Friday, July 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Last year was our first year to join as members of a local CSA. We loved it and it was such a rewarding experience to become more closely tied to the foods we put in our bodies. Growing season is starting again soon, and our CSA, Avalon Acres, is now accepting signups. If you are interested, I highly recommend it, but put together a list of pros & cons for your consideration.
1) Breaks you out of a cooking rut and forces you to be creative.
2) As a result of #1, you will become a much better cook
3) You learn about all sorts of fruits/vegetables that you never knew existed.
4) You discover things like “I like eggplant after all!” and other disappointing things, like “Turnips are as gross as I thought they’d be.”
5) You learn about your local agriculture and what grows when.
6) As a result of #5, you can buy produce in the grocery cheaper & fresher, because you are more keenly aware of when foods are at their height in taste & production.
7) You’re eating more fruits & veggies! Better for the planet and better for your body.
8) You’re supporting your local farmers!
9) Depending on your farm choice, the CSA can be much more convenient, since you may just pick up your box right from the delivery truck.
10) You learn how to freeze foods. (And some attempt the canning route as well.)
11) Many CSAs are organic.
THE NOT-AS-GOOD: I recognize that a CSA is most certainly not for everyone. Here are a few of the down sides.
1) You’re in it for the long haul. Most (not all) CSAs require a full-season commitment.
2) Price – It may turn out to be cheaper than a grocery, but may not. You pay a per-week price regardless of how full or small your weekly share is. If there is very little rain (like last year), your baskets may be small for a while.
3) Repetition – I must say that I got very sick of okra and cucumbers. You might get a large load of a certain food for several weeks. In our society, we’re used to variety. I try to remind myself that farmers across the world for generations have dealt with this and been just fine.
4) Picky Eaters – Need not apply. There are things that I don’t like for certain, but I’m willing to give it a shot. If you are not interested in trying out some new foods, then you may need to pass on the CSA.
Food Sites of Interest:
The Future of Food in TN
Eating Organic on a Food Stamp Budget
Slow Food USA
100 Mile Diet
Here are a few of the Nashville area CSAs:
Long Hungry Creek Farm
Fresh Harvest Co-op (You pick the vegetables of your choice as needed.)
For a CSA near you, click here. >carrie.
Friday, February 29, 2008
The Story: Sons of Lwala is a locally produced documentary that chronicles the amazing story of Fred and Milton Ochieng’, two brothers from Lwala, a remote village in Kenya. Academically gifted, Milton was the first brother who received a full-scholarship to Dartmouth, but he had no financial means to get to the United States. However, the village came together to do whatever necessary to help Milton achieve his dream. All they told him is "Please don't forget us." The documentary follows the brothers to Vanderbilt Medical School where they strive to fulfill the request of their village by building a clinic in the village to save it from dying of AIDS. The title reflects how the elder brother has always referred to himself, even before his parents' death. "In Lwala," Milton says, "You're not just the son of your parents. Here, you belong to everyone." Through ticket sales to the evening, they are hoping to raise enough to keep the clinic open and stocked with medical supplies for a year or more.
The evening will include Senator Bill Frist as emcee and a performance by Jars of Clay.
To purchase tickets, go to www.tpac.org/lwala or the TPAC box office downtown or at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in The Mall at Green Hills to purchase $30, $50, or $100 tickets. VIP Tickets, which also include a reception, are available for $250 and $500. >>carrie.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
On Wednesday, February 27th at 6:30pm, David Johnson will be speaking at Belmont University at Buttick 102 on photography, writing and acivisim. David has founded Silent Images, a non-profit organization. This organization seeks to tell the stories of people in need through journalistic photography, videos, and writing. He has recently written a book entitled, Voices of Sudan, which in his words aims to "restore a voice to the Sudanese by causing two things to happen: people will be informed and hearts will be provoked to reach out and help the Sudanese."
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Yesterday, I attended a lecture by Dr. Matthew Sleeth, author of Serve God, Save the Planet. I read the book several months ago so the lecture was a good review on what our responsibility is as Chrisitians and as citizens on planet Earth.
I will try and recap several ideas Dr. Sleeth shared.
Dr. Sleeth touched on the Parable of the Good Samaritan and how we are to be like the Good Samaritan towards our neighbors in regard to the enviornment. It's easy for us to think of our neighbors as those in our neighboorhood, city, state or even our country. However, Dr. Sleeth challenges us to go even further and consider our neighbor across the ocean in Africa or Europe or Asia. He asks us to also consider our neighbor as the young children who have yet to grow up on this Earth or the unborn of future generations. The choices we make concerning the environment will affect all of these "neighbors" and we can choose to either use our current resources to satisfy our wants or use our resources to aid those without.
Part of the lecture touched on the references to trees in the Bible. Sleeth asked what most have in front of their comfortable chair in their home....most answering the TV. He then pointed out that in Revelation, it states that in front of God's throne is a tree. He was drawing on the fact that part of God's Creation are trees and how much we can gain from their existence as well as our responsibility as stewards of this Earth is to care for these trees (many of which are no longer around....like no more Oak trees on Oak Street).
A question from the audience (that I appreciated) asked how do you address a church that is willing to discuss the environmental concerns of today but is unwilling to make changes like no longer buying styrofoam cups due to budget issues. Sleeth boiled it down to how can you spend $1200 on biodegradable cups vs. using that money for the starving people in the world (which is what it usually comes down to). Sleeth's first comment was (the lecture was in Benton Chapel at VU), "No one had any concerns about using money to build a building like this." We all seem to easily appreciate attending a "pretty" church and even justify raising funds for a bigger church building but when it comes down to being environmental stewards, then other issues seem to take precedent (my interpretation). He suggested having a group just go out and buy the replacement cups or finding other ways to cut costs around the building (like maybe reducing electricity use) to find this extra cash flow.
