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Summer 2006 Anathoth Community Farm Newsletter

Summer 2006 Anathoth Community Farm Newsletter

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Published by: Leadership Conference of Women Religious on Jun 17, 2010
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Summer 2006Summer 2006Summer 2006Summer 2006Summer 2006
By John Adams
Sue Katt and I moved down to Anathothfrom Duluth this spring to start a CSA farm.Sue is Barb’s sister and on our previousvisits we would leave thinking that this is agreat place for a CSA. And now we are here.Our farm is called The Good Luck Farm, andits seeds are now included in the gardenspace Anathoth has traditionally used forgrowing their own food. (And no gardenwar has yet broken out).We have high hopes for our farmbecause Anathoth is already so well set upfor a CSA. A CSA is a Community SupportedAgriculture farm where people buy fooddirectly from the farm by purchasing sharesat the beginning of the season and thefarmers deliver the food throughout thesummer. Early this spring we prepared aconvoy of seedlings in Duluth and thenloaded them into our moving vehicles alongwith all our stuff and moved down to tropicalLuck. Most seedlings survived the trip andthen basked in the two hoop houses andthe greenhouse below Mike and Barb’shouse. Almost immediately after collectingour last sap for the 34 gallons of syrup (adecent year I’m told) the warm weather blewthe doors off the hoop houses. Then onApril 24
we had a 20-degree temperature at6 AM but, being from Duluth, our seedlingswere hardy. We have the garden preparedand a pile of composted manure we pickedup locally in order to start building the soilin the expanded garden. Since our last saprun we have had almost no frost at night,and things are growing well. The asparagusis up and our cold-weather crops might beconfused but are sprouting well.We set up a booth at the Earth Dayrecycling center tour in St. Croix Falls forschool students. I spoke with a local beef producer who recently switched to organicbeef after his butcher showed him whatstandard feed was doing to his cattle’s livers.“I wouldn’t eat that beef, and I didn’t wantanyone else to,” he said. Luckily he had agood-paying job off his farm and he couldafford to make the transition. Then, acrossthe aisle from us I met a farmer that madecompost and was showing kids the differentstages of decomposition. The kids at thetour made it fun and they were interested inour worm bin display, “Worms Eat MyGarbage.” We had them pawing through thedirt searching for Red Wigglers digestingour food scraps.A CSA is a part of the process of usingless energy to produce food. Primarily intransportation costs, and also in terms of inputs to the soil. Most food n
ow isproduced on poor soil injected withsynthetic fertilizer. When we run out of oiland natural gas, the typical method of producing and transporting food will be nomore. That is an incredible thoughtconsidering more farmers around the worldare forced into synthetic fertilizer use andcash crops than are returning to organic orsubsistence farming. Organic farmers buildtheir soil over many years to develop all themicroorganisms in the soil that producehealthy food year after year. Farmers haveused these techniques on the same soil forcenturies in many parts of the world and thetechnique is building in popularity here inthe West. Still, we are the exception to themainstream, no matter how upside down andabusive the mainstreamfarming system is tofarmers. The nice thingabout The Good Luck Farmis that it is only a part of thegood work that happenshere and it is another wayto build relationships withlocal community members.We had our first deliveryJune 1, of spinach, radishesand asparagus and drove aloop of 50 miles. Not badconsidering most lettucetravels 1200 miles to get toa typical dinner table in theU.S. We think we will be setting up a producestand at Cafe Wren on the weekends whichshould be fun and we hope to meet youthere. Our rural location is an unusual onefor a CSA, being so far from a city. We’llhave to sell shares to local customers aroundLuck or make it at the highway stand becausewe are soon going to have tons of foodcoming out of the ground.If you are interested in a weekly box of veggies, give us a call 472-2018 or send usan email at thegoodluckfarm@yahoo.com
By Barb Kass
It’s been a few years since I’ve written farmnews. It gets to be a daunting task trying torecount the stories since our last newsletter.In gathering information from each memberof Anathoth Community Farm, I realize howas we add to our numbers, so we add to theamount of involvement for the good of theplanet.Living at Anathoth gives us theopportunity to be “response-able”: to hostincreasing numbers of guests; to sponsorand attend meetings, workshops and actionson a wide range of topics; to risk personalfreedom and do jail time; to visit family andfriends and lend support as needed; and togrow, harvest and preserve a significantportion of what we eat year-round. The pace is oftenfrenzied, and each of us worksto find personal balance in theface of a world that needspeople committed tononviolence and resistancemore than ever. We have never-ending community needs aswell as income producing jobsboth on and off the farm. Weacknowledge and encourageeach person to take time forsustaining activities – art,birding, camping, family time –knowing that these are exceedinglyimportant in the quest for sustainability. Sohere is the year in review of AnathothCommunity Farm:April 2005 was indicative of the wholeyear – lots of visitors. It seems that ourinvitations to “come and see” are finallybeing taken seriously! We hosted the Luck 
Good Luck comes to Anathoth
 John Adams, BahiaQuinlan and Sue Katt tend  the new CSA garden at Anathoth.
