Making Changes
Kate Burlette

“It is a time when there is much in the window,
but nothing in the room.” -Dalai Lama

Boy, it’s getting tough out there. Everyday we hear about another bank, another company going under. We see the unemployment numbers rising, homeowners in crisis, and feel the pain of it all when we try to buy our groceries.

Peak oil, economic crises, global warming, even seed shortages ...yep we’ve got it all. Perverse consumption, consumerism and a culture that feeds on instant gratification are all symptoms of what I believe has caused the situation we now find ourselves in. And until we realize why we got into this mess in the first place, I don’t think we can effectively change our way of doing things.

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What's Wrong With Local Food?
Local and Organic Food and Farming: The Gold Standard

 More and more consumers and corporations are touting the benefits of "local" foods, often described as "sustainable," "healthy," or "natural." According to the trade publication, Sustainable Food News, local as a marketing claim has grown by 15 percent from 2009 to 2010, and it's likely that number will increase in the coming year.

But, beyond the greenwashing and co-opting of the term by Wal-Mart, what does "local" food and farming really mean? What is the impact of non-organic local food and farming on public health, nutrition, biodiversity, and climate?

Jessica Prentice coined the term locavore for World Environment Day in 2005 to promote local eating, and local consumption in general. Her goal was to challenge people to obtain as much food as possible from within a one hundred mile radius. Her success was more than she imagined. In 2007 the New Oxford American Dictionary selected "locavore" as its word of the year. Local had arrived!

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Our Pool of Knowledge
Patricia Althouse

What are some of the things that hold community together and define it?  A community has shared culture, interests, values and stories. A community has a shared pool of knowledge; skills and techniques that are passed down from one generation to the next. A community has hungry people to feed, young people to guide, lonely people to befriend, and elderly people to comfort. Members of any community should strive to support its Members for all of their needs. Communities must have Members willing to help each other.  It must have people who are willing to give in a multitude of ways, with which we collectively lift each other up. Those include all the things we’ve heard about before: time, energy, money, and teachable skills.

Some call Four Quarters a community, and it is true that we share culture, interests, values, stories and knowledge amongst ourselves.  We are bound together by more than a few events.  We are bound together by more than fellowship, although we certainly have plenty of fellowship.  We have many, many good people who give of themselves for others in innumerable ways.  We have many more who have yet to discover how they can best serve.

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