Marion Institute Blog
Laura Killingbeck’s workshop on brining produce proved that just about anything in season can be transformed into a tangy treat.
Killingbeck’s class, the first in a three-part series she will be hosting at Round the Bend Farm, offered guidance to those interested in preserving vegetables.
The process involves submerging, sealing and storing vegetables in a salt water solution inside a jar or vessel. The produce will be preserved by transforming the plants’ sugars into acid.
The end result is a tart vegetable that can last for months. It’s a way that consumers can have vegetables regardless of whether or not they’re in season.
Killingbeck said fermentation also comes with some health benefits. Read the rest on the Dartmouth Weekly Website.
11th Annual Connecting for Change Conference Presented by the Marion Institute
Friday October 23 – Saturday October 24 Held in downtown New Bedford
For more information please contact: Diana Painter 508.748.0816x115 Diana@MarionInstitute.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
President of North Carolina’s NAACP Address crowd at Connecting for Change
OCTOBER 23, 2015 | NEW BEDFORD, MA – The Marion Institute is proud to announce that
Reverent Doctor William Barber II, Moral Monday organizer and civil rights icon, will be the social justice keynote at Connecting for Change this October.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II comes from a family of change makers. He was born in Indianapolis in 1963, two days after the March on Washington for jobs and freedom. His parents intentionally moved to North Carolina I 1963 to help desegregate schools. His father was a public school science teacher and a pastor. His mother worked in the position of the first black office manager, and was grown to be called “Mother Barber.”
Barber has lived in Goldsboro, NC for 20 years and been the pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church. The congregation began large-scale community development work in 1995, after a social demographic analysis of their neighborhood found high levels of poverty and under-employment. Working with other community groups, they invested $1.5 million into the community, creating 60 affordable housing units, a 41 bed senior citizens’ home, and a pre-K academy that serves 90 students. Their investment went further with the addition of a community center offering afterschool programming, healthcare education, technology training, and gang member rehabilitation. Working with the county, Barber and his congregation are currently working on The Stop the Funeral Initiative and the Drug Dealer/Gang Member Redemption Conference focused on reducing drug and gang violence in Wayne County through the 2nd Chance Education and Job Training program, aimed at providing education and job training for formerly incarcerated individuals and others with significant barriers to employment.
Rev Barber is currently making history by helping to channel activists’ frustrations. In 2012, after draconian cuts to the North Carolina budget, Barber gathered a coalition of religious leaders who felt the state budget and policies were moving their state backwards from the social and racial progress made in the last 50 years. The coalition grew quickly and took on the movement title of “Moral Mondays” because of their weekly rallies showing support for budget priorities like healthcare, education, jobs for ex-offenders, senior’s benefits, policies that affect people of color and people living in poverty.
Rev. Dr. Barber graduated Cum Laude from North Carolina Central University (NCCU). He received a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. Dr. Barber has a Doctoral degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, with a concentration in Public Policy and Pastoral Care. The Honorable Governor Beverly Purdue presented Dr. Barber with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest citizenship award presented to outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of service to the state. Dr. Barber is an MIT Mel King Community Fellow for Community and Economic CoLab.
Dr. Barber has written one book entitled, “Preaching Through Unexpected Pain”, and several articles and is currently working on his second book. He has been featured on Wall Street, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, Crisis Magazine, and has spoken, preached and lectured around the country.
Barber will be bringing his experience in social justice, policy priorities, and urban community development to the crowd at the Zeiterion Theatre at 12 pm on Friday, October 23, 2015 as part of the Connecting for Change annual conference.
For more information or tickets to the event, please visit connectingforchange.org or call the Marion Institute at 508.748.0816.
If you’d like to interview the Reverend Doctor before the event, please contact the Marion Institute.
RTB's Open Farm Day is September 19th from noon - 6:00pm
- RTB teammate, Laura Killingbeck will be conducting a workshop on Fermentation from 9:00 - 11:00am. Learn how to eat farm fresh produce all winter long. Registration is required for this workshop. Click here, for more infomation and to reserve your seat today!
- Ashley's Produce will be on site selling an abundance of seasonal veggies.
- Geoff will have grassfed beef and pasture raised non-GMO pork for sale.
- Local Honey and Maple Syrup will also be available.
- Family fun farm tour begins at 2:00pm at the barn. This is a great opportunity to learn about RTB's mission and programs.
Hope to see you on the farm!