school’s 2nd grade field trip for the 11th year,but because of inadequate weather for mapletrees, the kids collected buckets instead of sap! Mike and Barb hosted five studentsfrom Thailand, (family and friends fromOllie’s stay in 1998.) Mike’s friend Satar fromIraq was through, as well as a class from St.Thomas University. John La Forge traveledto New York City to march with 25,000 to theUN calling for nuclear disarmament. He wasalso able to present the depleted uraniumstory in a UN committee room organized byanti-DU campaigns from around the world.May brought THE PARTY to celebratethe end of ELF! Months of planning byLoaves and Fishes in Duluth, Nukewatchand Anathoth produced a spectacularvictory party complete with music,speeches, and recognition of the incrediblenetwork of people who worked over 30 yearsto stop first the construction of and later theoperation of Project ELF. In these times of much to be discouraged about, this was a nightto feel empowered by persistence andnonviolence. We feel deep gratitude for all whovigiled, wrote letters, risked arrest andsupported the campaign throughout the years.Summer means garden, hay and peoplescattering. In June, John Heid traveled toArizona to join the Christian PeacemakerBorderlands delegation on the Mexican/ Arizona border for 3 weeks. From there hetraveled by bus to Erie, Pennsylvania to helphis dad move. Mike coordinated venues forSami Rasouli’s speaking tour. Sami is ourIraqi friend who has moved back to Iraq andstarted the Muslim Peacemaker Team.Bonnie and John LaForge representedNukewatch at the Midwest RenewableEnergy Fair, again makingthe connection betweenweapons and the U.S.unsustainable energypolicy.Emma Miles ran herfirst marathon – Grandma’sin Duluth. She inspiredMike to run with her in theJune 2006 race. TheNational Service Learningconference sent studentsagain to the farm in July fora tour, work and overnight. John La Forgewas arrested at Alliant Tech Systems in July.The trial ended in a conviction which iscurrently being appealed. Bonnie wasarrested at Alliant in August and refused toattend court proceedings. In August, Mikeand Barb led a Church youth group trip toClay County Kentucky, where they hadworked as Brethren Volunteers in 1979-80.The week brought renewed friendships, newawareness of the plight of Appalachia bymountain top removal, and much good work was done by the youth for the Mud Lick and Flat Creek churches.As the group traveled home, Bonnie,John La Forge, and John Heid were headingdown to the same region for an actioncommemorating the bombings of Hiroshimaand Nagasaki taking place at the Y-12 nuclearweapons productionsite at Oak Ridge,Tennessee.Fall harvest wasplentiful. We har-vested ginormouspotatoes, bushels of tomatoes, onions,garlic, basil, beansand more. Amidstthe canning andfreezing, folksmanaged to attendBobfest in Madison,the annual CatholicWorker gathering at Sugar Creek in Iowa,and Harvestfest in Minnesota all on thesame weekend. (Is too much of a good thingwonderful?!) We hosted an AnathothCommunity Farm Open House, advertisingit as “a time to come and see what we’velearned and talk about energy challenges of the future.” The first vehicle arrived exactlyat 1 p.m. and the traffic didn’t stop until dusk.Over 60 people attended, and most were folkswe didn’t know. It was an amazing afternoonfilled with dialogue about peak oil,sustainability (with more than a few “aha”moments at many of the unique features of Anathoth), activism and community living.We’ll do it again in the fall!The Northwood’s Peace Initiative senta bus with John La Forge andMike on board, toWashington DC for theSeptember 24th End the Warrally. In an unbelievable tale,Mike ended up being thedriver of the commercial buswhen the scheduled busdriver didn’t show up.It was like the exodus inOctober with Barb Katt,Jane, John Heid, Mike andOllie (who now lives inMoscow, Idaho) doing log repair at the NorthRim of the Grand Canyon for the month.Jerry, Molly and I attended the Word andWorld Stringfellow conference inMinneapolis. John La Forge, Bonnie andMolly coordinated a weekend longconference on Depleted Uranium and AlliantTech Systems which culminated in directaction at ATK on United Nations Day.Forty-two people were arrested for trespassincluding John La Forge. (His trial is stillpending). Bonnie had a hugely successfulart show in Madison, leaving with a packedcar and coming home almost empty! Bonnieis living her mantra “Do more art.”November brought more students -- St.Benedicts for a weekend retreat, and St.Thomas for an afternoon. Then there wassome scurrying to get the farm tucked inbefore Jane, John, John and Patty set off forthe annual