Scripture: Living and Active

Scripture: Living and Active
Our most significant scriptures are marked with post it notes.

Continuing the work of Jesus, simply, peacefully, JOYFULLY, together.

We gather for worship at 9:30 am on Sunday.
Children go to Sunday school following their special time in worship, about 10:15 am.
Potluck is the first Sunday of the month.

17975 Centreville-Constantine Road, Constantine, MI 49042

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Farmer Luke and the Farmer in the Dale

Church is about discipleship -- passing on our faith tradition of knowledge, values, practices, wisdom --from one generation to the next. As Anabaptists we value living faith in earthy ways in daily life. For Luke Nofsinger and Dale Hasenick the tradition of discipleship has been in daily working conversation and action in the fields of White Yarrow Farm, Marcellus, MI.

In an era where the brightest and best students from rural communities go off to college and to jobs in other more "exotic" places, Luke Nofsinger decided to come home after his senior year at Goshen College. Why? What he wanted to learn most was right in his back yard.

Luke has been pondering the dream of becoming an organic farmer. On the property adjacent to his parent's farm on Bair Lane in Marcellus, MI stands White Yarrow Farm. On Luke's back doorstep about four acres are cultivated using the principles of organic farming by the husband wife team of Dale Hasenick and Jo Beachy.

Dale and Jo are in their tenth season selling vegetables and flowers at the Mill Race Farmer's Market in Goshen, IN. Since 2003, they have also provided fresh produce to local supporters who buy shares of their Community Supported Agriculture Project. These “subscribers” then receive a box of vegetables each week.

Luke, who dreams of being an organic farmer one day, seized the opportunity to complete his Goshen College internship by working with Dale and Jo this summer. He spent mornings alongside Dale hearing a constant stream of information in accompaniment to planting broccoli, weeding onions, and picking some of the sweetest cherry tomatoes around. But following Dale around was not enough.

Luke immediately applied his agricultural training to his own home gardening, including raising pastured chickens. He did note that one of the hardest jobs he did all summer was gathering chickens, three times, in preparation for slaughter.

Luke easily admits that working in heat and humidity was challenging. However, he praised Dale's mentoring: "If anything he gave me too much information. It was way more than I could ever absorb. He explained everything we did and why."

In addition to this farm work, Luke’s communication’s training enabled him to produce a slide show about White Yarrow Farm for marketing purposes.
Dale appreciated having Luke's additional hands for work, and also his questions. It made him realize that he, too, longs for more opportunity to keep learning from others. "I have joked with some of our customers about taking a sabbatical to work on a larger organic farm." Dale, an essentially self taught vegetable farmer, sees there is always more to learn about growing and marketing.

When asked about his future dreams, Luke replied, "I would love to had a small organic farm, with goats and with a winery on the border of France and Spain." My heart sank. So much for the local boy returning to the fields of his childhood.

When pressed, Luke added, "Well, location is not the most important thing. The real dream is being a farmer, growing good food. That I can do anywhere, but France sounds cool right now."

White Yarrow Farm at 3240 Bair Lane in Marcellus, MI (269-646-2574) is one example of a small farm dream come true for “the farmer in the Dale.” But, will small communities like Marcellus and Constantine show that aspiring young farmers like Luke are not only welcome but desired? Will we create the kinds of communities where Luke and others want to raise not only vegetables but kids? Time will tell.

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