In Praise of Today’s Land Movement, And an Encouragement...

Oct 23, 2017 by

When the Papacy is vacant the whole Church looks longingly for a puff of smoke from a little chimney – the household of the Church feels lonely without Papa.   When it comes we rejoice, because our father has come home. When I see puffs of smoke from little homesteads in the countryside I feel the same – a father has come home to be with his family by living together on the land. There’s a movement in the hearts of men, especially young fathers. They want to farm. I can’t count the calls I’ve received that begin: “I think God is calling us to homestead.” I can only describe it with that word: a movement. There’s no need for big organizations to promote it – its just happening. Call it another “back to the...

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Failed Farm Lessons… Or… How a Philosophy Professor Makes Goat Decisions...

Oct 20, 2017 by

By: Patrick Toner, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University How often it happens that families become caught up in agrarian dreams, leave their suburban homes and buy a piece of land in the country to farm…and then, within a few years, sell off the farmland and head back to the suburbs.  In the back-to-the-land movement, the failed farm must be nearly as common as the successful one.  I have no data on this, of course, just anecdotal evidence.  Possibly, I’m entirely wrong.  But suppose I’m not. If so, these failed farms are very unfortunate.  I say this from the standpoint of an enthusiastic proponent of the back-to-the-land movement.  How can this movement be taken seriously when it engenders nearly as many failures as successes? I can’t answer that question in full, but...

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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...

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Ember Days of Autumn

Sep 19, 2017 by

Since the earliest days of the Church it has been the custom of Christians to practice the Ember days to mark the four seasons of the year. This tradition comes to us from pagan times when even they recognized the importance of thanksgiving with regard to the bounteous gifts provided by a fertile earth. As with many traditions in the Church, we “baptized” this seasonal change, and it has been a staple of Catholic practice since very early on. Even many Protestant churches have continued this practice in their own church calendars. So what are the Ember Days and when do they happen? I learned the simple phrase, “Lenty, Penty, Lucy, Crucy” to remember the times liturgically of each of these Ember Days. The Ember Days encompass a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following Ash...

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Expanding the New Catholic Land Movement...

Sep 13, 2017 by

Ten years ago this month I started to blog on the Catholic Land Movement. At the time I was a very green farmer/homesteader wannabe who dreamed of providing all of life’s necessities from the Providential bounty of the land. A decade later I am a somewhat jaded, yet wiser farmer who is giving farming another shot. Yet, there is one aspect with regard to the New Catholic Land Movement that I have long wanted to address, and now at this particular time believe it is being addressed. My original blog was more or less my musing on all things related to Catholic rural life. However, it also became a sort of long term documentary of my own attempts at farming, establishing community, and failing at both. Now I believe it is time to separate...

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Opportunities

May 2, 2017 by

I have added a new “Opportunities” section to the website where I will be posting various opportunities for people to get back to a rural life in some way or another. These will include land for sale in areas that have vibrant Catholic Culture as well as opportunities on Catholic-owned farms for employment or internships. I have added the first listing today. If you have something you would like me to add then please contact me....

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