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been my go-to immune booster ever since I had children and learned about its amazing health benefits. It has a long history of uses and is revered for its antioxidant and antiviral qualities. In Old World tradition, an elder bush was planted at the edge of a garden as the “protector” of the garden. I have to admit, I have often wondered if author J.K. Rowling of the famous Harry Potter series knew what she was doing when she made the most powerful wand, an elder wand.
Both the elder flowers and the berries have medicinal properties. In late spring- early summer the elder bush produces beautiful white lacy flowers in flat-topped clusters that can span 6” wide. The flowers are edible and can be dried and made into a tea or fried like a fritter in a light tempura-like batter which sounds pretty delicious. Elder flowers are a diaphoretic which means they induce sweating and therefore help to relieve or lower fevers. The elder berries are produced later in the season, late summer – early fall. When ripe, the tiny berries are purplish-black and hang in heavy globular clusters.
Some of the key components of elderberries are Vitamin A, B and lots of C, bioflavonoids, beta-carotene, iron, potassium, and phytosterols. They also contain flavonoids, including quercetin, an antioxidant that helps prevent damage to your body’s cells and is believed to deliver much of the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries.
The elderberries antiviral properties are so helpful in fighting colds and flus. It is also often used to treat upper-respiratory infections. At our house, we start taking a daily dose (1/2 -1 tsp) of elderberry syrup at the first sign of a cold or flu, it is incredible at either knocking the cold out completely or at least shortening its duration. We will also take it a little more regularly, a dose Monday through Friday with the weekend off, at times of the year when I know we are going to be exposed to more germs. For instance, when the kids go back to school, we need to get on a plane, or if your work environment has become infiltrated with sick people during cold season.
Although all parts of the plant (leaves, flowers and berries) can be used to make teas, jams, syrup, wine and cordials, they can all be mildly toxic, as they contain a cyanide-producing substance. It is advised to not eat them raw and only harvest the berries when they are completely ripe (purple-black). Otherwise, you may experience digestive upset and diarrhea.
One of the best tasting ways to enjoy herbal preparations is as syrup because they contain sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, rice syrup and/or fruit juice and make the tart taste more palatable. This is certainly the case with Elderberry syrup. We like to use local honey in our preparations since it provides us with the all the added health benefits we get from the honey too. In addition, the added sugar will help to preserve the syrup, especially when you are not adding in alcohol to the preparation.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
2 Quarts fresh elderberries
¼ oz. freshly grated organic ginger or 2 Tbls. dried organic ginger
½ tsp. organic cloves
1 tsp organic cinnamon
- Harvesting the elderberries is the most time consuming part of making the syrup. You can harvest the berries by hand or with a fork. Recently, I saw a YouTube video and the person used a designated hair pick for the job and that seemed to work really well. You want to do your best getting the berries off the stems, without getting too crazy about every little stem; you will be straining this mix in the end.
- Collect the berries in a pan and give them a rinse.
- Add water to your elderberries, for fresh berries use a 1:1 cup ratio, for dried berries use 2:1 ratio.
- Add ginger, cloves and cinnamon to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes, allow to cool.
- Before straining the mix, I mash the berries to get the most out of them with a potato masher or wooden mallet.
- Strain the liquid through a sieve and compost the berries.
- Add raw local honey for maximum health benefits. Stir until well mixed and pour into sterile jars or bottles.
- Store in the refrigerator.
Take a tsp daily during the cold and flu season. There are so many ways to enjoy this remedy – in yogurt, added to drinks, and as pancake syrup. Recently, we have been using elderberry syrup to make fermented elderberry soda at the farm. Learn how this fall at the upcoming Connector Series: Farm Food & Fermentation on October 14th from 9:00-11:00am, register here.
Fun harvest at Gomes Elementary School in New Bedford! On hot summer days we must water the garden and students! The garden at Pacheco Elementary School also looks amazing!
A hearty Namaste to all!
After having just returned stateside, I wanted to keep everyone updated on my second trip to Nepal since the earthquakes of April 25th and May 12th. Thanks to the generosity of soooo many people, I was able to return to the mountains at the end of July and personally distribute relief aid to families who have been living under tarps and tents set up in their potato fields during the monsoon season which is in full bloom now until the cold weather arrives in October/November. Obviously, shelter is minimal and facilities of any kind are nonexistent. Life is harsh and incomprehensible to those of us who enjoy the daily “luxuries” of plumbing, electricity, running water and heat.
