Two snowstorms have delayed some of our winter projects, but students from Misericordia University continue to volunteer, this time helping with some farm chores and prep for the rebuilding of the greenhouse, as well as some picking and carding of wool. They are becoming a regular fixture here at the farm.
Fall has come and gone, and we are in the midst of a cold winter. The highlight of our autumn was Larry and Carmina making their Final Oblation at Transfiguration Monastery in Windsor, NY, officially becoming Oblates of St. Benedict. One of the sisters, Sr. Donald Corcoran, OSB, lived with Dorothy Day while studying at Fordham.
It has been quite a productive summer so far. The lambs are growing (and are developing beautiful fleeces!) and the harvest has been bountiful. We have made several trips to Scranton to distribute lettuce, peppers, cabbage, broccoli and eggplant.
The farm was a muddy mess after the blizzard meltdown and several days of rain. Then, a very rainy spring put a damper on the planting season, but with the help of a lots of friends, we were able to get everything done.
So much activity this fall - on and off the farm. We had a wonderful visit with Heaven and Simon in September, who took the bus up from Philadelphia to see us. We returned the favor in November for Simon’s 6th birthday party. He still loves his chocolate cake!
It's been a hot, hectic summer! After the drought was over, the rain brought us a decent crop of green beans and sugar snap peas. Farmer Larry experimented with some canning, but decided freezing was better in the long run. Most of the green beans went to a parish in Scranton and the local food pantry.
Actually, with the little rain have had, the weeds have not been too bad. And many hands make light work. Many thanks to Joshua and Christine and their wonderful children for coming all the way up from Bethlehem to help us out, and to neighbors Paul and Kristin for bringing half of their clan, as well. Tomato plants are staked up. We seem to be all caught up. Everything is growing, though slowly (more prayers for rain requested).
The weather has certainly not cooperated this spring - our planting has been delayed over and over by rain. We finally finished today with the help of some wonderful volunteers - Anja, Tom, Kate, Patrick, Beth, Savanah, and Anthony. Now we need rain! Forecasted thunderstorms never appeared, and not a drop of rain in the forecast. Prayers, please!
Many thanks to the Back Mountain Youth Group for helping build our new sacrifice area for Rambo. He is enjoying his new home, closer to the rest of the flock. Afterwards, the group helped stack firewood - a HUGE help to Farmer Larry.
What a wonderful lambing season we have had! Our four ewes gave us eight lambs - six ewes and two rams. Though we thought we had planned the timing of the births well (if you remember last year, our lambs were born in February with temperatures in the teens), an abnormal cold spell hit our area, so we had to make sure mammas and babies were warm and well fed.
New friends Connie and Ed from Chester, N.J., waited for warm weather to finally visit in March - Connie is a Master Spinner and is excited to help with the processing of the fleece. We shared an admiration of Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J., whose hometown of Shenandoah is only about an hour from the farm.
Today in 2013, the property of 793 Halowich Road was purchased and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm was born! It has been an amazing three years, filled with much grace. God has truly blessed our endeavor, providing all that we need to continue our mission. We are especially grateful for the wonderful friends we have met who have visited or helped on the farm. Please pray for us, as we do for you!
The winter has been mild compared to the previous two - and we are not complaining. We took a day off and went to the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, where Larry was inspired by the cows and rabbits. The result was our getting four Champagne (for meat) and four French Angora (for wool) rabbits from a friend. No cows…yet.
The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
We welcomed an old childhood friend to the farm - thanks so much Carolyn for making the trip. That same day, we brought a new puppy into the fold - a female English Springer Spaniel we named Rosy, for the Little Flower.
What a wonderful fall we are having on the farm! Eric our beekeeper has been up several times, first to harvest the honey then to build a protective cover for the hives - we are determined to have them make it through the winter this year.