By Elisha Dorfsmith
I was happy to join the Oracle Inn Podcast tonight for a discussion on the many aspects of local food and urban farming. Topics covered included local rules and regulations, challenges to local food production, food education and competing with large corporations. You can watch the entire show here:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Frequent readers of my blog know that I have long advocated for changes to existing City laws that discourage urban farming and keeping animals for food in Flagstaff.
Flagstaff Liberty Alliance and other groups I work with have put forward ordinances and resolutions and creative solutions but we have always faced a lot of opposition from various groups in town and from some council members.
This year things were different and supporters of urban farming finally succeeded with the Flagstaff City Council approving very positive changes to the animal keeping part of the City Code by a 7-0 vote.
These changes go above and beyond anything we ever hoped for and even include the legalization of small animal slaughter and beekeeping.
Today these changes are highlighted in an excellent article in the Daily Sun which is linked below.
Thanks to everyone who got involved to make this happen and special thanks to Councilmember Jeff Oravits for being the driving force on council to get these changes approved!
You can read the Daily Sun article here:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
As Arizona’s next legislative session nears, we’re learning about some of the bills that will be proposed early next year…and many of them are very pro liberty.
I have already discussed a very important bill proposed by LD6 Representative Bob Thorpe calling for much needed Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform, which I strongly support.
Today we find a lot of press for another pro liberty bill that would allow Arizona students to grow and eat their own food in public schools. Currently you can grow food at a public school but the moment you cut it with a knife it becomes prepared food and has to be regulated.
This school food bill is receiving bipartisan support and the chances of passage at this early point seem very promising. You can read much more about it here:
Of course, the moment government regulation and power is threatened, there is strong push back from those who want to retain complete control.
Thorpe’s Civil Asset Forfeiture bill is already being attacked by police unions and prosecuting attorneys. Expect the school food bill to also be targeted (remember how Flagstaff’s local food resolution was killed by local control freaks).
It is our duty as Arizonans to let the legislature know that we want these liberty bills passed. I will be posting action alerts with contact information once these and other pro liberty bills are introduced.
Come January we will need hundreds of people sending emails and making phone calls so we can ensure our positions are heard.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
It has been a very long time coming, years in fact, but it looks like the City of Flagstaff is finally ready to consider easing restrictions on raising chickens, goats, bees and other food producing animals in the city limits.
Long time readers of my blog know that I and Flagstaff Liberty Alliance have been actively pushing for these changes for a very long time and months ago brought forward a resolution to try to get the ball rolling. While that resolution was narrowly defeated, it looks like what we hoped to accomplish with the resolution is about to take place anyway. If the proposed code changes are approved as they currently stand, Flagstaff residents will soon have the freedom to legally raise small food producing animals in the City limits to feed themselves and their families.
I am very excited to see these changes moving forward and encourage everyone to participate in the September 8th Council meeting where these changes will be addressed.
More information on the September 8th meeting is provided by Flagstaff Liberty Alliance and can be found here:
“On September 8th at their 6:00 pm meeting, the Flagstaff City Council will be considering a long list of proposed changes to the Animal Keeping part of the City Code.
Some of these changes will make it much easier to keep chickens and other small animals on property within the City limits. Other changes will focus on beekeeping and larger animals.
The vast majority of these changes are a huge step in the right direction and are in line with our goals to promote urban farming and self sustainability in Northern Arizona.
We encourage everyone to attend this meeting and speak or fill out a written comment card supporting the freedom to raise and produce food for ourselves and our families.
For those who can’t make it, please contact the Flagstaff City Council at:
We don’t know what time this item will be on the agenda but since it is an item that is expected to draw a crowd we expect it to be near the beginning of the 6:00 meeting. Once the agenda is published we will update this post with that information.”
Attention local urban farmers and gardeners: Flagstaff Liberty Alliance is happy to announce their 2014 Virtual Urban Farm Tour Contest! This contest is open to the public and it is free to enter.
To enter the 2014 Flagstaff virtual urban farm tour, submit pictures of your urban farm including: gardens, fruit trees, chickens/livestock, and harvest/preserves!
Go to flagstafflibertyalliance.com to submit your photos and vote on your favorite entry!
First place winner will receive a $50 gift card to Flagstaff Native Plant & Seed and be featured in the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance 2015 Urban Farm Calendar. Runner up will receive a $25 gift card to Flagstaff Native Plant & Seed.
Entries for the Urban Farm Tour will be accepted through September 15, 2014.
GUIDELINES Each entry consists of a single entry form, and an original image. Complete an entry form with the required information, including your name, email address, and phone number; and submit along with your photograph.
Photographs must contain some form of urban agriculture. Urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around a village, town or city. Urban agriculture can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry, urban beekeeping and horticulture.
There is no limit on the number of entries per person. Each entry must comply with the following requirements: Photographs must be in digital format. All digital files must be 20 megabytes or smaller, and must be in JPG or JPEG format. Only minor color correction and editing is acceptable as is cropping.
