Why farmpunk?

A farmpunk could be described as a neo-agrarian who approaches [agri]culture, community development and/or design with an anarchistic hacker ethos. "Cyber-agrarian" could supplant neo-agrarian, indicating a back-to-the-land perspective that stands apart from past movements because it is heavily informed by conceptual integration in a post-industrial information society (thus "forward to the land" perhaps?) The art and science of modern ecological design—and ultimately, adapting to post-collapse contexts—will be best achieved through the combined arts of cybermancy and geomancy; an embrace of myth and ritual as eco-technologies. In other words: the old ways of bushcraft and woodlore can be combined with modern technoscience (merely another form of lore) in open and decentralized ways that go beyond pure anarcho-primitivism. This blog is an example of just that. Throughout, natural ecologies must be seen as the original cybernetic systems.

**What we call for at the farmpunk headquarters**
°Freedom of information
°Ground-up action + top-down perspectives
°Local agricultural systems (adhering to permaculture/biodynamic principles) as the nuclei of economies
°Bioregional autonomy
°Computers are optional but can be used for good—see peer to peer tech, social media for direct popular management of natural or political disasters (e.g. Arab Spring), or the mission of the hacker collective Anonymous

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Update on the wheat scene in VT!

From today's Seven Days! This article is full of great information and the low-down on some ongoing projects that the UVM Extension is involved in. I just saw Heather Darby lecture about some of this at Northeast Animal Power Field Days. Enjoy!

No Grain, No Gain

As wheat prices soar, will Vermonters start growing it again?

"It’s hard to believe historians describe Vermont in the years before westward expansion as “New England’s bread basket.” In those days before supermarkets and Wonder Bread, our state boasted commercial wheat growers, and many Green Mountain landowners maintained small plots for home use. (It wasn’t as common as tending a patch of tomatoes or keeping the root cellar stocked, but it wasn’t unusual.) When their grain was ready, families brought it to the nearest mill to be ground into flour.

But Vermont’s wild, wet weather is hard on wheat, which is vulnerable to a variety of funguses. As the drier midwestern territory was settled and the Great Plains were converted from buffalo pastures into “amber waves of grain,” North Country farmers turned to dairy and other forms of agriculture.

All that could change. With wheat prices fluctuating wildly on the commodities market — they doubled earlier this year, then crashed last week — and the localvore movement issuing a clarion call for breads made from local grains, Vermont’s wheat fields are making a comeback. “There is definitely a . . . much greater demand than there was five years ago,” posits grain expert Heather Darby, a farmer and assistant professor at the University of Vermont Extension. “There are more farmers interested in growing grains. Some are starting to grow them, and others are in the information-seeking stage...”
:::::continue reading at 7dvt.com

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