September meeting Minutes

Creation Care Meeting September 10, 2014

Present: Ellen Davis, Ann Kieffer, Esther Pardue, Len Pardue, Cam Murchison, Julie  Lehman, Jane Laping

New Fracking Rules

The Mining and Energy Commission will hold a public hearing about new state fracking rules on September 12. The hearing will be at WCU in Cullowhee at the Ramsey Center, 92 Catamount Road, from 5:00 – 9:00PM. Jane will attend and intends to give oral comments.Asheville area folks who would like to carpool are invited to meet up at Westgate Earth Fare.

The public comment period ends September 30 and comments can be made on-line. NRDC has a letter on-line that you can send to the Mining and Energy Commission. 

New Carbon Rules for Existing Power Plants

EPA has proposed new carbon emission limits for existing power plants. The comment deadline is October 16 and comments can be madeon-line. LWV has an on-line letter that you can send to the EPA.

Everyone present agreed to ask church-goers to sign a paper petition on Sunday, October 5. Jane will have copies of the petition/letter and everyone should bring a clipboard. Jane will collect the petitions that day and send them to the EPA.

Divestment Faith Development Series

At our last meeting in March, we talked about hosting a series of four classes on divestment in the fall. Jane has been in conversation with Nancy McNeil and she thinks that the winter would be a better time for our series. We discussed content for the following class topics.

  1. What is fossil fuel divestment and why should Christians care? Review the theology of why Presbyterians should care about the earth and why we should support divestment. Describe the fossil fuel and other divestment movements. Name organizations that have divested from fossil fuels. Possible leaders – Cam Murchison and Warren Wilson students
  1. Fossil fuel divestment in PC(USA) and other denominations. Review history of divestment in PC(USA) and Fossil Free PC USA. Describe successful movements in other denominations. Discuss Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI), Board of Pensions (BOP), and the Presbyterian Foundation.  Possible leaders – Dan Terpstra, Fossil Free PC USA
  1. Divestment at First Presbyterian. Identify FPC investments, including the Endowment, and amount invested in fossil fuels, if any. If invested in fossil fuels, determine if there is interest in asking the session to consider divesting. Possible leaders – Lucy Keil and Ron Freeman
  1. Personal divestment/reinvestment – Discuss pros and cons of divestment. Describe process of determining if a portfolio contains fossil fuel investments. Identify reinvestment options including socially responsible investments. Possible leader – investment professionals (Laura Webb, Joel Adams)

Climate March Sept 21 in New York City

The Climate March is building up to be a major event and the bus from Asheville to NYC is already sold out. The organizers have developed many activities for people who cannot attend, one of which is a 350 second (5 minutes 50 seconds) sound off at 1:00 PM on Sept 21. Since our church has a bell tower but no bells in it, Cam offered his wife, Joan, to organize a handbell chorus at that time. Jane will ask the Creation Care Alliance of WNC to promote it through their email list and ask churches to ring their bells and also to notify the media.

Next meeting will be after the holidays, most likely in January.

Just Living Monthly Challenge : Bee Aware

There are many types of bees and wasps but honeybees alone are responsible for providing us with at least 1/3 of our food supply. A few years ago beekeepers started noticing an alarming number of their bees mysteriously dying and their hives disappearing. After much research, scientists now believe that Colony Collapse Disorder is caused by several factors coming together. One main culprit is pesticides. Some newer pesticides bred into the crop seeds are killing bees directly or more insidiously by weakening their navigation and/or immune systems, thus making them more susceptible to parasites and disease. 

If There’s Only One Thing You Can Do it is SAVE BEES.

1. When planting new plants ask the nursery to make sure they are not pre-treated with pesticides and tell them to contact corporate headquarters about your request.

2. Reduce the amount of pesticides and herbicides you use and encourage your friends and family too.

3. Buy organic to support farmers that are trying to make us healthier which happens to help the bees at the same time.

4. Learn the difference between bees and wasps so you don’t accidentally kill our little pollinating friends. Bees are oval shaped and hairy with flat hairy legs for gathering pollen. Wasps, yellow jackets and hornets are smoother with a slender waist between the thorax and abdomen.

5. If you find a displaced hive or swarm of honeybees. Don’t kill them. Call your government extension agent and they will put you in touch with a local beekeeper who will gladly come get the free bees!

