This year is starting off fast and exciting for Care of Creation. I am just back from a week-long trip to our project site in Kijabe, Kenya along with Lee Hardman and Nelson Hard, two of our U.S. board members, and I’m excited about what God is doing through our efforts in that part of the world. Let me share some of what we heard and saw during this visit.
Farming God’s Way
Farming God’s Way (FGW), a conservation no-till agricultural program that is presented as part of an intensive Biblical-worldview training program, continues to generate a lot of interest among farmers and with the staff of other development organizations in East Africa. The project site at Moffatt Bible College now features 8 test plots, four for FGW crops with the rest serving as controls. The week before we arrived, a large group of farmers witnessed the harvesting of beans – the FGW plot produced 3.3 times as much as the control (that’s a 330% increase in yield!). Read more »
I’ve been pushing hard all summer on a major writing project with the goal of finishing the intial writing by the end of September. This is the main reason you’ve seen less posts on Our Father’s World than usual. Sorry about that – but hopefully the end product will be worth the wait.
In the meantime, enjoy this video clip from Chipotle. You may know that I’m not much of a fast-food advocate – but this company does seem different.
It has been a year of flood and drought. This spring’s floods along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are old news to most of us, as is the ongoing drought in Texas, which is breaking records set as long ago as 1917, long before the Dust Bowl of the 1930′s.
But nowhere in the world are things as bad as what is happening in East Africa, not far from where Craig and Tracy Sorley are serving in Kenya.
The Worst Drought in 60 Years
“Once More Into the Abyss”. That’s how the Economist news magazine described the developing drought in Kenya and other East African countries a week or so ago:
BLOATED bellies with stick arms and legs; huge eyes staring out of skeletal heads; gaunt mothers trying to suckle babies on withered breasts. The world thought it might never see such scenes again. Famine in Africa, absent for many years, appeared to have gone the way of diseases for which we now have cures or vaccines. Read more »
["Old Literature" is an occasional series of posts on works from the past (and in some cases, the not-so-long-ago-past) that still speak today. Here are some of the earlier posts.]
Wendell Berry maybe best known for his essays on agrarian (hence environmental and ecological) topics; his greatest work, to my mind, is in his novels, all of which take place in and around and concern the “membership” of Port William, a small river town in Kentucky. My wife Susanna and I recently finished reading (aloud, of course!) Hannah Coulter, and we are now halfway through Jayber Crow. Yes, I know we’re working backwards – that’s how life is sometimes. Anyway – last night’s selection caught my attention and seems worth sharing. Enjoy the selections – but better, get out and read the book!
Jayber, whose religion is real and deep and passionate and mostly of the unorganized variety, is the town’s barber – and gravedigger – and permanent bachelor – and, in this chapter, has just become the Port William’s church janitor. Jayber’s observations on the nature of the preaching (and preachers) in this rural church are important, and reflect Berry’s perception of a fundamental flaw in the Christian faith as practiced at that time and in that place: Read more »
The Egyptian revolution now underway has a personal connection for me – my niece Annie is attempting to pursue graduate studies in the middle of the chaos. I had a conversation with her mother, my sister Marilyn this morning: “So what’s Annie doing? Trekking to the airport every day to try to get out?” “Not exactly – she’s trekking to demonstrations every day…” Anyone who knows Annie – heck, anyone who knows her mother – would not be at all surprised by that. Marilyn’s family lived in Egypt for a number of years, and she has been covering the crisis very competently on her blog here if you’d like a well-written day-to-day overview including occasional eye-witness reports from Annie.
There are so many dimensions to this uprising that it’s hard to know even where to start. There are plenty of obvious dimensions of this crisis: A hard-pressed population’s desire for freedom. The fear many have of the possibility – maybe remote, maybe not – of an Iran-style Islamic state taking the reins after Mubarak leaves. Read more »
Long-time readers of this blog will remember John and Dorothy Priske of Fountain Prairie Farms in Columbus Wisconsin. We’ve been friends for a couple of years and I’ve watched John and Dorothy’s progress as they have developed Fountain Prairie Farms. John stopped by one of my seminars in Madison a couple of years ago and stole the show, and the Fountain Prairie table at the Dane County (Madison) Farmer’s Market is the first place I stop just before Hook’s Cheese and Pecatonica Farm and the guy who sells me purple potatoes. I’m starting to learn that ‘eating local’ isn’t a principle – it’s participating in a web of relationships.
So when I turn on my television for the evening news, and my favorite farmer is featured – that’s exciting stuff! John and Dorothy were named ‘Wisconsin Conservation Farmer of the Year’ for their work at Fountain Prairie. Here’s the story, and here’s a clip: Read more »