April 25, 2011

Cesar Chavez celebration benefits garden at Woodburn's Valor Middle School

by Nate Rafn

This year's César Chávez Commemoration Service Day, sponsored by the Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United (PCUN), was held in a grassy field at Valor Middle School in Woodburn.

For the last four years, the Cesar Chavez celebration has been organized at other community garden locations in Woodburn, including the AIS Community Garden at Woodburn High School, and the Downtown Community Garden near City Hall.

Last year, a handful of families cultivated the garden at Valor Middle School. Participating families grew fresh produce for their own use, and to donate to Aware Food Bank in Woodburn.

The Cesar Chavez event was the official kick-off of the growing season. Volunteers from Planting Communities!, Valor Middle School, and PCUN, brought tools to begin working the soil. Seeds will be planted within the next few weeks.

The event also included a seed-blessing ceremony by Huitzilopochtli, a traditional Aztec dance group.

César Estrada Chávez (1927 – 1993) was a farm worker and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW).

1 comment:


    Not one day in anyone’s life is an uneventful day, no day without profound meaning, no matter how dull and boring it might seem, no matter whether you are a seamstress or a queen, a shoeshine boy or a movie star, a renowned philosopher or a Down’s syndrome child.

    Because in every day of your life, there are opportunities to perform little kindnesses for others, both by conscious acts of will and unconscious example.

    Each smallest act of kindness – even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile – reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away.

    Likewise, each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will.

    All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined – those dead, those living, those generations yet to come – that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands.

    Therefore, after every failure, we are obliged to strive again for success, and when faced with the end of one thing, we must build something new and better in the ashes, just as from pain and grief, we must weave hope, for each of us is a thread critical to the strength – the very survival – of the human tapestry.

    Every hour in every life contains such often-unrecognized potential to affect the world that the great days for which we, in our dissatisfaction, so often yearn are already with us; all great days and thrilling possibilities are combined always in THIS MOMENTOUS DAY!

    Excerpt from Dean Koontz’s book, “From the Corner of His Eye”.

    It embodies the idea of how the smallest of acts can have such a profound effect on each of our lives.

    Go with God, until we see you again, Cesar Estrada Chavez, thank you.


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