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June 2018



Taftsville Chapel compost is set-up and operational! You will find it next to the outside elevator entrance. Ask for an orientation, if you plan to use it, whether dumping the church's or your personal home compost. Healthy compost follows guidelines such as a 3-to-1 carbon:nitrogen ratio, no produce stickers, no animal products, and covering your greens with browns. Have questions about composting?  Ask Pete, Jenn, Steve, Jaynie, Heather W., Nick, Jan, Bob or Heather K. We attended an excellent composting workshop by Cat Buxton in Hartland  and received discounted bins for home. There is another workshop scheduled for June 28th, 6pm at the South Woodstock Firehouse.


We had a planting party in May which brought our church gardens to life. These gardens contain plants with a purpose such as insectary, pollination, bird habitat, soil building, edible, medicinal and tea. Many of the plants were divided and donated by North Chapel's edible forest garden. Both their garden and ours was featured by Sustainable Woodstock last week in the Vermont Standard.


Green Drinks- Wine Tasting and Mennonite Sustainability Action in Taftsville

When: Thurs. June 21st 5:30-6:30
Where: Taftsville Country Store, 404 Woodstock Rd, Woodstock VT

From Sustainable Woodstock's website: "The Taftsville Chapel, Mennonite Fellowship received a Pam DeYoung Net Zero Energy Fund grant to put solar panels on the chapel roof. The panels were installed on May 4th 2017 and they have been generating renewable energy ever since! Join us, first for a free wine tasting at the Tasftville Country store and then a guided tour of the chapel to learn about this congregation’s story going solar! The event is free and open to the public. Must be 21 years old to partake in the wine tasting."

NEW! Spotlight:
Meet our Permaculture Plants
Find it in our Cortland apple tree guild. A perennial vegetable native to China where it's dried root and rhizome has been used medicinally for centuries to cure all sorts of ailments from cancer to constipation. We know it as a spring edible. Strawberry-rhubarb is a popular pairing and they are good companion plants in the garden, as strawberries make a ground cover that suppresses weeds. Rhubarb's large leaves make for great mulch. Just chop and drop. Our church rhubarb came from the Guntz's garden.

Taftsville Chapel has been on solar power for one year! With our current usage, Tim estimates we will have generated $24,000 (our initial investment) of value by about June, 2026. So that's a ROI of just over 9 years from the installation, or only 8 years from now.

Generated: 1613 kWh
Used: 386 kWh
Donated: 1227 kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $277
Estimated Value to TCMF: $71
Total: $348

Estimated Value to BBC: $1959
Estimated Value to TCMF: $896
Total: $2855
Summer 2018.

Mennonite Creation Care Network is calling for churches across the continent to apply tender loving care to their local rivers during the summer of 2018. We are planning a paddle up the Ottauquechee River to harvest trash by canoe and kayak and see our local landscape from a new perspective.

Q: What is something you love about creation?
The amazing infinite variety of detail God has created excites and intrigues me. There is nothing better than floating in a kayak watching birds and noting small differences in their design. He made beaks for seed cracking, under water plant collection and tree drilling! Nature, a truly awesome classroom.
Q: What is something you do to care for creation?
Now that I have a house, I'm learning green lawn and garden practices. So far they are: no chemicals to kill weeds, cutting grass so it is not extremely short, using a push mower, leaving a bit "wild" as cover for smaller animals and sheet mulching.

Plant a seed and watch it grow. If you don't have space or seeds to plant at home, just ask about planting something in the church garden!

Several of us in the church have had a chance to hear from Cat Buxton (Vermont Master Composter) in the last few weeks. She was the keynote speaker at Sustainable Woodstock's Annual Meeting and is leading compost workshops in the area. In both presentations where I was present, Cat shared how micro-organisms in a well-maintained compost enrich soil in several ways that benefit the environment: reducing water run-off, preventing erosion, limiting the methane produced in landfills, and creating an optimal, fertile ground on which to plant and sustain new life. To maintain all of this, though, requires balancing a variety of different components, working together in a healthy compost.

As we read the book of Acts, we see that in the life of the early Church there is variety. There are a variety of gifts that the Spirit empowers people with, there are a variety of people from a variety of cultures who encounter the proclamation of the gospel in a variety of ways, and, as

the event of Pentecost highlights, there are a variety of tongues in which the Spirit enables these early disciples to speak. All of this variety and difference might seem like opportunities for confusion and rivalries and division. Indeed, the book of Acts and the New Testament testify to the reality that the Church experienced conflict related to these differences (How are gifts expressed appropriately in the church? How should Jews and Gentiles relate to one another? What about women and men?). But it was these differences--and working through them--that made for the vibrant, sustaining, enduring Church that we continue to see active in the world today. 

If you find yourself disagreeing with someone, even within our church, it need not be seen as a threat. It might signal that there is life--and health--in our midst. Our differences are rich, fertile soil for God to grow something new and unexpected, and cultivating difference can keep
us from eroding.

Vital Communites 
Valley Food & Farm


10 Steps to Becoming a Locavore (PBS)



Have ideas, stories, resources you'd like to share related to creation care?

Contact Heather Wolfe,
Taftsville Chapel's creation care liaison

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P.O. Box 44, Taftsville, VT 05073

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