Cauldron to Kitchen

Paganism, food and spirituality

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Dreaming the Future

b2ap3_thumbnail_starwberryleaves.jpgWhat does a sustainable future look like? And how do we get there? The book Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future contains a collection of essays on the subject. Perhaps the more important question would be what kind of influence can we, as Pagans, have? We don’t have the numbers to effect elections except perhaps locally. But we can talk to people. Interfaith is one such path. But so is FB and getting involved with local politics.

Visioning sustainable food production covers a lot of ground for me. As a Pagan, I take solace in the Earth. I want to see my planet in a healthy balance with its residents, with relationship being the basis for interaction. Industrial food production does not support the relationship model, but permaculture and biodynamics do.Read More

My vision of the future includes lots of food from local farms and neighbors sharing what they’ve grown for themselves. This would require more people farming, but I don’t think that would be a problem. There are several reasons why people growing some of their own food is an easy argument. First, if done using permaculture methods and recycled/free materials, it is positive cash flow. (I admit this takes some skill, but as more people do it, the pool of skill becomes deeper) Second, spending time outside in the garden is therapeutic both for mental and physical health. Third, real tomatoes!

I’ve been advocating about food in my local Pagan community. Mostly via FB and the response has been very positive. A lot of my suburban friends – some Pagan some not - have started growing food, even if its just a tomato plant in a pot. Last year one of my Pagan friends organized the purchase of some grass-fed beef with her co-workers. The food movement is young, but making great headway.

In order to make this vision move forward, I’m going to have to become more aware of local politics. Zoning laws are one of the biggest hazards to Permaculture, because is doesn’t fit with many town ordinances. GARDENING doesn’t fit with many town ordinances. One of my fellow Pagans is fighting an ongoing battle with the town of Westchester NY to be able to keep chickens. My own town only recently endorsed keeping chickens (limit 3, and no roosters). At my garden plot in Stratford CT, I cannot grow my potatoes in recycled tires because the town doesn’t like how that looks. Last year I cheated and used the tires to make raised beds. This year I’m in trouble again because the garden manger just noticed.

Farms have smells, and people can be real jerks about the neighbors keeping critters, or even using natural fertilizer. In the fall, I drag home huge buckets of chicken litter and cow manure to compost. I’m counting my blessings that my neighbors haven’t complained, but I have shared my garlic and tomatoes with them, so that might help.

What is your vision for the future? How can you go about moving it forward?

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Selina Rifkin, L.M.T., M.S. is a graduate of Temple University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. In 1998 she graduated from the Downeast School of Massage in Maine. She has published articles in Massage Therapy Journal, been a health columnist, and published The Referral Guide for Complementary Care, a book that describes 25 different healing modalities. In 2006 she completed her Masters program in Nutrition with a focus on traditional foods, and the work of Weston A. Price.
Currently she is the Executive Assistant to the Director of Cherry Hill Seminary, the first Pagan seminary to offer Master’s degrees.


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