2009.01.18 Granola, Intro to Sacraments

Regular Meeting. Project: Home made Granola. Paula will facilitate the project. Everyone will get to take home some yummy and nutritious home made granola.

Kent will provide an introduction to the sacraments of Christianity; what they are and why they are. We’ll come back to this topic periodically in the future.


We enjoyed lunch together, made granola, and had an introductory discussion about sacraments.

I’m including here the notes on Sacraments, and the recipe for granola.


A good general definition is that a sacrament is “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace” (from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer).

What are the sacraments?
Most Protestants recognize two sacraments: Baptism and Communion, or the Lord’s Supper.

My definition: something that was prophesied or foreshadowed, that Christ commanded or ordained by Word or by His actions, that has both an action to be taken and a promise or stated spiritual result.

Sacraments should be done as exactly as possible according to the plan laid out by Christ and the apostles and made clear in the Old Testament foreshadowing, just as the Tabernacle had to be completed to exact specifications and the worship in the Temple had to follow exact specifications. If you don’t follow the plan, the message and significance can be lost or diluted.

The following are the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church: (We discussed some things about Roman Catholicism in relation to this list)
• Baptism (Christening)
• Confirmation (Chrismation)
• Holy Eucharist (or Holy Communion)
• Penance (Confession)
• Anointing of the Sick
• Holy Orders
• Matrimony

What I believe are the sacraments instituted by Christ: (based on my definition of sacrament above)
• Salvation
• Water Baptism
• Holy Spirit Baptism
• Communion
• Matrimony

Your homework: Search the scriptures and see if you agree or disagree with my definition and my list of sacraments. Don’t use Wikipedia or other such sources, use the scripture and PRAYER and let God give you wisdom in this area. We’ll be discussing this later, so if you make notes make sure to bring them with you each week in case the topic comes up. In future meetings I hope to discuss the sacraments individually and why I believe each of the things I mentioned qualifies.

GRANOLA RECIPE: Homemade Granola

10 cups of Old Fashioned Oatmeal
2 cups of wheat germ
2 cups of brown sugar
2 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup of oleo
1 cup of honey
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon

Mix together first four dry ingredients. Set aside. Melt oleo-add honey, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread on lightly greased cookie sheets and roast for 30 minutes at 275 degrees. Stir half way through roasting.

You may add coconut, raisins, nuts, dried fruit etc. after roasting. Roast an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.

It’s time to start thinking “garden” already!

Discussions will begin here.

Farm Truck

As most of you know by now we did acquire a farm truck this year, which has been very helpful in hauling needed supplies etc.

The truck is in my name, since we don’t have any other entity to put it under; that means it’s also on my insurance, which means that I am the principal driver, and anyone else who uses it must be very, very careful. Also we have established a rule that if you use it, you clean it, and if it breaks while you’re using it, you fix it at your own expense.


Much of our composting is now being done right in the garden with our lasagna methods. The biggest issue we’re facing right now is lack of “raw materials”

I plan to rent or borrow a chipper/shredder this year and shred the Pampas grass instead of burning it. We have a fairly steady source of horse manure, and I now have a source of fine wood chips that works for animal bedding. What we don’t have yet is a good supply of coarse wood chips for the bottom layer of our garden plots. We got several truckloads this year from a neighbor and it still wasn’t enough to quite finish the first garden.


Hopefully coming this spring

2009 Gardens

It’s already time to start planning for next year’s garden(s). Here’s the discussion that needs to happen:
1. Some people live here and end up doing the majority of the work
2. Some people can get here easily and help with some of the work
3. Some people can’t get here easily and don’t do any of the work but would like to have healthy food.

We’re going to need to decide who participates, how they participate, and what it costs to participate.

My thoughts:
We probably need to assign a value to the produce
We probably need to assign a value to people’s labor
We need to decide how fees will be paid (I was thinking maybe a monthly “co-op fee” or something) and how credit for work will be allotted
We need to know how many people/families we think we can realistically produce/provide for.

