Divine Mercy Farm

About Divine Mercy Farm

Divine Mercy Farm is a non-profit mission farm dedicated to feeding the poor and religious communities of Northeast Pennsylvania. Our mission and daily rhythm capture the two-fold Benedictine motto, ora et labora, prayer and work. Our farm is meant to be a refuge for families and individuals seeking to learn how to grow food, to discover the message of Divine Mercy through prayer, farm work, and works of mercy, and ultimately, for formation, to be “apprehended by the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit.” Our farm is also a school, and we continue to invite students to experience the beauty of God’s creation through prayer and work, and to engage in corporal works of mercy by growing food to feed the poor.

How did Divine Mercy Farm Get Started?

It all began with the realization: "I can't keep doing this--there must be something more!" The "this" was Matt's current occupation as English professor, and the "more" became starting a farm that raised food to give away to those in need. Since college, Matt has been learning about growing things and working on farms in Europe and the States. This made the transition from academia to farming relatively smooth. What this means, practically speaking, is that instead of spending hours working on syllabi, grading papers, and publishing academic articles that only seven people will ever read, Matt spends his time cultivating his garlic crop, harvesting vegetables, moving around animals, building things, and introducing a variety of people and families to the beauty of God's creation through nature and our stewardship of that creation through farming. We also hold talks and we often discuss literature and poetry. Our mission farm is dedicated to organic growing, regenerative farming practices, and pasture raised animals. Our focus is on market gardening and poultry, and our interest is in feeding the poor both with food and with learning how to farm. As we increase our giving to families in need, we continue to grow the educational aspect of the mission through invited speakers, workshops, and round-table discussions.

How does the Catholic Faith impact Divine Mercy Farm?

Ultimately, God is the architect of our farm and school. Jesus is the teacher who transforms, and we try to learn each day how to do His will alone, allowing our farm work and liturgical life to form us in His image. Jean Corbon, O.P., says it best: “If our hands [as farmers] are to fashion the icon of creation, we must first allow ourselves to be fashioned by him who unites our flesh to the splendor of the Father.” A farm is a school for life. It provides a daily rhythm, a seasonal experience, in harmony with God’s creation, and grounded in actual things. Farming gives us direct knowledge about the natural world and teaches us resilience, discipline, and humility. By caring for living things, we can learn compassion and love. Our idea of a school thus offers a unique opportunity through manual labor, cultivation, and husbandry, to learn detachment from our distracting thoughts and fears and to turn every movement of possessiveness into an offering to God. The fulfillment of farm work comes not only in the discipline of each task but in the product, which is life-giving. We call it produce, because from it comes more; it brings forth, leads us beyond the immediate mundane task of feeding chickens, weeding lettuce, spreading compost, and it opens the floodgates of life, enabling us to give not only a product but to share food, to serve the hungry, to hold a feast. And those feasts, integral components of Divine Mercy Farm, follow the great feast of the Holy Eucharist, which renews and nourishes our souls, sustaining and transfiguring our continued work and prayer.

Contact

mnickel@protonmail.com

337-296-6474

Location

Pennsylvania

Location Type

Farm, Other

Contact Us For

Farm / Agricultural Training, Community

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