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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Palms for sale

Photo courtesy of Lutheran World Relief<BR><BR>Farmers
Farmers benefit when congregations purchase eco-palm fronds for Palm Sunday. “Lutheran congregations play an important role in protecting forests, local jobs and sustainable livelihoods in the harvesting communities,” said Brenda Meier, LWR director for parish and community engagement.
More than 300 million palm fronds are harvested each year for U.S. consumption alone, most of them for Palm Sunday. Lutheran World Relief set a goal to sell 1 million sustainably harvested “eco-palm” fronds for Palm Sunday—a jump from last year’s sale of 81,000.

Eco-palm harvesters are paid on the quality of fronds rather than quantity, limiting overharvesting in the forests. Waste ratio for poor-quality eco-palm fronds is typically 5 percent to 7 percent, compared to 50 percent when contractors sell fronds to large floral-export firms. In addition to the environmental benefits, eco-palm frond harvesting provides sorting and packing jobs for palm-producing communities.

“Lutheran congregations have long been committed to economic and social justice,” said Brenda Meier, LWR director for parish and community engagement. “This project closely aligns with our values to ‘do justice’ as the prophet Micah calls us to do.”

Order at LWR's Web site or call 612-624-0734.


Comments

thomas sowell

thomas sowell

Posted at 5:36 am (U.S. Eastern) 11/23/2008

I am 52 years old, a Christian and have harvested palmetto and sable palm since I was about 8 years old. Unexperenced harvesters are a problem we deal with in this area by teaching them proper ways of removing the bud without damaging the plant. Due to property development and government regulations our production has steasily declinened making each palm more important than ever.



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