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Wed, 25 Jul 2007

Philadelphia Urban Farms Bike Tour

As my first adventure in long distance, group bicycling, me and Eylem attended Philadelphia Urban Farms Bike Tour organized by Chris Hill of Weaver's Way Co-op . I was being lazy - huh, I biked ~30 miles! - so I did not bring my camera along (mistake), but I brought my gps along - hey, do not blame me, I was afraid, I would be totally lost somewhere on the way to West Philadelphia from Mt Airy. Anyway, we made the whole way, biked some extra at the end to Market East station since we chickened out from biking home from north Philly. It was fun, it was educational, it was tiring but it was rewarding too since it was the longest we ever biked and first time in a group. I hope to do it again. And hey, urban farms, they are great things. I hope they spread and they succeed in their aims.

So, the point of this entry, I finally uploaded my gps map which is superimposed onto google maps: Bread Crumbs showing the route we took

I said I was lazy right? So I am copying from Weaver's Way homepage, here is info about the farms:

  1. The Weavers Way Co-op Farm is a one and a half acre organic (not certified) farm that supplies the well-known food cooperative with vegetables and flowers throughout the growing season. The Farm is managed by David Zelov, a Co-op staff person. The farm is located in East Mt. Airy's Awbury Arboretum, near Chew and Washington Lane. Click here for more on the farm's history.
  2. The Mill Creek Farm is a collectively run urban education farm that utilizes vacant land to improve local access to nutritious foods and to promote sustainable resource use by growing and distributing produce and by demonstrating ecological methods of living. Run with enthusiasm and creativity by co-managers Jade and Johanna, the farm sells produce on location twice a week, sells to nearby Mariposa Co-op, and has an on-site building featuring a living roof, composting toilet and straw and mud walls. Click here for more about Mill Creek Farm.
  3. Mary Seton Corboy co-founded Greensgrow Farms in 1997 with the idea of selling right off the farm produce to Philadelphia chefs from an abandoned property in Kensington, within site of Philadelphia's downtown. Today Greensgrow is a nationally recognized leader in urban farming, still selling to local restaurants (including Django, White Dog, Fork, Standard Tap, Little Fish, Rose Tattoo, and Beau Monde) but also open to the public from early spring through Thanksgiving. A small but dedicated staff runs a multifaceted operation, including a nursery, a farm market, and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, proving that abandoned land is only abandoned if we choose to leave it that way. Click here for more on Greensgrow Farms.
  4. Spring Gardens, at 18th & Wallace Streets, is a mature, lovingly tended community garden between Spring Garden and Fairmount on 18th Street.

(and ahem, we also visited Yard's brewery.

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Tue, 17 Jul 2007

[N]on-non-[G]overnmental [O]rganizations

I knew it very well that the acronym NGO stood for "Non-non-Governmental-Organization" (let's call it a "NnGO") in Cyprus so there is nothing suprising about the latest developments in the "This Homeland is Ours" (Bu Memleket Bizim Platformu or BMBP) platform. The platform which functioned as a united front for various trade-unions, foundations and opposition (left) political parties during last few years of Denktash's reign was always dominated by CTP and their ilk. However, it succeeded in playing a leadership role during the era of "large rallies", and produced some radical and progressive declarations and actions. I had a few words to say about it in my article This Homeland is Ours" said the masses; Turkish Cypriot Uprising of 2002-3.

Anyway, before I digress into a story of the pathetic condition of political atmosphere in north Cyprus in general, let me get to the point. While all this was happening, Denktash, Eroglu etc and company, i.e. those puppets who also proudly call themselves the "nationalist right" responded by their own versions of platforms with even larger number of organizations (organizations come a dime a dozen in north Cyprus). Ofcourse, it was totally bogus and had no support from the public. It was a perfect example of a "Non-non-Governmental-Organization" and BMBP used to complain about this. However, as CTP slowly drifted to power with support from the puppeteer, i.e. Republic of Turkey, BMBP also drifted towards becoming a NnGO itself and more radical groups, such as the New Cyprus Party did the right thing as left the BMBP (this was a notable event, and see the article I mention above for why). BMBP continued to function, albeit without much of an impact or without the old radical outbursts. This changed recently after CTP's "neo-Denktashism" became so blatantly obvious and with the new "social security reform" package hit the workers that the trade-unions represented right at home. Specially the famous teacher's unions (e.g. KTOS and KTOEOS) who were always at the fronts when it came to radical politics, organized protests against CTP and became very outspoken. They then dared to turn BMBP into a real NGO instead of a NnGO by suggesting the expulsion of CTP.

Duh, wasn't that the obvious thing to suggest? Apparently, not, because all the other puppet organizations that are attached to CTP via their umbilical cords could not stand it, and neither did CTP's hardened "communist" (hahah!) militants. They thought that it is perfectly fine for the governing party to be part of a NGO and refused the accusation of it being a NnGO. Hahah. One after another CTP's heavy weights spoke and made amusing statements claiming that trade-unions are not the important organization but rather the political parties. I am reading this on Yeniduzen, which has the motto "work is the highest value" ("emek en yuce degerdir"). The problem according to Kalyoncu, is not with the CTP (ok, let's leave out the absurd "-BG" tag which makes them sound like He-Man) but with the platform which refuses to know its own country and is not willing to accept the conditions on the ground. Hahah. Well, Mr Kalyoncu, why don't you continue playing the role of a government and leave alone this NGO and see what public says instead of making such statements? Ahmet Barcin's statement was particulary amusing because he was one of the radicals in BMBP, in the front lines before he sat on a seat in the parliament. He saying that expulsion of CTP from the platform is the biggest insult ant disrespect to the Turkish Cypriot public. Really? Few years ago Turkey's strong grip, the Turkish army, the "one who is gone and one who replaced him are both Turks" were the insults he was talking about. Now, he thinks having a governing party in an NGO is normal, the opposite is the biggest insult and disrespect.

What can I say, this "neo-Denktashism" is an amusing concept and they are doing their past to prove more radicals like myself who used to say "neener, neener, neener, these are all NnGO's, we want NGO's" right.

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Sat, 07 Jul 2007

Link to Photos from Pivot Based Blog

Link to Old Photos Posted to my old Blog

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I gave up on Pivot and moved to Blosxom . Will post local content ("Cyprus Page"), external links and comments about Cyprus. Tips and tricks and comments about LaTeX and Linux. Photography --> single blog-like and galleries. My comments about human-rights, news etc. i.e. RANDOM as always. You do not believe me? Notice a deliberate mistype in the URLs.

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Migration to Blosxom

I have mostly completed the migration of my blog to Blosxom. Pivot was giving me lots of troubles and eventhough blosxom is half-dead project, it is simple and conversion was relatively painless. Also, blosxom is more transparent to me since it is a simple perl script.

See more ...

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