WHO MAY ENTER Contest is only open to residents of Northern Arizona.
VOTING will take place between September 22 and October 20, 2014. Winners will be decided by number of public votes each photo receives. Winners will be announced at the Harvest Festival on November 1st.
Thank you Flagstaff Native Plant & Seed for sponsoring
The 2014 Urban Farm Tour.
(click flier to enlarge)
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Thanks to Mike Shipley and Thane Eichenauer for inviting me to be part of their Freedom Caucus AZ show tonight. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. We covered a wide variety of liberty issues including the 29-1 passage in the Arizona Senate of SB1151 (Homegrown Freedom Act).
You can find the entire interview HERE.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The last few months have been very busy and I’m sorry that I have not been able to find much time to write on my blog. I have been posting a lot of updates and action alerts on twitter though and I encourage my readers to follow me there to get the latest on important liberty issues. You can find my twitter page HERE.
I will try to post more consistent updates on the Flag Liberty Blog in the coming months to keep you all in the loop. Below are a few things that I’ve been focused on lately…
Say No To An Article V Convention
I had a great time helping out at the Liberty booth at January’s Arizona Republican state meeting. One of the big issues we focused on was the potential danger of an Article V convention. Campaign For Liberty recently sent out a letter articulating these concerns. You can find that letter HERE. C4L is also circulating a petition against Arizona’s bill for an Article V convention. You can sign that petition HERE.
Since we are starting a new legislative session, there has been some confusion with the Article V bill. It’s titled HB2305 just like last session’s voter law that was passed in part to keep Libertarian candidates off the ballot.
The word on the street is that the legislature is considering a full repeal of last year’s HB2305 bill because they don’t want voters to reject it when it goes on the ballot in November. The thought process is if they repeal it now they can bring back all or part of the bill later on.
I see this as just another underhanded trick to keep the voters out of the equation. Let’s let the voters decide in November and leave it at that.
Stop the TPP
A little snow couldn’t keep us from taking part in the International Day Of Action Against the Trans Pacific Partnership. Several downtown local businesses took extra literature to hand out to their customers. Flagstaff Liberty Alliance created a handout for those who would like to educate their friends and family about the TPP. You can find the PDF HERE.
Support NSA Nullification In Arizona
The 4th Amendment Protection Act is scheduled for a committee hearing and vote on February 3rd. Please consider contacting the committee members ASAP and urge them to vote YES on SB1156. You can find their contact information HERE. We have a great opportunity to stand up and fight for our right to privacy here in Arizona and I’d hate to see an opportunity like this missed. Our elected officials need to see that there is overwhelming support for this bill.
Folks, This Ain’t Normal
A friend recently recommended that I read Folks, This Ain’t Normal by libertarian activist and farmer Joel Salatin. Now I get to highly recommend it to you. There has been a lot of talk lately about what solutions libertarians have to offer for environmental and sustainable living issues. Salatin focuses as much energy on realistic effective solutions as he does pointing out the concerns. It’s a well rounded book that people across the political spectrum should enjoy. Read more about Joel Salatin HERE.
FLA Offering Sustainable Living Workshops
Flagstaff Liberty Alliance will be holding their first Sustainable Living Workshop on February 3rd at 6:30 pm. This event will be held at the Hirsch Center Highlands Fire Station 23 at 3350 Old Munds Highway in Mountainaire. At this class, Neil Wilson of Freedom’s Garden will be teaching the group how to make aluminum can alcohol burning stoves. He will also be discussing what to include in your emergency kit.
This event is free and open to the public. Please invite your friends.
Future Sustainable Living classes will include everything from gardening to canning to emergency preparedness. If you have a skill you would like to teach the group at an upcoming class please let them know. These workshops are a fun way to share your ideas and sustainable living experience.
You can find contact information for Flagstaff Liberty Alliance at: www.flagstafflibertyalliance.com
Flagstaff Earth Day
(LD6 State Rep. Bob Thorpe, Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours, and Flagstaff City Councilman Jeff Oravits take time out for a picture with Cindy Dorfsmith, President of Flagstaff Liberty Alliance at last year’s Earth Day event.)
On Tuesday, February 4th I will be meeting with City of Flasgstaff staff to start planning this year’s Earth Day event. Flagstaff Liberty Alliance will once again have a booth at this event and they will be handing out hundreds and hundreds of free books about gardening and urban farming.
While the food freedom resolution that we fought so hard for only received the support of three council members, we have seen some very encouraging progress in changes to the Animal Keeping part of the City Code and there are proposals at the state level that could give you more freedom to raise food for your family. The food freedom movement is gaining momentum and we expect to win some big local battles in the near future. Keep up the good fight!
Be sure to visit the new Flagstaff Liberty Alliance website: www.flagstafflibertyalliance.com