Healing Pastures (and Apocalypse Gardens): A “Modern, Musical Monastery”
“To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.”
– Wendell Berry
It’s about Sustainable Spirituality and Regenerative Land Stewardship!
WHAT If there was a Spiritual community answering God’s call to heal the land with ruminant animals, create true food security and the kind of community that has been all but lost in our centralized, chemical dependent yet extremely fragile food system?
And WHAT IF it had great music and was in alignment with your deepest Spiritual yearnings?
Years ago I was given the opportunity to do a songwriting residency in Elmira NY. The school principal suggested I could stay at a local monastery. They had a beautiful sheep farm where they sustained themselves. they had a beautiful sanctuary where they gathered throughout the day to sing together…
So in some ways this project is a “modern monastery” where we practice our faith and engage in work that heals the land and our own souls.
I have been preparing for this ministry for most of my life. I was visited by Spirit when I was 8 or 9 years old and Music poured into me from somewhere beyond my comprehension. School was painful and lonely. I was bullied and ostracized. After school I would go across the street to an old farm where I had permission from the owner to explore. I would often sit quietly and just watch. I was visited by a very special deer that had a huge rack of antlers and markings like an appaloosa horse. I saw this buck multiple times. The twin vision of creating music for God and Taking care of God’s earth and creatures has been with me all these years.
I’ve wanted to create a healthy way of making a living that used my music in a spiritual way but also didn’t bind or limit me to a traditional structure.
Inspired by Joel Salatin, who calls himself a “Christian Libertarian Lunatic Farmer” and Greg Judy, Regenerative Rancher, I began to study and research ways of farming that do NOT require chemicals, heavy machinery or bare dirt. I want to be a steward of the land in a way that is in alignment with Creation.
This is my mission. To grow healthy organic food and medicinal herbs for myself, my family, my community from a spiritual center. My music HAS to be a part of this. My desire to engage in work that I love for the planet and the environment and people and deep prayer and reflection over the course of a lifetime tells me that this is what I must do.
“…Sometimes I can really feel like Thomas, you can call me a “doubter” and I would not disagree.
Oh but “Doubt” and “Dis-belief” are 2 different things
Sometimes I see the Christ at work in every living thing!
My God is a gentle dancing God
My God is the Keeper of the Journey…”
- Intelligent use of technology. Example, portable electric fence Solar and wind power.
- Humane and effective management of livestock and wildlife habitat.
- Low or no inputs. The animals provide the fertilizer. And they deliver it through the farm as we move them.
- Adaptable, flexible, innovative thinking for immediate, mid term and long term results.
- Constant and never ending improvements in every area
- Personal healing for more effective leadership and collaboration.
- A spiritual context. We are merely Creation’s hands. Work WITH nature not against nature.
- Feeding a community clean, fresh, nutritious food.
- Supporting each other in pursuit of work and play and relationships that are healthy, healing and mutually beneficial.