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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Well, gee. I didn’t know Willie Nelson had his own Sirius satellite radio station. The old timer’s radio spot is called Willie’s Place and you can find all of his favorite music, including his own.

Help Willie Nelson in his campaign to save farms. Photo from 1019rxp.com.

Help Willie Nelson in his campaign to save farms. Photo from 1019rxp.com.

Tomorrow, Willie will be playing all of Farm Aid 2009 in its entirety on the station. The event will kick off at 2 pm, so make sure you’re near your satellite radio (or your friend’s or family member’s). Some of the featured performances will be from Willie himself, along with Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, and Wilco.

So what is Farm Aid, you may ask. The concert is put on every year to promote awareness for farming communities and local farms. Too many farmers are forced to sell their land or cannot farm during hard times, especially like the hard times we have experienced this year. 

This will be the twenty-fourth concert since the idea was first brought to light in 1985. The concert was originally started by Willie, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp.

Willie Nelson also has his own thoughts on Farm Aid. Give his Farm Aid letter a read.

The Farm Aid website (linked above as “Farm Aid 2009”) also has information on how you can donate, if you’re so inclined to do so. What these musicians are doing is a great thing to help give back to a community that needs help. Without farms, where would we get our delicious fruits and veggies, milk and cheese, hamburgers and hot dogs? (OK, I’m going a little overboard, but you get the point.)

Tune in to Willie’s Place tomorrow at 2pm for a great bunch of performances. It’s all for a good cause!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

It’s been a long, difficult, and epic journey reading Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” I usually don’t review books until I’m finished reading them, but it’s been about two months since I started this book. In a world where avid readers, including myself, can finish a book in a week’s time, that says a lot.

It’s not that I’m not enjoying what Kingsolver writes about…that’s not it at all. Her book focuses on the importance of locally grown, organic food and how people need to integrate it into their lives to help save the environment, and even provide better living conditions for the animals they eat.

Kingsolver's book requires an open mind, patience, and at times, tolerance to dullness.

Kingsolver's book requires an open mind, patience, and at times, tolerance to dullness.

Kingsolver, besides giving factual information about growing crops, recounts the story of how she moved her family from Tucson, AZ to the rolling country hills of southwestern Virginia. It was there that her family decided to spend an entire year eating only food that they could grow themselves or buy from local farmers (usually within a few miles).

Here’s where the drooling begins…

She tells her narrative wonderfully, but then goes off on a tangent about growing crops, how people need to rely less on the corporate world for food, or how to increase our sustainability. Don’t get me wrong, these are all important topics for her book and could be interesting, but the way she explains things leaves me falling asleep after reading only five pages.

Not only that, but she repeats herself. A lot. A few times throughout my reading, I thought I had accidentally lost my place and skipped backwards. Nope, it was just the same old song and dance about how food travels from California and uses unnecessary amounts of gasoline in transport, polluting the earth even more.

At some points I even felt that Kingsolver was talking down to me, the reader. She poins out some very obvious things and makes it seem like people are complete idiots when it comes to the food they eat. Perhaps some people are, but those that choose to read this book might have a little more experience. It might have served her well to figure out her reader demographic before she wrote this book.

Nonetheless, I don’t want to bash this book because it’s not all bad. I am finding parts of it very intriguing. Reading about cheesemaking and how her youngest daughter copes with buying turkeys for slaughter is often good for a good chuckle. It would be beneficial if there were more anecdotes like that. It would definitely hold my interest a lot longer.

Hell, I probably would have finished this book in a week.

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