I CARE about food. I was raised on a cattle and grain ranch in California. I take personal responsibility for every morsel of food I buy or put on my plate – eat it, share it or compost it. I urge you to do the same.
The problem with agriculture is much more basic than GMO’s, organics, herbicides or inputs (fertilizer, nitrogen, etc.).
The most basic problem is annuals vs. perennials. Prairie grasses are perennials. Most food and fuel grains, like wheat, corn and soy beans are annuals. The soil is disturbed so they can to be planted anew every season.
Learn more about the value, benefits and prospects of perennial grains at TheLandInstitute.org or at my blog Perennial Design. (We’re not talking about lawns!)
Lierre Keith is a long time activist, and the author or co–author of seven books, most notably Deep Green Resistance and The Vegetarian Myth. On Resistance Radio, she and Derrick Jensen discuss how and why agriculture is inherently destructive, and is, as Jared Diamond noted, the worst mistake humans have ever made.
So appropriately, Arbor Day, April 25, falls in the same week as Earth Day. So, if you’re thinking, “In the midst of climate crisis, what can I DO?” As Martin Luther famously said, “If I knew the world was going to end tomorrow, I’d plant a tree.”
Arbor Day (from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Today, many countries observe this holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.
Although not the official state motto, I’ve seen on some Nebraska license plates is “Home of Arbor Day.” (Also, Nebraska, a conservative state, is putting up some of the strongest resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline!)
The motto of the Arbor Day Foundation, in Nebraska City, NE, is “We inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.” The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization. A million members, donors, and partners support its programs to make the world greener and healthier. The foundation runs Arbor Day Farm, an educational center.
I heard about the Trillion Trees by 2020 Campaign on The Future of Civilization, a speech by Lester Brown, founder of World Watch Institute.
An example of a new, less-water-intensive method of growing trees worldwide is the groasis technology (think: grow oasis). It is not irrigation, it is a planting technology.
So, do TWO things for Earth Day – learn about perennial grains and pledge to plant a tree in 2014!
P.S. from EarthMama: 11 Important Ways to Honor Earth! | Earth Day Gift Song for you – Only One from her A Sense of Place CD
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What’s NOW with SLW!
- Murder and Resurrection: “What if we destroy the planet before Jesus gets back?” What about our kids and grandkids? Recently I heard Thom Hartmann interview Guy McPherson, PhD., on Conversations with Great Minds. I read an excerpt from his book Going Dark, then some of the very thought-provoking Nature Bats Last blogs at his site GuyMcPherson.com. McPherson claims that we cannot stop the Great Implosion (my term) because the climate crisis of today is due to our excesses 40 years ago (called a ‘positive feedback loop’). The best we can do, according to him, is to be with the ones we love now in the moment. We may be able to extend the horizon of the Great Implosion, possibly even reduce its intensity. The human population will drop from nine billion in 2050, to one billion in 2100. Extinctions of all life may be fewer than 90% by 2100 as now expected. Even though we cannot control the massive greed of corporations or the politicians they own, we can control our own lives. And the best way to do that is through voluntary simplicity. I know of no better explanation of faith-based voluntary simplicity than the Five Life Standards of Living More with Less. The Roman Empire executed Jesus and God raised him from the dead three days later. Humans and their civilizations have been killing God’s Creation on Earth for 500 years and the pace has been picking up immensely in the past 60 years. How and when God resurrects life on Earth remains to be seen. I’m confident S/he knows best.
- P.S. I’ve read Derrick Jensen on the End of Civilization for quite awhile. Since 10/6/13, he has a weekly radio program, Resistance Radio on the Progressive Radio Network (internet), PRN.fm. Listen or download, recently Guy McPherson. (I don’t find a subscription in iTunes.)
- P.P.S. I’ve begun offering a Simple Living Blog Preview service, which will give some worthwhile blogs to consider following – faith-based or secular.RELATED: What Might a Christian Life Look Like? | Vision of the Future | Chris Hedges: The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Civilizations (video).
- SLW! Podcast Episode #19: overviews of Alternative Summer Festivals / Simply Delicious: Quantity Cooking for Churches / Hunger resources from Worship Alternatives + Literacy service
- Since we’re in Eastertide, you may have something to contribute to our on-going collection Who’s Risen from the Dead, Anyway? for Lent/HolyWeek/Easter and to our most widely-read annual resource, Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? for Advent/Christmas/Epiphany. Though it’s no longer printed on paper, “WHOSE Birthday?” is published online since 2012. Some editions also come in AUDIO formats. ART | PERSONAL EXPERIENCES | FAMILY ACTIVITIES | Submission Guidelines | All past editions are available on the SLW! site. Thanks to Creative Commons licensing, individuals and congregations can reprint articles without further permission. The articles are carefully indexed — ADVENT/CHRISTMAS | LENT/EASTER.
- Simpler Living Alternative Daily Calendar – April
- Check out a few of these thought-provoking, timely resources that might meet your personal, family or congregational/group needs. They’re all FREE.
- Not Ordinary Times – April Podcast – Episode 18 – Guest: Peter Sawtell, Founder and Exec. Dir. of Eco-Justice Ministries discussing a new initiative — a challenging call to “be the church” in this time of environmental crisis — backed up with a comprehensive set of resources and background materials that will guide churches through a six-month season of worship and preaching that takes seriously the devastation of the global environment. (The weeks between Pentecost, 6/8/14, and Advent, 11/30, are traditionally Ordinary Time, the non-festival part of the Church Year.) + Resources for Pentecost and Ordinary Time from Worship Alternatives
- In stark contrast to the misuse of farmland to produce biofuels presented in a recent episode of TheCommonGoodPodcast, Vicki Robin presents a vision of locally produced food and strong community in Blessing the Hands That Feed Us: What Eating Closer to Home Can Teach Us About Food, Community, and Our Place on Earth. Hear my interview with Vicki on the recent Simple Living Works! Podcast. With Joe Dominguez, Vicki Robin wrote one of the most enduring, influential books to have come from the sustainable living movement, Your Money or Your Life.
What Others Are Doing
You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes either at SimpleLiving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST or at SimpleLivingWorks.org (then click window #3). Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent).
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Episode Index: #1-3: Getting Acquainted | #4-5: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle | #6-11: Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? | #12: Living More with Less UPDATED | #13: Let’s Get Ready for a Simpler Lent & Easter | #14: Simple Living 101 + Social Media BONUS | #15: author Cecile Andrews, Champion of Simplicity Circles and Community Conversation | #16: Rites of Passage, including Wedding Alternatives | #17: Vicki Robin, co-author of the best-seller Your Money or Your Life | #18: Not Ordinary Time: Eco-Justice Ministries | #19: Simply Delicious: Quantity Cooking for Churches / Hunger / Alternative Summer Festivals | #20-27: Tony and Shane Uncut
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Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist
GRAPHIC: Spirit of Simplicity #5-A1371
We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative Giving. Give away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.
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*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.
Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2.
We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.