Saturday, 28 July 2012

Wishing For Heaven?

Why is leaving always so hard to do? We long for us to stay together, not having to leave. But leaving is inevitable in this world here on earth. You will always leave someone or something behind, at least for a while. We make and break relationships with people all the time, but it is the lasting ones that are the hardest to part. The better we know someone the harder it is to leave. The more we love someone the harder it is to say good bye. We long for a lasting time together, when we will not be separated. What we long for is heaven. A lot of people have misconceptions of what heaven is and think this life is good and a better one, and don’t really long for heaven. I think we have to be careful what we say about heaven and the new earth, but I think it is clear that it will involve fellowshipping with one another with Jesus. Singing, laughing, talking, working, praising, being around eachother, and most importantly being with Jesus and learning more about Him. Spending an eternity getting to know God better, and still finding that after a hundred years He will still surprise us with something new, we will never grow bored, never tire of being around him, we will always want more of Him. 
And so the week of vacation is over. I knew before vacation started that we would come to this. That it would be over much too fast. But I knew that we live in the moment, we are changed by the past, and look forward to the future. I had to keep myself from thinking of this day, when good byes are exchanged and we come back. You have to live the moment, enjoy everything as it happens, and not look too far ahead.
A wonderful week. Fun times with cousins, meeting new relatives and hanging out. Playing Capture the Flag, jamming on the flute with the piano, playing Mafia, Imagineiff, and many more games. Getting up early to see the sunrise and have a cup of joe. Drinking tea all day long. Talking late into the night. Singing hymns around the campfire. 
Here we are on our way home. I go back to work tomorrow to work on the farm. Sometimes the only thing that gets us through something is the thought of going back to where we came from. I don’t feel like going back to work to be honest. At this point I’m looking forward to our camping trip, the second week of August. Sometimes the best thought you can think of is being around your family with cousins and friends. The best times in life often come through those you are closest with. I know working at the farm is good, great experience, physically taxing, and some free time to read and research about different things. But sometimes I’d rather I could just hang out with my family, playing games. 
Maybe I’m just wishing for heaven?

English Vintner

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Farm

The farm. I get up at 5:45am, after going to bed at between 9-10pm. Typically I sleep out in the barn, where last year they hooked up a bathroom with a sink, shower and toilet. They have a metal hot pad (surely I’m not getting the name right) that they use to cook on, and right now I can’t find the light switch to the kitchen area. 
So I get up at 5:45, I sleep pretty good because I have a big 24” fan blowing right on me. (For those of you who don’t know me, the ideal sleeping situation is me covered up in blankets, with a fan blowing on my head, even in winter!) For those of you who know me you also know I like getting up early, so 5:45, though it is earlier than I typically get up, is not a new concept and I really enjoy it. It gives me a chance to be alone, it’s my favorite time to be alone in fact. My ideal living style is what we do at Thanksgiving week. My three Uncles on my Dad’s side all get together with their families, and my grandparents come and we all stay at one of our houses. We fill the day with cooking food and playing games (inside and out!) and talking, roasting coffee, taking walks, and all other good things! Especially the nights are fun! We get a couple groups going on, conversations going on in the corners of the room, people playing a game of Rook at the kitchen table, and somewhere else another game is going on. We stay up late, usually a minimum of midnight. Then there are just a few of us who get up early the next day. Usually I’m up by 5:30, 6:00 at the latest. And because I’m running on adrenalin and loads of coffee (freshly roasted mind you!) I jump out of bed and I’m wide awake. Usually the first ones up are me, my older brother, and my Uncle Tim. We are very much morning people. I’m usually making sticky buns for breakfast and I like to watch the sunrise while I read my Bible with a cup of joe. It’s just so much fun to spend the day with all the people whom you love and can talk to and play games with all day and night long. And then get up early the next morning to have some alone time to process, read your Bible, and just enjoy some time with God alone. All that to say, Thanksgiving week is the highlight of the year for me. I am so blessed to be around extended family who all love Jesus and can enjoy fellowshipping and playing games with.
So, where was I? That’s right, 5:45am. I get up, get out my hand crank coffee grinder, and grind enough coffee for my little 2 cup french press. I heat up water on the hot pad thing, and while I’m waiting thoroughly soak my hair so it looks like I had a shower.
I pour the water into my french press, let it soak for a few minutes, plunge it, pour it into my As You Wish mug, grab my Bible, and head outside. I find a place, usually close to the barn and sip my coffee while I read my Bible.
At 6:30am I clean up everything, put it back in order, and head over to do morning chores. My morning chores are with the chickens (though if Joel and Megan are doing chores I help them with the goats and pigs too). I walk about 700 yards out to where the chickens are. They are all inside a little chicken coup on wheels. I release them from their house of safety and proceed to fill four troughs with feed for them. We rotate the feed troughs throughout the inclosed area so that they don’t trample down one area too much. I find it satisfying to find the tallest grass to put the trough on for them to eat down. After feeding them I will gather eggs, (unless they were collected the night before) I usually get around 70. We have almost 200 laying hens, with a few roosters mixed in to help control them. They lay pretty good all through the summer, and even through the winter. After feeding them I come back to the farm yard and feed the meat chickens and fill up their water. 
By now it’s close to 7am and I have an hour to eat breakfast and do whatever before we start work at 8am.
From 8-12pm we work in the garden. (Except yesterday we butchered chickens, so that was an almost all day affair. We started at 8am butchering and ended at 12pm. We ate lunch and then proceeded to clean and package the chicken until 4:30pm.) Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we spend the morning harvesting for our CSA and market. Monday is a half day, so the interns get off until after lunch. Typically it is shopping day, or do whatever else you want to do. Wednesday and Friday mornings are spent working in the garden, planting or weeding and anything else. 
At 12pm we have a break for lunch, and we all take turns cooking for lunch. After lunch we have until 3pm to read and research. From 3-6pm we work in the garden again. Around 6pm we eat supper and have whatever we want to do after until we go to bed. 
It’s not a super hard work load, we work about 8hrs a day. We have quite a bit of time to relax, read and research. Joel and Megan set it up so that we’d have time to process what we do, read, learn and research. So that when we leave we take with us a lot more from the farm then if we worked 14hrs a day and had no time to process what we were doing. 
It’s a fun time here on the farm. You’re surrounded by people who agree with you on agriculture and it’s fun to talk about agriculture and have people to talk about it to. Whenever Joel and I are working together we’re talking about something, often times different kinds of agriculture and different forms of growing things. The food is good, everyday we eat farm to table. We have all the eggs and goat milk we want (and it’s free range!), and plenty of meat.
Life here is good. The company, food, and the work.

