Damn Good Biking

Damn Good Biking
Mammath Mountain

Sunday, September 21, 2008


are you kidding me?

I was thinking last night while thouroughly enjoying the Neil Young set list at Farm Aid that though it seems my adventures in Niger are past, my new adventures are shaping up to be just as fulfilling.

Currently I am sitting on a little farm called Ceder Circle Farms located in North Thetford Vermont. My temporary residence is nestled up to the conneticut river in a little stowed away in the hills of northern vermont. They are a working farm complete with farm store, cafe, vegetable and orchards, as well as two magnificent Belgium draft horses named buddy and companion.

Two days ago I returned from CA, left the next afternoon for Boston, not knowing either where I would sleep, nor more importantly even where farm aid was, but no worries, that's all details that work themselves out as they go.

So I arrived in Mansfield Mass, about 2330 and did some reconnoitering around the festival grounds and chose a patch of soft grass to rest my bones, and then proceeded to sing myself to sleep while playing mandolin and keeping the morning dew off of my with a borrowed tarp i took off a polish sausage stand.

The next morning I awoke bright and early and met up with my current hosts, Will and Kate Allen. They put up a both to talk about the real costs of cheap food, and as an expert in the field, Will has recently released a fantastic book outlining the history and relationships related to the chemical warfare on our farmlands named "War on Bugs".

I was sent this way to learn from Will, and take away some ideas from them of how to proceed with the farmers veteran coaltion, and more importantly surf the wave of this agricultural movement I currently find myself a part of.

The lessons of food security and the importance of farming intelligently from Niger are returning to me through every conversation I have with interested listeners, and I find myself in a unique posisition having come from that experiance, yet conflicted because my heart pulls me back there, but my roots in America are spreading and it seems that for no America is going to be my home again.

If one was to ask two weeks ago where will I be for the next year, I would say with 75% certainty that I will return to Niger, but after my trip to CA, and having set some plans in motion, its now 85% certain I"m going to be living in Northern California before the year is out.

Here is the Plan.

Matt, Michael O'gorman and a couple others have decided that we are going to start a farm in Northern California, and devote our labors towards producing quality produce to feed into high value markets in the bay area as well as providing locally grown food to the communities we're established in. Through this venture we are also going to develop a veteran-farmer training program to move vets through our farms and our network of emerging partners established throughout America to give these guys some time to learn some skills, travel, heal, and move in new directions to put young able bodied folk on farms.

Alright, I have been living in the desert for a year and a half, not a hot day ellapsed without me daydreaming of kayaking or canoeing down a river, and since I hurt my back I was unable to, but now it seems all the stars have aligned and its time to jump in the river (bathe) and then observe the beautiful landscapes of northern vermont as the changing of the seasons develop.

I hope all is well in each corner of the world for whomever is reading this, on this end, things couldn't be better.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Hi gang, 

you guys wouldn't believe all the crazyness going on out here. I was super busy working on the french garden farm in sebastopol with my friend matt, and together we were guest of the kick off dinner of the veterans farmers coalition. I was with incredible honorary guest such as pat tillmans mother and daniel ellsberg *leaked pentagon papers*

It looks like in this trip has secured a definate future in agriculture for myself, and who knows how far down this rabbit hole its going to get.

 Leaving for berkely tonight, flying to DC tomorrow and will be in Boston the day after that, then Farm Aid.  then i'll probabaly stay on the east coast for a week or so and work some farms.

alright guys take care.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hurricanes and Speaking engagements.

Holy Cow!

I survived the weakest hurricane of all time! (hannah)

Cat and I traveled to North Carolina this weekend to give some presentations to 2nd & 3rd graders about our experiences in Niger, but the trip was mainly for meeting up with some of Cathys friends somewhere in Northern NC for two days then off to Raleigh for a night.

Northern NC was quite beautiful, the place we stayed was nestled in some dense forest and we went hiking there during the hurricane, it was awesome, but I must add it was no stronger than a Nigerien sprinkle for what we expected. Our presentations went overwhelmingly well, we gave two different presentations to about 100 elementary age students. With the backdrop of a photo presentation we talked of our experiences and what life is like in NIger.

We highlighted life for children in Niger and drove home the importance of education and striving to understand different cultures. We talked about our work, and summed up typical life for Nigeriens. The kids were totally captivated, and asked endless questions after and during our 1 hour and 15 minute presentation. Then we finished up with pizza and ice cream with a class then worked off the food afterwards with some very intense games of tag.

I was reminded that though my body is 30, my spirit is about 8, it was so refreshing to be mixing it up and attempting to make a positive impact on students and hopefully plant the seed to think independently and if you have a dream to catch, run after it and never allow limitations to slow you down.

Life to this point is proving that the only thing that can limit us is a lack of imagination and years to pursue our dreams.

take care, Nazifi

p.s. there are winds blowing about possible work, I'm heading out to California Thursday to partake in the farmer veteran coalition fundraiser and then heading out to boston to represent the organization at this years Farm Aid.

Some crazy things are going to be blowing in over the next two weeks so keep checking in.