A Profile in Plough Quarterly

My family and our work were humbled to be featured in the most recent edition of Plough Quarterly.  There is a profile by Susannah Black, and a feature on Go On: Inner Man Version, an altarpiece I made back in 2003, and also an excerpt of my responses to some questions about our lifestyle, called Farming the Universe.  If you choose to take the time to read some or all of them, I sincerely hope that you enjoy them.

Go On, Inner Man Version, 2003, oil on wood panel, closed position
Go On, Inner Man Version, 2003, oil on wood panel, open position


The Farm in Mid-Summer

celebrations of lucerne and other legumes, solar crescents, roots, and the husbandry of even toed-ungulates

sward of chicory, crimson, and white clovers
inquisitive crossbred pig in a paddock of rye and vetch
hampshire pig eating bolted chicory
improvised by a previous farmer, well worn window weight cover chains
nitrogen nodules formed on alfalfa (lucerne) roots
lucerne (alfalfa) roots and crown, pulled from the vegetable garden
garlic, un-earthed
root fire works
sonar malfunction (?) allowed us a daytime visit from a strange and fierce nocturnal beneficient
windrows in the alfalfa (Medicago sativa) meadow
the rusty old New Holland swather in contrast eating alfalfa
I read once that the Arabic word from which the name “alfalfa” came meant “best fodder”
Louis Bromfield justly brought attention to its role as a soil healer. It seems to live up to its names, feeding livestock, pollinators, humans, the soil and its inhabitants, and the atmosphere.
I feel grateful that I get to farm my own patch of lucerne. In the background is a mobile chicken coop with laying hens working the perimeter of the meadow. We’ve learned that alfalfa is a key ingredient in good eggs.
the angus bottle baby
bellows for milk
lambs in the illuminated profile of humid dawn
the young shepherd studies his flock
compact paddocks of soybeans and milo forage, bloody butcher field corn, and the Quonset barn looking at home in the landscape
the great blue heron disturbed from his breakfast, as we head across the creek to do the morning chores
sun in hand
interplay of lensing leaves and the light of 92% totality
solar shield
the image of the solar eclipse projected through on half of pair of binoculars proved to be the most successful of viewing contraptions
photographing under the helmet, layers of eclipse and lense
contractions of the dry months
elevated mundane details; oxidations of copper and steel
a barn that is part celebration of geometry, part dog house
the colors of the barnyard hens grouped together over their dawn ration
wax goldenweed of the many cousins in the sunflower family
emergence of the inflorescence of Indian grass
dr. Seuss hairdo of thistle
snouts and ears
coreopsis growing in a wheat field we are converting to perennial pasture

Prints of “The Living Tree” Are Available for Sale

at the BaumWerk Etsy StoreDear friends,  I thank you for all of your kind words and interest regarding this new print of the Living Tree.  I am grateful that it seems to have struck a chord with many of you.  A number of you have made inquiries into when and if prints would be available to purchase.  As of Friday, a limited number (there will be more as I continue to print the edition) have been listed on my ETSY store.  I am selling these first fifteen for $125, after that the price will increase to $150.  Click here to go to the listing.   Please read more below for some details about the print, and thank you again for your support!

The image itself is 12″ wide and 22 1/2″ tall and is printed on French’s 100# Butcher Off White Dur-o-tone paper, which is 18″ wide and 25″ tall.  French’s paper is American made in Niles Michigan.The edition will be 1oo prints, which is the biggest edition I have ever made.  Every single print is hand made by me on my Wepplo etching press in my Rose Hill, Kansas workshop. The print is made using three linoleum blocks, as a composite image.  It took me over a year to design and carve the image into the blocks (although I was doing lots of other things during that year, besides carving linoleum).Many hours of painstaking carving went into creating all of the details in The Living Tree.The Tree and it’s roots are loaded with life, like this little owl. There are many spiritual and natural beliefs and dreams symbolically represented in this print.  There are many things which I see and believe about who my God is, and also things which I strive to cultivate in my life and stewardship on the land.  I don’t have many words as a companion for this image just yet, but perhaps in the future I may try to lay out those ideas for those who are interested.