Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Maybe I should move to Maine?

"With a unanimous vote in a town meeting, Sedgwick, Maine, has approved a "food sovereignty" ordinance. David Gumpert reports:

Citing America's Declaration of Independence and the Maine Constitution, the ordinance proposed that "Sedgwick citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing." These would include raw milk and other dairy products and locally slaughtered meats, among other items.This isn't just a declaration of preference. The proposed warrant added, "It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance." In other words, no state licensing requirements prohibiting certain farms from selling dairy products or producing their own chickens for sale to other citizens in the town.What about potential legal liability and state or federal inspections? It's all up to the seller and buyer to negotiate. "Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect."

Elsewhere in Maine, similar laws were adopted in Penobscot and narrowly rejected in Brooksville."

Oremus pro invicem!

P.S. - It seems I can't comment on my own blog or others recently. To answer the comment below, The Family That Overtook Christ is published by the Daughters of St. Paul. You should also be able to get it on Amazon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My 12 year old daughter handed me a book the other day and told me to read a certain (short) passage. It was so intriguing that I read on, and then went to the beginning of the book. An hour later Mrs. Curley urged me to return the book to my daughter before bedtime. The book: The Family That Overtook Christ -the amazing story of the family of Bernard of Clairvaux by M. Raymond, OCSO.

I don't know how I missed this one. The copy my mother had as a child was in our house growing up, but I never read it, even though it got rave reviews from my sisters.

Even for an adult it is a powerful book about following Christ in your vocation. Sure Bernard and his brothers and sisters all became religious-but it is about his parents too and how they lived their vocations.

Not just a biography, it has plenty of spiritual weight as it is often written almost as a novel with conversations dramatizing the spiritual life and struggles of this heroic family.

A great Lenten read to be sure.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I read the following quote (and it struck me deeply) in the context of an article by Dr. Christopher Tollefsen on Speaking the Truth (read the article here) I give the Dr. Tollefsen's intro to the quote, but it is the quote which stays with me:

Those .... would do well to read the work of those brave individuals who struggled against the lies of totalitarian societies precisely by means of radical honesty: Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia, Adam Michnik in Poland, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in the Soviet Union. Michnik’s words can stand in summary for the three:

Start doing the things you think should be done, and . . . start being what you think society should become. Do you believe in freedom of speech? Then speak freely. Do you love the truth? Then tell it. Do you believe in an open society? Then act in the open. Do you believe in a decent and humane society? Then behave decently and humanely.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

homestead, books, and family vocation

Sold off the Hampshire X Tamworth litter this weekend. We kept a gilt to be a companion to the sole litter survivor of our Christmas Eve litter. Our Hamp X Berk litter will be ready in about 5 weeks. We have a litter due in April and 2 litters due mid-May.

We have our broccoli, Romaine lettuce, and some onions in. We have planted quite a few rows of early peas along with kohlrabi and Swiss Chard. With the heavy rains last night, I am hoping the seeds weren't washed away.

The brussel sprouts planted in the fall are looking good now. We planted too late for a fall crop of brussel sprouts. They survived the winter and hopefully will provide a spring crop.

We've also replanted 3 empty pig pens with various greens; one more to go.

Good news! It looks like a neighbor will lease us 4 acres of his 28 acre field. I plan to plant most of it in peanuts so we can start growing most of our feed for the pigs and chickens. Four acres should yield us about 4 months of hog feed and several bales of peanut hay for our cows. This is a conservative estimate as I plan on another drought year. Planting, and even more so, harvesting, by hand will be a challenge on 4 acres. We are contemplating trying to get the boys' horse to help till the field.

We are actively trying to sell our Guernsey/Jersey Heifer born about 20 months ago and ready to breed. Also on the market is an Ossabaw Island hog breeding pair.


I received an inquiry the other day about Requiem Press' first publication Daily Prayers for the Church Suffering. After 6,000 copies either sold or given away (a copy was given with every order placed with Requiem Press), we are out of copies, except our personal ones. It is the one booklet we published which I would reprint if I had the funds. The spiritual need is great to pray for the holy souls in purgatory. However, funds just are not available. We have tremendous deals on our remaining inventory (If you want quantity, the deals get even better. We sunk much of our savings and all of my retirement into Requiem Press to start. We still have some outstanding obligations we would like to clean up). If there is one book I would continue after all inventory is cleared, it would be the "Daily Prayers" booklet. But God's will be done!


We started a (hopefully ongoing) family discussion the other night about our family vocation. Of course all of us as individuals have a particular vocation, but we as a family have one also. How could we be a better family? a better domestic church? What apostolates or what works of mercy can we or should we be doing more of-considering our talents, abilities and state (geography, finances, resources, etc.)? Going into Lent, I think it is particularly appropriate that we discern in this area. Sometimes we get off-track. With all our responsibilities on the homestead, sometimes we let some of the reasons we are here slip by. (How many times have we missed the Angelus-even though we moved here in part so we could have "Angelus time" together?) Already some good ideas (some new, some resurrected) have been voiced.

Oremus pro invicem!