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If you want to be in the know about what’s going on at our organization, you’ve come to the right place.

Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates.

Writing poetry, and eating foods that are close to the earth, keep me grounded on this beautiful planet. This winter, while we wait to get back to the gardens, I’d like to offer a space for a Living Earth Center writing community by creating The Living Earth Word Share Facebook page starting this February and leading up to April which is National Poetry Month.

What is better on a cold dark January night than a warm bowl of soup at dinnertime? Combining potatoes and Great Northern beans, this soup makes a hearty, "comfort food" meal.

In an effort to save paper and clutter, Living Earth Center will be transitioning to sending out only one year end tax letter beginning in 2021. The letter will include all donations made during the calendar year.

While we were saddened that the ongoing global pandemic kept us from hosting our traditional Winter Solstice Celebration in person, we were delighted by the turnout and reception of our virtual version.

As we at Living Earth Center look back at this challenging year we want to focus on the positives...
We are so grateful for our LEC Community - our gardeners, volunteers, donors, and participants.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and look forward to creating common ground and growing together in 2021 and beyond.

Living Earth Center is excited to announce starting in February we will be hosting a 10-week Book Circle to explore the book All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis.

We thank all of our supporters and welcome you to take a look at our progress as an organization over this last year.

We are more than “just” a Community Garden. LEC continues to serve as a Community Growing Space in both the physical, virtual, and metaphorical sense as a safe space for anyone from anywhere to come and grow and connect
to the natural rhythms of nature, life, and most importantly, love and hope.

This month seemed like a good time to focus on sharing holiday traditions. I reached out to former Board Member and Community Gardener Jolly Corley to share her family’s recipe for gingerbread.

This is a PBS documentary about the 1970 Pulitzer Prize Winner, Norman Borlaug. It shares his life as the son of Norwegian immigrants who settled in NE Iowa on a 100-acre farm in 1914. His early days were occupied working long hours on the farm. Norman gained some freedom from farm work with Ford’s building of a small tractor which his family acquired in the early 1920’s.

On Saturday, November 7th over 60 people (30+ individuals plus 30 SSND Sisters, socially distanced over 3 rooms in the Mother House in Mankato) joined together via zoom for LEC’s 15th Annual Earth Conference.

Give to the Max Day is a statewide fundraiser organized by GiveMN (www.givemn.org) raising thousands of dollars for nonprofits and schools across Minnesota. This year it is scheduled for November 19th, but early giving is already underway!

A delicious and easy recipe that highlights any variety of winter squash.

With the way things in 2020 have been going it can be hard to keep a positive outlook, so when this new documentary I was watching opened with narrator Woody Harrelson saying, “There’s so much bad news about our planet, it’s so overwhelming, the fear that we are headed for a cliff puts most of us into a state of paralysis. The truth is, I’ve given up, and odds are, so have you… but what if there was another path?” I found myself nodding in agreement, “Yes, Woody Harrelson, I am overwhelmed and sometimes feel like there’s nothing I can do that makes a difference. Please tell me of this ‘other path’ of which you speak…”

On Wednesday, October 21st over 30 people gathered online (mostly from Minnesota and Wisconsin, but some from as far as Pennsylvania and Toronto, Canada) to join Land Stewardship Project's Emily Minge, Clara Sanders Marcus, and Amy Bacigalupo in an LEC-hosted event, "Doing our Work: Racial and Environmental Justice."

This adapted recipe is a fall family favorite and has the approval of all members- even the pickiest of eaters!

One of the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry (now Living Earth Center)’s founders, Sr Mary Tacheny, celebrated her 75 year Jubilee this year! We take a moment to celebrate her dedication to issues surrounding rural Minnesotans, sustainability, and Earth justice.

Mankato-based poet Esther Marcella Hoffman has composed an original poem for Living Earth Center. To read it, please follow the link above.

I recently made this simple recipe for a small outdoor gathering and multiple people asked how to make it. I was almost embarrassed to tell them because it was so easy didn't want to blow my gourmet chef cover!  Nonetheless, if you have tomatoes, this easy summer recipe is definitely one you want in your wheelhouse! 

