Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Board Member to Discuss Farm Bill in Washington, D.C.
Submitted by Tom Redfern, Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator

Local organic farmer Becky Rondy, of Greenedge Organic Gardens in Amesville will be going to Washington D.C., on Monday July 9, through Wedensday July 11, to discuss priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill. Becky will be meeting with representatives of Senator Sherrod Brown, and Congresswoman Jean Schmitt. She is hoping to meet personally with Congressman Zach Space. Becky is being sent by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and The National Campaign for Sustainnable Agriculture. These groups are presenting initiatives on sustainable agriculture as part of a coalition that Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture has been involved in since 2004. Becky is a Rural Action Board Member and a member of the Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board. Good Luck Becky!

They’re Back- Summer Associates Are Here
Submitted by Candi Withem, Human Resources Director and Director of the AmeriCorps Program

Rural Action is pleased to partner with ReUse Industries, Community Food Initiative, Good Works and our own Economies and Watersheds program to host an Americorps*VISTA Summer Associate program again this year. Three of the sixteen committed, talented individuals who will be working in our communities this summer to make a difference in local organizations and programming are back for a second term. Dale, Jeremy and Rose were all first in line to sign up again this year.

Four Associates are placed with ReUse Industries for the second year in a row. They will be evaluating the ReUse stores for shopper convenience and other data to improve the quality of the shopping experience for local residents among many other tasks.

Two Summer VISTAs are placed with Good Works to assist with volunteer activities and programming in their Timothy House homeless shelter and the Transition Center.

Community Food Initiative’s three Associates will be planting and maintaining community gardens, working to educate residents on food preparation and preservation skills and supporting the Edible Schoolyard project.

Rural Action’s Economies Teams will work to increase the sustainability of the Rural Action Research & Education Center through the development of demonstration plots, invasive plant removal, native plants re-vegetation and research. The Watersheds Team will support programming by providing educational opportunities for watershed day camp youth, stream data collection and planning the Little River of the Hills Water Festival.

“Our Americorps*VISTA Summer Associate program was extremely successful last year and we are pleased to support local organizations and projects with Summer VISTAs again this year,” stated Candi Withem, VISTA coordinator at Rural Action, “Rather than just another summer job, this allows people to really dig in and do meaningful work to help local projects for their eight weeks of service in the communities.”

Besides receiving a monthly living allowance, the participants are granted an education award of $1,000 on the completion of service to pay for already existing student loans or future education. For more information about the Summer Associate program or other service opportunities please contact Candi at 740-767-4938.

Matt Presutti, our resident photographer, followed the Associates with the Economies Team to the Wayne National Forest on July 10. There the Associates planted a variety of grasses and wildflowers in propogation beds. You can view the pictures in a slideshow.

Going, Going, Gone! Goodbye VISTAs!
By Chris Tomazic, AmeriCorps*VISTA for Media

The world of VISTA is a revolving door! Summer Associates are in, but some of our full-year VISTAs are heading out. Sara Peach (Rural Renewal) leaves us this Friday (07/16). Liz Drabik (Sustainable Forestry), Adam Fitch (Environmental Learning Program), Michelle Shively (Huff Run) and Emily Webb (Dairy Barn) all leave on the 21st. Look for a feature article about these VISTA's years of service and future plans in the next episode of the Rambler.

Around the Office
By Chris Tomazic, AmeriCorps*VISTA for Media

As the heat of summer waxes in the hills surrounding Trimble, we've been passing the time watching the flowers grow and partaking in the local summer bounty. Tanner Filyaw, AmeriCorps*VISTA with the Forestry Team has been tending our three-tiered flower garden that looks out onto the quiet neighborhood of Walnut Street. The Development/Communications Team has been working on a new design for the Rambler, featuring drawings by Matt Presutti. It should be ready soon! Bob Fedyski, AmeriCorps*VISTA with Sustainable Agriculture, has taken to cooking us all delicious, zucchinni-based meals (he's a chef at heart, you know). Below is a recipe that Bob used last week. It's for an apple pie that substitutes zuchinni for apple! The taste is so similar to traditional apple pie that you may forget there's actually no apple in the dish. But, don't take my word for it. Try it yourself!

Zucchinni Not-Apple Pie

· 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
· 4 cups zucchini, thinly sliced
· 3/4 cup organic sugar or brown sugar
· 2 tablespoons tapioca
· 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
· ½ teaspoon allspice
· 2 teaspoons cornstarch
· 2 teaspoons butter
· 1 tablespoon milk

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a 9 inch pie pan with one pastry pie crust.
2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, tapioca, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cornstarch. Add zucchini and lemon juice and blend well. Put mixture into pie crust. Dot with butter. Place second crust over pie crimping the edges together. Then brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar if desired.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 50 minutes.

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