action atthe School of theAmericas (SOA) atFort Benning,Georgia. All hadlead roles in the castof “Billionaires forBush,” sporting tophats, furs and lots of bling. Unlike Bushwho seems immuneto personal conse-quences for hisactions, Jane Hos-king and John LaForge each received 6 month sentences fortheir stroll up the driveway. Somehow, evenwith long days, weeks and months in thegarden, many gatherings with extendedfamily, the Grand Canyon job, and the trip toSOA, Jane and John were able to bring theStrawbale house far enough along to movein at Thanksgiving! It is beautiful to behold,warm as toast in the winter and cool insummer’s heat. They have settled in well.Winter brought another season of everyone in and out. December broughtBonnie’s family to the farm for the first time!We clean up nicely, especially for family, andit paid off when the 15-year-old niece askedto come back again for a longer visit! MichaelPeter Boland joined the extendedneighborhood on December 5th, charminghis parents Chris and Kristin, his sister Ann,and all the rest of us from the get go. Thefirst taste of what life will be like withoutMolly, Jerry and Amos came when they leftfor an extended winter discernment trip.[Author’s note: Sometime during the warmermonths, (we are all in denial as to the details),Molly and Jerry shared with everyone, theirplan to start a Catholic Worker in KalamazooMichigan.] We all “hoped” that Michiganweather would be terrible or that housingwould be totally out of financial reach orthat Amos would develop a major allergy toKalamazoo, so that the outcome would beto stay at the farm. Of course none of theabove happened and “they are moving”(though we are still in denial about this) andnow that we know how it feels to have themgone, we know too that we really, really don’tlike it one bit! Bonnie headed out to Montanato make a mosaic countertop. John, Johnand Jane headed back down to Georgia forthe SOA trial late in January. After the guiltyverdict, Jane and John H. were able tovacation some with Jane’s family in Florida.
Billionaires for Bush at the School of theAmericas protest in Georgia
Mike traveled to Baltimore in February tobuild a composting toilet at Jonah House.John La Forge turned the big 50 with muchfanfare from his rather large fan club.March brought warmer weather and thesap ran. Barb and Barb attended a NonViolent Communication Workshop withMarshal Rosenberg in St. Paul. Sami Rasouliwas back in the area for an intense 12-daytour of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Duringthat time, word of Tom Fox’s death came,causing us all to pause and take stock of the power and risk of nonviolentpeacemaking. Tom Fox was one of the lastpeople arrested at Project ELF, and had beenat the farm for the 20th Anniversary of Nukewatch celebration in 2004. Amos turnedtwo, is potty trained and quite the talker!Mike and Jim Miles and I attended the March24th End the War rally in Steven’s Point.University of Illinois sent an amazingAlternative Spring Break group for aweeklong study session. Barb Katt traveledto Arizona for her 3rd trek into the GrandCanyon. Sue Katt (yes, Barb’s sister) andJohn (yes that would be John #3) Adamsmoved to the farm for a year of intentionalexploration. Their focus is developing aCommunity Supported Agriculture businessout of the main garden. They come withflexibility, skill and commitment to the visionand mission of the farm. They are a welcomedaddition. Finally, Ollie and Jeff announced theirengagement; a wedding is planned in 2007.April sent John Heid to the MidwestCatholic Worker resistance weekend inColumbia, Missouri. Jane did a lot of visitingand self care in preparation to her reportdate to Pekin, Illinois on April 11th. John LaForge too spent valuable time preparing tobe gone for 6 months and he reported toDuluth the same day. While they arephysically away at “camp”, they remain verypresent to the community – Jane throughher perennials that pop out on a daily basis,and John by the innumerable stashes of firewood scattered over the farm’s 57 acres.April brought the second grade again, thisyear to full buckets of sap indicative of agood syrup season. Mike, John A., Sue andI participated in the Polk County recyclingcenter’s Earth Day open house with adisplay of compost worms, solar shower, amodel of window quilts and a photo essayof the many alternative and efficient energycomponents of the farm.May has brought asparagus and muchactivity in the garden. Subscriptions are lowthis first year, but there are manyopportunities for farmer’s markets and salesat two local coops. Anathoth hosted aHighlander weekend, with much dialogueabout the Highlander center