A related note:
We need to know if we’re going to have any gardening co-op partners; these would be people who are willing to have a garden on their own property and participate with us in a co-op/pricing/distribution scheme of some sort.

We also need to know what we’re going to plant. We’re going for as many open pollinated varieties this year as possible, and we’re going to try to get enough seed for two years.

The house is quiet…the roosters aren’t…

Erika and Matt just left…it was a great holiday all the way around.

The roosters started crowing yesterday…looks like it’s time to butcher. They are 4 months old. We’ll probably try to do a few on Saturday.

2009.01.11 Seed Saving, Garden Planning

Preparing the garden: seeds and seed saving. Randy will lead discussion.

This information will be valuable to anyone who is interested in starting or continuing to garden using open pollinated seeds – a method that allows you to collect and store your own seeds from year to year instead of purchasing seed every year.

During this meeting we will be deciding what we are planting this year at Big Oak Ridge, what seeds we are buying etc. We can also help anyone else who is going to be making similar decisions. By the end of this meeting anyone who is doing the garden thing this year should have all the information they need to purchase their seeds.

Recommended resource: “Saving Seeds” by Marc Rogers (readily available through bookstores or online, about $10.00)

Saving Seeds

Meeting Topics

I’m going to start a list here of topics we’re likely to be discussing/exploring at our meetings. They are NOT presented here in any particular order, and we’ll be adding to this as time goes on.

2008.12.10: I’m going to start trying to organize some of these topics in preparation for getting them on the calendar. Feel free to offer any feedback that seems appropriate.

2008.12.25 NOTE: Ryan has added a Google Calendar link, and the Google calendar shows our events, as well as the schedule for “life on the farm”, in calendar layout if that would help you.

2009.12.03 NOTE: Well, we’ve been at this a year now. Some of the topics below could stand to be reviewed, some new ones added, and some on here we haven’t covered yet. We’ll be working on this list in the near future.

December 2008:
The Bethlehem Star (video) with discussion time? UPDATE: This is happening at the Oil City Branch

01.04: Open House. Ryan’s Birthday. First meeting of the New Year.
01.11: Seed buying/saving (Randy) – also discuss co-op possibilities
01.18: Regular Meeting. Project: Home made granola. – further discuss co-op options
01.25: Nutrition 101 Part 1(Paula) – menu prep, grocery shopping, easy basic meals, basic nutrition, cooking ahead, stretching what you have

02.01: Relationship between body/soul/spirit (Randy)
02.08: How to hear from God (Kent/Randy)
02.15: The case for Intelligent Design: Animals that defy evolution (video/discussion) – creation history and science
02.22: Discussion of prophecy in the body of Christ; Review of words from God regarding preparation etc. (Randy/Kent)

03.01: Vermiculture with Nancy Mansfield
03.08: Subject to be Announced (Randy)
03.15: Starting seedlings (Kent/Paula) Hopefully this will include a demonstration…
03.22: Communion (Kent)


04.18-19: (Tentative) Field trip to Growing Power, Milwaukee, WI. There will be no meeting this weekend.
04.26: Building garden beds, planning the garden, etc. (Kent/Paula/Randy)

Unsorted topics:
Chain saw maintenance (Randy)
Raising kids for God (Paula)

Raising chickens (Kent/Paula)
Butchering chickens (Kent/Paula)
Raising Goats (Kent/Paula)
Butchering goats (Kent/Paula)

Tools: use and care (Randy)
Organic pest control (Paula)
Canning/Freezing/Drying/Dehydrating foods (Paula)
Fruits: Strawberries, bush berries, grapes (??)

Personal testimonies (as the Holy Spirit leads)
Sewing basics – choosing a pattern, reading a pattern, picking fabric, using machines (Paula)
Gun use and care
The power of words, Blessings and cursings (may be two teachings or one, or part one and part two, not sure)
Water baptism
Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Practice Run

This is our “practice run” for feeding the multitudes. The tables are set up for 14 adults in this picture. I think we’re going to need a bigger dining area.