One of my neighbours has swathed the grass growing along the road that borders the western edge of our property. Road ditch grass is dusty since the road traffic kicks up dirt every time a vehicle passes by. I tell him that we have more grass than I will bale and that he is welcome to come and cut grass for free here. He asks me why I do not hire someone to come and mow our hay so that I can then bale it. I tell him that I enjoy mowing and baling hay and that we supply hay at a reduced rate to people who cannot afford it at the going rate, even giving it away, so we could not afford to pay someone to swath it unless they were willing to do so for free. And in the end it’s my job to cut hay and to offer it to people who are less able to afford it…it’s what we do. This is not about making money and it certainly is not a business.
The mechanical problems with our equipment continue to plague us. One of our tractors developed problems last year which I fixed but is now making sounds again. And I am suspicious that perhaps the problems that I fixed was caused by something else and will need to be looked at by real mechanics. So I will haul it to a shop next week so that it can be better evaluated. We have no money to use to fix it. Middle-class Canadians are not supporters of Catholic Worker houses or farms as a whole, deferring instead to the whimsically narcissistic social engineering programs of government to ease their social conscience responsibilities.
Three women came out to pick haskap yesterday. They are but a few of the meagre handful of people who have been in this 3,000 plant orchard since July 1. The plants are laden with berries. The food quality is exceptional. The picking is for free. Anyone can avail themselves of this. But middle-class Canadians have repeatedly asked us why we do not harvest the berries ourselves and bring them to the store for middle-class folks to buy there? We are not here to serve the middle-class; we have the greatest respect for the three who came to pick berries during our current heat wave. They will return in October to assist us in digging and splitting the roots of some of our plants to give to them for free so that they may start their own orchards. This is good work.
An hour ago I awoke from a dream. A group of youth had come into our house and was stealing everything we had. When I come back you will tell me where all your valuables are at!, threatened one young man as he headed out our door with a piece of electronics in his hands. Another young man was standing by. I reached over and picked up the Bible that was presented to me at my ordination thirty years ago. Do you know what this is?, I patiently asked him. He shook his head. This is the most valuable thing I have, I said. It has taught me everything i know and directs me in everything I do. And then I quoted I John 2:15-17…
Love not the world
neither the things in the world.
If anyone love the world
the love of the Father is not in them.
For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh,
the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life,
is not of the Father,
but is of the world.
And the world passeth away,
and the lust thereof:
but the one that doeth the will of God
And when I awoke I had tears in my eyes. And I got out of bed. And I am genuinely happy to go to the field and get about my work for the day. And it might reach 35C today…which for here is sweltering.