In one day of work, I learned as I tended to a variety of tasks on the farm . I learned the reasoning for all I was doing, and was encouraged to ask more. As I weeded the vegetable garden, hilled the potatoes, built a bridge from wood milled on the farm, milked the goats, moved hay and much more. I was amazed to see how intertwined the community’s resources are. There was very little waste, everything has a purpose.

        While each day here has been a lesson on gardening, animal tending, and simple living our work has been accompanied by wonderful conversation. We have discussed personal and global matters, and in voicing our different perspectives, my eyes have been opened to a much broader view of our society today. 

        An element of the farm that has been very encouraging is their balance of the work and their spiritual life. In each day there is time to rest, to worship, and to reflect. While the farm requires continuous labor and mindful work, we also stop to literally smell the roses, or see the baby fawn in the field,  or watch the snapping turtle lay her eggs. The Hoyts have an incredible way of finding the beauty that surrounds them here and sharing it with others, whether it be in the fragrant flower arrangement in your bedroom to greet you or in a flavorful meal made from food they’ve grown. 

        While here I was able to learn about a simple lifestyle, how a family lives as a community, and how to live a life of spiritual enrichment. While I am still not sure what a life of spiritual enrichment might mean for me, I have learned a great deal in seeing how the Hoyts succeed and prioritize that in their life.  For these and many other reasons my stay here has delighted me. I count myself grateful for the experiences and the relationships gained.