A quick glance around the internet and a review of upcoming events in your nearest Parish’s bulletin might suggest a surge in interest for land ownership, homesteading, farming and traditional lifestyles. From gatherings amongst those interested in land movements to surging interest in glamorous homestead social media posts, it seems something is catching interest.
We would include ourselves at Little Way Farm and Homestead in that category. In 2022 we moved from the urban cityscape to country landscapes. Cattle cross by the front of our house in the pasture across the road at dawn and dusk daily. The rooster in our backyard adds an audible calling to the sunrise and sunset. The thunderous flapping-run of over one hundred broiler chickens can be heard as they desperately clamor for a morning feeding.
More importantly – the interruption to the farm tasks at 12PM and 6PM for the Angelus helps to firmly root us not in the farm, but in prayer.
So, what is this movement? Back to the land? Catholicism and the homestead lifestyle?
My thoughts – it is an insight into the collective recognition that the modern world’s capitalistic drive for unending pleasure, monetary gain and empty activity – is unfulfilling. The agrarian lifestyle simply offers at minimum an intentional element of purposeful activities. Gardening produces produce and herbs. Animal husbandry leads to pasture-raised meat for meals. The movement of water across the land to the proper places of use adds a degree of meaning to the ubiquitous nature of water flowing from a tap in the city.
Are we going back in time? Of course not!
One of the benefits of living in the present is that, with humility, we can recognize what once was with the tools of generational development. Modernity has not been a friend to the spiritual man, but modern times allow for an armory of knowledge that can be employed. So, when we turn off the electricity for the night and choose to pray by candlelight, it is not that we believe the electricity is morally defunct, but that the warmth, flicker, glow and smell of the burning candle reminds us of something more – that we are natural beings with eternal ends.
Are Catholics going back to the land?
There are some who are. I venture to say that many more will. The interest as evidenced by recent gatherings throughout the United States suggests such. I think this is a positive movement – so long as it remains inspired by the Catholic faith and we never find ourselves separated from communion with the Catholic Church.
Discern what God is asking of you. If you want to learn from us, we want to teach.