “new farming” expert and Agrarian Severine Fleming will deliver a talk entitled, “A New Economy on the Land.”

Children and adults will be amazed at the Maine Sail Freight Family Sail Festival on Tuesday, August 11 from 4:00 to 8:30 pm. Billed as a “peaceful armada for regional food and farming economy”, there will be a bit of everything for everyone to enjoy, including a scavenger hunt, a lesson on river trade, sailing of a small fleet of traditional Norse wooden-boats, singing, and more. Meet the sailors! Touch the boats! Learn and sing sea shanties!

The next Amos Fortune Forum speaker is sustainable farming expert, Severine Fleming, on Aug. 14. - See more at:

I'm Severine, an organizer and cultural worker in the young farmers movement. I run Greenhorns in the Champlain Valley of New York, I'm founder of Agrarian Trust, and co-founder and board secretary ofFarm Hack. I'm also involved with quite a few other projects including mixing up wild-crafted seaweeds, fruits, and flower petals into herbal teas for a little farm business on the side.

As more and more grocery shoppers refuse to write-off the origins of their food as some unsolvable whodunit, a network of sustainability minded, locally oriented farmers are working to connect those people to calories from known sources.  For such farmers, and those in the communities that support them, the local Grange is a well-established ally.

Canada ought to play an increased role in providing guiding policy principles to impoverished nations to prevent it from happening

Sybil Ruscoe reports from the UK's first Farm Hack, held at Ruskin Mill Farm in Gloucestershire.
"Farm Hack" is an initiative from North America, which aims to help farmers and growers from smaller-scale farms to acquire, modify and make appropriate tools for their work. The meetings (there have been nearly 20 in the USA already) network farmers with each other, and with people who have other skills, from computers to blacksmithing to designing. There is also a website which follows open source principles (meaning all information is freely and publicly available) where tools and information are shared, commented on, and improved.

Sybil meets Severine von Tscharner Fleming, who co-founded Farm Hack - who has come to Gloucestershire from the USA to be at this event. Severine is the director and founder of Greenhorns, a US organisation that supports a new generation of ecologically-minded farmers with everything from skills to practical information to social gatherings.

Sybil also talks to Ed Hamer, a farmer from Devon who organised the day along with The Landworkers' Alliance, tries her hand at welding - and catches up with a group of French farmers who have come along to get involved.

Lucy Baring clues up on big farming ideas for small farmers.

The Landworkers Alliance held the first ever Farm Hack event outside of north America at Ruskin Mill Farm, Gloucestershire. The event brought together over 100 farmers, growers, fabricators, engineers and IT programmers to demonstrate and share tools, skills and ideas.

Instead of homogenizing, privatizing and commodifying our farm technologies, we must support the time-tested tradition of on-farm innovation, and promote economically, ecologically, and socially resilient solutions.

Long hours, intense physical labour, low pay and foxes in the hen house: who’d be a farmer today? A growing number, it seems. We enters a brave new world of drone tractors and designer sheep

Liz Graznak of Happy Hollow Farm shares the story of her first five years raising organic vegetables in the heart of central Missouri’s conventional corn and soybean country. Liz and Chris talk about the rewards of getting to know your neighbors, geek out on organization and record-keeping, and discuss the ways a two-year-old changes a farmer’s life.

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, an Asheville-based land trust, last year launched a Farmer Incubator Program to help beginning or expanding farmers gain access to affordable land.

Listen up, everybody: From contra dance and fiber dying to basic animal husbandry and canning 101, the coming week in Ojai is serving up an impressive menu of farm-based wisdom. For eight days (March 15-22), Ojai’s historic Grange Hall is slated to roar back to life and reclaim its once proud halcyon days.

In 2013, Mora County became the first U.S. county to ban oil and gas development. In January, however, the local ordinance was shot down by a U.S. District judge who ruled that the community ordinance violated oil and gas companies' corporate rights.

Interview with Cody and Ruthie about Farm Hack.

“In the next 20 years, 400 million acres of farmland will change hands.” Severine von Tscharner Fleming was speaking to a gathering of young and not so young farmers and farm allies in Capay Valley at the Guinda Grange Hall.

Instead of wrestling with proprietary systems, other farmers are starting to go open source. Dorn Cox has been working the land most of his life. After a break to work in tech start-ups, he took over a 250-acre farm in Lee, New Hampshire. In 2010, he co-founded Farm Hack, an online community of farmers, designers, developers, and engineers “helping our community of farmers to be better inventors, developing tools that fit the scale and their ethics of our sustainable family farms.”

Greenhorns was started at Berkeley by Severine von Tscharner Fleming who made a film (more about that here) about her mission and her work to ‘embolden, to entice and to recruit’ new farmers.  East coaster Severine farms in the Hudson Valley but we’re lucky because she is going to be in California a lot as her brother’s starting a biodynamic orange grove near Ojai.  We met with her last week, and shared ideas in a lively debate.  So happy to welcome her to our community!

Brought together by an interest in the future of alcoholbased
fuels, experts and participants from around northern
California gathered at the Little Lake Grange in early
December for a two-day “Farm Hack” conference.

The truth is, we have become incredibly disconnected from our food, from our land and from the basic skills needed to sustain life.

Some 140 years ago, the Grange was an incubator of fiery agrarian populism (at least among white farmers - more on that soon). Its founders took cues from organizations like the Elk Club, and some of its surviving chapters still hold on to Masonic traditions that one typically imagines in a secret Illuminati ritual. Writer Peter Wilson situates organizations like the Grange as part of a movement to fortify social bonds at a time when religion was losing relative influence and oligarchic capitalists were exerting greater control over people's lives.

