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October, 2015

Nature teaches life's lessons
by Ginny Gregory

The wind gave new life to the Neuse River. The 40'x100' tent was set on the grass lawn at waters' edge. It was happening because a destination wedding knows no cancellation. Eventually even the wedding planner began to realize that she was not in charge of nature.

My niece was getting married in the most beautiful spot she could find, Oriental, N.C. The sleepy sailing village with such wonderful side gardens dotted throughout town, filled with old Southern architecture was under siege. Friends and family had descended just as the marshes swelled to meet the river at every given chance. The Bean, the only source of coffee near by had knee high water surrounding it.


You Know You're a Breast Cancer Patient When....

Contributor’s Note: As we enter the month of pervasive pink, otherwise known as Pinktober, we offer this piece that has been circulating on the Internet among some breast cancer support groups. Please don’t get us wrong. We are not publishing this because we take breast cancer lightly. It kills 44,000 women and men (yes, men get breast cancer, too) every year—just as it has been doing for the last 20 years. We still do not have what we need most: a cure.


A murder of crows -- a Chatham tale
by Donald Byrne

A murder of crows in both senses—that's the tale of this post. But my hand was stayed, and to good effect. Read on. A flock of sheep, a brace of coneys, a murder of crows. Well, there's been a murder of crows in our garden the last couple of years. It's usually about 9 individuals at a time. They find the watermelons and cantaloupes a few days before a human would deem them sweet enough—and they make a killing! Peck right down to the rind, and there's nothing to do but kick the dirt and grind your teeth.


Book Review: Take Care of the Night
by Lou Lipsitz

Take Care of the Night: A Study of Religion, Dream, and Magic Renzo Sereno, an erudite and imaginative thinker, died fifty years ago, leaving behind a manuscript that has now been rescued, cleaned up and published. It still resonates with insight, wit, learning and skepticism. His writing is a kind of bridge between traditional scholarship and modern social science.

Dr. Sereno attempts a new definition of the human situation: we are mammals who are beset by anxiety. We attempt to escape our anxious predicament in endless ways, some of which make us even more anxious. And we are destined to fail.

He focuses his attention on three areas where we, as a species, attempt to “take care of the night” - or cope with our affliction: religion, dream, and magic. His arguments range across numerous cultures and cultural practices, with an eye to the universality of our anxious quests; from Machiavelli, to psychoanalysis, to Obeah (the form of magic he spent much time learning about in Antigua.)

The book is laced with wit. For example, in reference to Vilfredo Pareto: “who so impressed scientists..and find his jargon that of a man intelligent enough to understand the importance of being pretentious by being obscure.” or “Marx defined religion as the opiate of the people; we can define the languages of the social sciences as the bicarbonate of the elite.”

Is our culture any less anxious than it was fifty years ago. I doubt it. Sereno speaks to this in a strikingly contemporary observation: “…another instance of our knowing more of the remedy than of the malady. We are far more familiar with a sleeping tablet than sleep.” Many an Ambien user could relate to this observation.

Sleep, the night and its mysteries - find an astute and compassionate observer in this book.

-- Lou Lipsitz, poet, psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Page 1 - The Farm at Penny Lane: A place for healing, fresh produce, community and beauty * Time to unite and make Chatham Park great * Preserving nature for posterity - Page 2 - Dispatches & Briefs - Page 3 - Child care chatter - because child care matters - Page 4 - Codas for the war in Vietnam * The Making of Days - Page 5 - Chatham Park - Page 6 - The Rocky River, Chatham’s hidden treasure * Late stage breast cancer — why doesn’t anyone care? - Page 7 - Chatham Park - Page 8 - What’s all the barking about? * Slow Money Southeast Regional Meeting opening remarks - Page 9 -Chatham Park * Take Care of the Night - Page 10 - Back-to-school strategies for self-employed artists * A profile of Red Roots Farm * Chatham Park (cont. from page 1) - Page 11 - When will we ever learn? Some suggestions! * Expectation versus acceptance - Page 12 - Sustainable Prosperity plans for a prosperous Pittsboro * Nature (cont. from page 1) - Page 13 - A divine fruit for the Piedmont - Page 14 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 15 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 16 - Chatham Comunidad: Chatham County Line nececita noticias bilingües de la comunidad Hispano de Chatham

An extra pollinator garden tour

Our Chatham County Ag Extension agent, Debbie Roos, has added a morning pollinator garden tour option to the schedule for folks who cannot attend the regular Wednesday afternoon tours. That means you have two more opportunities to tour the garden in 2015: Monday October 5 at 10 a.m. and Wednesday October 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Monday October 5 at 10 a.m. Debbie will be giving a tour of Chatham County Cooperative Extension's Pollinator Paradise Demonstration Garden at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro. The garden was designed to provide forage habitat for pollinators such as honey bees, native bees, butterflies, flower flies, hummingbirds, beetles, and other beneficial insects.

No registration is required for the Monday tour...just meet on the lawn in front of Chatham Marketplace (480 Hillsboro St. in Pittsboro) at 10 am, rain or shine! The garden is looking great and has ~40 different plants in bloom this week. You can view photos of the garden on Extension's Growing Small Farms website at The last public tour of the garden for 2015 will be on October 21 at 5:30 p.m, so mark your calendars!

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919.542.8202 or


Family fun at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival

Folks may head out to The Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance October 8-11 to see extraordinary performances or to camp out with old friends, but one of the lesser-known and yet most impressive aspects of the event is its family-centered feel. The festival is a rich, interactive experience for children of all ages, with several special activities for kids and their families throughout all four days.

