Hanging Out with, and Learning from, Some Thoroughly Material Benedictines

May 15, 2015
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] A few weeks ago I was able to, once again, do something that I enjoy doing immensely–take a group of students out on a local food tour, so they can learn firsthand about more sustainable…
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A Little Home Cooking

November 11, 2014
Richmond, VA I do not think it outrageous, every now and then, to despair for the future of cooking in this country. Not all the time, no, for there are still encouraging signs that many people are willing to undertake…
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Smitten With The Mitten: Beer in SW Michigan

October 23, 2014
Holland, MI Most “beer ranking lists” have Michigan somewhere in the top 5 of best beer states. I don’t need a list to tell me that I already know Michigan has an embarrassment of riches on this score, and it…
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Whisky Tales

May 29, 2014
“In a full bottle of whisky are all the aspirations of mankind, and in an empty one are all the failures of man.” Mike Drury As we emerge into adulthood, some of us develop a taste for whisky. The word…
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Nature, Labor, and a Goat Named Alcibiades

goat-relaxing-on-pasture-1409961-m January 27, 2014
As I cranked the lever I could watch the forest become pasture. I was using a come-along, a simple winch for tightening wire, to run a new fence.  As the fence slowly came into existence, this tiny parcel of the…
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A Semester of Teaching Sustainability

Phils December 14, 2013
[Cross-Posted to In Medias Res] The semester has come to an end here at Friends University, and students are leaving campus for their holiday break. Right now I’m grading, and while I have many tests to grade, none interest me…
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Being Thankful for National Communities and Civil Religion, Sometimes

November 28, 2013
[Cross-Posted to In Medias Res] Amongst those Americans who believe that the civic virtues which make both popular government and a fulfilling independence possible are themselves dependent upon, to a great extent, the preservation of traditions and an attachment to…
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Nourishing America

barley August 20, 2013
In a recently popular documentary, Rosie, a 5th-grader from a small town in Colorado, describes how she often goes to bed with an empty pit in her stomach. Sometimes the hunger is so bad that she can’t concentrate in school.…
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Is There Such a Thing as Private Food?

LifeLibertyPursuit_HR July 1, 2013
The following is an excerpt from David E. Gumpert’s Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights (Chelsea Green, 2013) and is reprinted with permission of the publisher. Learn more about the book here. At 9:40 on the morning of…
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Eating Local–Or Local Enough

4019656149_a20e23123f_b April 4, 2013
If I earn ten pennies in heaven for being a local food supplier, do I get five for being regional?
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Slow Democracy

slow-democracy October 24, 2012
The protestors stood on the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, brandishing bowls of penne pasta. Above them rose the wide marble staircase of the Spanish Steps; nearby, turquoise water spilled from the square’s iconic marble fountain, just as it had…
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Play With Your Food

3200337801_23fb3cf160 August 23, 2012
The pleasures of a partial self-sufficiency.
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Scotch on the Bruce

balvenie-caribbean-cask July 31, 2012
Owen Sound, ONT The Bruce Peninsula extends like a claw off Southern Ontario’s main land mass into the Great Lakes basin. Forming a long arc with Manitoulin Island, the Bruce separates Lake Huron from Georgian Bay, a body of water…
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Why I Am Not a Foodie

3854478644_a436fe5e86 May 24, 2012
Guess what's for dinner.
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Getting the Garden Going, One Baby-Step at a Time

friendsgarden May 8, 2012
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] This academic year Friends University found itself wondering what to do with a plot of land, directly beside and behind some student dormitories. Through a fortuitous combination of variables (the discovery of some left-over money…
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Among the Mad Farmers: Chicago Good Food Festival and Conference

Good Food Festival April 8, 2012
“If you’ve never worked a tradeshow booth,” a business pal once remarked to me, “you’re not a real American.” True dat. At the Good Food Festival and Conference in Chicago last week, the booths were full of real Americans, all…
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