English Vintner

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Farm

What is it about the early morning? A heavy mist weighing down the grass, a tiny droplet suspended for a moment before crashing down. The light mist along the edge giving the farm an etherial feel to it. And in the East, light streams forth. An array of colors explode upon the horizon. Only at dawn and dusk do we get a rainbow of colors. A way of opening and closing the day?

(note, the image above is not the farm referred to in the post, nor the one I am staying at)
English Vintner

Thursday, 12 July 2012

One More Day

So I sit here, 6 o clock in the morning, enjoying my last day home. The house is quiet, as it usually is this early in the morning. The silence is filled with the ticking of the clock above the piano, occasional page turn by Isaiah in the corner, and the sweet sound of song from the birds outside. This is my idea of an early morning. A quiet start to the day, about the only one up, reading my bible, making myself some coffee, enjoying the stillness of the day. It is my favorite part of the day. I like to call it the morning twilight. That stage when the world is getting lighter, but it’s still dark, the sun is rising, but it hasn’t risen yet. 
I think I really do live in the moment. It is hard for me to imagine doing something in the future. I find it hard to pack well in advance, or plan very far ahead when it involves me. Maybe it’s just procrastination, or maybe it’s as I said, I’m living in the moment too much to be thinking ahead.
I am hoping to work hard at the farm. I say this from the outset and from what I really need not what I will want while doing it, I would like to be exhausted every single day I work. I want to be sweating 2 gallons a day. I would like to be exercising every muscle I have in my work. I want it to be physical, and I want it to be demanding of me. Where I crave sleep, but can still be up by dawn every day.
I am not sure what my days are really going to look like. I imagine I won’t have a lot of free time during the day, and will be pretty tired at night. I get Sunday off, but I believe that is the only day.
I want to learn a lot while at the farm. I want to learn more about animal husbandry (I have no doubt about that, I don’t know a whole lot), more about gardening, and more about cooking, and of course how a farm works and the marketing side of a farm. In my head I have this image of me making supper once a week, but, we’ll see how that will turn out. I’m planning on taking some of my tools and knives up with me, incase I get the chance to use them.
So here I am, 30 minutes later, still in the same position I was. I have quite a long list of what I need to get done today. I plan to make it fun, but profitable. I am planning to keep a journal or diary of my work on the farm. And I plan to post here often about it, so keep in touch!

English Vintner

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Father, how can you let your children 
suffer in this way?
When they’ve been through hard 
trials, and fire’s on it’s way
Don’t let the fartherless and widow, 
be abandoned or cast down
I lift up to you your’e children,
they’ve fallen on the ground
You say “Look to me in suffering”
and “I will give you peace”
So in the darkness when we’re blind,
make our trust in you increase.
How can the righteous suffer
and the wicked go unpunished
How can a remnant of this 
world be saved for eternity
When all around us chaos 
reeks a life of uncertainty 
Who is the judge of right and wrong?
Who is the one who makes us strong?
For what God says and does
 is always good and just and right
“At times the wrong seems oft so strong
Our God is the definition of what is just
There is no one to compare to,
no one else is good
So before you point the fingers, 
and try to shove the blame
Just remember who our God is
He died and took our pain.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Through Trials

A broken family, a broken home
Wounds deeper than just blood and bones
Two halves of a whole
A broken spirit, a wounded soul
Trials of fire, trials of pain
To live is Christ, to die is gain
Nearer to Christ we come
Or turn our backs to the chosen one
Through the pain we’ll grow stronger
Or look at Christ as he’s the wronger 
His will for us is ours as well
Or take the path that leads to Hell
“Quickly come!” your children cry
Strengthen them, don’t let them die.