Meditations with Matthew Fox: The Tension between Inner and Outer Work

Recently a reader wrote that she felt troubled hearing about contemplation when there are so many people facing crisis including kids who don’t have food…for whom school was their place of safety and where they received hot meals. I think of women stuck home with their abusers. I think of all the people facing eviction, unable to pay bills because our society never believed their lives to be valuable. I think about the farm workers…. 

She asked: “How do we incorporate this tension?”

She is right of course. A moment of apocalypse like we are living through brings plenty of tension with it.  Contemplation needs to lead to action; yet action needs to flow from a deep place of love, goodness and Source.

A crisis like the pandemic becomes a watershed for all the “tensions” we as a society may have refused to face over the years and centuries.  The “sins of our fathers” (and mothers) can pile up—and spill over.

Take slavery and genocide and racism as examples along with ecocide and our neglect and abuse of Mother Earth.

Observe how the rugged individualism mythos that characterizes so much of our value systems can easily take precedence over a sense of the common good. Continue reading “Meditations with Matthew Fox: The Tension between Inner and Outer Work”

Want To Work In A Vineyard? French Wine Growers Seek 2018 Harvest Labor

If working a wine grape harvest is on your bucket list, 2018 may be the year you realize the dream if you are eligible for employment in France. Due in part to an exceptionally hot summer in regions such as Jura and Alsace, the harvest date has crept up, leaving many growers in search of seasonal workers. As in other parts of the world, an agricultural labor shortage has become more common in recent years. In 2018, the early harvest in some parts of France has presented additional scheduling issues. Experienced pickers expect the work to begin a bit later in the year, and many of them are tied up with other jobs or are on leave.

Vineyard owners also say there seem to be fewer applicants as seasonal jobs appear less lucrative than in the past when some producers even held a waiting list for volunteers eager for the experience. Now some growers are prepared to provide bonuses, wine and small gifts to entice workers to choose their vineyards. Elise Bathelier is the human resources manager for Domaine Faiveley in Burgundy.

Employers realize the need to broadcast job openings via social media in addition to job fairs and personal networking. In late July, Alsace producer Domaine Allimant-Laugner posted on Facebook, “Harvest is approaching! Festivities launch on 8/24 or 8/27 with eight days of crémant harvest. Who wants to join our team?” Responses were met with personal messages regarding next steps. Soélis Défi, a provider of rural job matching services, has published an easy-to-use application form on Facebook.

The 2018 harvest in France is expected to produce a significant improvement on the yields of record-breakingly low 2017. According to July 2018 reports from the French Ministry of Agriculture, estimates are up double digits over last year. This is good news for the growers, but all those grapes must be picked at the perfect time.

Harvest is a flurry of urgent activity, with bands of laborers streaming down the rows with clippers. Harvested grapes are placed into bins that are carried or held on one’s back — when the bins are full they go into larger containers to be taken into the winery. This continues for days to weeks, depending on the size of the vineyard and the pattern of grapes being harvested.

Because grapes are harvested when they are perfectly ripe, certain portions of a single vineyard could be picked in their own time. Having a mobile team of workers on hand makes this process much easier. As vineyards blush closer to that magic moment, growers hope that plenty of eligible people answer the call.

Source: Want To Work In A Vineyard? French Wine Growers Seek 2018 Harvest Labor