In a Wounded World I Plant a Garden...

Oct 28, 2017 by

It is hard to put into proper words the current state of the Church and the World. Violence, brokenness, addiction, abuse…the list goes onward and upward endlessly. In such a crisis there is a temptation to overreact and try to do too much. There is also a temptation to despair and do nothing at all as we drift along with the flow. Yet, in my own life I have chosen to plant a garden. It takes a great deal of discernment to do so little and to understand the greatness of something so small. I will admit that initially my reasons for returning to the land were selfish. First, I fell in love with the land and the poetic idealistic nature of the land movement. The story of where that love fore the ideal...

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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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