Today the ground is covered with snow, but imagine if you will, a verdant community garden in late July, brimming with flowers and vegetables, happy neighbors kneeling cheek-to-cheek, shovel to shovel, baskets overflowing with greens and the late afternoon sun bathing the scene in gold. We interrupt that idyll to bring you “Thievery, Fraud, Fistfights and Weed: The Other Side of Community Gardens.” That’s the title of Jesse Hirsch’s article for Modern Farmer, where he’s a staff writer.
You’ve heard of whiffle-ball… how about whiffle-hurling? Class-conscious kickball? Imaginary soccer? These absurd-sounding games are among the growing number of highly conceptualized art-sports invented by artists and shown on YouTube, and other online video sites. Brooklyn-based artist Tom Russotti is founder of the Institute for Aesthletics… yes, that’s athletics and aesthetics rolled into one. The institute combines sports, participatory art and conceptual social activities. Tom’s games have been invented, played, performed, and experimented with at museums, schools, and arts organizations all over the world.
Every year, a small fleet of house- boats, yachts, and make-shift floating homes anchor together off the California coast for the Ephemerisle festival…it’s billed as a “floating celebration of community, learning, art, and seasteading.” The concept came from the Seasteading Institute, a non-profit founded by a pair of highly placed tech entrepreneurs who are also outspoken libertarians. Seasteading supports the creation of floating city-states where people can experiment with self-governance and escape the rules and conventions of dry land. Atossa Abrahamian is a Brooklyn-based journalist and editor of “The New Inquiry.” She wrote about her visit to Ephemerisle for N+1 magazine.
The non-profit Code for America brings together coders, artists, and designers to create easy to use applications that address the specific needs of local communities. Mick Thompson, engineer in residence and 2012 fellow at Code for America joined us to talk about how code and collaboration leads to better lives for citizens.
The Women’s Earth Alliance helps women around the world secure their rights and safety and remove barriers to full participation in society by supporting them in addressing the environmental issues impacting their lives. Pictured: A female farmer in India.
A decade ago, few people were talking about sustainability, especially in the South Bronx. It was there that Majora Carter founded programs for green-collar jobs, spearheaded policy changes, and helped transform a toxic dump into a riverside park. From a local movement to “green the ghetto,” she has inspired people across the nation to secure the environmental, educational and economic futures of their own communities.
Rising gas prices have again shifted the political debate between those calling for more drilling to meet America's fossil fuel dependency and those advocating for investment in alternative energy sources. Many environmentalists are convinced that we are nearing the day when fossil fuels are tapped out, or too expensive or too harmful to extract.
We’ve heard the stories of farm family underdogs pitched against profit-hungry developers or deep- pocketed corporations. This story of a land dispute in Canterbury New Hampshire defies the good guy versus bad guy model. The players in this conflict are two well-liked farm families. One has been farming in town for hundreds of years, and currently runs a dairy farm. The other family is not native, farms organically, and has corporate backing.