Sunday, February 21, 2010

Upattinas at WHYY

A super fun project and we'll be doing that again!

All photos courtesy of Emily Savill

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Help for Haiti

Our friend Sam Cantrell at Maysies Farm posted this on his blog and we thought our families might like to know about it. We have known Sam for a long time, have had students intern at his CSA, and are happy to hear about his plans.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Message from Maysie's- Haiti

Greetings Friends -
       If you have been interested in helping the people of Haiti in this time of their desperate need, but have been unsure of the best way to provide that assistance, I can offer you a means of reaching out, if not exactly person to person, at least community to community, to directly aid suffering individuals.
       I will be leaving for Haiti next Sunday, February 7th, and hope to be able to deliver financial donations from people in my community to members of a community there. I also hope to be able to offer assistance in the form of advice on planning and implementing sustainable food production, as I have done on my three previous visits to Haiti.
       I will be traveling with my friend, Aldo Maggazeni, who accompanied me on my 2001 trip to Haiti and then became involved in implementing a water system for a village in Afghanistan. His approach of offering some financial assistance, recruiting local engineers and engaging the villagers themselves in the project, was so successful that he replicated it numerous times in that country and in Kenya and in Mexico. He created a non profit organization, Traveling Mercies (, to raise funds for such very efficient, very effective, community level "foreign aid" projects and humanitarian efforts. Now he even has a donor interested in funding the construction of a school.
       We will be working through the Living Hope Mission (, near Cap-Hatien, where I designed and started an organic vegetable garden in 1999 that still feeds the Mission staff and their community. Wilbert Merzilus, the Haitian Director, and Meg, his American wife, will be able to connect us to a community or communities that will benefit directly from our financial assistance and project expertise.
       If you are able to offer assistance to people in Haiti I would be very grateful if you could do it by writing a check to Traveling Mercies and sending it to me as soon as possible (though our assistance will be ongoing, continuing after we return from the trip). We will deliver 100% of the donations received to people who will use the funds wisely to ease the suffering and begin the healing process in Haiti.
       The country of Haiti has been in an unbelievable state of desperation for many years - far more so than any of the three dozen-and-some other countries I have visited in my four years-and-some of traveling (mostly in third world countries). There has been almost no infrastructure - pathetically inadequate education, health care and transportation - and governments that were woefully negligent in the good times and brutally oppressive in the bad times. A decade ago it was clear to me that the country's resource base was gone, totally depleted. It looked like the badlands of south Dakota, mountains once covered with tropical forests, now only mountains of gravel. But the people there are human beings - desperate human beings for sure - but capable of love and hope and good will despite their desperation. It's almost unbelievable that that is so, but if you would put yourself down among the mass of people trudging through the sewage filled gullies beside a pitiful track in Port au Prince, if you would open yourself up to engage an individual and look into his eyes, you would see that it is so.
       And now this devastating earthquake has increased their pain and suffering and desperation immeasurably. But it has also brought their situation to the attention of many of the people in the developed world. There is no question about it: we must look at this catastrophy not only as an opportunity to help some of our fellow human beings heal from their terrible wounds,  but also as a chance to facilitate the rebuilding of a dysfunctional and devastated country into something better, a place of hope instead of a place of despair.
       I hope you can help.
       Thank you so much -

Think Globally, Eat Locally
Maysie's Farm Conservation Center
15 St. Andrew's Lane Glenmoore, PA 19343