This is what you are handed when you come to pick berries here…
Wind and Water Farm
The Parkland Worker
This is a private Haskap orchard with 2,700 plants. It was started in 2007 and added to in three distinct sections over the years and is still expanding. It has seven commercial varieties of Haskap, several varieties of open-pollinated variants, and a couple hundred Old World varieties.
Serving The Poor
This orchard was started to provide high quality food for free to those who have less access to it. It is not a public U-Pick. Every year like-minded volunteers assist us for a couple of field days as we harvest berries to this end.
Building Local Community
As an offshoot of serving the poor, we open this orchard to anyone who asks to come and pick for their own home use. We value our own roots in farming and celebrate the community and good will that we experienced growing up with you here today. Thank you for celebrating that with us!
No Money Or Donations
We do not accept any money or donations; you cannot pay us back for what we offer. This is a free experience for our local community to enjoy together and to benefit from.
If you wish to assist us in helping those most in need then the best you can do is to join us by picking some berries and leaving them with us. We will clean and freeze them and add them to the berries that we will later distribute.
Communities have the resources and will to help one another for free; that’s what it has always meant to be a community. The word community has been more broadly applied these days. Every like-minded interest group now calls itself a community. Corporations now call themselves communities. But none of these are communities. Turn in your notice of quitting your job and you will likely be shown the door forthwith. Show up at your boss’s door a month later when your money has run out and ask for help and see what kind of response you get. No, that’s not community.
Here we live out true community. That’s the way of the Catholic Worker Movement. People are not used to any other ends than to be loved; any other way of treating people amounts to exploitation and objectification. Every person has a God-given dignity from birth. We live a communal lifestyle that is at root based on hospitality. We did not invent this for it emerges from the very mystical nature of the Body of Christ itself. And it is based on these that we as a Catholic Worker farm practise the Works of Mercy as found in Matthew 25 and are committed to both nonviolence and voluntary poverty.
We find it incredibly sad that so many people do not understand this when they come to pick. Some insist on leaving money or exchanging something with us. We have had some actually condemn us for living this way. One man recently told us that we were just wrong for doing this. Some are incredibly greedy in their discovery of the place. And some simply refuse to come and pick because we do not charge money. But if you read anything written by Dorothy Day herself none of this will come as a surprise. Yet it causes us to be sad when these things happen. We do not feel sad for ourselves, but we feel sorry for these others. These responses will never stop us from being who we are as people loved by Christ and who simply love others. There is no hitch to this, no hidden agenda, no obligation placed on anyone who comes to harvest the abundance of berries that are now sitting in this orchard. Come, and eat, and share. And that is all that there is to it.
Come, all of you who thirst, come to the waters; and you without money come, buy, eat! Come, buy wine and milk, without money and without cost! Why spend money on that which is not bread, and your labour on that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest foods…
And once in a while someone comes and gets it and they smile at the beauty of the place and look us in the eye and simply say, Thank you, and that makes everything – our entire lives even – worthwhile.