The Late Spring Farm

The month of May was wet for nearly the whole of Kansas, and we happened to be one of the wettest spots in the state with over 30 inches for the month. Spring rains make grass grow and the lambs are good and growing. Photography and blogging has taken a back seat in a year of heavy labor on every front, but I managed to take my camera with me a few times while I did my rounds on the farm.

Almanac of the Wheel of Life: The Farm at Mid-Winter

What does it mean to be a steward of life? It is an unspoken question threaded through my days. Each winter we carry more lives through to the hope of spring. It is the nature of a farm and a family grow, a response to a holy invitation. In our stewardship, we learn to leverage the outward death of winter to build the inner life. Roots and bones. Back to the earth in the compost of the old year, manure and trampled hay, sawdust and wood shavings, in cover crops and dormant roots, even the bones of the dead under the heap or in the earth. Those failures of the past year kindle study and deeper investigations into the principles of agriculture and life. The wheel of life rolls away as a witness to the nature of God, always redeeming death and turning it into the living.

The oblique light comes with a more subtle potency not felt in the haste of summer, illuminating details made bare by the dearth and otherwise overlooked. It is not all romance of slanting light. There is the mud and the death and sickness. There are the broken systems and the unfinished jobs, and the detritus of unclean life scattered everywhere. The butcher sighed and smiled and cried “Ahh, life!” and thanked God as he cut the throat of the lamb. It seems that to live is to accept and know death, and to die is to understand and accept life. It is a mystery that I don’t claim to understand.

“For I know that this shall turn out to my salvation through your prayer and the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and my hope that in nothing shall I be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always so now also, Christ shall be Magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians¬†1:19-21

Sister Hog, Brother Tree, and the Voice of Copper: a Celebration of Long Labor and Process

sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper01 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper02 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper03 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper04 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper05 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper06 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper11 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper07 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper08 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper09 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper10 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper14 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper12 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper13 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper15 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper16 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper17 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper18 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper19 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper20 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper21 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper40 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper22 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper23 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper29 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper30 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper27 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper26 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper28 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper24 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper25 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper42 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper41 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper31 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper32 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper39 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper33 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper35 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper34 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper36 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper37