A Grain of Salt: Isn’t it Ionic?

Salt mined: This kosher sea salt is taken from what once was a sea in central Utah.

Salt mined: This kosher sea salt is taken from what once was a sea in central Utah.

From the Princeton Center for Complex Materials:

This year’s traditional holiday science lecture, “A Grain of Salt: Isn’t it Ionic?” is Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. at McDonnell Hall, Room A02.

Professors Howard Stone and Bonnie Bassler will lead an interactive presentation on table salt, or sodium chloride, which is important to human history and vital to human health. Stone and Bassler will discuss properties of salt that make it so universally useful; children ages 7 and up will help demonstrate the chemistry of salt, from its solubility to conductivity.

The lecture is free but advance registration is required.

An early fall visit to the Farminary

hoop house

A small garden includes a hoop house in the making, where some crops will be nurtured through the winter months.

pond & trees

The Farminary is a 21-acre plot that was once a sod farm, just a couple of miles away from downtown Princeton.

Nathan Stucky, a 2015 doctoral graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary and director of its new project, Farminary, grew up on a cattle and wheat farm in Kansas.

He is looking to connect the land – adamah in Hebrew – to theological education. In the words of a piece on him and his project in The Mennonite World Review (read it here), he hopes to “grow the project in an intentional, disciplined way, using the best of agrarian sensibilities, paying attention to the seasons, what is prudent and will bear fruit.”

Just Food conference at Princeton Theological Seminary

The upcoming Just Food conference at Princeton Theological Seminary is aiming for “an essential conversation about food justice, sustainable agriculture, food insecurity, and innovative ways to change the way we relate to food.”

The lineup is promising. Featured speakers for the Sept. 24-26 event include Will Allen, recipient of the John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation Genius Grant and founder of Growing Power, the Milwaukee-based nonprofit urban farm; and Norman Wirzba, author of “Food and Faith,” and professor of theology, ecology and rural life at Duke Divinity School.

Workshop subjects include community gardens, using story and art, and human rights in agriculture. Field trips to the Seminary’s new 21-acre Farminary, directed by Nate Stucky, are also on the schedule.

Showing community connections, the conference will close with a food market on the campus green and will feature The Feed Truck – the Kingston United Methodist’s mobile experiment in radical hospitality, that already makes regular stops at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer.

Registration for the conference at the Seminary, 64 Mercer St., costs $195 and includes the program, a Thursday coffee break & dinner, the Friday coffee break, lunch and dinner. The Friday dinner is provided as part of the Farminary field trip. For information, call (609) 497-7990 or write coned@ptsem.edu.


21 acres and a new Farminary program

The Princeton Theological Seminary, our neighbor on Mercer Street, has launched Farminary, a program centered on its 21-acre parcel of land in Lawrenceville that combines theological education and sustainable agriculture. Nate Stucky is the Farminary’s founder and full-time director.

Excerpts from the TakePart story by Steve Holt:

“Stucky grew up in Kansas, on a farm outside Wichita, and farmed full-time for two years before coming to Princeton to pursue his Ph.D. He and a Princeton [Theological Seminary] alumnus first discussed the concept of a Farminary several years ago, but the seedling of an idea didn’t break ground until a mentor encouraged him to pursue his dream of taking seminary into the fields. He discovered last year that the Princeton seminary owned a 21-acre farm a few miles from campus that it had purchased as an investment a few years earlier, so Farminary was pitched to the seminary president, who loved it.

Besides the personal theological implications of studying scripture on a farm, Stucky says it doesn’t make sense to train faith leaders who are not conversant in the areas of ecology, sustainability, and food justice….At first, the harvest at the Farminary will likely be modest enough to feed only the students and faculty, but organizers are discussing long-term uses for the food, such as donating it to local food pantries, using it to source Princeton’s seminary dining hall, or even donating it to be used in Trenton public schools.”