Open Sauce/Source for the Food Revolution

“He who receives ideas from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine receives light without darkening me.” – Thomas Jefferson

We can’t get around it, so we’ll say it upfront. Food is essential to life. What’s more, ensuring open access to the resources, knowledge, and land we need to feed ourselves is political. In opposition to corporate control and intellectual property, we need systems and processes which emphasize sharing and collaboration for food systems work.

A movement of practitioners is emerging who are applying Open Source philosophy to food systems work. Our goal in this article is to recognize the power of this fledgling movement and to highlight some of the people and organizations who are using Open Source for food.

For food systems work, Open Source means open ideas, knowledge, plans, documents, tools, code, data, and so on, all open for use and improvement by others. Instead of privatizing and patenting intellectual property, we’re sharing designs and building off each other’s innovations. Read more at…

Grange Future Tour

Dec 3-4 Little Lake Grange
Dec 6-7 – Farm Hack at Little Lake Grange
Dec 13-14 – Sebastopol Grange 306 — collaborating with The Farmers Guild Entrepreneurial Event & Party
Dec 20 – Live Oak Grange, Santa Cruz
Jan 14 – Shaping SF
Jan 20 – Eco Farm

Grange Future is a new project and traveling exhibit about the Grange movement in America. The Grange, also known as the Patrons of Husbandry is a fraternal order for farmers with halls across the country, and across California. From Fort Bragg to San Juan Capistrano we’ll celebrate the history and contemporary expression of ‘ the grange idea.’ Included in the exhibit are oral histories, painted history panels, radical agricultural pamphlets and reading room, and artifacts from seed banks, buyers clubs, radical art collectives and other cultural workers who find a home in the grange. To learn more, please visit their new website

2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Finalists Announced


Some of the brightest minds thinking at the intersections of design, technology, and social change are applying for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Past winners have been ECOVATIVE (2013), THE LIVING BUILDING CHALLENGE (2012) and BLUE VENTURES (2011). See below for the press release from the Buckminster Fuller Institute:

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Buckminster Fuller Institute is pleased to announce the Finalists for the 2014 Fuller Challenge. Now in its 7th cycle, The Fuller Challenge invites designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists, planners and scientists, from all over the world to submit their game-changing solutions to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.

With the strongest and most diverse pool of entrants to date effecting change in 93 countries across the world, The Fuller Challenge remains the only prize program specifically working to identify, catalyze and celebrate individuals and teams employing a whole systems approach to problem solving. Buckminster Fuller described this approach as comprehensive, anticipatory, design science and was one of the early pioneers of design-thinking that starts with a deep understanding of the ‘big picture’ context, or macro-system, of a problem space.

“We are very proud to track the impact our prize program is having on the international discussion about how to address the big challenges we face. References to holistic, systemic and integrated approaches are everywhere, but it remains difficult to really understand this approach unless you can see it applied in a specific context. This is complex, complicated, long-term work that does not lend itself well to a simple sound bite or elevator pitch. The Fuller Challenge continues to be unique as a showcase for applied whole systems design and the remarkable people at the leading edge of this approach,” said Elizabeth Thompson, BFI’s Executive Director and Co-founder of The Fuller Challenge.

Fuller defined design as “the effective application of the principles of science to the conscious design of our total environment in order to help make the Earth’s finite resources meet the needs of all humanity without disrupting the ecological processes of the planet.” Each of our seven finalists detailed below applies Fuller’s expansive definition of design. They also embody Fuller’s definition of a design scientist as a synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.

To see the full list of finalists, click here.

Thursday 10/2 @ 7:00 // Web-Focused Organizer’s Call

For the past several weeks, Farm Hack has been gathering via google hangout every Thursday @ 7:00. We named these calls organizer’s calls and we’re using them to work on the community, work on the site, and keep in touch and up to date with the Farm Hack community working around the country.

This Thursday @ 7:00 pm, we’ll be focusing especially on web development. There are a lot of improvements that we want to make on the site and we’re looking for more drupal developers and organizers to make them happen!

A few things that we’ve identified as priorities for the site are:

 //     transferring old blog posts from the last iteration of the site to the new site, making a page for them, and 
        bringing them back as a resource for the community

 //     redesigning the front page functionality—adding a featured tools view to the blog role

 //     making it easy to sign up for our e-newsletter with a big sign-up button on the front page

 //     lots of other things on our [public web trello board](

If you’d like to join the call this Thursday @ 7:00 eastern, contact Daniel Grover @

Upcoming Teach-In: Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth, Oct 25-26, Cooper Union

On October 25th and 26th, 45 LEADING SCHOLARS, authors and activists will convene at The Great Hall of the Cooper Union, New York City, for a PUBLIC “TEACH-IN” on the profound impacts – environmental, economic and social – of runaway technological expansion; the tendency to see technology as the savior for all problems. And, on the urgent need to change directions; returning the fate of nature to the center of economic and social decision making.

Farm Hack board member, Severine VT Fleming, will be joining the conversation. Learn more here and register here!.

The event is a joint project of the International Forum on Globalization, The International Center for Technology Assessment, The New York Open Center and the Schumacher Center for New Economics and is cosponsored by The Foundation for Deep Ecology, Foundation Earth, Local Futures/International Society for Ecology and Culture, the Greenhorns, the Agrarian Trust, The Oakland Institute, and the Post Carbon Institute.

Check out these reading lists relevant to techno-utopianism:

Come join in the conversation about appropriate technology, and by taking part in the conversation, help conceive of a grounded vision of our future on this planet.

We’ll see you there–

Precision Tine Cultivator

Project is for: Farmers who need a flexible, multi-purpose, cultivating tool– most likely vegetable farmers. Range of cost: $750 – $1500 Skills needed: Simple metalworking (welding steel, or finding someone who can); also available commercially with an Allis G belly mount from Roeter’s Farm Equipment, but their version may not be optimized for your application. […]

Welcome to FarmHack Forum

The FarmHack Forum is excited to be launching in “beta” mode! Please feel free to join us in discussing farm innovations, tools and ideas as we iron out the kinks in our online community.

FarmHack Projects: Paddlewheel-Powered Pump

Here is a great video made by Jeremy Smith of a water pump built by Cappie of Pangea Farm in Spearfish, SD. The pump, which is a “Wirtz pump”, uses a coil of hose and a scoop which are turned by a waterwheel in an irrigation ditch, pumping water 30′ or more vertically into a […]