Several decades later, the Greenhorns, a group that is tireless in its efforts to promote the young farmer movement, is hoping to bring attention back to those community-centric gathering spaces with their next project, the Grange Future Tour.

The concept of the grange came about in the late 1800s, quickly gaining membership among farmers hungry for social connection and political power and interested in creating a political, social, and cultural outlet. When the Civil War ended, soldiers returned to their roles as farmers, causing crop prices to crash.

- See more at:

This weekend in Willits, Mendocino County, CA, a group of farmers, fuel alcohol enthusiasts, and organizations is sponsoring Farm Hack Mendocino: Grange, Grassroots, and Greenhorns, Fuel Farming for the 21st Century. The event will bring together stakeholders who envision and are active in building regional, sustainable fuel alcohol production systems in Northern CA. The two day event will include speakers covering a range of topics in regional biofuel production, mechanical demonstrations, tours of the historic Ridgewood Ranch still and the Grange Farm School, panel discussions, and networking opportunities for local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals.

A surge of interest in natural foods, local sourcing and environmental sustainability is bringing new life to the Civil War-era Grange movement, driving participation and restoring its relevance among modern folks yearning for connection to one another and to the food they consume.

“Everyone travels for beer, from 75-yr-old retired couples to young people who are just excited to come check out the Adirondacks. So while they’re here, we also point out the farmland, the people raising meat and veggies and dairy. They’re the ones who are really sustaining this area for us.”

Every week– as he has for over 700 weeks– Michael Olson brings the most important issues of our lives to the table for an hour of what's eating what radio that will feed your curiosity and make you hunger for more.

Emily is thirty-six, and she's a farmer. She learned how to butcher pigs the same way she's learned most everything she knows about farming: trial, error, and Google. She didn't grow up with agriculture—or guns, for that matter. The daughter of a union laborer and a community relations worker, she has a degree in photojournalism. She didn't become interested in growing things until her late teens, when she worked in a commercial greenhouse, farming basil.

It helps that on a farm one can see the results of that work every day. As Severine von Tscharner Fleming, a young farmer and activist, explains, “I think for a lot of people, the economy of the farm is comfortable and manageable. It represents a level of complexity that’s compatible with the human spirit and capacity for change.” In addition to growing food, von Tscharner Fleming stewards an almost impossible list of other projects, including Greenhorns, a resource-sharing and networking platform for beginning farmers.

There’s a new breed of farmer: young and college-educated. Through the Greenhorns, von Tscharner Fleming recruits, promotes and supports these men and women via media outreach (films, podcasts), networking (in barns, with beer) and activism. She is on the board of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, with which she launched the Agrarian Trust to improve land access for young and novice farmers and permanently protect affordable organic farmland.

The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture farm census, released in May, showed the average age of principal farm operators is now 58 years old. That's seven and a half years older than the average age of a farmer in the early 1980s.

"...they’re talking about succession in the Young Farmers tent: how to get into farming, how to deal with recalcitrant parents, how to find new tenancies. It’s always been a hot topic, but never more so than now. A decade ago, you couldn’t give a farm away; now it seems as if farming is what everyone wants to do. Courses at agricultural colleges were once closing down for lack of students; today they’re full."

Young farmers, tight finances and demand for land are nothing new in Vermont ag circles. The problem persists across the state but is especially keen in areas where development pressures and high land values conspire to make farmland almost impossible for young farmers to acquire.

Severine v T Fleming is the Director of The Greenhorns, producing media and events for new farmers; co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition and of Farm Hack, an open-source platform for farmer-to-farmer appropriate technology exchange; a board member of the Schumacher Center for New Economics; and recent co-founder of Agrarian Trust, focusing on land access for beginning farmers. She also hosts Greenhorns Radio on Heritage Radio Network:

Ornate boats hint at centuries of technological progress and suggest that craftsmanship has suffered as a result. But the old became new again recently at the Hudson Maritime Museum in New York, when a sailboat arrived to sell agricultural goods from upriver. Visitors caught a glimpse of a river-based local food economy—a vestige of the past and a harbinger of an alternative future.

The latest is Maine Sail Freight, a plan to get Maine sailors and farmers to work together to ship goods down the coast to urban centers (Boston and New York, as well as points in between) in the old-fashioned way. Von Tscharner Fleming masterminded a similar project in Vermont in 2013, and now her vision is to harness the sustainability of wind power and the romance of the seas to spread the Maine brand in the prettiest possible way.

Today, the average age of the American farmer is 58 years old. And, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 19 percent of farms—including very small hobby farms—are operated by farmers over the age of 65. Most of them are likely to retire in the next 20 years. Couple that with the fact that only about six percent of farmers are under the age of 35. Many people are worried that small-scale family farms—once a paragon of the American dream—will soon die out as farmland falls into the hands of corporate food production companies and other large-scale development.

The Maine Seaweed Festival–the first one in Southern Maine–enjoyed a good turnout on a sunny Saturday on Labor Day weekend. From scholarly talks to touch tanks to a classy four-course dinner overlooking Spring Point Light, there was something for everybody. Festival organizer Hillary Krapf is “on a mission to share seaweed with the masses” (quoting her mother, Devorah Hanson). And that she did. You could hear about the positive impact that Maine macroalgae is having in our local food culture, agriculture, and aquaculture industries. Or you could sit back and sample Low Tide ice-cream made with kelp and ginger.

