Our farm is our home. It is our altar. To it each day we bring our faith,
our love for one another as a family, our working hands, our prayers. In its
soil and the care of its creatures, we bury each day a part of our lives in
the form of labor. The yield of our daily dying, from which each night in
part restores us, springs around us in the seasons of harvest, in the
produce of animals, in incalculable content.
“A farmer is not everyone who farms. A farmer is the man who, in a ploughed
field, stoops without thinking to let its soil runthrough his fingers, to
try its tilth. A farmer is always half buried in his soil. The farmer who is
not is not a farmer; he is a businessman who farms. But the farmer who is
completes the arc between the soil and God and joins their mighty impulses.
We believe that laborare est orare-to labor is to pray.
“In that sense, the farm is our witness. It is a witness against the world.
By deliberately choosing this life of hardship and immense satisfaction, we
say in effect: The modem world has nothing better than this to give us. Its
vision of comfort without effort, pleasure without the pain of creation,
life sterilized against even the thought of death, rationalized so that
every intrusion of mystery is felt as a betrayal of the mind, life
mechanized and standardized — that is not for us. We do not believe that it
makes for happiness from day to day. We fear that it means catastrophe in
the end. We fear it if only because standardization leads to regimentation,
and because the regimentation that men distrust in their politics is a
reflection of the regimentation that they welcome unwittingly in their daily
“We make use of as much mechanization as we cannot escape, as suits our
daily needs, but does not rule our lives. We are not going back to the grain
cradle, the candle or the ox cart. We seek that life that will give us the
greatest simplicity, freedom, fruitful work, closest to the earth and
peaceful, slow-moving animals. We know that at this hour of history, we
cannot do this completely. We realize that we have undertaken this life late
in our lives and under heavy handicaps of fixed habit and ignorance. But we
were willing to offer our lives for the venture because it is a way of
groping toward God and because we knew nothing better in life to give our