Christmas 2011



Holiday greetings to friends and family far and near! These thoughts seem appropriate this holy season:

"As we approach the Christmas holiday and celebrate the miracle of the Incarnation, itís worthwhile remembering the personality of God as met in the person of Jesus Christ. In Jesus, God hit the streets, bringing with him a radical message of social justice that challenged us to love and empower the "least of these."

These words of Matthew Santoro (from "Millennials to the Church: Wake Up or We're Outta Here" - Sojourners - spoke to me in these difficult times. It's hard to get in the mood for Christmas when there is so much suffering in the world - even down the road here in Williston. But I am grateful for good health and security and loving family that are doing well in spite of difficulties. I won't bore you with the details, but here's a picture of me in my favorite fall jacket with a P.E.O. sister.

With the garden, classes (see - click on *** in upper right corner to see some of the presentations), and various computer and church projects, I keep plenty busy. This picture shows a typical spread of food samples we put together for classes - to show that nourishing foods can be delicious, and to encourage conversation at the end of class.

The garden is always an interesting challenge. I had one volunteer gourd plant that took over the garden and produced over 4 dozen of the cutest little squash gourds (see picture), which I have been eating - first like summer squash and now more like winter squash as the skin has hardened. There were lots of plum tomatoes, so I made tomato jam (excellent!) and ketchup (tasty and healthier than the sugar laden commercial variety! I'm still picking greens from the garden on Dec. 21 - kale (4 kinds), collards, chervil, parsley, and various Asian greens that are cold hardy. The freezer is full, and there are still squash and tomatillos in the breezeway! I continue to be membership chair for the farm club that gets grass-fed meat and dairy from a local farmer.

My excitement this year was participating in the 100th anniversary celebration of the St. Olaf Choir last June. Imagine singing with some 800 current and former St. O. choir members! We filled the raised seats on one side of the auditorium (see picture). It was a most inspiring and memorable event! Also made a trip to Dallas for The Weston A Price Foundation conference in November.

But I'm still in "Occupy" mode - can't keep up with the issues coming down the pike - raw milk (see, food freedom (see Farm Food Freedom Coalition), flawed USDA Dietary Guidelines (see Healthy Nation Coalition), genetic engineering (see . There are a bunch of bloggers working to educate folks about these issues and provide guidance in preparing nourishing traditional whole foods (See And we're spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter.

Occupy Wall Street - I understand where they are coming from - follow the money!

  • Attacks on small dairy farms and co-ops providing excellent food to their customers - do I hear the big dairy industry that doesn't like the competition! The evidence certainly doesn't show that raw milk or homemade sauerkraut is any more dangerous than dozens of other things we can buy. (See
  • Gov't approval of GM alfalfa (genetically engineered) - do I hear Monsanto buttering up the regulators and trying to take over the world. Never mind that GM crops are associated with undermining soil health, disappointing yields, more toxic chemicals than ever, and serious health effects in animals. (See
  • Congress tied up in knots over budget issues, can't possibly raise taxes to pay for the expensive wars we've gotten into - did I hear that most Senators are part of the "1%"! But we can lay off teachers, cut Medicare, resist investing in green energy and better schools, while we spend money going after raw milk, undocumented immigrants (wasn't this country built by immigrants?), and endless drug wars (while legal drugs properly prescribed kill more than 100,000 people annually).
  • Notice all those items in the press about vaccines these days - did I hear that these will be the big money makers of the future for the drug industry since many very profitable drugs are going off patent. But very little is heard about supporting a healthy immune system so drugs and vaccines are rarely needed. Sounds like the media are the handmaidens of industry (follow the ad money!).
  • Notice the row over counting pizza as a vegetable in school lunches - wouldn't want to undermine the profits of the food industry! Yes, I know - tomato is a vegetable - but what about all that fattening carb (crust) under the tomato sauce. Hardly what's needed with the epidemic of obesity and poor health among our children. Michelle Obama has nearly given up on getting kids to eat their veggies. Now it's "Let's Move!" - I think she got flack from the food industry. As Dr. Bruce West says, "There's just too much money in American processed foods and pharmaceuticals. After all, if we all quit eating processed foods and got healthy so we didn't get sick or need drugs, where would the ag/food/drug/medical industries be???

I can think of many other issues, but it seems they all boil down to this, big corporations and their profits (Wall Street) come before health, the environment, and a healthy economy. See Occupy the Food System.

But there is good news:

  • Organic can feed the world! In spite of all the guff that GMO's and chemicals are needed to produce enough food, the research is showing that modest sized mixed eco-farms are more productive.  More at this most interesting Web site.
  • Eco-farmers are finding that with proper soil remineralization and soil life rejuvenation the foods produced are more nutritious, they keep better, and don't attract pests, and they are tastier (kids love them!).
  • Young farmers are discovering the rewards of sophisticated ecological farming, and there are people of means willing to provide capital.
  • Animals raised on properly managed pasture, using a technique called 'mob grazing,' are very healthy and provide delicious and very healthy meat & dairy. And these pastures are excellent for sequestering carbon. Learn more at
  • Local is "IN" - Know your farmer! Farmers Markets have mushroomed as folks seek fresh, clean, local food. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) links local farmers with supportive consumers. Find your farmer at
  • A growing number of holistic health professionals are discovering the amazing healing abilities of the human body when properly nourished and detoxified, and they are guiding their clients on the path to vibrant health without drugs and with little need for surgery. (See, a huge source of health info)
  • Butter and eggs are good for you! Saturated fats and cholesterol are essential for a healthy body. It's all the commercial vegetable oils and products that are the real problem. That means a healthy diet of truly nutritious fresh foods will be really delicious - butter those veggies, but take it easy on the bread, cereal and pasta! There's lots more at my website

So that's it, friends. Enjoy a peaceful and relaxing holiday, but then step up and get active, educate yourself and take action - before the authorities take away your right to choose the food you think best or the health care you want, and the Monsantos of the world run us off the cliff. And lest you think this has nothing to do with Christmas, check this out: 

Who Was The Original Occupy Wall Street Protester?
I think you will recognize him. He has a great reputation.
Click on the link below to see a picture of him in action.

Wishing you all the best in 2012!



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