One more topic that I will touch on from the lecture: keeping the Sabbath. Sleeth addresses this topic in his book and I appreciate his concern living in the culture of America. Sleeth touched on how God created a day of rest and throughout the Bible draws on periods of rest....like resting the land where crops are grown (which Sleeth does in his own garden). It's important for us to rest our bodies from work and our minds from the clutter of this consumeristic culture.
If you would like to read more about Sleeth's work, you can visit his webiste. http://servegodsavetheplanet.org/?page_id=2
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Thursday, February 28th at 7pm --- Jonathon Wilson-Hartgrove (pictured above) will be speaking at Otter Creek Church of Christ. Jonathon lives with his wife in Durham, North Carolina at the Rutba house (intentional Christian community). Jonathon traveled with his wife and Shane Claiborne to Iraq with the Christian Peacemaker Team. He has also written a chapter in the book, School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of A New Monasticism.
Please comment if you would like to learn more about these events in Nashville, Tennessee.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
So with a few energetic people and a great idea, it’s can be quite simple to raise thousands of dollars for your favorite cause. Why not consider holding a fundraiser with members of your church, small group, book club, or mom’s group next year. Here are some great ideas which might be quite easy and raise a lot of money!
1) Hold a Bake Sale full of baked goods, hot chocolate mixes, canned jellies, soup mixes & more!
2) Prepare a pancake breakfast or soup-and-sandwiches lunch. Sell tickets in advance.
3) Make small, handmade gifts or cards and sell them.
4) Have an International Potluck Dinner and charge admission. Make each group responsible for food and decorations appropriate to the country or region assigned to them.
5) Host a 24 hour fast. Money that would have gone for food can be donated.
6) A Cake/Dessert Tasting Event
7) Since we are in music city, someone very ambitious could put together a country music compilation cd composed of popular artists.
8) Selling a really cool t-shirt, tote bag or other merchandise
More ideas can be found here, here or here. >carrie.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Last night I also heard the story of a man who shot two immigrants who were burglarizing a neighbor's home. News stations played a 911 call with the shooter as he reported the burglary and told the operator that he was going to go shoot the robbers.
These are two very different stories with somewhat similar outcomes. I often wonder about non-violent responses in such situations and whether the end (saving additional lives or, less importantly, property) justifies the means. I am not sure how I would react in a life-threatening situation, but would hope to respond in a non-violent manner, as modeled by Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi and others. However, I rarely have good solutions for difficult situations such as those above.
So I ask:
How could these tragedies have been avoided?
Are there "redemptive" alternatives to the actions taken?
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
"In Kitale, Kenya, among countless other towns in the developing world, many street children have found an escape from their emotional and physical pains by becoming accidental consumers. Orphaned, barefoot, and malnourished, they habitually spend the scarce money they earn from odd jobs and charity not on food or water, but on a more immediate fix – glue – incidentally the same solvent-based kind that the wider world uses to cement shoes together. With plastic bottles perched at their mouths, the children breathe in the glue’s neurotoxic fumes until they pass out or fall asleep forever.
Equally naturalistic and investigative, “Glue Boys” contemplates the future of the world’s estimated 150 million street children and documents the day-to-day plight of a handful in Kitale. It also unveils the distribution chain of their addiction to sniffing glue, from the small-time street dealers who facilitate it, to the authorities who enable it, to the massive multinational corporations that profit from it. Not overlooking the deeply entrenched reality of the developing world, the film presents the illicit adhesives market with a sense of urgency and intricacy, bringing awareness to a growing global giant but also providing a framework for change." (Source: http://www.glueboys.com/)
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: Click links below for more info.
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality among children under 5 by two thirds
5. Improve maternal health - Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
On Monday I put together a day of relaxation for the mothers in Eastleigh. I had supplies for washing and drying hair, facials, and manicures and pedicures. I took five girls from here that work in the hair salon to help me out; Nancy, Halima, Lucy M., Lucy W., and Patricia. We get there, set up, and just as we are bringing in the women the electricity goes out! T.I.A. (This Is Africa). The day was planned to be outside in the open courtyard, but it meant there would be no washing and drying hair. Oh well, you do what you can. Truthfully though, God knew what he was doing. We had more women there than ever before, almost thirty. We spent over three hours just doing nails and facials. If we had tried to wash and fix hair like we had planned we would have been there at least another four hours. For the first hour I kept praying for the electricity to come back on and then I realized that sometimes unanswered prayers are really good.
Including Ann and I we had a total of seven people working on the mothers. We had three people scrubbing hands and feet, two people cutting and filing the nails, and two painting the nails. I helped paint the nails. It was amazing to watch the girls scrubbing the women’s feet. They spent so much time with each lady, they were gentle, and they did not rush to get it over with. These girls once lived on the streets and they know how special something like this is. The feet were dirty (the American thought of dirty does not even come close to African dirty) and many of the nails were black and brittle. Each mother was made to feel special.
They have done manicures for the woman before, but most of them are new since I have been here so the majority had never had anything like this done before. The only person that had washed their feet was themselves. The only color that had ever been on their nails was black from the dirt and dead nail bone. The women were grinning from ear to ear and no one left without saying thank you. Ann was filing and cutting nails and afterward she told me that she had scrapped years of dirt and dead skin off of some of the women. Also several women thanked her because they had never had their nails cut before. Can you imagine?
Hollye Conway kept the kids in another room while we were with the mothers so it was nice and peaceful. I have never heard it that quiet at the center before. The women were quietly waiting around, smiling, and watching in amazement. Although I was painting nails non stop for three hours, it was the most peaceful day I have had in Eastleigh. The mothers were happy and carefree, at least for a little while.