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Archive for June, 2009

I say you might as well buy a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.

You get your advice, your platitudes, but you also get clean. Self help books? No practical use, for the most part.

So save your money, save the planet, and buy soap.

I like the peppermint, myself. It’s so tingly!

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Today, I got my first box from Little Tree CSA. For those of you who don’t know, this arrangement means that in exchange for cash monies, every week I get a box, a share from the farm. A box filled with good, yummy things. This box of fresh deliciousness will arrive every Saturday morning at the Dubuque Farmer’s Market until the end of the season (October).

This box contains spinach, lettuce, radish, chicken of the woods mushroom, micro greens, kale, garlic, chives, purplette onions, mint, lemon balm, and wild ginger. I had no idea what they would have this early on, I figured it would be lettuce, radishes, and more radishes. I can’t imagine how much this is going to change over time, because it’s already so much!

What I like about something like this is the way it compels me to eat better, to eat creatively. Organic and localvore issues aside (this fills both roles), what really matters is variety in the diet, to me. If I did not have this box, I would have got the usual produce, half at the supermarket, half at the farmer’s market, half from my own garden. I’d go for the old standbys. Now, microgreens? What will I do with those? How about the kale? I could use more of that green and leafy in my life. Chicken mushrooms? It looks fantastic! Things I would not go out of my way to eat, I will be eating now. Think of how good that is for my diet. Not only does it increase my exposure to healthy food, by granting me access to it, it increases the nutritional value of my diet. You can’t help but ensure a greater variety of nutrients when you have a greater variety of fresh food.

What am I snacking on right now? Microgreens. Until 30 seconds ago, never ate it in my life. Considering that I would normally poke around the kitchen for processed crap, this is a massive improvement. This really ups my veg intake a lot, investing in a CSA like this.

CSAs don’t come cheap, mind you. I’m paying $500, broken up over the months, for the boxes, which is about $25 a week. Well worth it, but there is an upfront cost. However, for fresh, local, organic food, it is a huge savings. I got far more than I would have had I gone and bought each bit individually. Some CSAs offer (or require) some work in exchange for the share, too. It depends on which one you join.

Most of them, like mine, have a newsletter, too. I’ve got recipes that are tailored to what is in this week’s box. And notice how I said “mine” there? It’s how I feel. The CSA concept makes me feel like part of the farm. Like an investor. I mean, that is kind of what it is, but who feels that way when they get stock in a company? Here, I am meeting the people, reading the newsletters, talking to them, getting to know them. It’s something I always loved about the Farmer’s Market, knowing where my food is coming from. But the CSA is even more of a bond, because of the regularity. We’re in this together! They said they were exited giving out the first boxes, and I was excited to get it. MY box, from MY CSA. How often do you think that about what you eat? It’s topped only by eating from my garden.

For information on CSAs, including where to find one near you in the United States, check out this website. It also links to farmer’s markets and other sources of local food.

This is going to be a GREAT summer. I can feel it!

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I read today about the Roman Catholic church denying First Communion to disabled, as policy, when I was looking up the story of the Roman Catholic Parish that got a judge to ban a family from attending Mass — to the point where a sheriff was waiting outside the home to arrest a family if they tried to attend.

I compared this to my own small Quaker worship group, which has been very inviting to my seven year old, non verbal child with PDD-NOS.

It makes me wonder what other policies are out there. A faith that insists that you understand the host is the body of Christ is going to be less inclined to give a child communion. In the case of the child denied, he had ‘oral defensiveness’ and could put the host in his mouth, but his father had to finish it. (My own son was unable to eat from birth — so it is a matter of medicine, not being ‘difficult’.) What would a different church do? I know of another child who is facing a possibility of being barred from his first communion for his disabilities, involving his ability to cope with large crowds. What about Bar Mitzvahs? Are those only for those who can read, memorize, perform in front of others?

As our children are out of institutions, and in our communities, our faiths need to decide what role they will ‘allow’ our children to have in their churches, temples, meetinghouses, places of worship.

Understand, though, as parents, if we feel that you are rejecting our children for their disabilities, we may very well reject you. It makes me sad to know that this is ok, and perhaps even desirable with some religions. But we’re not going away. Our children aren’t locked up any more, and we want them to be full members of our communities.

Will our religions step up to the plate? Or will they turn their backs on us.

I’m glad my group of Friends stepped up. I’m sad to read about others (primarily the Catholic Church) that said no. These people need to be members of the faith community, not just recipients of social services from them. (But then, as members of the community, they may not have much to donate, if they can’t work. However, Catholic Charities and the like DO make money off the government offering various services to the disabled.)

When it comes to communion, I can understand not taking it because you’re not in a state of grace, or whatever (I, personally will not take whereas other ‘lapsed (Roman) Catholics will), because that is a religious barrier, one that has to do with you at that moment in time. But when you are taking people who may be born with an inability to ever do it, or who for whatever reason have to stop later on, for medical reasons, then that isn’t very fair, and to me, not very loving. Does God care to what extent you can vocalize the meaning of the act to you? Or does God know your heart, and approve?

I would go so far as to say it is morally wrong to deny someone communion for those reasons, as you are taking God’s most vulnerable and denying them Him on that level. Do we, as “able bodied” adults have a responsibility to make sure that others partake in His rituals as much as possible? I think so.

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