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Faith-based Community Agriculture Speaking Engagements

Is your faith-based organization interested in learning more about how community agriculture outreach can enhance your mission? I am currently booking speaking engagements for the summer and early fall in which I share my experiences starting and growing a faith-based community garden that provides fresh produce for our local soup kitchen.  The 30-minute program is a general introduction that includes the reasons, methods, costs, and next steps for launching a community agriculture ministry. The 90-minute program offers a more detailed look at those next steps, tips for securing grant funding, and the Biblical reasoning behind community agriculture. Both programs are free ( I respectfully request travel cost reimbursement for programs delivered more than 50 miles from my home base in Huntersville, North Carolina) and can be "freestanding" or integrated into your board, missions, or ministry meeting.
Recent posts

New Book Is Now Available on Amazon

My new book, Such Is Life in Vacationland , is now available as a paperback or an ebook from Amazon. It is a collection of selected "Field Notes" columns and new content related to my formative years growing up on the Lake Erie coast of Ohio.  The book is FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers and priced at $12 for the paperback and $6 for the ebook. A preview of the first three chapters is also available.   

Helping with a Moravian Barn-Raising

Our first-ever Moravian Barn Raising was a big success! It was probably never realistic to get it finished on Saturday, so we took a more experiential approach teaching the kids some fundamentals of construction and safety. A smaller group came out later in the week and finished the primary construction. There’s still some finish work to do and it needs to be stained and roofed, but I am pretty happy with how everything ultimately turned out.

Speaking on Community Gardening in Morven

Yesterday evening, I spoke to a group of community volunteers at the Holla Center in Morven about launching a community garden. In addition to serving as the county’s economic developer, I am a certified gardening instructor and volunteer manager of the New Beginnings Moravian Garden in Huntersville. I will be helping the Morven volunteers get their project off the ground, starting with a load of compost next week.

FIELD NOTES: I yam what I yam

It is common to see semi-trailers emblazoned with "Atlantic Packaging" chugging down U.S. 74 through Wadesboro. But I was under a misconception about these trucks until just last week.  In 1994, as my wife and I were beginning to seriously consider moving to North Carolina, I acquired a list of Charlotte-area businesses from the Chamber of Commerce and sent out a couple of dozen letters along with my resume to gauge potential employment opportunities. The companies I solicited were large and involved in industries I thought would be interesting. It's important to remember that the internet was in its infancy in the mid-'90s. There was no Indeed or Zip Recruiter, or even LinkedIn. The generally accepted way to get your name out there in a city far from home was to send a nice resume package to companies, more or less at random.  One of the companies on my interest list was Atlantic Envelope. Most people probably wonder why an envelope company would interest me; it'

FIELD NOTES: War on ice

On February 15, 1978, Leon Spinks shocked the sports world, beating defending heavyweight boxing champion Mohammed Ali in a nationally-televised fight. Although Ali was entering the twilight of his career and Spinks had won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympics, no one gave the young fighter much of a chance against the man considered "The Greatest." Most saw it as a warm-up fight for Ali as he prepared to take on the top-ranked contender, Ken Norton. So, it was perhaps a little surprising that more than one-third (34.4 TV rating) of Americans tuned in to CBS to watch the contest. Our household was one of those, even though none of us was a huge boxing fan. Just a few days earlier, though, my whole family, along with millions of others in the Midwest, had spent nearly a week trapped in our house without electricity due to the Blizzard of '78; millions suffering from a bad case of cabin fever and desperately needing the distraction.   In the early days of the COVID pandemic

FIELD NOTES: Always proofreed your work

On Sunday, the Yale Bulldogs defeated the Princeton Tigers to win the Ivy League basketball tournament and secure their berth in the “Big Dance.” The team proudly donned their brand new Ivy League Champions T-shirts, cut down the nets and posed for media photos. There was only one teensy problem; the shirts were misprinted, badly misprinted. Instead of Yale Bulldogs, they touted the champion Yale Bulldgods. You might say it’s a little bit of an embarrassment for one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country to misspell its nickname, but of course, the school had nothing to do with the mistake. I am guessing some quick print shop got the late-night order at the end of the semifinal round and was tasked with producing a couple of dozen champions shirts for both Princeton and Yale. It’s surprising that such an obvious error could slip through, but I know from personal experience it’s tough to proofread your own work because you KNOW what you meant to say.   The Yale gaf