Rita, Stephen, and wee Joseph transplanting upland rice to the field. Emily is taking the picture, yet another farm task she enjoys and treats as play (and without which we wouldn't have nearly the record of our activities that we do).
I was recently invited to contribute to a discussion that the board of the the Primate World Relief and Development Fund (a partner of the Canadian Food Grains Bank) was having on corporate engagement. The five minute video captures, in broad strokes, some of my thoughts and feelings on the issues of food security, faith, and the centrality of moral choice (in both what we eat and how we produce it). It is five minutes, I hope you can take time to watch it. It will also tell you a little bit more about me.
To celebrate getting all the rice started I took time the evening to start reading “Food & Faith: Justice, Joy and Daily Bread.” There is a essay by Wendell Berry in it, and, like much of his writing, it really spoke to me. In particular "The industrial eater is, in fact, one who does not know that eating is an agricultural act, who no longer knows or imagines the connections between eating and the land, and who is therefore necessarily passive and uncritical - in short a victim."
This ties back to the rice, and the dry beans, peas, oats, buckwheat, rye, that dominate our planting; and the potatoes that used to and will hopefully again soon. There are a lot of things we could grow, and our choices are not the popular ones, they are not the valuable ones, worth a fraction of salad greens and the like. They are however the essential ones, they are cornerstones of a diet, and if there is to be a local sustainable agricultural economy where eaters are agriculturalists, then small farms need to be able to get by on the those essential crops. We love Chinese, Ukrainian, and Scottish food, love to base our diet around them, rice shows up in Chinese and Ukrainian food, potatoes are also important, so is buckwheat. These are the most humble of crops for sure, not sexy or exciting or trendy (although we have funky heirloom varieties of almost all and unlike many of our grower friends the space to experiment with them), but essential and awesome because they are the base that so many different diets and cultures are built on. Pretty humble stuff, sort of the horticultural equivalent of feet washing, total service, which I guess is what dominion in relation to creation is supposed to look like. Really though, even others can’t I can see their beauty, I love these crops, and I can’t wait to get this stuff into the field.
Rita Clyde, one of our farmers, is teaming up with Creation Care Calgary to offer two gardening workshops on April 25th. The workshop in the morning is family focused with lots of hands on activities. The workshop in the afternoon is aimed at slightly older growers and will be focused on supporting great harvests in Calgary's difficult conditions. We are happy that fellow YYC Grower Marcus Reidner of Happiness By the Acre will also be there to help answer your questions.
For details or to sign up go to:
So You Want to Garden in Calgary? - Gardening for Families (Good Seed Sunday Event)
Have you been thinking of starting a garden? It's a wonderful way to connect to God's beautiful creation. Come to a session that will teach you all the basics you need to start a garden this spring. We will talk about how to set yourself up for success, tips for maintaining your plants and troubleshooting hail, drought and frost problems. Kids are encouraged to come along. There will be a hands on activity. Please bring a clean plastic milk jug or two if you would like to participate. When: Saturday, April 25th, 2015 from 11:00 to 12:00. Where: St. James Anglican Church (6351 Ranchview Dr NW). This is a Creation Care Calgary (https://www.facebook.com/creationcareyyc) event held to celebrate Good Seed Sunday.
Hail, Drought and Frost - Gardening in Calgary (A Good Seed Sunday Event)
Calling all experienced and wannabe gardeners! Come to an info sharing session to pick up great tips on how to make the most of your garden in Calgary's challenging growing climate. There will be a short talk on gardening basics and advanced growing techniques (including how to use cold frames, shade cloth, ollas, and mulch). The talk will be followed by Q&A, so bring your questions! When: Saturday, April 25th, 2015 from 2:00 to 3:30. Where: St. Laurence Anglican Church (5940 Lakeview Dr SW). This is a Creation Care Calgary (https://www.facebook.com/creationcareyyc) event held to celebrate Good Seed Sunday.
The Anglican Journal interviewed Jerremie for their February 2015 issue. It was a nice article and sums up much of what we do at Little Loaves very nicely. It also makes mention of our work at last year's Sharing Bread food security course at Sorrento. The article also touches on our work with Bishop Greg Kerr-Wilson and the start of Creation Care Calgary. Check out the article here:
Growing food, caring for creation By Leigh Anne Williams on February, 17 2015
“The relationship God expects Christians to have with the land and creation is [more like] partner and participant,” says professor-farmer Jerrmie Clyde. Jerremie Clyde has a passion for food—for growing it in a way that is healthy for the people who eat it, for the planet and for a just sharing of God-given bounty.
A Rocha helped us organize our 2014 rye harvest. They have helped us in other ways, from inspiration and encouragement to the incredible gift of good seed from their farm in BC. It was a real pleasure and honour to stay at the farm for a few days in 2013, get to know the site and work with the interns. We were looking for volunteers to help bring the crop in and get it ready to sell to support the Canadian Food Grains Bank. They helped us get the word out, and invited Jerremie to write a few blog posts about the harvest experience. The three posts can be linked to here. A little update, the rye has yet to find its way to the distillery, the snow mid September really impacted the harvest. The rye will however be appearing at market and in CSA's, and who knows, may yet find its way into great local whiskey.
1. Reflecting on Reaping, Stooking, and Fellowship: Traditional Grain Harvest On September 5th we hosted a group of volunteers on our farm near Sundre, Alberta to help with hand harvesting our rye crop.
2. Reflections on Reaping, Stooking and Fellowship: Traditional Grain Harvest, cont’d. The harvesting and the fellowshipping that goes with our grain harvest is wonderful and one can really focus on the people, the hands that are provided for the harvest. To focus solely on the people would be a bit of a shame, as the central actor in the whole harvest day of course (a part from the Creator) is the humble rye.http://www.arocha.ca/reflections-on-reaping-stooking-and-fellowship-2/
3. Reflections on Reaping, Stooking and Fellowship: Traditional Grain Harvest. A final note on the rye and the harvest. We expect the rye will be sold to a craft distillery, to be made into whiskey, which is a pretty noble end for a humble rye and a very local spirit for Alberta.
Jerremie and Rita Clyde are members of St. James Anglican Church in Calgary Alberta. They are enthusiastic supporters of A Rocha Canada and believe in caring for creation.
Faith Based Farm
Little Loaves is a faith based farm. That means our faith informs our choice to farm, how we farm and what we do with the bounty. It doesn't mean that we evangelize at folk, but if you ask, well we will be happy to talk about it.