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Posts tagged as “Plain Values”

Animals Move  —  Confessions of a Steward

by Joel Salatin, Plain Values

In animal husbandry and livestock production, probably the most common violation of God’s design is failure to mimic animal movement.

Whether it’s a horse paddock, dog run, or a 1,000 cow herd, keeping animals requires intentional and managed movement. Studying God’s design in nature reveals a remarkably sophisticated animal choreography. In the wild, animals don’t stay in the same place; they move—dramatically.

From Rottleben to Lancaster County — The Stoltzfus Family Heritage

by Nic Stoltzfus, Plain Values

I first moved to Pennsylvania in the fall of 2018 to become caretaker of the Nicholas Stoltzfus Homestead in Reading. I was also nearing completion of a coffee-table book I was working on: German Lutherans to Pennsylvania Amish: The Stoltzfus Family Story. I was unsure about how it would go—although my father Elam was born Amish in Lancaster County and grew up there, I was a stranger to this region. I had never spent more than two weeks in Pennsylvania my whole life and didn’t know much about Amish culture and way of life. After all, I was a Floridian who was raised on grits and sunshine, not snow and scrapple.

I made it my mission to learn as much as I could about my Amish and Stoltzfus heritage, and this past year I learned a great deal.

Flying High — Roots + Wings

by Rory Feek, Plain Values

April is my birthday month, which is always interesting for me. Each year, although I physically turn another year older, my mind never seems to age. The voice inside my head seems to stay forever young and stuck in another time, convinced that time stands still. But the face that I see in the mirror tells a different story. The lines around my eyes are like chapters carved in the book of life that I have lived, the life that I am living still.

When my wife Joey passed away in March 2016, and we came back home to the farm after being gone for five months, I had to find a way to keep living and somehow find new life. I had to find a way to take where we’ve been and all we have learned and carry it into where we are going. I had to find a way to go where God has been leading us all along.

Spring on a Traditional Family Farm — The Healing Land

By Shawn and Beth, Plain Values

There’s no time like spring for seeing how bountifully God provides for His creatures, and that’s especially true here in central Appalachia, where young, green grass and blossoming fruit trees are everywhere we look. Our seven dairy cows put gallons of rich, creamy milk in the bucket every day. Their calves race around the pasture or lie in the soft grass and nap in the sun. Chicks in mobile pens scratch and forage, new feathers pushing through their baby down. Pigs are growing fast on skim milk and forage. We’re never more grateful for our small farm lifestyle than now when life is so beautiful and abundant.

Confessions of a Steward — Carbon Development on the Farm

by Joel Salatin, Plain Values

Last month I introduced the concept of the carbon economy for soil fertility and the numerous ways God designed soil fertility and development to run on sunbeams converted to biomass. From bison on the prairie to wildebeests on the Serengeti, perennial prairie polycultures pruned by herbivores chased by predators built the deepest and most fertile soils on the planet.

That’s the big picture, but how do we apply it to our gardens and farms? How do we catalyze on-site carbon development and utilization to build the organic matter by cycling biomass into the soil?

Roots + Wings —Sprouting Wings

by Rory Feek, Plain Values

Here in the middle of Tennessee, the arrival of March signals the return of spring. The long-awaited blooming of yellow daffodils that encircle our family cemetery here on the farm lets us know that winter is wearing thin and that warmer weather will soon be on its way. The pretty daffodils are also a gentle reminder of my beautiful bride Joey’s passing this month six years ago.

Let’s Talk About It

By Ferree Hardy, Plain Values

“Oh, I don’t mean to be talking over and over about me,” worried the widow sitting next to me. “I don’t know why I find myself telling you all this.”

I assured her she was fine. “It’s what I do. I let people talk to me. I loved hearing your story.”

“I don’t want to bore anyone or seem prideful. And sometimes when I mention my husband, I see the alarm on their faces,” she continued. “But we made so many memories together, and I still can’t believe he’s gone.”

“Yes, I know. Tell me more…”

Telling the story is something most grieving people do, whether they intend to or not. It just comes out. I smile now, a little embarrassed, when I remember how one of Bruce’s friends called me a month after the funeral. After he asked the innocent question—“So, how are you?”—he got a 45-minute earful! I’m not a talker, but I needed to talk that day.

The Roundtable — Amish Insights on: Pride

By: Jerry D. Miller, Plain Values

Our human tendency is to want to be independent. We do not want to rely on others, but the irony of it is, God created us to be dependent on each other when he created a man and woman in the Garden of Eden.


This Month’s Question:

Homesteaders are often encouraged to be as self-sufficient as possible. How can I overcome the pride of being self-sufficient so that I can reconnect with my community?

Answered by: JerryD. Miller, a deaconin his local Amish church