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A Petaluma360 Blog

In her own Write

Connie Madden wishes you wit, compassion, mindfulness

New Yorker writer disses Vandanva Shiva? Wrong way, Jose!

So a long-time writer for the New Yorker (admit I’ve subscribed many a year!), Michael Specter, just dissed a heroine of mine – and I’m MAD! I work to be mellow in the face of stupidity – but this article does the dirty to basic principles of journalism: posing as a friendly, open-minded and highly literate guy, Mr. Snyder rips apart Shiva’s game plan and slops his own brand of muck on it so most people reading about India’s (and… Read More »

Hassled by Animals

Oh, the Joys of Living in the Country! Hassled by Animals So the Redtailed Hawk sat atop our cinnabar barn, Taunting us with his intent to catch and eat a chicken; He’s still around (maybe a she?) with others of his tribe. I spot scat from the bobcat-chicken killer, run off but never really gone. Then the runt chicken I call Suzi, Began her new habit of jumping on my back To get me to feed her extra as she’s… Read More »

Great Letters; Great Friends: Distant Neighbors, Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder

Seems it’s a rare bird who writes actual letters these days, and rarer still two friends so thoughtful and thorough when sorting out what we all need our relationship to the land – and each other- to be. I am thankful these favorite writers and humans, farmers and marvelous poets, Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder, just published their conversation of the last 40 years+ in the book Distant Neighbors. The two were at Copperfields Montgomery Village last month! “A few… Read More »

Where Are We Now, Mother Superior? (Circular thoughts after Farmers Bill of Rights meeting)

While I’m not Catholic as in a member of the Church, the practice: “to be catholic — and here the lowercase is intentional — is to be open, tolerant, and universal in one’s interests and sympathies,” appeals, so I have had this title, Where Are We Now, Mother Superior, in mind for years. It is a poem and also a puzzle for my mind to capture the whole world in words so I can pull it apart again. Well, this… Read More »

When I heard Maya Angelou talking with Studs Terkel on WFMT FM, Chicago

I know I love Maya Angelou, a presence to be felt for a lifetime. Met her once at a United Nations gathering, was it in the Fairmont? Got to talk to her just a bit on a quiet line where she was an ambassador of some kind. Really fuzzy on those details but not on her and her influence on me. Maya Angelou was a huge kind heart tempored by the pain of being a beautiful woman, abused, knocked about… Read More »

Celebrating Hemp History Week w. Petaluma Grange at Lydia’s June 7th

So have to admit I got hornswaggled by all the hoopla into thinking industrial hemp was already legalized. It ISN’T legal to plant hemp in California – yet! YES, there is a bill crafted by Mark Leno (thank you!) with a nudge from California State Grange (this nudge beginning in the year 2000 and continued through three Governorships) and the bill passed our CA State Senate, but NO, industrial hemp is not legalized in California – yet. So why is… Read More »

High Street Salon’s take on the Future of Environmentalism…

So yesterday, Mom’s Day, was for me the first visit to Zeno Swijtink and Rick Rozet’s High Street Salon, Sebastopol, a Second Sunday affair celebrating the art of conversation – and fine food! A rare treat that will become less rare for us at Oasis Farm and with Petaluma Grange and other Grange events. Next up at High Street Salon, check their Facebook page. Cost is a mere $20, starts 11am with marvelous brunch (!) at 7203 Maple, front door… Read More »

Last Night at Lydia’s Sunflower Center, Petaluma Grange in Spring and more…

So our Petaluma Grange took a break from meeting at the Seed Bank this month to meet at Lydia’s Sunflower Center, another part of our tribe where we’ve shared Mark Kitchell’s A Fierce Green Fire film (chosen later by PBS as an Earth Day special) and have a celebration of National Hemp Week scheduled Sat. June 7th, 7pm, something California State Grange has a lot to be proud of. CSG mentored the bill that became law this year: in California,… Read More »

The Spring is Sprung, the Grass is Riz – I Wonders Where the Birdies Is…

But I don’t anymore – they’re all around us! The mockingbirds, especially, are in love. They twitter, burst into song, follow along if you send out a particularly endearing string of notes. The scrub jays are chasing them; both want to nest in the clump of blackberry we left for them, Wayne having noted their nests last year. All in all, some may be tire of hearing, I’ve counted 22 varieties of birds at our Oasis Farm on Skillman Lane,… Read More »

Reflections on Cuba: what will we learn? Brave Daily Actors tell their stories 2/27, Seed Bank

So seems I’m writing a lot about events at the Seed Bank lately – we’ve been having a great time putting them together with others! Last week’s showing of Symphony of the Soil was revealing – and we’re practicing some of Paul Kaiser’s techniques this week! Who on earth knows what we’ll learn from Trathen Heckman, Ryan Johnson, Erin Axelrod and friends who just got back from an International Permaculture Convergence in Cuba! I’ve always wanted to visit there and… Read More »