Friday, January 23, 2015

Study Looks at Effect of Climate Change on Farming

Image from Wikipedia.
Originally Published at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, December 2014.
Climate change impacts will require major but very uncertain transformations of global agriculture systems by mid-century, according to new research by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Natural Plaster Recipes

Image from The Mud Home.
Originally posted by Alex Sumerall at This Cob House

Natural plasters and finishes are a great alternative to the conventional products available out there. The ones that are just riddled with toxic chemicals! Most people don’t even realize the negative effects that these products have on their health. Indoor air pollution and toxic off gassing is a whole subject in itself though.

So I just want to give you some earthen plaster recipes today to get you thinking.

Natural plasters and finishes can be applied to cob walls or even to drywall board! The majority of natural plasters and finishes are made from a combination of these simple ingredients:

Clay, sand, straw, lime, kaolin clay, wheat paste, pigments, and water.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DIY Better Bathroom Design

Old barn wood gets repurposed as a dramatic accent wall.
We've been taking advantage of winter weather by digging into some miscellaneous renovation projects in Better Farm's main house. Topping that to-do list was a shower unit replacement that was much-needed in one of the upstairs bathrooms.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Snowshoe Hike, Craft Beer Tasting Event Feb. 21

Flight sampler of craft beer, image from Temple U.
Snowshoeing, from the Almanac.
Update: Thank you for all the RSVPs! Space is still available for the hike and craft beer tasting, however all snowshoes have been rented. You are welcome to hike in your winter boots or bring along your own snowshoes! Remember to RSVP if you plan on joining in on the fun!

Join betterArts board members Justin Chirico and Matthew Tardiff Feb. 21 on a snowshoe hike hosted by the Indian River Lakes Conservancy (IRLC)—then come back to Better Farm for a craft beer tasting by the wood stove hosted by betterArts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

The War of Art: Je Suis Charlie!

The invention of humor: adding fuel to the fire. —Charb
That art is still capable of provoking political unrest, violent debate, and protest is an attestation of its value and power. It is also an admission of its complexity; inextricably linked to notions of liberty, truth and justice, art seems set to continue to attract the attention of those who would prefer it to be silenced. —The Art Media Agency

Twelve people on Wednesday were shot to death in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical and controversial newspaper in Paris that features cartoons, articles and jokes. The attack is thought to be in backlash to cartoons considered offensive to Islam. Among the dead were St├ęphane "Charb" Charbonnier, the newspaper's editor and head cartoonist. The 
day after the attack, remaining staff members at the paper announced that publication would continue, with next Wednesday's issue spiking in production by more than 30 times its normal run to bring up to 3 million copies to the public.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Greenhouse-Chicken Synergy Update!

Our German Spitzhauben rooster Dr. Strangelove enjoys perpetual spring against a backdrop of sub-zero temperatures outside.
Japanese Yokohama Miss Daisy hangs out on the chicken coop ramp while the snow falls outside.
After hitting -20 last night in Redwood, I wandered outside this morning to see how Better Farm's greenhouse-chicken synergy is going.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Annual 'Heart of Winter' Art Show Seeks Submissions

Image from MetaFilter
Macsherry Library seeks art to present at its 11th Annual Heart of Winter Art Show and Chocolate Reception, which will take place Saturday, Feb. 14, in the library's community gallery.

Art in any medium representing aspects of winter in the north country is welcome. There is no fee, and the show will be on display through Feb. 28. Written works, including poems and essays, will also be accepted. There will additionally be a craft table for the creation of Valentine's Day crafts. Chocolatiers are also invited to bring in their delicious creations for a friendly chocolate competition.

The public votes for their favorite artworks, written works and chocolate desserts. Bragging rights are the prize! 

To submit artwork, email for a contract and further information. Deadline for admission is Feb 4; all work must be at the library for hanging by Feb. 11. Macsherry Library is located at 112 Walton St., Alexandria Bay NY.

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.