Von Tscharner Fleming took time off during college to apprentice with farms around the world. She came back with a mission: develop tools to support young farmers, who can counter big agriculture. She’s started a laundry list of groups to do just that, including the National Young Farmers Coalition, the Agrarian Trust, and open-source platform Farm Hack. Von Tscharner Fleming, who has described herself as a “punky grassroots farming ninja,” is best known for Greenhorns, an organization that produces podcasts, blogs, networking events, and even a documentary to bolster the next generation of farmers.

Across the region, young people are choosing crops over cubicles, new farms are popping up and the local food movement is spreading.

Farmers and industry experts agree New England is bucking a trend toward larger, but fewer, farms because many of its residents want to buy their food locally and its entrepreneurs want to produce it. The region's small size makes it easy for farmers and consumers to connect at farm markets and stands.

In the face of increasing economic, political and climatic crises, people across the globe are working to create resilience at the local and regional level.  Creating increased self-reliance in relation to our food supply is a critical first step.

“America needs more young farmers and more young farmers want a piece of America,” is how the Greenhorns web site describes its mission. This didn’t simply mean access to a piece of land either, though that’s a huge issue for young farmers today.

Fixing the foodsystem is going to take a SURGE of brains, bodies and businesses focused on sustainable and local production. Jobs! And as you'll see the entrepreneurship is blowing up. It's hot. It's happening. I'ts a dynamic community of innovators, and the un-making of monoculture, monopoly and corn pap. If we keep this up for a few decades or so, we might just succeed.

...while Rihanna, and Usher use Instagram to show off their latest outfits or connect with fans, many organizations are using the network to create awareness, spur action, and make positive change in the food and agriculture system.

TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” is an independently-organized TED-like event that focuses on sustainable food and farming. View the clip above, then check out the entire presentation on the official TEDxManhattan You Tube channel:

The National Young Farmers’ Coalition (NYFC) is an organization for start-up farmers with ten years or fewer of farming experience. There is no age restriction to be part of this national network of sustainable farmers, but they identify as "young" in an effort to transfer the energy and momentum of global and national youth movements into the agricultural sector.

Recently, the NFU began a program for young farmers called the Beginning Farmer Institute. According to a NFU press release, the program kicked off in spring of 2012 with a small but diverse group of young farmers, from cattle ranchers to urban growers.

Imag­ine a ship filled with a cor­nu­copia of locally grown, organic food, sail­ing down the Hud­son River bound for New York City—powered only by the wind. You might be envi­sion­ing a scene straight out of the nine­teenth cen­tury, or you could be think­ing back to just last week, when the Ver­mont Sail Freight Project cruised into the Brook­lyn Navy Yard.

Patrick Kiley of Vermont Sail Freight Project and Severine von Tscharner Fleming of Greenhorns discuss an alternative and more environmentally friendly want of getting food to New York City.

Now that urban rooftops are buzzing with beehives and C.S.A. deliveries are the new FreshDirect, where does the slow-food movement go next? One key issue confronting the locavore movement is transportation — the “to” in “farm to table.”

Women operate one in ten farms in America—and this number is steadily increasing: the number of US farms operated by women nearly tripled over the past three decades, from 5 percent in 1978 to 14 percent by 2007. Many women are drawn to farming as a way to support their family and to strengthen their community. Globally, scholars like Olivier De Schutter and Raj Patel have suggested that enabling more women to enter the farming workforce could radically change developing economies and reduce hunger.

Women are the backbone of today’s food media. Take a look at our site and you’ll not only see that most of our contributors are women, but many of our featured stories are focused on female food movement leaders and projects spearheaded by women. And yet, the women reporting on this issue area don’t always get the attention they deserve. - See more at:

That reflects a commitment that I read throughout the first San Francisco Land Reform conference, to take seriously the idea that everyone – aspiring farmers, the urban poor, farmworkers, first nations – needed to be at the table for a conversation that took race, class and history seriously. Above all, I hope Our Land can do the same.

You may not get to own it, but a patch of soil could be yours, young farmer–if you find the right tools and partnerships. This was a core takeaway message at last weekend’s Agrarian Trust Symposium in Berkeley, California. The gathering drew over 800 young farmers, food movement thinkers, and potential land patrons seeking to expand the discussion around land transfer and the difficulties facing many young farmers in search of a place to farm.

- See more at:

The Farm Hack community evolved from an old farming tradition of tinkering with haggard equipment and inventing new equipment with recycled or on-farm materials. Farm Hack is striving to restore this creative effort and bring farmers and engineers together to collaborate on both designing and sharing these innovations.

Ben Falk and Grant Schultz join me to talk about permaculture as a survival preparedness strategy.  How can we use whole systems design to create systems that work passively to increase our resiliency.  In our modern day world we are quick to throw money at technological, mechanical systems that are complicated and brittle.  In an emergency situation you could have a generator, but if that breaks or you run out of fuel, you are out of luck.  If you have a wood fuel based system, it is going to work no matter what, it’s bulletproof.

Like the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the New Farmer’s Almanac offers long range weather forecasts, full moon dates, sunrise and sunset times, best planting dates, crop advice, tides tables, riddles, games, recipes, songs, and folk wisdom. It also includes intriguing reprints of essays, proverbs, and classified ads from historic almanacs

“Farming built America,” Ms. Fleming continued. “The farmer is our champion. And being a farmer these days is like being Odysseus — there are a lot of beasts to slay and just getting through a season can be an odyssey in and of itself. We’re here to help farmers find the tools to do just that.”

