Launch from the Fields

[ 3 ] November 12, AD 2012 |

In a recent blog post, I said we should “flee to the fields,” quoting the eponymous book of essays by the founders of the Catholic Land Movement.

Many understandably took that to mean: isolate ourselves from the “evil’ society, bunker down, hoard guns and food stores, and prepare from the Parousia. But I did not mean to imply that.

The new agrarianism, if I may call it that, will be one that nonetheless engages the larger society. The fields, and by that I mean a homestead with a few acres of land, is the sanctuary, the home base, the castle, from which we send out sorties to do battle.

The advent of social media and the internet allows unprecedented ability to spread ideas around the world from almost any location, even rural ones. I wrote my book from a house that did not even have cell phone coverage, and now it has sold close to 10,000 copies, all in just a year and a half.

But even with these technological marvels, we need to be rooted again in a place. People used to be. They lived in communities. No longer. We live in a neighborhood in the historic district of town, surrounded by houses and people. Yet we never spend time with any of them. We may as well be a thousand miles away. This is no way to live.

A homestead means five acres and independence. Compost piles, milking cow, cream and cheese, sheep and wool, bees and chickens, rainwater catch systems and solar panels. It means a wood stove and home-cooked meals. It means that help is needed on the farm, a place for people to join in the good labor.

Ideally, it means a place we can pass on to our children, where they will want to stay close by or return to. It also means drawing others interested in living this way, to live in close proximity to us.

From there we will write books, give talks, serve those in need, put on programs and conferences, and evangelize our neighbors, our city, and our country. Our apostolates will be strengthened by the fact that they spring from deeply rooted soil. The homestead and close community around it are the bastion from which we can live an authentically human life.

And the bonus side of it is, if our country does go to hell in a handbasket, we have food, shelter, water, and protection, even without gasoline and the power grid.

So flee to the fields, in order to grow deep roots, and then launch from the fields. (Let’s face it, no one sees the tiger hidden in the field until it’s too late!)

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Category: Life, Married Life

About the Author ()

Devin Rose is a Catholic writer and lay apologist. After his conversion from atheism to Protestant Christianity in college, he set out to discover where the fullness of the truth of Jesus Christ could be found. His search led him to the Catholic Church. He blogs at St. Joseph’s Vanguard and has released his first book titled “If Protestantism Is True.” He has written articles for Catholic News Agency, Fathers for Good, Called to Communion, and has appeared on EWTN discussing Catholic-Protestant topics.
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  • http://equusnomveritas.blogspot.com JC Sanders

    My wife and I have been playing around with this idea for some time. We’ve even been talking to friends in the area about this, building a sort of small-scale cooperative in the country. With a few diverse areas of expertise, the home0schooling situation should be that much better, too. Unfortunately, my career path (physicist, experimental) so far doesn’t lend itself very well to doing this, so we’ll see.

  • Paul

    The question I would have is how closely this accords with Catholic political theory insofar as it claims that man is by nature a social animal. Unlike the enlightenment state of nature view, man is supposed to live in a society and society is not something that we choose to enter. I’m not saying that homesteading is automatically contrary to this view, but it seems like to could stem from an isolationist mentality. After all, the new Jerusalem is a city, not a homestead.