Saturday, March 24, 2007

Peace Witness

I've been racking my brain trying to find the right words to speak about last weekends Christian Peace Witness for Iraq.

Sadness is all that I can come up with. While riding the bus for 9 hours to the National Cathedral, participating in worship, and marching to the White House this emotion boiled up within me. Sadness for those who have lost loved ones, have lost a limb, have spent precious time away from their family, and for the innocent Iraqis who have been so damaged.

Also, over 3,000 Christians came together in those few hours, and I'm not usually this pessimistic, but it's hard for me to not feel sad for the little difference we made.

After coming back to Ohio, again I felt sad because I didn't now how to talk about the war, how to give good answers to people's questions, what I thought we should all be doing as average citizens of the United States of America, and most importantly Christians.

So I'm sorry that there is not much more that I can say about the event, but it's been so hard for me just to say this much.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Under the weather

I wanted to share my reflection from the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq with you, but have been feeling ill. As soon as I am back to normal I will continue to post.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Farm Bill

I haven't said anything about the Farm Bill which is up for renegotiation this year because I don't really know much about it. However, I do understand its importance for the small farmer and poor rural communities. This NY Times article is just a short summary of something that the Bush administration might be doing right. Take a moment to read it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Some information about eggs.

MK says that she is educated every time she reads my blog, so here it is.

The eggs that Stratford sells are brown. As a rule white chickens lay white eggs and brown(ish) chickens lay brown eggs. Now there are many varieties of chickens and it might be hard to tell what color egg a chicken would lay if you saw it walking down the road. For instance we have some white chickens at Stratford, but they lay brown eggs. This is because they are part of a brown breed that has a recessive gene and are white. To tell what color egg a chicken will lay one just needs to look at their ears. The color of a chickens earlobe will closely resemble the color of the outer shell of the egg they lay.

When brown chickens are forming their eggs, the brown pigment is not secreted or applied till the final layers of the shell are formed. It has been compared to that of an ink jet coloring the egg. Which means the brown color can be removed by soaking it in vinegar which dissolves the outer layer of the shell (Chicken Breeds and the Color of their Eggs).

Why are most eggs we buy in a grocery store white? (Excuse me while I step up on my soap box) White chickens are easier to raise in cages and therefore are more cost effective and convenient for the commercial chicken farmer. The chickens that lay brown eggs are larger and eat more, but I would rather be able to see my egg producers roaming healthily across the chicken yard, then have the convenience of cages. I believe that there is also a difference in taste, because free range chickens have access to a healthier and more natural diet of bugs and other things than those who are raised in cages.

However, brown eggs are not healthier than white eggs. I searched many sites on this subject and it's pretty clear that there is not a difference. However, perhaps the way the chickens are raised to produce brown eggs is healthier for the environment. I also came across and blurb that suggested brown eggs promote genetic diversity. Brown chickens are in the minority because of the ease of raising white chickens, by raising the demand for brown eggs, we are protecting the diversity of brown chickens.

Did you know some chickens even lay green or blue eggs? Pretty crazy stuff!!

As always I'll leave you with a brief article to do some reading of your own. Which Came First--Brown Eggs or the White.

Also check out the Egg Nutrition Center for nutritional information about the incredible egg. The delicious, nutritious, affordable fast food.

Almost too tired

But I knew I needed to write tonight because so much has happened in the last week, and you need to know about it. I worked a 6 day work week, followed by my first gig talking about climate change in a church. Needless to say I am exhausted, plus I am suffering from allergies or a cold, which has left me sore throated and light headed. But, I don't think I could possibly be happier about the way things are going.

For starters I am quite certain that my internship ROCKS and I would not want to be any place else right now. I have learned so much in the last 2 weeks. After spending my entire life being creeped out by snakes, I finally touched one on Thursday. It wasn't too bad, but I wouldn't say I enjoyed it. However, seeing that it is an exciting learning opportunity for the kids, I decided to bite the bullet and reach into the cage and pick it up. His name is Sundance, he's a red rat snake, and is about three and a half feet long. I like him, as much as I can like a snake and I hope he never decides to bite me.

I am excited because I will get to learn how to keep bees as part of my internship. The hives have died out at Stratford but we will be getting new ones on April 1st. I am excited and will obviously post more when the time comes.

We had our Maple Sugar Festival over the weekend and probably saw close to a thousand people including children. The weather was wet in the morning, but was warm and the sun came out. I spent the day reading stories and talking about Sundance. Ryan spent the day in the kitchen making sausage in pancakes. It was fun, and I hope to be around to do it again next year.

Hopefully this week I will be learning more about the barn animals. I learned about barn chores, and collected my first eggs on Tuesday. I also brought home my first dozen eggs and they are yummy. It's amazing how strong some of the smaller eggs are, I had to really bang on them to get the shells to crack.

As far as the church gig goes, I believe that it went ok. It is hard to read a crowd, especially on full of people that I do not know. They seemed to respond to some things better than others, and what I was really trying to do was facilitate a conversation and that seemed to happen. It was a good experience and I will be able to build on my notes for the future. So, if you read this, and you are interested in hearing me speak let me know, I would love to come to your church, youth group, or Sunday school class.

I am going to write a little informational blog about eggs, since MK says she gets educated every time she reads my blog.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Christian Peace Witness For Iraq

I will be taking a bus to Washington D.C. for the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq in two weeks.

Please pray for this witness in the coming weeks as plans and preparations are being made.

If you cannot attend the witness be praying around 7pm on March 16th when an ecumenical worship service will be held at the National Cathedral.

I will follow up with a post after the event.


Read the News

Just about every time I read a news article on-line I want to blog about it because I think it is something worthy of noting to people who care about the same things I do. However this is just not possible, and it's also very redundant. So following in the footsteps of my good friend Matt at Absolutely No Spin I have started using Google Reader and sharing items of importance on my blog side bar. I encourage you to read what you can when you can.

Also, I'm looking to read more blogs of interest. So if you read this and think I would enjoy your blog, drop me a line. If I like it a lot, I'll put you on my sidebar.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Maple Syrup

I love my internship, I'm only 4 days into it but I'm pretty sure I will always feel this way. Mostly because I get to spend so much of my day outside. Even now as I sit at my computer shivering because I haven't warmed up yet I feel grateful for so much exposure to the wonders of Creation.

My first task that I undertook this week was hauling maple sap from the trees to the sugar shack. I made several trips with a bucket in each hand loaded with about 20 pounds of sap. I enjoyed the chance to exercise and to learn about the practice of maple sugaring. That was Monday.

Today I was able to taste the fruits of my labor after the first batch of syrup was poured. And it was DELICIOUS!! My boss Christa likes to tell the kids how we talk nicely to the trees when we are drilling them and how sometimes we like to thank them for what they produce. Today was one of those days when thanking was in order.

I wanted to post some information about sugaring, but really didn't feel comfortable with writing the information myself. So if you are interested you can check out The Sugaring Story.

At Stratford they use mostly traditional methods for sugaring, including "quiet" drilling, which means the use of a hand drill. The sugarbush is larger than ever this year, consisting of about 150 taps.

Take some time to read about Stratford Ecological Center, as it is a really neat place. The website needs updating, but they are working on it.