After attending the webinar, “Eyewitness: Intersection of Racial Injustice and Climate Change,” hosted by Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy in early August, I ordered two copies of their new book Eyewitness: Minnesota Voices on Climate Change, one for myself and one for the LEC library.

Here at the Living Earth Center we always encourage you to shop small and shop local, but we realize there are times when this just isn't possible. We are now set up to receive donations via the AmazonSmiles program...

Our 4 month Give to Grow Mankato Campaign came to a close on August 22nd. We are so completely blown away by the generosity of our Living Earth Center Community!

LEC Board of Directors is welcoming two new members, a new Executive Team, and extends it's thanks to Members who have cycled off this year.

Review of the PBS American Experience documentary "The Vote."

Our new Garden Manager, Martin Jacaruso posted this photo to his Instagram account and it looked so delicious we asked him to share the full recipe with everyone at Living Earth Center.

Local artist Mal Murphy has donated her painting "Mother Nature" to the Living Earth Center. This beautiful piece will be spending her days in the Living Earth Center Resource Library and Community Growing Space in the Barn (after quarantine).

One of Living Earth Center’s goals is creating common ground, a place where everyone can feel comfortable and welcome. With the advent of Covid, gathering on literal common ground has become a safety concern, so the LEC Event Committee decided to create a virtual gathering space.

We are excited to announce new Living Earth Center Staff!

Living Earth Center stands with our community allies seeking justice for George Flynn and all People of Color.

I wanted to give an update on our Give to Grow Mankato Campaign running April 22 to August 22. As of May 22 we are 1/3 of the way through and with just over $3,500 raised, we are also just over 1/3 of the way to our goal of raising $10,000! A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has already donated!

On April 8th Living Earth Center hosted its first ever online class, a Beginning Plant Medicine Class in collaboration with Megan Schnitker of Lakota Made. Twenty people participated via Zoom, learning about the medicinal properties of over a dozen different plant species.

This past weekend the Living Earth Center Board met (virtually) Corona style. As is tradition for all Living Earth Center events and gatherings, we started the meeting with a "Getting Grounded" moment in which we all took time to take a deep breath, ground ourselves and check in with each other. The below poem was shared Sr. Anna Marie Reha as a way to center us not only for the meeting but for the weeks to come. We hope it provides comfort for you as it did for us.

One Small Step in February, we envisioned it being a virtual space for people to come together for encouragement and inspiration to live more sustainably. Then Covid-19 arrived.

Book of Month

June’s book of the month is “Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth,” edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. It is a powerful and thought provoking collection of essays.
Taken from the introduction...
“This book is a collection of responses to the call of the Earth... These responses are not offered as a solution to a problem, because the world is not a problem but a living being in distress... The chapters of this book offer a range of different perspectives in the awakening needed...”
Featured essayists include Thich Nhat Hahn, Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, and Winona LaDuke.

Living Earth Center is excited to announce that it will be partnering with MSU's College of Allied Health and Nursing, Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation, Mankato and North Mankato ACT of Kindness and Camp Maverick to host an EngAGEment Sensory Garden designed for people living with dementia, their care partners and friends. Group activities will be available during designated times throughout the garden season. This special garden plot will be filled with vegetables, flowers and herbs that invigorate all senses and will be specially designated for participants and their care partners.

Every winter, Living Earth Center produces its annual publication, the Earth Almanac, that provides insight to what's happening in the organization, ways to advocate, and ideas, articles and recipes that connect you with this Living Earth.

On November 3, over 120 people gathered to discuss the message nature is sending and how we can better listen to her message.

Know of any kids that want play in the dirt, pick some tomatoes and investigate insects? We have spaces available in our late summer Kids Garden Sessions! Little Sprouts (age 3-5) classes begin next Monday at 5:30 PM and Kids Peace Garden (ages 6-12) begin next Thursday at 5:30 PM. It's a great way to spend a summer evening in the Living Earth Garden! Registration ends Friday!

The best way to deal with life's annoying and... ichy problems? Perhaps attempting mosquito meditation.

Formally the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry (CESRM), we are celebrating our growth to a new 501c3 called the Living Earth Center!