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Farm Update

We finally got some good rain this last week and it really freshened things up. Our CSA season ended until October so there will be more veggies available for our farm stand and for us to eat. Seven members of our community left us this week and new people will be arriving in the next couple weeks. That is one of the hardest things to get used to about the farm. People are constantly coming and going. There are a core group that are here longer term, but many of them will not be here for our entire year. Perhaps a post on farming and community is brewing.

Here’s some of the places I will be traveling in the months to come…

Sausage Leftovers: The Northern Edition

Okay so I found some links of interest to share… This was almost the Canadian edition, but the Mustard Seed House is in the USA… barely.

Spirituality of Gardening Workshop- If you live in the Seattle area the Mustard Seed House is hosting two workshops April 25 and May 30 on the Spirituality of Gardening. The revolution starts at home. Lunch and a garden manual are included. Here’s the blurb:

Do you struggle to connect to the story of God through morning devotions and Sunday worship? I believe one reason people are moving away from Christianity at time warp speed is because we have divorced our faith from the glory of God revealed through the natural world. Nothing makes me more aware of this than working in the garden. I read about the death and resurrection of Christ in the Bible, but I experience it every time I plant a seed and watch it burst into life.I read about the faithfulness of God to Israel but I experience it every time I watch the rain fall and nourish the seeds I have planted. I read about the miracle of the fish and the loaves but I experience a miracle every time I am overwhelmed by the generosity of God’s harvest.

In this workshop, we will discuss the wonderful ways that God is revealed through the rhythms of planting, growing, and harvesting in the garden. There will be spiritual insights and practical suggestions for backyard gardening in the Northwest. Come prepared to get your hands (and your clothes) dirty!  

Each participant will receive a copy of The Garden Year, a resource to help plan, cultivate, and harvest a garden throughout the year.

The New Resilient- “Canadian blog building dialogue and resources on food policy, security and safety and the path to resilient communities.”

Deconstructing Dinner- A podcast from Kootenay Co-op Radio in British Columbia.

Deep Green Conversation- Another promising new website tackling faith and creation care.

The Commodification of Susan Boyle

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I don’t own a television and I don’t live in the UK. I also don’t have an internet connection at my house. This is why it took me until Saturday night to watch a downloaded YouTube video of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent. I was completely blown away. Beneath the dramatic editing of reality TV and the sweeping music added for effect there appeared to be a real moment of grace where something genuinely surprising and beautiful happened. That kernel of something was enough for me to get swept away by the rest of the trappings and the moment.

For those, like me, who are usually out of the loop, a 47 year old Scottish woman who was unemployed and never been kissed pranced onto the UK’s American Idol (It’s actually the reverse I think, because the UK version is the original. I digress) in her frumpy Edith Bunker way and proceeded to shock everyone by belting “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. I knew it was a real moment when the female judge (why is it always only one female judge, never two) said,

I’m so thrilled because I know that everybody was against you. I honestly think that we were all being very cynical. And I think that was the biggest wake up call ever.

The bubble had been burst and something beautiful happened. For a moment that upside kingdom was slightly visible, where the unexpected happens and the last are first. This wasn’t a rags to riches, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps story. This was a moment that made us realize who we really were. Our assumptions, prejudices and cynicism laid bare for all to see.

My wife said, “Yeah, but what happens now?” Will this genuine moment simply be subsumed by the consumer religion into another marketing strategy, a line of “I Heart Susan” paraphernalia? Consumerism demands that everything is a commodity: ideas, seeds, mortgages and bets on bets on mortgages. Advertisers already toy with our heartstrings, otherwise the jokes about crying at cotton commercials wouldn’t ring so true. I hope that a moment like this would teach us something, but I’m afraid it will be drowned out by the noise about the moment, telling us what to buy in order to capture the moment.

We still like to occasionally watch this classic video of Jesus Junk Music that made the rounds last year. We watched it again right after seeing Susan Boyle as sort of a palate cleanser before watching her again. It seemed so hollow and empty in comparison. Ironic, isn’t it? Here is the YouTube video for you to judge.

Weekly Sausage Links

180px-Sausage_making-H-1.jpgNot sure if the weekly links feature will continue around here. I don’t have anything new to put here. Meanwhile… I link to lots of interesting food news and then some on my twitter feed (on the sidebar as well). I also HIGHLY recommend ethicurean for their regular digest of food news and commentary. If I find a slew of links sometime I will happily revive this feature. Until then follow me on twitter.
…back to your regularly scheduled blogging…

Weekly Sausage Links

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Don’t ask how the URLs get made. Just enjoy the hyperlink tastiness!

Earth Abbey – an interesting new site committed to conversation about sustainable faith practices. Not sure how old it is, but it looks like they’re off to a good start.

Sustainable Traditions – This is similar to the Earth abbey, but using ning.com for a more social networking feel with all the accoutrements. You can also follow them on twitter. The people I’ve connected with here have been wonderful.

Factory Farm Map – The good folks at Food and Water Watch have created a sweet resource for finding out about factory farms in your area.

Want Salad With That? Make It Fries – A new study shows that people are more likely to order fries, the least healthy option, when there is the option of a salad on the menu.