The latest issue of Field Notes, now online!

With Christmas now just around the corner, food will be on the minds of many of us. It seems fitting therefore that ‘Creation-friendly farming’ is the theme of our latest Field Notes newsletter too. We hope you enjoy reading stories of A Rocha’s work as and with farmers. This edition includes an interview with a farmer whose Christian faith led him to go organic and an overview of what the Bible has to say about food production. The issues and challenges can seem overwhelming but together, and with God’s help, we can bring about change.

Brooksdale property (AR Canada)

Votes on land use around the Tatalu (Little Campbell River)

A Rocha Canada’s Brooksdale Environmental Centre is set on an 18-acre property – a living lab of forests, a threatened river system, organic gardens and heritage houses. This unique combination of sensitive wildlife habitat and agricultural land makes this British Columbia centre a place where critical environmental issues are researched, addressed and solved.

A big decision was made by Metro Vancouver recently concerning the 600 acres surrounding the centre. Unfortunately, the vote went as anticipated: the board voted 82 to 52 in favour of moving Surrey’s plan forward to amend the regional growth strategy, allowing servicing to come down into South Campbell Heights to accommodate ‘employment use’ of these lands. One member said it was the most intensely debated, longest, and toughest decision made by the Metro Vancouver Board in the last 10 years!

‘An incredible group of people, some old friends and some new to us, spoke in opposition with insight, clear evidence, professionalism, personal experience, creativity and conviction,’ says David Anderson, the Brooksdale Centre Co-Director. ‘It was an outpouring of love for creation from a diverse group. Several Metro board members fought hard for conservation with eloquence and with a significant degree of courage, as it was a political risk for some.’

So what’s next? ‘Well first, we take a bit of rest,’ continues David, ‘allow ourselves to feel grief and some righteous anger, and name and celebrate hard work well done. And then we re-group with our partners, connect with some of the seasoned board members who were allies, and make a plan for how to engage the process going forward that will span years.

Thank you for your prayers, networking, letter writing, social media sharing and encouragement.’

Currently the best way to support the Tatalu is to subscribe to the A Rocha Canada e-news and sign the petition to stay informed.

Magnus Kopman and Peter Harris Falsterbo

Migration and momentum in Sweden

Photo: Peter Harris with Magnus Köpman at Falsterbo

The autumn bird migration over Falsterbo in Sweden is spectacular – millions pass overhead in a matter of days. It was during a migration watch here in the early 1980s that A Rocha was first dreamed up, and this year, founder Peter Harris returned with a group of birding friends, many linked to A Rocha in the Netherlands.  

Arne Mörnerud leads the A Rocha work in Sweden and set up a series of meetings and events for Peter and some of the group. They spent time with their partner organization at Hyllie Park, which comprises two schools and a care home for the elderly. After good discussions with the CEO, it is hoped that A Rocha’s influence will not be limited to the ongoing ecological transformation of the grounds but could be mainstreamed into what is now a sizeable organization, and not least have an impact on their investment policies. They were also glad to welcome several A Rocha members from other parts of the country including Magnus Köpman who first visited Cruzinha in the early 1990s. 

They also travelled to Knislinge to see Anton and Mirjam Flood who moved onto a farm there a year ago, when Anton began working at the nearby adult education college as chaplain. Peter writes, ‘Anton and Mirjam are advancing plans for a creation care track for students similar to other pathways through the syllabus and they have a clear vision for establishing an A Rocha community based locally. Things are moving fast and all of us spent a great evening together with friends from the area to talk about A Rocha’s commitments and the possibilities for future work together.’  

In this short clip, Anton talks about his hopes for a closer relationship with A Rocha. For more information about A Rocha in Sweden please visit https://arochasvanner.se