On today's Your Call, we’ll talk about the future of access to land for agriculture, in the U.S. and globally.  As urban development pushes outward, where will we find the land to feed a growing population?  And what are the solutions at the grassroots level to develop new farming talent, and defend cropland?  It’s Your Call, with me, Rose Aguilar, and you.

The Greenhorns sees opportunity and inspiration in the Grange. The Grange has a history of success in organizing farmers: an intact democratic process, elders in the farming community to learn from, and physical spaces (Great Halls) as resources.

The dynamic Essex County scene caught the attention of Severine Von Tscharner Fleming, the force behind the Greenhorns, a national organization that aims to “strengthen the cultural and social fabric for the next generation of farmers.” The six-year-old, largely volunteer group throws parties for young farmers, produces festivals, hosts a radio show, and engages in all sorts of creative collaborations. It has published several books and released a full-length documentary. - See more at:

I’m happy to report that the latest Greenhorns project has arrived and it’s an impressive body of work that deserves some attention. The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac is an adventure. It may draw you in with its whimsical illustrations, its DIY production quality, or the old-fashioned font, but from the get go, it is obvious that it offers a unique read - See more at:

What is it like, to ditch the city and figure out how to be a farmer?

It is hard work, and it takes years to make sense of it all, and nobody’s making Silicon Valley wages, but my god what a beautiful place. And look at these healthy young adults, able to move around of their own accord, outside in the pasture, surrounded by green hills and ramshackle barns.

As part of SHED's commitment to the land and to farming, we compost all of our kitchen scraps every day. Six days a week, we fill up large green buckets with meat- and dairy-free discarded food from our kitchen, cafe, and coffee bar and haul it back to our HomeFarm.

The Grange movement, Greenhorns' founder Severine von Tscharner Fleming declared last week, is no longer a bastion for "fuddy-duddy pot-luckers." The cool kids, it seems, have arrived. And indeed, the 70 or so souls gathered at SHED to hear Fleming discuss her "Grange Future" project could have been there to hear a band, if babies liked rock music.

An estimated 400 million acres of farmland in the United States will likely change hands over the coming two decades as older farmers retire, even as new evidence indicates this land is being strongly pursued by private equity investors.

Stereotype has it that computer hackers are hermits who wreak dystopian mayhem from the comfort of their dark apartments. Organic farmers, on the other hand, are ruddy-cheeked, Carhartt-clad citizens of the land.

Really, though, the farming and hacking communities aren't such strange bedfellows. That much was clear last weekend, as hundreds of farmers, gardeners, policy makers and students gathered at the University of Vermont for the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont's winter conference.

A community of ‘start-up farmers’ are applying skills and ethos from the software and tech worlds to agriculture. It’s an exciting approach that could help us build a more sustainable food system.   

Its a quite a phenomena to see all these ambitious people, both young and old, coming into Kentucky
agriculture and starting their own food businesses. The age of the Average American farmer has been going
up every year since 1978– with this group of new farmers and entrepreneurs, we can reverse that trend. “
Carolyn Gahn, Agricultural Legacy Initiative

Couple of questions: How many of us can honestly say that we maintain ample inventories of oat groats and golden flaxseed, corn berries and wildflower tea, dried spilanthes and organic einkorn? At afternoon-treat time, are we adequately prepared to heed our children’s requests for goat’s-milk caramels and artisanal almond-pistachio nougat bars? . . .

"We're trying to rebuild a whole sector that's been decimated and open new opportunities for young farmers and rebuild a whole aspect of the culture that's very nearly been lost entirely," said project director Erik Andrus, who also farms rice and grass-fed beef at Boundbrook Farm in Ferrisburgh, Vt.

The Vermont Sail Freight Project's 39-and-a-half-foot sail barge, the Ceres, completed its maiden voyage today, gliding into Burlington Bay around 4:30 this afternoon; it left Vergennes shortly after 10 this morning. A lone trumpeter played classic tunes from a dock at the Burlington Boathouse as the 19th century-style, wind-powered craft approached.

It turns out, there’s more to ‘local’ than meets the eye. The concept encompasses a value system and spirit of community that transcends geographic footprints and rigid square-mile formulas, according to the panel, which included some of New York City’s leading localists.

Maybe the future for the culture lies not in More and Bigger, but in small places, and in work that's grounded by the relationships between neighbors and the fact that our natural environment is not replaceable. There is no greater calling for a farmer than to safeguard and steward the working landscape for the next generation.

At the end of September, Erik Andrus will take his handmade sailing barge on a 10-day journey down the Hudson River to deliver Vermont potatoes, apples, maple syrup and the like to hungry New Yorkers, an event that will be remarkable only because this is 2013.
Between the opening of the Champlain Canal in 1823 and the advent of the railroad in the late 1860s, sailing barges were a vital link between farmland up the Hudson Valley and the ever-growing population of New York City.

Today, fleets of trucks, not boats, make the same journey in six hours or less. But Andus says speed isn’t everything.

In August, we spoke with Erik Andrus to learn about his mission as project director at the Vermont Sail Freight Project. In the coming weeks, Andrus and his crew will sail their handmade boat, Ceres, down the Hudson to bring nonperishable foods like rice and apples from Vermont to New York. Though this trip could easily be made via highway in half a day, the Vermont Sail Freight Project will prove that food can and should be transported without using any gasoline. If all goes as planned, they’ll make the 300-mile trip by wind power alone.

A sailing ship designed to replicate the vessel of explorer Ponce de Leon, who explored Florida in 1513, is seen near the port of Miami in April 2013. In Vermont, a group of volunteers is building the Ceres, a sailing ship that would carry cargo up and down the Hudson River using only wind power, returning to the days of sail-powered commerce.

