"It seems strange to say, but what can help modern man find the answers to his own mystery and the mystery of him in whose image he is created, is silence, solitude -- in a word, the desert. Modern man needs these things more than the hermits of old." Catherine Doherty

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fall is on the way!

As we head into fall there are few new happenings on the farm as well as new workers!

First was a big birthday for a young man, look like he's having fun?

That's the mildly excited birthday boy on the right.

And what's a birthday without a good ol' square dance, from kids to grown ups everyone had a good time.

Fall is indeed on the way as the garden has been hit by frost twice and have made some of our last deliveries to the food shelves from it this year. With all the help we had this year I think it has been one of the most successful gardens we ran.

The apples are coming in good this year, but with only a couple hands it's pretty hard to keep up. The apple pies have been really delicious though! The entire orchard is a project in the wings for us soon.

The chickens aren't laying eggs yet but they will soon.

The turkeys are getting ready and growing bigger, and fatter and should all set to go by...

THANKSGIVING,.....dun dun daaa!

After a ton of meetings, a mountain of paper work and a team of lawyers, the municipal gravel pit for the town has gone into full swing on the back forty, a truly self sustainable gift for the center's finances.

The Mary Garden, needs some trimming and this year hopefully Mary will have a house around her and she will be able to welcome visitors all winter. Not to mention a giant Rosary with white rocks all around her.

The lawn mower is looking a little tiny when I drive it around the Mary Garden. Or am I looking a little big. By "big" I mean healthy and tall! Think "Little John" on a teeny weeny mower, in a Hawaiian shirt. 

Once the fine tuning is done around Mary, it's time to break out the real lawn mowers.

With only a little training the Dog has become an excellent herding dog so now we can let the real lawn mowers go to work all over the farm. No gas, no repairs, no hands on...

Just point them in the right direction and keep a weary eye. Good bye brush, thorns, weeds and work. So far the herding work has them trained pretty well too. They know where to go and where the Dog will meet them if they wander to far.

You know you've got a lot of grass mowed when these eating machines  actually stop to rest!

But those little guys are nothing compare to these eating machines!

These horses can mow down a field in a couple days and go looking for more.

More by the house, some trimming by the ramp,

More around the cars and the parking spaces .

Taking care of these two big beauties is a lot of work for these ladies. Especially when they haul water up from the river, two buckets at a time. They even draft this young man in on the work, but he seems to enjoy it as much as they do. These two are really working miracles with these two horses.

The work can be hard and at times seemingly never ending, but it is rewarding at the same time. Simple tasks that bring humility and a closeness to God. 

Fall pictures to come next, plus retreat info, maybe a Franciscan party to attend and more. Always more,..more joy, more peace, more quiet, as we surrender ourselves to God's will for our lives.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Overdue thanks!

As the summer draws to a close and the garden goes into its final phases there is some overdue thanks to be offered on the blog. 

With all the events of the summer there was one thing that slipped off the radar on The Mary Theotokos  blog. Its also the main reason our garden has been able to provide so much for so many.

That is the work of Bob and Anne Marie Duggan. 

Not only did they put in countless hours weeding, watering, planting and care for the garden in it's earliest stages...

but even more helpful, Bob, through his connection and work with teens at the LEARN SCHOOL in Lyndonville was able to bring some eager young hands to help 
work the garden as well. 

Thanks Bob and Anne Marie for all your work and another big THANKS to the kids from the LEARN SCHOOL and their generous spirit of volunteerism.

Hope you'll all come back for the harvest of all this food, frost is already upon us!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Franciscans are coming, the Franciscans are coming!

That was the rally cry as our most recent retreat packed up and left and we did a hasty turn around of linen and deep cleaning!

Mother Superior enjoyed her stay and did a lot of fishing with us, the weather held out nicely. 

Bust almost as soon as she headed south on her lecture tour, the Franciscans came up the driveway.

The Franciscans of the Primitive Order from Roxbury MA., arrived with 14 men, two brothers and two Priests. The group came to discern vocations, explore fellowship, pray and work! And they did it all!

As soon as he got out of the car Fr. Sean was ready to have Mass and we did a quick check in about work details and other weekend plans. It was good to catch up with him as it had almost been a year since we saw each other last. 

Right away the Father and the Brothers headed to the Chapel to set up for Mass.

With the Host replaced and the monstrance set up for Adoration hours around the clock, the men had Mass to celebrate arrival.

After that there was prayer, cooking, walks, discussions, a bonfire and lots of farm work. 

Naturally, being Franciscans, there was an interest in spending time with the animals; goats, chickens, turkeys and especially horses.

Everyone really enjoyed their time on the farm and in the woods!

And of course there was music! Brother Felix stepped away from his endless kitchen duties and grabbed his guitar!

He played to the men, he played to the flowers and gardens he played music for each Mass, music for prayer, and even music for horses;

And then suddenly a Blues duet began and plans to tour the Northeast were made!

The work these guys did around the farm in the garden and the whole roof job on the Poustinia cabin was all incredibly helpful. Also having them here to talk theology, life and even tell some good jokes was the best sort of fellowship we could have. 

But before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. 

So after the Father and the Brothers practiced their own personal ascension, via the Kubota, 

...it was time to do the group shot,

What an inspirational group of men, I can't wait to see them again!
It was sad to to see them go.

But now it's time to get working on the Rosary garden and the many other jobs here. 

Work is prayer, and prayer is joy,

It can be a hard life here, but it is a blessed life.

Stay Tuned for more as we head into fall, new projects, a rotator cuff surgery and the continuation of this radical and blessed life from,

The Mary Theotokos Monastic Center.