Take Small Steps

Buying local honey supports beekeepers and reduces the unhealthy practices of large honey producers. Beekeeping practices of large food companies require millions of hives (each hive contains 50,000 or more bees) to be transported to pollinate crops and make honey.  Moving the hives back and forth across the country to pollinate certain crops at certain times stresses the bees and deprives them of a diverse diet, thus weakening them further.

Inner Simplicity

Learning about bees and what is killing them makes you a more informed consumer—they are vital to the complex web of creation of which we are also a part.

Outer Simplicity

Bees are an important link in the food chain all over the world. Interrupting the role that bees play as pollinators can have devastating consequences to our global food supply. As Christians, we are called to be conscious of how our actions affect all of our neighbors, bees included.

~Home Grown Garden~

The cooler temperatures are a physical reminder that fall is on the way with winter not too far behind. Consequently, the Home Grown Garden is preparing for colder temperatures as well as preparing the planting beds for spring.

The irrigation system that Carolinas Irrigation Association so generously donated to the Garden this summer, needs to be protected from the cold, plus heavy foot traffic and full wheelbarrows. This Saturday, we will be covering the irrigation tubing in the walking paths with wood chips 4 inches deep. One wheelbarrow load covers an area about 2 ft. x 2 ft., so it will require a lot of people power to move many loads of wood chips. Before winter we will also have to build an insulated box that will fit over the pump and pipes.

There are still a few remaining vegetables in the garden to be picked: beans, peppers, okra and squash. This Saturday from 9:00 – 11:00 am should be a good time to spend the last day of summer, generating your own heat by moving wood chips

I hope to see you there,

Jane

Directions to the Home Grown Garden at Black Mountain Home

From Asheville, take I-40 East to Exit 59, Swannanoa. Turn left at the traffic light, and then right at the next light onto Highway 70. At the next traffic light turn left onto Whitson Ave and then right at the stop sign onto Old US 70. Follow this road for almost 2 miles to the next traffic light. Turn left onto Lake Eden Road. Look for the Garden sign before you get to the main entrance of the Home and turn right into the lower fields area near the stone silo.

Reminder: There are no restrooms at the garden.

Home Grown Garden this week

The growing season is winding down for the season while we are ramping up to prepare beds for the spring. The tomatoes are finished for the year but there are still beans, peppers, okra, carrots, radishes, and basil to be picked. The wildflowers in the first row are at their peak and create a nice entrance to the garden.

Come out on Saturday from 9-11 AM and take a look at what we have. Then pick some produce or pick up a pitchfork and spread some woodchips. There is still much to be done and the sweet potatoes won’t be ready to be dug until the end of the month or later.

 

Directions to the Home Grown Garden at Black Mountain Home

From Asheville, take I-40 East to Exit 59, Swannanoa. Turn left at the traffic light, and then right at the next light onto Highway 70. At the next traffic light turn left onto Whitson Ave and then right at the stop sign onto Old US 70. Follow this road for almost 2 miles to the next traffic light. Turn left onto Lake Eden Road. Look for the Garden sign before you get to the main entrance of the Home and turn right into the lower fields area near the stone silo.

Reminder: There are no restrooms at the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

Home Grown Garden

The beans are coming in, the tomatoes are ripening, and the squash is starting to produce so now is the time to see the fruits of our labors. Come to the Home Grown Garden this Saturday from 9:00 – 11:00 am and pick a little, prune a little, weed a little, and enjoy the setting of this giving garden in the glorious splendor of God’s creation. Check out His creatures, too. The Home has goats, donkeys, and chickens in a large pen right next to the Garden.

All ages are welcome and you don’t have to be an experienced gardener to help. Garden supervisors will show you what to do and how to do it. There might even be a few beans for you to take home and taste the goodness of freshly picked produce.

Bring drinking water and a hat and sunscreen – unless it is raining! Reminder: There is no bathroom at the garden.

 

Directions to the Home Grown Garden at Black Mountain Home

From Asheville, take I-40 East to Exit 59, Swannanoa. Turn left at the traffic light, and then right at the next light onto Highway 70. At the next traffic light turn left onto Whitson Ave and then right at the stop sign onto Old US 70. Follow this road for almost 2 miles to the next traffic light. Turn left onto Lake Eden Road. Look for the Garden sign before you get to the main entrance of the Home and turn right into the lower fields area near the stone silo.