Harvest For Hope
Sunday right before adult Sunday school my chum Kathy gave me a
book: Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall
which she had received from her daughter. It was perfect timing. The
weekend edition of the Bangor Daily News was informing Penobscot
County residents that a history making blizzard was on the way, due to
arrive Tuesday. My husband had me call for a heating oil delivery
Monday. I was ready. A warm home, food, a contented lap cat, an
informative and inspiring book to focus on. Mother Nature could bring
it. I was so ready.
When I woke up this morning my husband was out plowing. He
called on the phone to say that our son and I would have to shovel the
porch every hour if we didn't want the volume of snow to pin the door
shut, cutting off access to the outside. The snow on the ground was
up to my knees. No end in sight. I was only too happy to settle into
my favorite reading chair with coffee and the book. Joey cat was only
to convert me into his mattress.
Harvest for Hope was published in 2005. Sadly the message it
conveys is exponentially more urgent a decade later. To a large
extent, right sized farming has given way to big ag with a focus on
short term profits over enivonmental and human health and
sustainability. We, the other species we share the Earth with, and
our planet itself are in dire danger...
...unless we rise up to change things.
Harvest of hope is a wonderful combination of professional
expertise and personal passion. Goodall has researched for decades.
She knows what she's talking about. But she hasn't forgotten how to
relate to people who don't have the benefit of her background. In the
first chapters of the book she looks at how our current methods of
procuring and consuming food have evolved. In the following ones with
pretty scary titles like Animal Factories: Farms of Misery and
Ravaging the Oceans and Seas she shows what we're up against. Big Ag
is pretty formidable, particularly when they have government on a
leash. "All this and more makes grim reading, and while I was working
on this book I had nightmares as I learned more and more about the
unethical conduct of some of the largest multinational corporations."
Fortunately Goodall doesn't think we've gone too far. Yet. In
chapters like Taking Back Our Food she spells out many steps we can
take to fight the monied forces against us. As a school committee
vice chair I found At Home and At School: Feeding Our Children truly
inspirational. The last sentences constitute a clarion call to
action. "...So let us join hands. Let us speak out for the voiceless
and the poor. Let us assert our rights, as citizens of free
democracies, to take back into our hands the production of our food.
Let us, together, sow seeds for a better harvest--a harvest for hope."
We owe ourselves, our children, our fellow sentient beings, and
the fragile, precious planet we dwell on nothing less.
Harvest for Hope is an excellent book club selection as my book
club will learn in September. I plan to host at Orono Community
Garden and feature organic veggies for snacks for what should be a
On a personal note, I have awhile to go before I learn about grad
school. Joey cat had to have surgery last week but he is mending
beautifully and seems to be feeling so much better. I think he is
really enjoying this day of companionship. The history making storm
is definitely living up (or is it down) to its potential.
Great big shouts go out to Joey's vet, Dr. Julie Keene, whom I
privately call the cat whisperer; my Methodist angels--Kathy, Janet,
Alma, and Charlene--who never fail to encourage and inspire me; and
the gazillions of people experiencing the blizzard with me.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod