Native Knowings

January 28, 2010

It has been my destiny to travel with many contemporary Native American spiritual elders, and to hear many of the teachings they offer about the land and about the era of transition in which we live. I have just created and published a new Soul*Sparks  ebook — Native Knowings: Wisdom Keys for 2012 and Beyond — in an effort to distill and then to express some of  those wisdom teachings in the context of the year 2012 and the Mayan calendar.

My new ebook has been produced in over 10 formats, so it can be read on any ereader device, including Kindle, Nook, Sony,  iPhones, Blackberries, computers, and so forth. I wrote it short and to the point.

The true scope and depth of Native wisdom is generally unknown, and much of what is known is either drawn from the past, or offered out of context. This Soul*Sparks ebook cannot hope to encompass the many levels and great depth of understanding that are part of Native tradition, but it can hint at them, and it can do so in a manner appropriate for the prophetic year of 2012, and in a context that will endure long after that. Some things — basic spiritual teachings like honesty, sharing, humility, respect, and caring for the land — remain constant through all phases and cycles of human and world development. I reckon the year 2012 will bring no alteration to that.

My aim as writer and compiler is to offer a quintessence of both ancient and contemporary Native wisdom in a coherent, and rhetorically strengthening manner that will be readily accessible for many thousands of people as we confront mounting economic, environmental and social crises in North America, and around the world.


Healing for Haiti: Dwellers on an Agrarian Threshold

January 21, 2010

Threshold by Nguyen Dinh Dang (oil painting, 2003)

“We are dwellers on the threshold. We are poised in a liminal moment — a moment of passage when new cultural symbols and meanings can emerge. Liminal moments are times of tension, extreme reactions, and great opportunity. These moments shimmer with possibilities. They are painful, tough, full of hard choices — and they provoke anxiety.” Sherry Turkle

John Calvert, webmaster for the International Permaculture Conference. has established a new web site dedicated to support of the Haitian people and their land Permaculture Haiti. The opportuntities and the projects outlined on this web portal have potential make a tremendously positive long-term impact on Haiti, and to establish models that can potentially be emulated globally.

Calvert thought of the idea the day after the massive earthquake struck Haiti earlier this month. He recognized that it would a good idea to concentrate all the information about new and incipient permaculture and sustainable ag initiatives based Haiti on one website.

“…the greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” – Bill Mollison , Permaculture pioneer


Among the ‘Best of ’09’ – The Call of the Land

January 8, 2010

At the turn of the year, The Food Systems Network NYC assembled a panel of 10 professionals to pool their knowledge and assess their favorite food system developments of 2009.

Their ‘Best of…” list was intended to identify what the panel found most memorable, and also worthy of further development in 2010. They identified the most significant films, books, and policy developments related to food, nutrition, public health, public policy and art.

They named The Call of the Land: An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century as ranking among the Best Books of 2009.

Their choice of The Call of the Land arrives just two months after the book was published, and just as reviews and endorsements are beginning to arrive.  Here is a sample of what reviewers have to say:

Courtney White

Endorsement by Courtney White, Executive Director of The Quivira Coalition and author of “Revolution on the Range: The Rise of a New Ranch in the American West” and other works.

The Call of the Land is an important and timely primer on a resurgent agrarianism taking place around the nation. As the challenges of the 21st century begin to bear down, we can take solace, and find pragmatic solutions, in the back-to-the-land work of progressive farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and many others. Hope dwells in the grassroots. This book is a great guide on where to look.”

Larry Dossey, M.D.

Endorsement by best-selling author Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Words, The Power of Premonitions, and many other books.

“Steven’s book is just terrific. I grew up agrarian, on a small farm in central Texas. I still have dirt under my nails and am proud of it. We grew our own food, a practice I still follow…Our links to the land go deep; they are primordial, archetypal, and innate, and we ignore them at our peril.  In The Call of the Land Steven McFadden explores these connections and how we can restore them at a time in history when they have become dangerously tenuous.

“If you have ever felt the urge to plant a seed or tend a garden, or heard the veggies whispering to you as you pass them in the supermarket aisle, you will love this book. McFadden is dealing with sacred science, the sort of wisdom we require for our survival.”

Woody Wodraska

Book review by Woody Wodraska, yeoman farmer, and the author of Deep Gardening

The Call of the Land is a hopeful book…The author has been a keen observer-participant of the agricultural scene for more than 30 years and has witnessed first hand this revolution: those who grow and consume food are speedily awakening to the perils of industrialization of food production and finding new ways to make today’s backyard Victory Garden a triumphant response to corporate despotism, to make ‘food with the farmer’s face on it’ the norm. With his research and interviews McFadden presents hundreds of new ideas and resources from citizen groups, individuals, government agencies, educational institutions and his own experience–all sound and all hopeful.“


‘The Call of the Land’ now available as an ebook

January 3, 2010

Now at the turn of the year, The Call of the Land has become available as an ebook. Readers can obtain the book instantly on Amazon.com for use on their popular Kindle reader, or also order the book as a traditional paperback.

For ebooks that depend on other formats, readers can now download The Call of the Land from OmniLit.  You will, however, have  to enter the title of the book and the author’s name — Steven McFadden — into the OmniLit search window when you get to the site.

Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble has The Call of the Land for sale online in paperback,  Any day now the book will also be available formatted for the Nook, their ebook reader

According to industry news source CNET, Amazon.com recently released their annual post-Christmas statement on holiday sales, and made one thing clear: ebooks are coming on big time, taking a progressively larger share of the market..

“We are grateful to our customers for making Kindle the most gifted item ever in our history,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

In another milestone for the e-reader, the company noted that on Christmas Day 2009, for the first time ever, Amazon customers bought more Kindle books than physical books.

Ebook readers are becoming increasingly popular,  reaching critical mass.


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