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About This Project:
This is our 2015-2016 family project.  I will be updating this page as we complete each portion throughout the upcoming year. Please check back often for updates or sign up to receive the latest posts in your inbox via the subscribe option at the right of this page.

Our project will consist of a study of saints who are known for working in the garden or kitchen, an in-depth look at what it means to be a steward of the earth, learning about Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, a study of C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew, and other connections we find along the way.

 

What does it mean to be a steward of God's earth?

In it's simplest terms, it means to tend and care for all of God's creation.  We are all called to be stewards of the earth as we not only show respect for the environment but also nurture it for future generations through the choices we make in our daily lives.

Our relationship with the environment is also a reflection of our relationship and communion with God, the Creator.

Saints and Feast Days:

Saint Euphrosynos  
September 11th


Saints Spyridon and Nikodim of Kievo-Pechersk
October 31st

Saint Basil
January 1st


Saint Juliana of Lazarevo
January 2nd

Saint Christos the Gardener 
February 12th

Saint Modomnoc of Ossory
February 13th

In Our Garden:

Connections & Extensions

Celebrate the Earth by Dorrie Papademetriou

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

Taking a Deeper Look at The Magician's Nephew: Lewis closely ties the story of Creation in Genesis with the story of the creation of Narnia. This unit guides the reader to a better understanding of those correlations. 

Research Resources:

Who is the Green Patriarch?

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has lovingly been nicknamed the Green Patriarch for all of his hard work and leadership regarding current environmental issues.

Here is a home unit for families to review together with several ideas as you begin your journey as stewards of God's earth.

Here is a wonderful video produced by Becket Films about Patriarch Bartholomew.

Keeping Chickens

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Our chicks

Due to our current circumstances, we no longer have chickens in our backyard but we did enjoy recently having hens for two years.  It was a new endeavor for all of us seeing as how none of us grew up with any knowledge of how to care for chickens.  With a bit of research and then some hands-on experience, we soon found that having chickens was much easier than caring for a puppy.  We hope to have chickens in our backyard in the not too distant future because we enjoyed getting daily eggs from them, watching them run up to the back door for fruit and vegetable scraps, our garden flourished as we used the composted chicken manure, and it was great having less bugs while playing in our backyard during the summer since the chickens not only foraged for plants around the yard but also for bugs!

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Their awkward "teenage" years

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In addition to the benefits above, I found it was also valuable for my kids to have the responsibility of the daily care of the chickens - letting them out of the their coop in the morning, making sure they had food and water, collecting eggs, and then counting them at the end of the day after the hens put themselves to bed in their coop.  Our entire family now has a better appreciation for farmers, especially in the early days when we didn't know how to round up wandering birds (my goodness they are fast!) and also going out in the dead of winter as we collected eggs and fed them in the freezing temps.

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We purposely bought a variety of chickens in order to get a variety of different colored eggs.  The eggs we had from our chickens did not even compare to the eggs you get from the grocery store - 1. The yolks are substantially darker orange and firmer  2. The egg shells are harder and don't crumble as easily when you crack them open.

 

Here are the two books about chickens we used the most:
The Chicken Whisperer's Guide to Keeping Chickens

Chick Days: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens from Hatchlings to Laying Hens

Additional Resources

The Orthodox Study Bible

Greening the Orthodox Parish: A Handbook for Christian Ecological Practice by Frederick W. Krueger

Living in God's Creation: Orthodox Perspectives on Ecology by Elizabeth Theokritoff

Man and the Environment: A Study of St. Symeon the New Theologian by Anestis G. Keselopoulos

On Earth as in Heaven: Ecological Vision and Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Edited by Fr. John Chryssavgis

Praxis: Living in God's Creation