JHK talks with Erik Andrus of the Vermont Sail Freight Project. They are building a boat dedicated to shipping Vermont farm products to New York City and other markets via Lake Champlain, the Champlain Canal, and the Hudson River. Erik operates the 110 acre Boundbrook Farm as well as Good Companion Bakery in Vergennes Vermont.

The Vermont Sail Freight Project (
Founder: Erik Andrus, a Vermont rice and grass-fed-beef farmer intent on reviving sail freight as an energy-efficient alternative. “A river will never get a pothole,” he says.
Motto: “Connecting the farms and forests of Lake Champlain with the lower Hudson Valley” (or, as Andrus puts it, “Nonperishables Direct”).
How it works: Aided by a volunteer crew and partly funded by Kickstarter, Andrus is building a sail-powered barge that holds twelve tons of shelf-stable cargo. The goal is for the Ceres to make its ten-day carbon-neutral maiden voyage this summer from Lake Champlain to Manhattan, dropping off preordered goods along the way.

A sail-powered food-trading adventure connecting the farms and forests of Lake Champlain with the Lower Hudson Valley. On Friday September 28, 2013 the vessel of our focus, Ceres, endeavored upon a maiden voyage to her embarkment port of Burlington, Vermont.

“The modern farmer needs to turn heads, make the public know who they are,” says Andrus, creator of the Vermont Sail Freight Project. “If you’re anonymous, you’re dead.”

That part of the world has a great navigable river/canal system that is drastically underused.   By water they can go from Montreal to New York City or they can enter into the Great Lakes (but that’s a long trip).   This could also be good for the people of Vermont who are able to produce cottage industry products/food, but might not always have the markets to sell them.

The Vermont Sail Freight Project is a sail-powered transportation company, delivering sustainably farmed products to families and retailers along the historic Champlain-Hudson waterway. Sailing barge, Ceres is named for the Roman goddess of agriculture, ferries shelf stable foods from the Champlain Valley, Vermont and the Adirondack region down to New York City and ports between maximizing wind power over costly and polluting fossil fuels.

Another person interesting in using sails to move cargo.

The Vermont Sail Freight Project is going back in time to a more sustainable method of trade. They plan to create a sail-powered freight ship to transport non-perishable foods from the Champlain Valley (NY & VT) down to lower New York.

Erik initially conceived the Vermont Sail Freight Project as a one-off demonstration to raise awareness of regional food and energy issues while also having a great time with friends on the water. Over time this seed of an idea has grown and now the project includes a capable team of partners and collaborators who share the hope of creating an economically-viable zero-emissions distribution and marketing model, owned and operated by farmers, and powered by wind and tide. 

Erik Andrus and the rest of the Ver­mont Sail Freight advo­cates are work­ing hard to rein­vent the way we ship our non-perishable goods: by sail boat. But per­haps “rein­vent” is not the most appro­pri­ate word, but rather “revisit,” as sail freight barges were once a com­mon way (actu­ally, the most com­mon, depend­ing on the era) to ship goods, com­modi­ties and materials.

Vermont farmer and baker Erik Andrus not only uses draft horses on his farm and to deliver baked goods, but also plans on reviving the lost art of shipping freight under sail power. Andrus has a Kickstarter going to fund the the consturction of a 39 foot sailing vesel, the “Ceres” which will carry 12 tons of rice and other shelf-stable goods from Ferrisburgh, Vermont to New York City.

A while back, I was approached by Erik Andrus regarding TriloBoats as freight (cargo) carriers.

His plan was to build a small, engineless sail freighter which could carry stable Vermont produce (rice, wheat, maple syrup, lumber(?)) the 200 odd miles from Lake Champlain, VT to New York City, where it would be sold directly from the docked vessel. Where possible, back-haul commodities would be arranged to further cut overheads.

This plan cuts out middlefolk, and taps into several market cachets:

Organic Produce
The Locovore Movement
Historical Precedent / Romance of Sail
Low Carbon Footprint
Direct link between consumers and providers (F2F)

This past weekend, a flat-bottomed, two-mast sailboat 30 feet (9 meters) long came down the Hudson River at a brisk six-knot clip, hugging the Manhattan coast to avoid bigger boats. Commuter ferries, barges, tour boats, and pleasure vessels can always be found in the water surrounding New York City—which is, after all, an island at the entrance to the Atlantic Ocean. Ships under sail power are a regular sighting here too. But this particular sailboat, the Ceres, is special.

With 160 items on board (from maple syrup and plum cognac preserves to Red Russian garlic and acorn squash) the crew did double-time as dockworkers—loading and unloading at each destination and learning to stow odd-shaped items in a way to limit the risk of capsizing along the 330-mile route.

Vermont Sail Freight Project comes to Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, Oct. 17, 2013. 

“The challenges have shifted since Pete Seeger’s vision of encouraging people to connect with the Hudson River around stewardship and fighting pollution,” Andrus said. “Nay-sayers say this will never be viable because the labor costs will torpedo the savings in fuel consumption; but maybe not. We’re not really competing head-to-head with the trucking industry. We’re transporters, but also petty merchants. Most truckers are not operating a general store out of the back of their truck. We’re performing two services at once, plus selling the intangibles of the project.”

Luckily, there are more and more resources cropping up for young farmers looking to pursue this challenging career path. In addition to media and information-based resources, like The Greenhorns, there are more practical programs that help young farmers get started. 

