Marking November Milestones

Barred Island Preserve, Deer Isle

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”  ~ May Sarton

November is a weighty month for me, heavy with memories and dates of significance. It’s also a dark month. As the days creep toward solstice, becoming ever colder and grayer, the inevitability of winter is evident. November can be tough.

That didn’t stop me from Continue reading

Unearthing Stories of the Past

Boat in Fog at Stonington Harbor

There is properly no history, only biography.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I joke about unearthing my ancestors; really, it’s their stories I’m after. Sifting through the scant evidence of existence left behind by my grandparents, great, great and even greater, has become a passion, if not a full-blown obsession. Dusting off the simplest details of their lives has ignited the flames of my imagination like nothing ever has—ever. With all my heart, I want to know them and to bring them to life. Continue reading

Lessons from Peru: We First

Granary at Ollantatambo, Peru

Just as I hoped, with ankle pain slowly subsiding and memories of wheelchairs fading into the mist, I’m beginning to understand a few of the many lessons learned on my recent trip to Peru.

Peru lives up to its lore. The high peaks of the Andes, rising to the clear blue sky, capped with snow and ice, surround the mountain traveler with whisperings of ancient spirits. Indeed, the mountain people listen to these whisperings, looking to the apus for wisdom and guidance.

Life is not easy above 8 or 10,000 feet. Continue reading

Lonely Treehugger Seeks Community

White Oak

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world. ~John Muir

The air was abuzz with the drone of chainsaws today, with pieces of giant pine trees crashing to the ground. A crew of tree workers felled every last tree in the yard across the street. Among them were some of the oldest white pines in the neighborhood, a couple of which were at least 24 inches in diameter. They were by far older and larger than my own red pines. One by one, they’ve come down today, their limbs being fed into the gaping mouth of the chipper as I write. Even the dogs are unnerved by the noise and horror of it all. Continue reading

Ben Hewitt on Regionalized Food Systems

Ben Hewitt speaking at the recent Connecting for Change Bioneers by the Bay Conference in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

If you’re new to Nourishing Words, check out Ben’s recent guest posts:

Concord Winter Farmers Market Partnership Splits

Concord Winter Farmers Market

This morning’s local paper told the story of a woman who spearheaded the effort a couple of years ago to create a winter farmers market here in Concord, New Hampshire. Yes, she had help. In addition to the help of a few community-minded volunteers, she partnered with a local greenhouse. But there’s no escaping the fact that it was Joan’s energy, drive and creativity that got the market off the ground. It quickly became a popular community event, with shoulder-to-shoulder shoppers vying for locally-grown winter vegetables and a myriad of local food products.

The sad ending to Joan’s story was Continue reading

At Any Time

MossesWe’re inundated right now with musings about 9/11 and memories of what we were doing on that morning. It is all good and appropriate. Indeed, anything that can remind us to stop and think, to consider our place on this earth, is good. Nothing has done that quite like 9/11. Remembering that day seems to mean something different to each of us, while at the same time something profoundly similar. Continue reading

Sharing Good Stuff: Ben Hewitt Book Giveaway

Sharing Good Stuff: Ben Hewitt Book Giveaway

Making Supper Safe CoverVermont farmer and author Ben Hewitt released his new book just last week: Making Supper Safe – One Man’s Quest to Learn the Truth About Food Safety. I’m only a few chapters into it right now,  having received my copy just last night. So far, it’s accessible, rich with detail and oddly entertaining, considering the serious topic.

Ben’s first book, released in early 2010, was The Town That Food Saved – How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food. My well-worn copy has made it around to many friends, all of whom appreciated the rich stories and humanity he brought to his descriptions of the area’s emerging local food economy. Continue reading

Homeopathy in Haiti

Today, I’d like to point you to the blog of a friend who’s doing some important work in Haiti with the organization Homeopaths Without Borders. Holly is spending a few weeks there right now, sharing her homeopathic knowledge, treating people every day. She and her colleagues work from a mobile clinic in five locations in Port au Prince, Léogâne, and Ganthier. They will also be providing ongoing homeopathic treatment at St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children. Continue reading