I thought I'd take a moment to answer Dale's question. About the pumpkins.
Why did I spend my Saturday morning picking pumpkins with about 40 other people? Well, the short answer is that they planted all those pumpkins to sell to raise money for Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a food aid and international development organization that I work for. The purpose of my trip was to visit churches and community groups who are supporting us through various efforts. The pumpkin project was one of those efforts.
The Foodgrains Bank is a christian-based organization that was originally started by a group of farmers that wanted to find some way of sending their surplus grain to hungry people overseas. Since then, it's grown, and we now receive about $7 million in donations from Canadians, as well as $16 million from the federal government. The unique thing that I love about this organization is that there are 13 different church organizations that are part of it - everything from Baptists to Presbyterians to Seventh Day Adventists (and including your United Church, Dale). All these churches that preach different doctrine from the pulpit, work together to help hungry people. On Sunday, while I was in Nova Scotia, I visited 3 different churches, belonging to different denominations but still serving the common purpose.
The pumpkin project is one of our community growing projects. Rural communities get together, set aside a portion of land, and grow a crop which they donate directly or sell and donate the proceeds. I love the pumpkin project, because it includes 6 or 7 local churches in the Annapolis Valley, and they get a wide range of people working together as a community to pick and sell a field full of pumpkins. It gives you warm fuzzies to see something like that.
So now you know why all those pumpkins. And since I took all this time to put in a good plug for the Foodgrains Bank, next time you want to support a great organization, check us out! (That's also why I was in Africa - to read more about it, feel free to peruse my February posts.)