A trade route used by the Mohawks, missionaries, fur traders and colonists will take a step toward revival this weekend as the Vermont Sail Freight Project embarks on a 330-mile journey downriver, stopping at historic river towns along the Hudson. They'll pick up cargo from 30 farmers and sell it at pop-up markets on its way to New York.

The Vermont Sail Freight Project is a hand-built sail boat, an experiment in DIY logistics run by farmers from the Champlain Valley. We’re shipping 15 tons of cargo ( non perishable agricultural goods) by sail barge, over 300 miles down the Champlain-Hudson waterway to Manhattan, the Hudson Valley, and points between.

Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers Movement edited by Zoe Bradbury, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Paula Manalo, 256 pages, 6x9, softcover. Most new farmers didn’t grow up on farms and they didn’t study to become farmers, at least not traditionally. They have college degrees in creative writing, anthropology and, if they’re fortunate, business or biology. But they’re smart, creative and passionate. And their stories of hard luck and pluck, perspiration and perseverance are an inspiration. As Fleming says in the introduction, “We want to and love to farm…the work is difficult but it’s relevant. Being or becoming a farmer is a thrilling act of creation; to do so, we hold a space between the present and the future, between ecology and humanity. We are directly involved in the reconstitution of a local, resilient, and delicious food system.” These are stories of true love and piglets, how not to buy a farm, ninja tactics, community, the gift of good land; these are the strong proud willful weary joyous voices of the future of our food system. Listen up. -HC NEW!

Thiery is not the only one exploring the intersection of silicon and soil. Dorn Cox, who met Thiery through Farm Hack, a community of engineers and farmers focusing on these DIY projects, is outfitting small drones with modified point-and-shoot cameras to measure NDVI on his 250-acre family farm in southern New Hampshire. “For well, well under a thousand dollars, you’re set up with a high-resolution aerial mapping setup,” Cox says.

Our mission is: recruit, promote, support. The underlying theory is that many more people would choose to farm if they knew what it meant, how to get started, that it’s possible to have a social life and a solid business as a farmer.... USDA says it wants to bring on 100,000 new farmers in the next 5 years. It’s a big project, and yes I think art, culture, free beer, delicious food, hot sexy farmer men, and sweaty dancing are appropriate recruitment tools, far more effective, in the long run, than government-issued propaganda.


At what age did you begin to suspect that there was something ominously wrong with the American industrial suburban consumer matrix?

The Greenhorns, an organization that supports young farmers, is holding its second annual mid-summer mixer at the Au Sable Grange Hall.Check out the story NCPR’s Sarah Harris did about The Greenhorns a couple years ago. - See more at:

Why are almanacs still produced today in spite of the web? Why are they so compelling? In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts uses modern technology to research some answers.

Rick Prelinger sez, "Our friends at The Greenhorns, a national organization of young farmers, just published the first (and hopefully not the last) edition of their New Farmer's Almanac, which they call "an entertaining collection of practical advice for farmers and other patriots."


Have you met Severine von Tscharner Fleming? You should. And you probably will.

Employing web-based social networking technology to simulate old school neighbor-to-neighbor information share, Farm Hack is a farmer-driven, collaborative project that develops, builds, documents and shares tools for resilient, small-scale agriculture. The secret behind it all is its use of an open source web platform that allows users to edit all the pages on the site – it’s basically a wiki site for farm technology and innovation – resulting in a user-driven community that self-evolves according to the needs of its members.

The six-year-old Hudson based nonprofit, the Greenhorns, have published The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac. The 336 page almanac aims to help the future farmer with advice on how to deal with problems like monoculture, population flux, and an increasingly urban society.

As someone who has read more than my fair share of books by apocalyptic futurist Jim Kunstler, I am glad to know that groups like Farm Hack exist. When oil runs out, the electric grid crashes, and cholera and tuberculosis race once again across the land, it will be handy having people around who can turn bicycles into electric generators, weeders, composters, and sewing machines.

In the interim, I feel more optimistic about the future of our food supply knowing that the National Young Farmer’s Coalition exists.


Farmers, marketers, and citizens are constantly writing America’s food future. The surging interest in local food and the recognition that healthy food is essential to addressing America’s health-care future are opening new opportunities for people. We all have the ability to support the new agrarians and promote the values of food democracy...


You’ve heard of speed dating, but if you’re a young farmer, you might want to try weed dating. This event was sponsored by the Greenhorns, a farmer support organization in New York state (they make documentaries too), and we’ve mentioned it on Grist before.

Finding love in rural places can be a challenge for young farmers.

They labor from sunup to sundown, sometimes seven days a week. They toil far from urban centers, where young people tend to congregate. And they work in a profession dominated by older (and typically married) farmers.

So what's a single farmer to do?

Sign up for a round of Weed Dating at this weekend's Common Ground Country Fair.

The Greenhorns (2009, 66 minutes, Optic Nerve Productions), 9 p.m. This movie explores the lives of America’s young farming community – its spirit, practices and needs. Watch the stories of young farmers, as the filmmaker builds a case for those considering a career in agriculture.

There are also a few behind-the-scenes developments enhancing this year's fair. Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association fair director Jim Ahearne notes that there's a new interactive fairground map (produced by the young company Maps for Good), and a smartphone app is in the works for people who need real-time assistance navigating the fair's myriad venues and vendors. Look for both of these things on the MOFGA website.

“What I want to figure out, in terms of social-media business, is how do we bring back the core ideas of the grange, stewardship and ethics and banding together and cooperative spirit?” asks Severine. “What would be the techno-futurist or community-utopia online version of that? Because I feel like that there’s a social technology that’s due for revival.”