Near the heart of the festival grounds is the Kid's Zone. It is a place where kids and families always have something going on including hands-on art projects, story-telling, face painting, Pumpkin Carving with NC Tales and Legends, Family Bingo, a crafts bazaar, and the starting place for the Saturday afternoon parade.

Throughout the festival there are also scheduled group activities in the Kids Area including story-telling, music workshops, puppet shows, Treemendous Trees Family Hike, Wonderful Worms - where kids learn about all the work worms do to help the earth, kids' yoga, poi, hooping, dance classes, and Retro Crafts.

The whole festival will stop at 2pm on Saturday for the beautiful and participatory Paperhand Puppet Intervention Harvest Parade!

In the early part of the day Friday through Sunday, the nearby Cabaret Tent is a spot for musical performances just for kids. Acts playing here include Aboriginal songwriter and storyteller Paul Taylor, The Walker Street Fiddlers, The Bulltown Strutters, Tim & Susan Wells, & Eboo's Country Fresh Wake-Up and more.

The Outpost is an area for young people, ages 10-18 situated a little out of the way so these older kids can make it their own. The Outpost activities include a photobooth, songwriting workshops, jewelry making, an improv workshop, Tribal Games, some young adult oriented concerts, and much more.

See specific schedules and more info in the festival program or at:

Camping families can choose to settle down in the quiet camping area, a peaceful cove that lets folks get some shut-eye after a busy day. Youth tickets (ages 13-15) are available at a reduced price, and kids 12 and under get in free. Festival tickets are on sale now and available by phone and at

4-day passes - $124 at the gate
Youth 4-day passes - $64
Kids 12 and under are FREE!
1-day passes - $32 (Thurs), $42 (Fri), $49 (Sat), and $32 (Sun)
Youth (13-15) 1-day - $16, $21, $25, and $16
Tent camping - $34 per tent
Vehicle camping - $86 advance / $94 at the gate.
Shakori Hills is at: 1439 Henderson Tanyard Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312

Opportunity Chatham is October 16

Chatham Economic Development Corporation's annual Opportunity Chatham breakfast meeting, presented by the Triangle Community Foundation, is Friday, October 16, 2015 from 7:30 - 10 a.m. at the Barn at Fearrington. Chris Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, will be the keynote speaker.

Tickets can be purchased at They are $30 through October 2, after which the price increases to $35. Tickets at the door are $40 and have limited availability. For more information, contact Alyssa Byrd at 919.542.8278 or

Call for Vendors from Chatham Mills Farmers Market!

Local artists and craftspeople are invited to apply to Chatham Mills Farmers' Market's 2015 Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair. Fine artists, farm-related craftspeople and artisans, kids’ crafters and art-related non-profits are all encouraged to apply.

Chatham Mills Farmers' Market is a grower/producer market held on Saturdays from April through January. It is located on the lawn of the historic Chatham Mills Building, 480 Hillsboro Street, Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Their “Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair” will be held on Saturday, November 7th from 10am to 3pm. The application deadline for the event is October 17th. The guidelines and application can be found at: Any questions about the event may be addressed to the market manager, Cheryl McNeill, at

Cooperative Extension's Heirloom Tomato Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Growing Heirloom Tomatoes from 1:00-5:00 pm on Monday October 19 at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. The target audience for this workshop is market growers and serious gardeners.

This workshop offers a unique opportunity to learn from arguably our state's top heirloom tomato experts: Craig LeHoullier, a gardener who has been growing tomatoes for over 30 years, is responsible for naming and popularizing the famed Cherokee Purple variety and has been on a whirlwind tour promoting his new book Epic Tomatoes; and Alex Hitt, a highly successful market farmer who has grown over 150 varieties of tomatoes over the years.

The workshop will be presented in two sections: Tomato History, Varieties, Seed Saving, and More; and Organic Production of Heirloom Tomatoes. For complete details and registration information, visit Chatham County Cooperative Extension's Growing Small Farms website at Advance registration is required by October 13.

Community Lunch

Are you taking the semester off from college? Have you ever dreamed of learning to cook?

Community Lunch at St. Bartholomew's Church is looking for a few volunteers who would like to help make lunch and learn some kitchen skills in the process. This multi-faith program serves an average of 100 people every Thursday in the parish hall of St. Bartholomew’s, located at the corner of Rectory and Salisbury St in downtown Pittsboro.

If you're interested in donating some time to this very worthwhile Chatham-centric effort, please call St. Bartholomew's office at 919.542.5679 and ask for Karen Ladd.

Want to volunteer?

Would you like to get more involved and make our community a better place to live and work? Your help, whether with a one-time project or on-going involvement, is needed by the many non-profit agencies in Chatham County. Chatham Connecting provides information about volunteer needs throughout our county. See how you can help.

Meals on Wheels Drivers Needed for Bennett Area

Do you live in or near Bennett? Do you want to feel more engaged in the community? If so, why not deliver Meals on Wheels on behalf of the Chatham County Council on Aging to Bennett residents.

Meals on Wheels provides a hot meal and peace of mind Monday-Friday for home-bound seniors. By delivering MOW you will provide a nutritionally sound meal and companionship to an isolated senior who has become unable to provide or prepare food for themselves.

MOW is looking for individuals or two-person teams to deliver meals as a regular driver for their Thursday route. Meals are delivered between 10:30a-12p and the route takes about an hour.

They also need substitute drivers for all days of the week. Substitutes will likely only deliver 1-2 times a month.

Training will include riding the route with an experienced driver and a training session with the volunteer coordinator prior to going on the route.

For more information, contact Rhonda Hampton, Chatham County Council on Aging Volunteer Coordinator at 919.542.4512 or sign-up online at:


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