Monday, December 8, 2014

Movie Night: 'Fed Up' Screening 12/18

We're kicking off educational movie night season at Better Farm at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, with a screening of Fed Up.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Better Radio Wants YOU!

BetterArts is seeking reporters, musicians, show anchors, volunteers, story tellers, gardeners, savantes, and local personalities for its new station, Better Radio WBTS 88.5 FM.

The low-power FM station, set to go live at the annual Better Festival June 20, 2015, is getting ready for its launch by archiving content throughout the winter months.

Better Radio will feature an NPR-like format that showcases everything going on in the North Country; from original music to gardening advice to fishing and hunting reports, conservation efforts, news and weather, political roundups, health and wellness programming, and much much more.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Better Gift-Giving: Annual Shopping Guide

Image from The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
Holiday shopping is upon us in just two little days; and there's no shortage of jacked-up consumerist sensibilities. But while there are inevitably going to be items each holiday season you're compelled to buy—like that video game your kid's dying to have, or a new flatscreen for the home, or a certain tie/dress/sweater/coat/fill-in-the-blanks that your spouse/cousin/parent/etc. has specifically asked for—there are also plenty of other gifts you're going to buy this season. You've got stocking stuffers, little gifts for people you love, the obligatory gift for your boss, co-workers, mailperson, dry cleaner, sanitation worker, and child's teacher. So why not do something different this year? How about, instead of buying mass-produced stuff, you use your money to make a difference?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Four-Season Farming: Greenhouse-Chicken Synergy Experiment Underway

Chickens enjoy a warmer climate where they can still scratch on the ground, while the plants get a heated home in which to grow.
We've utilized cold frames, mulching and greenhouses in the past at Better Farm to extend the growing season for our produce; but have had yet to stumble upon something that would truly allow production to continue year-round for our use and the use of the people we serve.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Get Crafty with Gratitude Trees this Thanksgiving

Image from Becky and Brad.
BetterArts this Saturday will create gratitude trees with children at Hospice of Jefferson County in order to express the youngsters' thanks to people they love who are no longer with us.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Great Dish Giveaway Nets $11k for Nonprofits, Keeps Waste from Landfill

Photo from
The scene. Photo/Nicole Caldwell
The Better Crew on Saturday took part in a bit of American history as the public was invited to pick up as much unglazed Syracuse China dishware as desired from the company's former location in Syracuse.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Spotlight On: Innonatives

A new innovation platform seeks to foster collaborative innovation and design for sustainability projects.

Innonatives, launched by the Sustainability Maker Project, combines open innovation and design, crowd-sourcing, crowd voting, crowd funding, an online shop, and an international expert system. It's free to join and functions by carrying out sustainability-related design and innovation projects covering everything from products to services and communication.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Spotlight On: Ways of Living

We were visited in September by Jesse and Harper, two women in the midst of making a documentary called Ways of Living about sustainable, communal living. The video is due out in 2015.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Newsletter

Hello, Friends of Better Farm!

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away—and now is a perfect time to reflect on all the things we're grateful for.

Practicing the act of gratitude is a great way to reduce the negativity we're overloaded with in our daily lives. If we insist on acknowledging what we appreciate and feel thankful for, we have less room in our minds for the mustn'ts, don'ts, shouldn'ts, impossibles, won'ts, and never haves. Instead of spending so much time fretting about what we don't have, gratitude forces us into the here and the now with all the gifts we already possess.

There are so many people you know who go out of their way on a daily basis to show kindness to strangers, volunteer in their communities, do something to help the environment, or just take the time to pick up the phone or offer you their ear. People like you! Let's all promise to take some time out this month to thank all those silent heroes in every community who do this often-invisible, vital work that brings us all a little bit closer together.

To that end: I am so grateful to all of you for being a part of the "better" mission! As I practice this reflection of gratitude, I can't help but focus on what a difference your volunteer work, attention, encouragement and involvement have meant for Better Farm, betterArts, the Redwood community, the environment, and each individual who has stepped foot on this property. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As always, check in at our blog to follow all of Better Farm's daily adventures.
Until next time, better be. And, thanks.

Nicole Caldwell
Executive Director and Co-Founder
Better Farm

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Art as a Natural Healer

Image from the National Museum of African Art.

By Helen Young
If you’ve been thinking of applying to the betterArts Residency Program, motivated by the chance to complete a series of paintings, create a collection of sculptures, or complete that book you have always wanted to write, chances are, you are heeding an inner calling that equates creativity with fulfillment. The creation of art, however, wields many more positive effects than those which are immediately apparent. In this post, we present a few of the most interesting findings regarding the therapeutic effects of art.