Volunteers, Non-Profits, Crafts Vendors Needed! The 21st Annual Peace Fair of Bucks Quarterly Meeting will take place on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Buckingham Friends Meetinghouse in Lahaska, just south of Peddlers Village. Up to 100 booths of local crafts, artwork, food, games, animals and Bucks area non-profits whose focus is peace, community service, healthy living and the environment. Browse the book sale and listen to entertainers like the Tookany Creek bluegrass band, River Drivers and kids’ songster Ecoman. Hear Bucks and Montgomery County poet laureates at the Poetry Reading or tour the Buckingham Quaker Meetinghouse, a National Landmark. The fair runs from 10:30am until 4:00pm and is handicap accessible. The suggested donation is $2 and parking is free. Local residents from toddlers to seniors will enjoy a delightful, engaging and uplifting day among the giant oaks and maples at the Peace Fair.
Preparing dishes from around the world does not mean the ingredients have to come from far away. In her talk, Nadia Hassani will explore how the Pennsylvania climate makes it possible to grow a wide range of vegetables, from sun-loving hot-climate produce to perennial crops that require cold subzero winters, for a wide range of cuisines: Mediterranean and Middle Eastern, Central and East European, Latin American, and Asian. Some of the produce, such as tomatoes, basil, Italian oregano, cilantro, and Thai Mint are growing right on the premises in the Friends’ Garden at Arch Street Meeting House!
Growing vegetables does not require a large back yard, some can even be grown in containers. Nadia will also go over some vegetable gardening basics and identify which vegetables are especially suitable for beginning gardeners or families who would like to introduce their children to the wondrous experience of growing their own food.
Nadia Hassani has gardened on a rural hilltop north of the Lehigh Valley since 2004 and became a Master Gardener in 2006. She works as a writer, editor, and translator and her favorite topics are food and gardening. She wrote a cookbook about the regional cuisines of her native Germany entitled Spoonfuls of Germany and contributes gardening articles to The Spruce and Food52.
Even after more than 20 years in the United States, Nadia still marvels about the fact that the Pennsylvania climate with its subzero winters and hot summers makes it possible to grow such a wide range of fruits and vegetables. She loves to explore world cuisines and as a committed locavore finds that there is often no need to reach for ingredients shipped from far away—you can very well cook global and grow local.
This project was made possible with support from the Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia.
Supported by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, this project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [CAGML-248024-OMLS-20].
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer was the selection for the One Book, One Community read-in sponsored by the Salem Quarter Indian Affairs Committee. The discussion took place over the winter in the comfort of our own homes through dial up and/or log in access called Zoom.
When I googled this title, I found two interesting things. One is that 4,182 people liked it well
enough to write a review for Goodreads, with a 4.6 out of a possible 5 rating. That seemed
quite good to me for a nonfiction book.
Even more appealing, I noticed when I googled the book that Longwood Gardens featured
Braiding Sweetgrass in 2015 as its Community Read selection. On the Longwood Gardens
website, go to events/blogs and enter Braiding Sweetgrass in the search box. You will find a
beautiful description of the book, complete with gorgeous photos of Longwood Gardens, and
quotes from the author, Robin Wall Kimmerer. This recommendation alone makes it worth
checking out the book.
What is fascinating to me about this book is that while it is primarily considered a work of
nonfiction written by a science professor, it is extremely readable. It weaves together many
genres. The author tells of personal experiences with nature as a type of memoir. She brings in
myths and legends about the environment. Throughout the book are references to the Citizen
Potawatomi Nation of which she is a member. She describes scientific facts about ecology in a
way that is easy to understand. Spirituality, poetry and even history can be found within the
pages. The full title of this book is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific
Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.
Considering this book’s relevance to Quakerism, one of the main queries Braiding Sweetgrass
addresses is Stewardship of the Environment. The book was published in 2013, and it took
seven years to write. It seems even more important today with looming environmental
challenges. The importance of the Quaker tenets of simplicity and community are well
documented as well.
I close with a quote from the publisher, Milkweed Editions:
“The awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our
reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of
other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our
own gifts in return.”
I write this review of Braiding Sweetgrass to encourage others to tell us about books they have
read that would have interest for our wider Quaker audience. Books with examples of our
Quaker tenets would be especially welcome, in addition to books about Quakersim in general.
submitted by Friend and librarian, GH