Women will weed on one side of a garden bed, and men on the other. As they industriously work on the beds, they’ll chat, and who knows, she said, sparks might fly along with the weeds.

“I’m hoping that people will just get to meet other people. That’s hard enough as it is, if you’re young and you’re in a rural area,” she said. “If a relationship could come out of this, it would be so awesome and worthwhile.”

For more information about the Common Ground Country Fair, visit the

Dorn Cox and Severine Von Tscharner Fleming will also be joining us from FarmHack. FarmHack offers farmers new opportunities to work together on tools and innovations aimed at making farms more sustainable and efficient. The nonprofit collaborates with engineers, designers, architects, and other non-farmers who want to help strengthen sustainable agriculture.

The face of agriculture has aged, with most farmers now between 45 and 64; the number under 45 dropped 14 percent between 2002 and 2007, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture. But a grassroots movement led by groups like the National Young Farmers Coalition and The Greenhorns is trying to turn that trend around, promoting, recruiting, supporting and fighting for policy change that supports young, new and first-generation farmers.

Severine von Tscharner Fleming, director of Greenhorns, a small, land-based nonprofit for young farmers, said many of those young farmers are sidelined by a lack of land, and burdened by educational debt, while established farmers average 57 years old and are getting older, sitting on a lot of land and wanting to get out.

“I don’t know if you’re going to work on incentives for farmers, land banks, pro bono lawyers,” she said, “but if we’re going to build businesses around agriculture in the future, we’ve got to have the land.”

HUDSON — Farmers nationwide have been frustrated by Congress' inability to pass the multibillion dollar farm bill, which funds a cornucopia of assistance programs and is set to expire in September.

“The price of farmland is so far and above what full-time farmers can afford,” she said. “In terms of policy, advocates and farmers both talked about the need for more funds to be put into the Environmental Protection Fund in New York State and also within the federal farm bill, to have adequate funding for the Farm and Ranchland Protection program,” Shute said.

"A recent conference organized by the New Economics Institute asked two questions: What does a sustainable economy look like? How do we get there? Answering them is a matter of some urgency—and opportunity."

"The first Midwestern Farm Hack recently took place in Iowa City, Iowa. Farm Hack is part of the National Young Farmer’s Coalition, and its goal is to engage young and small-scale farmers to collaborate with educators, designers and engineers. They’re looking to find the next big innovation for small farms."

"A community of more than 5000 young farmers and activists, the Greenhorns are committed to producing and advocating for food grown with vision and respect for the earth."

"The stories paint a portrait of the young American farmer in the 21st century as courageous, hard-working, and determined to feed their communities. With the average age of the American farmer currently at 60 or older, the fact that young, (mostly) college-educated folks are choosing the challenging life of an independent and sustainable farmer bodes well for our communities and food culture."

What happens when green turns to grey? Fewer than 5 percent of 2 million American farmers are under 45 years old. Bucking that trend is the next generation of unstoppable young farmersSeverine von Tscharner Fleming, Tyler Webb, and Sarita Role Schaffer, along with renowned urban food innovator Nikki Henderson and real food advocate Anim Steel.


Schultz says while large-scale farms use big machines in their fields for one or two crops, small-scale farms with many types of crops need more than one kind of machine and require more cost-effective solutions. Farm hack wants to find them.

“It is this sort of pioneer ethic that stretches back in our bloodline for anyone who is based in agricultural,” Bear said. “This idea that we have something we need to get done and we will make it happen, build what we need with our hands, with whatever we have.”

"While it is inevitable that our older farmers like my friend Tom will be gone, farming doesn’t have to be."


"They may be from all over, but there are characteristics they have in common: they work hard, and they believe the work they are doing will change the country's food system for the better."


Fifty women game changers in food includes Severine!


"I think the actual practice and the direct contact with the earth is similarly about taking kind of a metaphorical stand, and saying, 'I’m going to practice with my life a set of relationships with the farm organism that I manage, with the community that I inhabit, with the land and the water and the air and the people around me' is in harmony with a future that I would like to see."


"The workshop-sized, quilt-like tent is meant to house young farmer scheming, socializing, and a future rich with farm revelry."


National press for the National Young Farmers' Coalition! "Young people are seeing this as a very rewarding lifestyle and career."



"Hopefully, our presence and the message we brought about land preservation impacted the awareness and decision making of many legislators in Albany. And not just for this fiscal year, but for the long term – because once land has been developed, it will not be available for farming for a long, long time – if ever." 

"'A lot of people my age are interested in living the change,' said the 29-year-old. 'There's not a lot of pop cultural space for farmers these days. We need to understand that there's a lot of us and knowing our collective momentum is a big part of having that confidence.'"


The Greenhorns have a growing following in Australia!



"'Marcin is a mad scientist'": great coverage on how Open Source Ecology is helping new farmers retrofit outdated equipment, tools, and machinery.


Greenhorns got a shout-out in the Opinionator section of the New York Times online about farming becoming hip!


"Farmhack is an effort to pair designers, engineers, business people, and others with farmers, in order to increase efficient production and distribution or generate new ideas to help today’s farmers."


"And this may be the most fundamental reason why more young people are embracing agrarianism: pride in work. Today’s new generation of farmers embraces this pride as readily as the previous one. More than that, they are quietly leading the way to a healthier, stronger and more prosperous global food system."


“'I think people are ready to look at careers and their lives in ways that they didn’t used to,' says the Greenhorns’ founder, 'and that has a lot to do with the economic downturn. It’s a new ballgame. The conditions are ripe right now for people with ambition and who are looking broadly at the world we live in, and agriculture can be a wonderful fit for them.'”


