Having travelled to Ingersoll to meet with a client, I was fortunate enough to happen upon the Gingerich’s in a local Coffee Culture. This family embraces the concept of stewardship in their everyday lives. As they also know it is important to share the message with others that our actions can make a difference, I asked if they would mind helping me by featuring them in a video! Heather and Judah were enthusiastic participants.
Trevor Birtch is a resident of Woodstock, and he works for the County of Oxford within Financial Services. ‘Value’ does not necessarily mean economics alone. Encountering Trevor at the County building, I asked if he would speak about his definition of ‘stewardship’ and how the principle applies in various aspects of his (and his family’s) life choices and actions! Equally important is that he recognizes that a person can’t ‘go it alone’. It really is a community effort to assure the land within our care is recognized as important to many … whether individuals, families, businesses, organizations, and of course, municipalities.
Thank you Trevor for taking up the challenge of offering your personal definition of’stewardship’. I would love to hear from others! Watch the video directly below (and if you have the times, others are featured in a ‘loop of videos’! Enjoy!
Tom Butler was raised in a home and lifestyle on the rural perimeter of Woodstock where a ‘stewardship ethic’ was an expectation and an element of pride. As a young adult, Tom pursued organic farming not only for family consumption, but for sale within his local community. He grows his vegetables, herbs and other produce following organic practices and sells them at the local farmers’ markets. I noticed a unique looking item at his stand that raised my curiosity! The produce in question? ‘Ground cherries’, which admittedly I knew little about. Of course I purchased some, and then went on line to conduct my own research. Perhaps you are curious too; if so, check out this link! Ground Cherries.
The accompanying interview on the ‘Stewardship in Action’ YouTube channel touches upon some of what drives Tom to continue with his local food production and sales business, despite lingering challenges related to people’s perceptions. Thank you Tom, for being a ‘Voice for Nature’ and for sticking to your convictions. You are indeed both a voice and advocate for nature within your everyday lifestyle practices! And for everyone else, as a consumer, shop local. That said, as Tom suggested to me, even though he appreciates your business you will be ‘one step closer to nature and sustainable living’ if you try growing your own produce. Don’t be afraid of a blemish or two. Just consider it ‘nature’s stamp of approval’! Support local farmers and food producers!
Whether you live in a rural or urban setting within Oxford County, embracing a ‘Stewardship Ethic’ on the land is key to community and environmental health. Each person, organization, business, and agency has the personal power to contribute to a healthier county overall. One action, one step, and one idea at a time. Imagine that!
In taking stock of your lifestyle and everyday actions, what is it that you do (or could do) to be a conscious and conscientious steward of our land, water and air? … How would you ‘define’ the terms stewardship or sustainability?
Everything we do, whether we own or rent land, has an impact. Are you a farmer? What is it you do that demonstrates sustainable or ecologically focussed farming practices or goals? Do you live in town and grow a vegetable garden to which you add your compost results? Perhaps, regardless of where you live in the county, you have chosen to integrate indigenous plants and shrubs that attract wildlife?
Stewardship Oxford encourages everyone to think about what land and environmental stewardship means to you. Of course, opinions and perceptions differ, but by keeping an open mind to the diversity expressed by many, we enrich can enrich our understanding and appreciation for the ‘value’ of the land under our feet and the resources that surround us.
The ‘Stewardship in Action’ series you will find on this website is an array of blog articles, pictorial videos and interviews showcasing people’s efforts or allowing them to reflect upon important ‘stewardship’ related topics. Please see below the most recent (and past!) coverage!
Stewardship Oxford would love to hear from you! Contact us via stewardshipoxford.gmail.com or using the contact screen provided on this website.
Help foster and experience a stewardship ethic within Oxford County. From a natural resources and land, air and water management perspective, it is imperative that we think about what this term means. Our actions and attitudes as individuals, families, businesses, organizations or agencies all play a a role in natural environment management and health. And let’s not forget the health of our community at large.
Since the natural environment hosts not only a diversity of plants and wildlife, but also human life, should its health and vigour not be ‘top of mind’ for each of us? Not only for current generations, but future generations? Often times, we tend to think of our activities ‘in isolation’, without recognizing the inter-dependent relationships we have with nature.
Whether you are a rural farmer or country home dweller, or an urban landowner or tenant, we can each find ways to live our lives in a way that sustains our natural resources for both present and future generations.