Heat, a Common Denominator
Out of control fires. Hottest decade on record. Hot oceans spawning super storms. Polarized politics. Heated debates. COVID fever.
The discomfort is now hitting the middle class and even upper classes feel the encroaching heat. The unrelenting suffering from racism, hunger, poverty and injustice has spread from the invisibilized margins into the center of many people’s focus. Police brutality and racial injustice increase the friction. Farmworkers die of heat exhaustion. Long-time residents are deported and children are detained in cages. Our lifestyles and economics have so despoiled God’s beautiful Creation, few can deny the approaching doom.
Despair and Hope
Despair and hope can coexist in each of us. They do in me. And the partners of the Hunger Program, who are dreaming and building another world, give me hope every day. I am so grateful for their work in the world!
Some PHP partners work directly to counter the heat by cooling the land through restorative, agroecological farming. While industrial agriculture, with its heavy use of gasoline, diesel, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, pour carbon into the atmosphere, agroecological farming captures carbon from the air to increase the soil carbon. This carbon-rich soil increases yields, keeps most the carbon out of the air, and it retains water and reduces run-off, making it more resilient to droughts and floods!
Soul Fire Farm is training a new generation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) folx in restorative farming, and many of the alumni are building gardens, plant-based businesses and cooperatives, and farming operations around the country. You and I can learn more and directly support some of these initiatives through the Reparations Map. On their own farm, Soul Fire Farm has multiplied the carbon held in the soil (from 2% to 12%!), demonstrating the power of agroecological farming to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and cool the planet.
Soul Fire Farm has multiplied the carbon held in the soil from 2% to 12%!
Our friends at the Farmworkers Association of Florida are spreading Campesino Gardens throughout their communities in five parts of the state. There, families can grow their own food without the chemicals and machinery that would produce greenhouse gases.
In the heart of Chicago, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), with the leadership of Vivi Moreno (featured in this post), is growing gardens and cooperative farms on private and public land. And they rally community power to resist the environmental injustice of industrial pollution, which is so often borne by communities of color.
A Presbyterian church in Pittsburgh, PA, is also doing sustainable agricultural education, training and production, with the initiative they have birthed — Garfield Community Farm.
All of these — and many more of our grantee and strategic partner groups — are implementing, teaching, promoting and scaling out traditional and innovative agroecological food production, which shifts wealth to the community and reduces global warming.
Revival of natural farming in Puerto Rico
The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.