in Tennesseeand exploration of a northern model.Northland college students came for aweekend retreat and planted a largepercentage of the potato crop. Mike is wrestlingwith the decision of whether to run for Congressagain this fall. People Inc. from St. Paul broughtout a group of men who “camp” outside yearround. An intense afternoon of questions aboutoil and other resources taught us that the alarmis universal and we can only hope to be readyas the status quo shifts from abundance toscarcity.June is here. Bahia Quinlan, one of theIllinois students from the spring has come back to work on the farm for 6 weeks this summer.The garden will require more time from all of us with its expanded size and with Jane away.Mike is collecting the necessary 1,000signatures needed to get on the ballot forWisconsin’s 7th district congressional spot.We will say tearful, grateful and blessing-filledgoodbyes to Molly, Jerry and Amos (and thelittle one due in September) at the end of June.It is with full hearts that we’ll send them off tonew visions and a new community knowingwe will live in different places but the ties willremain true and strong.And so it goes. As we approach our 20thyear, it is with reflective wonder at theprofound generosity: first of the land, whichgives us clean water, heat for our houses, foodfor both body and soul; second of community,both of those who share and have shared lifehere at Anathoth, and the wider circle whosupport the work and vision of the farm; andfinally, generosity of spirit which nurtures thebelief that nonviolence and peace are possibleand encourages the commitment to continue thegood work begun.
Jane Writes fromPekin FPC
Dear all,It is so hard to imagine a feeling of beingrushed while knowing an enormous amountof time needs to travel by. (OK, 6 months isconsidered a “weekend” in here by longtimers.) Going off to dinner in a hurry, franticto fit a letter in the envelope to the box andphew – mail doesn’t go out until tomorrow.A whirlwind of conversation walked inand out just now. I’m ready to go out whileothers are in and then feel drawn to thesilence when they are out. So much time,and I often feel like I ought to beaccomplishing some great heights of socialchange from within. I guess I need to startwith me. My reactions to all around me.Setting the balance in each day. Playing agentle game with myself to laugh off thestresses. We joked about stress in here.Take it down a notch. Today I saw a kestrelin flight and last evening, our first nightin, Rita Hohenshell from Des Moines IAand Chris Gaunt [others in for anti-torturewitness] and I took a lap around the track.It was grey. Yesterday thunder through thenight with heavy rain and wind and today,a beautiful sunrise sunny and clear with aheavy wind. It’s a dream with a wide sky.Wind blowing around the grass in thewondrous patters. And a prize read from thelibrary by Bill Bryson, Notes from a SmallIsland. It is so funny I catch myself laughingout loud in the library.So I just had an interview with thelibrarian who asked a bundle of questions.I wish I had some memory retention to writethem down. “Did you know you’d servetime crossing the line? Will you return inNovember? And cross again?” And itreminded me of how this process began.More than a year ago I was plantingthe first seeds in the Anathoth Communityfarm green house. It was then I calculated6 months time and considered the annualaction at Ft. Benning, Columbus GA.Toward the end of the summer I felt not soready. Truly it felt like I would besacrificing too much for an action againsttorture. All fall/autumn I was activelydiscerning what steps to take. Article uponarticle was written about torture abusesby US military which found me drawntoward the SOAW action November 2005.On Christmas eve December 24 and 25 Iwould read article upon article from thespecial edition Nation magazine devotedentirely to investigations about torture.Late January was the trial in GA.Meeting up with the support of otherpeople who would like to clear U.S. foreignpolicy of such atrocities. Not to mentionthe Administration, soldiers taking ordersand all the ones in line of command and of course relieving the many victims of suchviolent acts. Continued help is needed togain votes on House Resolution 1217. Pleasewrite a quick note and send the informationfrom SOAW website out to people you knowliving in an area not yet covered.Any discernible reason which calledme back from crossing the line was wipedclean away as the days leading up toNovember 16 (our travel to SOAW date)approached. Over and over I askedquestions and responded to questions

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