Bread CartoonThe project: To bake and give away at least one loaf of bread each week in 2011.

The reason: A personal protest against the rampant selfishness of our society.

The bonus: It’s good spiritual practice.

From now on, I’ve decided I will write a monthly Let Them Eat Bread Report. Somehow, it seems better to combine them and give a monthly bread count rather than a weekly report and count. (I reserve the right to change my mind, of course.)

In April I gave one loaf of bread to Jenn Currier, whom I’ve already written about; two loaves to my daughter Shannon and her husband, Mike, who continue to be quite the bread recipients; and one loaf to Judy and Paul Johnson, who recently returned from their travels to the Southwest.

We met Judy and Paul at The Senator Restaurant in Augusta, where I could order fish and chips for an upcoming article in Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine. (How I love to combine things!) Paul and Judy spoke about the Southwest, and no talk of this region can avoid the subject of water and how little there is to go around. In specific, the Colorado River is being diverted by the United States for various uses—electricity, agriculture, drinking water—so that little of it reaches the natural end of its run—Mexico, which desperately needs the water, too. According to ABCNEWS.com, only 10 percent of the water in the Colorado River reaches the border of Mexico, with the river sometimes “dying out in the desert during dry years before it reaches the Gulf of California.”

In Maine, where we are blessed with abundant rain (and only the occasional flood), we tend to take water for granted. Even in our so-called dry spells, the well on Narrows Pond Road has never run out of water. (Yes, I knocked on wood before I wrote that sentence.) As our friend Diane Friese has noted, “We should be so grateful that we have such an abundance of fresh water.”

In fact, the lack of water in the Southwest influenced Diane’s decision to stay in Maine. She loves the Southwest and had been debating as to whether she should move there when she retires. Quite sensibly, Diane spent a month in New Mexico, to get a sense of how it might be to live there full time.

“There’s not enough water for everyone,” Diane told us upon her return. And she couldn’t, in good conscience, as someone who really cares about the environment, add herself as another resident to an area that already has more people than it can comfortably support. Diane would like to go back for a visit, but not to live year round.

Bread might be the “staff of life,” but without adequate water we are in big trouble.

Total loaves of bread given in April: 4

Total for the year: 24

I’m almost halfway to my goal of giving away 52 loaves of bread this year, and we’re not even halfway through the year yet.



  1. Good job for almost reaching your halfway point! 🙂 At the rate you’re going, you’re going to definitely reach your goal and then some!

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