"When Gerrard Winstanley and 14 fellow Diggers declared, in April 1649, that "England is not a Free People, till the Poor that have no Land, have a free allowance to dig and labour the Commons", little could they have known how poignant their message would still be more than 350 years later."


"We've never doubted country's cool quotient, but suddenly everybody else seems to have gotten the memo, from hip designers to famous chefs. So we figured it was high time to salute the people, places, and products redefining rustic today."


"'It’s really just a way to get people who might not normally interact to spend some time together and to show people who didn’t grow up around farmers just how important farms are to this community and what they really do.'"


"'In a sustainable food operation, you're mixing it up. Dollar-to-the-pound, chickens are more profitable than kale or parsnips. Having pigs around also makes a lot of sense—they're garbage disposals, they're incredibly charismatic and they provide a lot of bacon. Get somebody hooked on your bacon and it pays your food bills all winter. And manure—I cannot overemphasize how important manure is. Everyone knows poop is where it's at.'"


"The average age of the American farmer is 57, and getting older. Who will grow our food when this generation passes on?"


An interview with Severine highlighting the Greenhorns Kickstarter campaign. Join the campaign here: National Campaign for Young Farmers.


Great coverage of our Hudson Valley Greenhorn farmers and mention of the National Young Farmer Coalition.



"Bubbling with health and enthusiasm – our local young farmers are embracing and re-inventing a healthy local food system as a way of taking back control of the world."


An excellent editorial from Capital Press welcoming the Greenhorns: "So, young friends, welcome. We're tickled that you have joined in the most important profession in the world -- growing the food and fiber that feed and clothe us all."


"'When I first heard about Greenhorns, I jumped in and wanted to be part of it,' Briggs said. 'We have power to make things happen, to make changes in our community.'"


Click the link and scroll down to listen to the story "Farming 2.0: Young farmers use sustainable methods and social networks for a new kind of nationwide harvest" and hear Severine and fellow Greenhorn Chandler Briggs talk about what young farmers want.


"'We don't want our food coming from China,' Briggs says. 'We want to know our customers, and we want them to know us.'"


"It's about growing food responsibly, using the Earth sustainably and giving back whenever possible. It truly is a way of life."

"It's tempting to paint a rosy picture, but the obstacles young farmers face must be recognized if they are going to make any headway in creating a new agricultural landscape for America."

The Greenhorns new book, "Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches From the New Farmers' Movement," got ANOTHER excerpt in The Atlantic! This one from Ben James of Town Farm in Northampton, MA.

Editor Zoe speaks on the new Greenhorns book of essays: "It’s a great medley of stories for that reason, all woven together by a singular passion for growing good food."

Read an excerpt from our new book "Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches From the New Farmers' Movement"! This essay was written by Jeff Fisher of Cure Organic Farm in Boulder, Colorado.

"Our agricultural system has become broken to the point where the opportunity to serve in uniform is more promising than the opportunity to serve your country food."

"It's getting harder and harder for newcomers to buy land--and increasingly enticing for farmers to sell to developers."

Lots of our great Greenhorns are featured in this article on the emergence of young farmers in America.

“'Patrick (Kiley) opened the door and helped get this going,' said Jake Cirell. 'The Greenhorns party will hopefully lead to other things.'"

A note in the New York Times' Diner's Journal about Heritage Radio Network and Greenhorn Radio!

"Their faces are sun-worn, the dirt under their fingernails is visible on camera, and they look like they've stopped between sweat-inducing tasks to share agricultural secrets with the audience."

More coverage of the John Patrick Organic fashion show as well as Severine, The Greenhorns and all its projects (Serve Your Country FoodGreenhorns Guide, etc.). The article also talks about The Hudson Valley Seed Library.

Mr. Bowman writes about the recent release of the Greenhorns Guidebook, saying it is "the working draft of a field guide to existing resources, and the foundation for farmer contributions that will be combined into a book that will catalyze, inspire and empower young people (and others) who have an unquenchable passion to figure out how to become sustainable agriculturists in the post-capitalist, post-oil and post-commodity era."
Whoa. Couldn't have said it any better!

"There are, right now, more Americans behind bars than there are working our nation's farms and fields."

TimeOut New York examines the movement of city dwellers attempt to reestablish links to the food they eat. The article details how back-to-the-land movements have happened before, but this is different: instead of fleeing to rural areas, many New Yorkers are bringing the land back to the city.

BoingBoing discusses Serve Your Country Food and walks through the process of creating data maps to find opportunities and challenges for young farmers. They even want to start a vegetable garden now!

“I never thought I wanted to farm,” Mr. Shute said. “But it feels like an honest living.”

"While some of us moan and groan about the unmitigated awfulness of industrial agriculture and our craptastic food chain, others are literally sowing the seeds of an agrarian revival. The idealistic young farmers and gardeners fueling this ag-revolt have been christened "The Greenhorns" by one extraordinary, exuberant young farmer/filmmaker, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, who's documenting their horticultural heroics in a film by the same name..."

"These young people are up to their elbows in working with the land and livestock and they're excited about it. Severine's presentation at Quivira may have been the best I have ever seen at any conference anywhere in the world."

"As Australia bleeds youth from its farming sector, the opposite is happening in the United States."

THE AVERAGE AMERICAN FARMER IS 57 YEARS OLD, which Severine von Tscharner Fleming points out is “pretty darn close to retirement. Our role is to pollinate, celebrate and educate the growing network of young farmers in this country, and to give aspiring farmers and eaters access to the stories and philosophies that inform this movement,” she says.