The latest from the Church in Rural America.

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February 25, 2016

In the parable of the barren fig tree, the devoted gardener does not cut down, but with hope promises to "cultivate the ground around it and manure it, that it may bear fruit in the future." 
Luke 13:8    

Local Farms, Local Food: Time to Join In
With spring around the corner, subscribe to a CSA
More and more farmers -- both established ones and beginning farmers -- are selling their products directly to the public within close driving distance to their farm operation. They do this through farmers markets and food co-ops, but also through community supported agriculture, or CSA. 
Now is the time of year to join or register for a CSA. That means paying costs upfront for a weekly supply of fresh produce beginning in spring and continuing into fall. Where can you find a CSA in your city or locality? Check out this online resource Eat Well Guide
Another resource to help find local food is this one at the Sustainable Table
Alliance for Fair Food: Workers Voice Tour 
Show your support; sponsor farmworkers, allies 
The 2016 Workers Voice Tour will take place soon, moving from New York to Ohio and onward to Kentucky and Florida -- all major states in the growing student-led movement for greater wages and safety for farmworkers.
Tour organizers are seeking financial donations to help cover meal expenses along the way. Perhaps your parish or congregation would like to sponsor a meal. Contact tour organizers by email to start a conversation.

Visit their dedicated website to learn more about the tour. You can also make an online donation here; they welcome any amount you can give. 

Encounters Newsletter: Laudato Si
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns posts an occasional newsletter on faith, economy and ecology which explores public policies in support of an economy of right relationships. Their February issue of Encounters (#8)  is especially noteworthy for its exposition of Laudato Si: Care for Our Common Home.

As the world transitions from the false belief of endless resources to a planet of set limits, it is clear public policies need to change along with this paradigm shift.  To transform our economy to fit within the limits of Earth's biosphere and to distribute resources more equitably, Pope Francis describes some guiding principles as well as specific recommendations to inform policy changes.  
Lent Cross   
Lenten Fast for Climate Justice 
American Catholics fast for the planet this Friday 
Catholics from around the globe are fasting during each of Lent's 40 days as part of the Lenten Fast for Climate Justice organized by the Global Catholic Climate Movement. This Friday is the U.S. turn.

During this precious season of Lent, let us use this Lenten Fast as a way to pray for the resolve to move beyond our comfort zone and respond to the cries of our "ravaged world" with courage and compassion. In addition to fasting from food, why not try a "Carbon Fast" by reducing your use of fossil fuels, electricity, and excessive consumer purchases.

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the challenges facing rural America: social, economic and ecological.

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