A Call to NCLM Folks, And a Thank You to Kevin Ford

Oct 3, 2017 by

I wrote recently on another blog that I think there is a genuine land movement in the Church in the West.  I’ll repeat a quick point here:

The farming thrust is not just reactionary or idealistic, but a concrete and good answer to life’s contemporary strains.  We aren’t hunkering down – we’re living.  It’s also not a shirking of evangelical mission – people in the country have souls too.  We need new ways to live, and sometimes the old ones fit the bill.  I’ve used the term “back” to refer to going “back to the land”.  Let’s not forget our experiment away from it is a short one – widespread in just the last century.  Even if less of us are farming, we still need the land at least 3 times a day.  I think those of us living closer to it simply think that it has more to offer than meals.

For many that “us” I mentioned exists because of Kevin Ford.  He was a pioneer in many ways, but especially in telling his story and sharing his thoughts online.  He was that wonderful paradox of an online voice for a soil based life.  I immediately found a certain kinship with the geekdom of Catholic Land Movement readers – they, like me, enjoyed reading about what Kevin and his family were up too.  And there were many readers.  I even met some in real life!  I can say very clearly that my path to the land went by Kevin’s farm in St. Leo.  (Literally – we stopped by.)  I know there are others too.

Kevin, on behalf of the rag-tag band of readers and wannabe farmers – thank you.  Thank you for being a voice, for taking the leap, for showing us when you succeeded, and for showing us when you failed (farming seems to be a hyperstatic union of success and failure).   It has been an inspiration not just to sweet thoughts but to real action.  I know it hasn’t been easy, and the only reason I am bold to say “it was worth it” is because I know you’re still trying.  The rootedness of family and land is worth fighting for.  Thanks for saying that for all these years, and for being an example.

And to you readers, thank you for already sending messages of excitement in the plans to show how the spark of the NCLM has spread.  Here’s what you can do:

  • Comment here, and thank Kevin.
  • If you are interested in being a regular contributor, please let me know ASAP.  I would like to remain open to finding many authors, but would also like to find seasoned and regular writers to continue to articulate, explore, and show the NCLM to the world.
  • A few have mentioned some other ideas and ways to expand the movement.  Please email me directly at jasonmcraig (at) gmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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  1. Jared

    Thank you Kevin for your blog posts and for taking the time to visit with me in Kansas. You were very open to sharing your knowledge and offering advice, and that really meant a lot to me. You have inspired me and many of my friends to seek a life on the land. May God reward you. I wish you the best!

  2. I think we all owe thanks to Kevin for articulating a vision for the movement and bringing folks together online (in some cases, in person.) So here is mine: “Thanks”.

  3. James



    I’ve been a long-time follower, still praying and discerning to hear God’s “Still, Small Voice” calling me to lad my family in a more agrarian direction. May your next journey, your next agrarian adventure, be richly blessed with abundant harvests!

    From Alberta, via Orange County New York and the University of Kansas,


  4. Robert


    Thank you for all your help in talking with me and connecting me with others in the NCLM. You and you family will be in our prayers.


    P.S. Through God’s providence we were able to purchase a small plot and start a family homestead about a year ago!

  5. Bob

    It’s been great to have another story out there, another beside your own. It’s nice to see others roughing it, taking up the simple idea of farming and giving up the slick cars for the old van or creaky jeep. That’s what I enjoyed while reading Kevin’s tales.

    I think the reality of the land, in financial terms, is subsistence. And it’s spiritual value for us, dignity and beauty.

    From Southern Colorado

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