Coming to St. Francis Farm has provided a synthesis for the incompleteness. Here bodies and minds are put to work equally. Conversations led to our questioning of taken for granted systems while our bodies worked hard for a world where those systems fade away beneath gardens and fields of grass. During the day I learned to milk goats, bale hay, make cheese, and weed properly. I learned how to pace the planting of a garden, to build a foot bridge, to use a sawmill, and to build a pig pen. I saw with my eyes and felt with my hands an alternative to capitalism and American consumerism. At night we talked for hours about the ideas that fuel the farm. We critiqued and sought to understand a culture soaked in fear, hate, and greed. We hypothesized a different world full of basic goodness, dignity, and love. At the farm we put to work both our bodiesand minds. We made whole something that our media-frenzied culture often seeks to separate. At the farm visitors gain the practical skills and intellectualism necessary for both imagining and constructing a simpler, better world.
Peter Maurin said, “College Professors are specialists who know more and more about less and less and if they keep on specializing they will end by knowing everything about nothing.” St Francis Farm provides a solution to this problem that Maurin so characteristically described and that I felt throughout my final years at college. Many college students and professors understand the systemic injustice in our country and wish to see it undone. But our culture often does not combine work and skills with intellectualism. A society molded around consumption and capitalism has stripped people of the ability to physically and mentally work for an alternative. St. Francis Farm exists as a possible solution; where ideologies, work, and love can meet.
For this reason and many others I have immensely enjoyed our time here. The Hoyts have been incredibly gracious, communicative, and hospitable hosts. We will never ever forget the joy and love surrounding this place.