This first year as a full time farmer has nearly killed me at times. Whether it was the July heatwave and drought, or the broccoli that just never headed up, or the machines that never work when I need them to, it was always something. I never imagined the stress I would feel as I attempted to fill 40 shares of our CSA every week, or how hard it would be to keep the weeds down on 3 acres by hand. Many people would have given up, given back the money, and went back to a "real job." That is not what I'm going to tell you. Even though this first growing season has been filled with agonies, it has also been filled with ecstasies. How can I describe the beauty of a sunrise over your own land as the squash flowers reflect the color of the sun and the dew wets your hands as you cut those beautiful lettuces? How can I begin to tell you how wonderful it is to always be within walking distance of my family? How could I put into words the absolute exhilarating joy I feel when someone tells me how delicious their produce was the week before? Yes, it is all worth it, and because it is all worth it I am going to be taking my family home.
Let me be more specific about what I mean. Home for me has always been St. Leo, KS. It is where I was born and raised and where I always wanted to be buried. However, I never imagined I might raise my children there too. Yet, God often has other plans for us. A farm has literally fallen into our laps for us to live on and farm. The price is very low, and there is even a house 1/4 mile down the road for some friends who are going to join us on this farming endeavour. I can hardly believe the ways God is working in our lives. For a long time I have been homeward bound without knowing where home was going to be. I was always moving forward to that farm of my own where life, work, and prayer would be integrated into a single whole. Now very soon I will simply be home. My heart wells up with joy as I think about it. I'm going home. We are starting Catholic rural community, and I will continue day after day to earn my bread by the sweat of my brow.
Peace in Christ,