frb newsletter

Successful Saving in Malawi

Newsletter: 
Tags: 

Each time I visit Africa I am reminded of the power of building on the traditional methodologies that women in communities have used for centuries to save small amounts of money in contexts where they have no access to formal banking and/or credit.  Formerly known as table banking, tontines, etc. these methodologies are being refined and reintroduced in many FRB funded communities. Savings and Internal Lending Committees (SILCs) and Village Savings and Lending (VSLs) are some of the new names for the similar methodologies that are spreading rapidly, affirming that people adopt practices they see as beneficial.

10/29/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Hold with Open Hands

Newsletter: 

I continue to marvel at the deep wisdom and elegant simplicity of the FRB model; all it asks is that we hold before ourselves open hands and see what it is that we have to offer. For some it is the knowledge and love of farming, for others it is land or seed or the machinery to plant, tend and harvest a crop to be grown for the benefit of other farmers in places where hunger stifles potential and erodes hope. For others it is skill in fundraising or having financial resources to contribute. And for some like Dale Goodman it is the network of relationships from which one can invite together a diverse group to hear about FRB and see what might happen. 

10/29/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Learning from an Overseas Visitor

I had the pleasure of attending a recent growing project harvest celebration with a representative of one of our programs in Malawi. Nancy Kimani Hinga, program consultant for CRWRC/World Renew, is in North America now on a deputation visit. She’s a deeply spiritual, friendly and gracious person, and an excellent speaker. She reported to attendees on the impact FRB’s Malawi-Nkhoma program has had on the women who participate in it. 

09/27/2012 | Comments: 1 | Add Comment | Read More

A Gift for Several Michigan Growing Projects

What a precious gift FRB receives from Green Valley Agricultural Inc (GVA) who supplies a number of Michigan growing projects with pallets of seed each year. Employee La Raine Salmon explains how  it all began:

08/20/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Memory of Don "Pete" Nofziger

Newsletter: 
Farmer Don "Pete" Nofziger supported FRB with an individual growing project for more than ten years and at every FRB event he attended would ask the deeper questions with his humorous but serious grin.  Article 2 of his will includes a message to his FRB friends:
07/26/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

An FRB Volunteer's Story

Newsletter: 

One warm spring day after church, my wife, Gladys, and I stopped at the table on the lawn manned by Marv Baldwin. He was explaining the Growing Project that was a joint endeavor between our First Congregational Church of Western Springs, IL and Park Congregational Church of Mazon, IL. Mazon is a farmland town about fifty miles from our church in suburban Chicago. He told us that FRB was tackling world hunger by helping third world villages establish sustainable improved agriculture that will allow them to feed themselves, earn a modest income and be able to pass along their new-found expertise to neighboring villages.

07/23/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Sweet Corn in Yolo County, California

Newsletter: 

I had the pleasure of visiting with Tom, Saskia and Fritz of the Yolo County growing project in Woodland, CA last week. Hosted by the David Presbyterian Church, Farmer Fritz and a highly motivated group of volunteers have been growing a quarter-acre of organic sweet corn on land donated by Fritz. Fritz prepared the soil and the group hand planted half the land while the other half was machine seeded. The groups has helped weed and will start harvesting this weekend. Churches throughout the county have been putting in their sweet-corn orders and I hope to get in on the action when I visit again next week, along with our guest from the India-Banka program, Dhrubaa.

07/19/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

What is a Growing Project?

Newsletter: 

Growing  Project.  I keep hearing that term, but what does it mean? Does growing something mean I have to put a seed in the ground, water and fertilize it so life springs forth?  Since I would consider myself a “city girl,” growing something isn’t at the top of my list of skills and I can definitely attest to having that well-known “brown thumb.”  Upon moving to Michigan, I soon learned that I was in the minority when it came to growing something. Then I began volunteering at Foods Resource Bank and found that term “growing project” just kept popping up everywhere. It was then I decided I needed to know more about what a growing project really was.

06/14/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Heart of the Hill - April 2012

Newsletter: 

Sunday April 15th – Thursday April 19th I co-led the Heart of the Hill Trip.  Marv and I traveled with two volunteers from O’Fallon Missouri – Christine Bimslager and Maureen Avenenevoli.  They are apart of a growing project that has an urban church in O’Fallon and a rural church and farmer in Bucyrus Kansas. 

04/24/2012 | Comments: 1 | Add Comment | Read More

Kelsey Reflects on Her Recent Visit with Frate Sole Olive Oil

Newsletter: 

Last month FRB staff, board directors, and some volunteers traveled to out to the West Coast to the Sacramento area. There were two purposes for this trip: first was to hold a board meeting and second was to explore the potential for growing project development on the west coast.
 
Before I left, I was told that in Northern California they grow a lot of rice. Being from the Midwest, this sounded exotic and exciting … and it was. As my plane circled closer black fields of rich soil and glassy water stretched out all directions. The air often has a musty tang of rotting stalks and wet soil. As we drove north out of Sacramento toward the university town of Chico the rice fields continued but their vast darkness was punctuated by orchards clustered on alternating sides of the road. Being January, none of the orchards had leaves so brown dormant skeletons stood in row after row. Some were tall and majestic with spreading branches and some were short, stubby and sparse while others were twisted and rough barked.

03/05/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
Syndicate content