Monday, March 24, 2014

Of Sugar Snow, Food Security and more

I am not so brazen as to say "Let it snow", but I do confess to a secret love of "Sugar Snows".  I grew up in Vermont.  By this point in March there usually was still snow on the ground, but it was looking pretty tired.  Then along would come a "sugar snow", named for the maple "sugaring season".  The world would be freshly white and beautiful, sometimes with deep snow.  The horses that pulled the huge sled along  with the holding tank for the sap along the side of our road had an easier time with less ice and patches of bare ground.  It often warmed quickly over the next few days, making playing in the snow a much more fun thing than in January.  It was often a wet snow, great for snowmen and building things.   Sugaring was finished off with a "sugar on snow" party (sap boiled till very thick, then drizzled on the snow where it hardened into candy for a delicious treat).  And then the snow was gone, brooks roared, wood frogs croaked - and it was time to plant peas.
Food - locally grown.  Seasonal.  What does it mean to talk about food security in these times of climate change and increased urbanization?  How has the corporate food industry changed what we eat and what food costs?  And who has access to what food?  How can we change those patterns?  Who gets to make those decisions?  What does a sustainable food shed look like?  (And what is a food shed?)
Food.  We all need it.  It can be a source of pleasure and satisfaction.  It is a topic one can approach as a casual gardener, with environmental concerns, with justice concerns, or with just a delight in the pleasure of food.
There are a lot of reasons why AFSC-SENE (along with other AFSC offices) is looking more closely at how we can build sustainable food networks accessible to all people.  Please join us the evening of April 25th at Providence Friends Meeting House to learn more about how food is produced in our area, who has access to that food, and how we can work together to build a just and sustainable network that will help all of us be food secure.  Watch for more details, but save the date.  We know it will include brief talks about amazing work taking place in the area.  We will have locally baked desserts.  Bring baby plants and seeds to swap during the dessert time.  And celebrate Earth Day and Spring with us!   Watch for details and registration information.
Raise the Minimum Wage in MA:  Press conference and lobby day Wednesday, March 26th.  Click here for more info.
National Day of Action to stop deportations.  President Obama will soon have deported over 2 million people, the most of any president.  Over 1000 are deported every day, many for the simple offense of driving without a license (which is part of why both MA and RI have legislation to expand access to drivers licenses).  The Providence event is April 4th at 4pm at the state house and will focus on the call for Governor Chafee to stop honoring ICE holds (which are not mandatory).  In Worcester the event is from 1-3pm on April 5th at the Federal Court House.  Can't make an event?  Visit the National Day Laborers Network website and take action there.
There are a lot of important events coming up - check out the listing on the right of this message.
And Happy Sugar Snow - and Happy Spring to you!
In Peace,  Martha Yager, AFSC-SENE program coordinator
P.S.  Your work every day for a more just and peaceful world is essential.  Your donations to AFSC-Sene help us help you stay connected to ways you can work for change.  Please give what you can - and THANKS!

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