Up on the Farm
Where Young Christian Families Are Finding New Roots by Kathleen Curran Sweeney
In the rolling countryside of Virginia, along the curling road, there are old stone walls alternating with neat new wood fences. In the bright green grass dotted with buttercups, the cows munch passively: a peaceful scene in the gentle freshness of April. I come to the small sign for Whiffletree Farm and wind my car up the long narrow road to the large white house and farm buildings. Along a wall, I see a row of pails hanging neatly on hooks. Just inside, a glimpse of many stacked up egg cartons gives evidence of the daily work going on. I have come because I want to hear what life is like for the young family here, who have bravely started from scratch learning how to farm.
Is it possible for someone who has not grown up learning farming skills to become a successful farmer? What would motivate someone to try it? What values does a family farm have for the family, the local community, and the larger society? Are there implications for the ecology? Can family farming generate a spiritually grounded ecology and an awareness of work as participation in the goodness of created reality?
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