The recordings will probably be available for sale next week, after we deal with the usual unexpected delays (the label printer ran out of ink, the automatic disc duplicator went on the fritz). But I thought I’d share the cover art with you. The picture will be on the front, the text on the back.
Can we even imagine what a small town would look like if its residents were truly obedient to the Word of God? Pastor Thomas McConnell not only has a vision for such a town, he and his flock at Covenant Reformed Church in Rayville, Missouri are actively engaged in the hard and joyful work of creating a community founded on the principles of biblical agrarianism. Join us for some plain talk about the path to forming such a community, and the joys and sorrows which lie along that path.
God wants His children to be peacefully content, having an unshakable confidence that He will provide for our every need. And He often develops these attitudes in us by thwarting our own carefully laid plans—and then giving us something far better than we could have ever imagined for ourselves. Just ask Christina Fuller, who prepared for a career as a social worker but found herself inexorably guided into a life centered on husband and family and dairy cows. Join us for some plain talk about contentment, providence, and good food.
Jim Cutler grew up on a farm in Iowa, but like many modern young men he didn’t want to stay there. Instead he married, studied civil engineering in college, pursued a career in a high-techology industry, and moved to another state. But even in this God had a different plan for Jim and his family, one that involved returning to Iowa, buying a farmstead, renovating an old farmhouse, and slowly building a multi-generational family business that raises and sells clean food. Join us for some plain talk about family friendly farming before the face of God.
Although I had been working toward a simpler life for many years, my introduction to agrarian thinking came in late 1999, when I stumbled across View from an Iowa Homestead, John VanDyk’s new weblog. We became friends, first in cyberspace and then in person. When we get together the conversation ranges widely and is always thought-provoking—and, as you’ll hear on this recording, I tend to dominate it. Still, I think you’ll enjoy hearing us engage in some plain talk about the difficulties of rural living, the challenge of developing skills we weren’t raised with, and the need to temper our ideals with reality.
Nobody doesn’t love to read Tom Scepaniak’s weblog, Northern Farmer. It is filled with practical wisdom and earthy observations from a man who is not only carrying on the family farm with his father, but has taken it in new directions by rejecting the propaganda spewed out by Big Ag, looking instead to the past for ways to make his farm healthier and more productive. On top of all that, he has somehow figured out how to write with a Minnesota accent! Join us for some plain talk about the goodness of a farming life, the rewards of hard physical labor, and the joys of using one’s own loving hands to provide for a family in ways that money simply can’t buy.
John Mesko grew up on a farm in Minnesota and wanted to stay there, but his Dad told him that he could always farm later but needed to go to college soon. So John went to Purdue University and immersed himself in the world of Big Ag, both as a university extension agent and as a corporation man. He learned enough to decide that he wanted something different for his wife and family, and has since begun to explore the possibilities of small scale farming. Join us for some plain talk about corporate slavery, the dangers of industrial agriculture, and the joys of living an agrarian life and teaching others about it.
Chad was kind enough to spend part of a visit with us recording the first of these conversations, a trial run that I hoped would be good enough to release. Well, the conversation was good, but I made the mistake of having us sit on our porch for the recording, and the noise of the wind is intolerable. The picture I took for the cover didn’t turn out well, either, because I neglected to use a fill flash. Chad has graciously agreed to try it over again in the near future. Meanwhile, I thought I’d at least memorialize the experiment, since even though it didn’t work out it inspired me to get on with the project.