I spent 2 months “angsting” about how to get the relief money over to Nepal, given that Nepali newspapers were reporting that government officials were lining their pockets with 25% of the millions of dollars that were pouring into the country from all the international aid organizations. It’s also impossible to deny the intense frustration felt by millions at the collective failure of the political class. Knowing all of this sickened me to the core and made me get very creative in how I continually transferred very small amounts of money to various bank accounts in Kathmandu over a 2 month period. Because of the incredible generosity of so many of you, The Himalayan Project was able to raise close to $150,000 from April 25th to July 15th! In the dark of night on July 18th aboard Emirates Airlines, I circled the Kathmandu airport for 2 hours due to thunderstorms brought on by the monsoons, finally touching down after midnight in the pouring rain. The city was black and silent and oozing sludge throughout the streets as I rumbled over potholed alleyways in a taxi bound for my “home away from home” in Kathmandu, the Norbu Linka Hotel. I was exhausted and totally disheveled from my 25 hours of travel and full of anxiety over whether the flight to the mountains and the Lukla airstrip would even be a possibility the next morning. No flights had been able to make their way to Lukla for the previous 10 days due to the rains and fog so I sank into a restless slumber for a couple of hours before I had to be at the domestic airport at 5:00 am.
As the sun rose over the mountains the next morning and the clouds parted, I held my breath as my little 12 seater Cessna soared above the city, making it's way to Lukla while I mouthed a silent “thank you”. A very frenetic day was spent calling together all the people who had been guarding their hoard of money that had been wired to them over the last 2 months and once everything had been gathered and accounted for, the whole village was assembled together as we distributed to each individual family. When I had first visited and assessed the damage after the earthquake in April, I along with a village committee, assigned each of the 60 households either a 1 for minimal damage, a 2 for moderate damage or a 3 for maximum damage and so there were 3 different tiers of giving that were established with the monetary value assigned to each tier to be determined by how much money THP was able to raise. Every part of this process was laced with tradition and ritual, from touching the packet of money to one's forehead in a private moment of gratitude, to enacting the community tea ceremony, to placing a silk scarf around my neck as a blessing for all of your generosity. I was clearly just the “front man” representing each and every one of YOU. Rituals are simply a small nod to normalcy in what is otherwise a life of daily survival. The patience and equanimity and COURAGE that this village has exhibited since tragedy hit them is a lesson certainly for me! It is a quiet courage, a small voice at the end of each day saying “I will get up and do it again tomorrow.......and then the next day, and the next and the next.”
The community distribution ended with Karsang Sherpa, my Nepali liaison with The Himalayan Project, speaking to the village for 45 minutes about the fact that many people from many parts of the globe had come together to contribute to THP's relief efforts for THEM. There was astonishment that their tragedy had even registered on anybody's radar screen; joy and relief at the generosity that had been extended to them and many, many tears over the fact that SOMEONE cared. The Nepali government's extent of caring had been in the distribution of a bag of rice and a container of cooking oil to each family and that was it! Needless to say, men and women alike were awash in tears, hopefully tears of healing that were the best words that their hearts could speak......
In the twilight of the following morning I hiked back up to the mountain airstrip hoping the last vestiges of stars would begin to poke through the early fog and drizzle. Would it be possible to have the weather cooperate in the same way that it had for our arrival? Miraculously so, the clouds again parted around 8:00 am and I arrived back in Kathmandu for a late breakfast. For the next 10 days it wasn't possible for any other flights to get through to Lukla! It just seemed incredible that 10 days before I needed to get to the mountains and for 10 days afterwards the flights had to be canceled and that just for the critical 2 days that I needed to get to and from Lukla, someone was looking out for me!
So, how can I thank you all???? Your overwhelming kindness is a language that transcends all barriers and my heart is very filled with gratitude. After completing our 1st phase of fund raising for the building of suitable shelters for the winter, The Himalayan Project's next phase of fund raising will be devoted to the complete rebuilding of an earthquake proof school that was virtually destroyed in the second quake of May 12th. A Japanese engineer has been “commandeered” to create a master plan for this project and THP will join forces with a Swiss organization and a Korean organization to try and raise $500,000. The path seems steep but we cannot be daunted by that prospect and we will continue to reach out to all of you, also asking that you share this effort with colleagues and friends who may not be in our orbit. As you know in all grass roots efforts, spreading the word personally is very powerful! The human tragedy that has resulted from this massive natural disaster will be years in the rebuilding process so PLEASE stay on board with us. I am remembering something that someone once said to me which pretty much sums it all up....”the larger your heart is the smaller the world becomes.”
I look forward to hearing from you and if you feel so inclined, please visit www.marioninstitute.org/serendipity/himalayan-project.
With immense gratitude!
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