Who goes to seminary to become a farmer? That’s a lot of debt for a profession that is dwindling in both numbers and respect in this country. As we pulled in to the farm for good, leaving a house and stable income behind, the reality of the decision we made settled in. We had been here before, first as a couple, then with our first child, Asher, and later with Lydia, our daughter. During my years at Truett Seminary Farm Day was always a highlight for our family. I didn’t expect during those visits that we’d be living here.
There are a lot of expenses that come with a family, add to that debt from school loans and a mortgage, and it seemed impossible that we would make it to the farm. The first time I harvested vegetables from the garden for our dinner made it all worth it. My journey with food began after working at a Lutheran camp in the Rocky Mountains. There I met strange people who didn’t eat meat. Born and raised in Texas, I knew that if you didn’t eat meat you would certainly shrivel up and die. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try, mostly as an experiment. That was nine years ago and I’m still alive. Becoming vegetarian started me thinking about what I ate, where it came from and how it was produced.
During my time in seminary, I began to connect many of the justice issues I was concerned about to agriculture, such as health, creation care, economics, worker’s rights, women’s issues, immigration, poverty and hunger. In many ways food production and our relationship to food is at the heart of many of the problems that face modern society. So, I decided to apply to the internship program at World Hunger Relief.
As urban gardening intern, I’ve been able to have a wide variety of experiences and education. I gained hands-on understanding in agriculture and experiential learning working with garden clubs and managing a plot at the farm. I’ve also been able to learn about community development and organizing working with organizations and gardens in East Waco. I hope to put this experience to use as a Regional Organizer for the Texas Hunger Initiative after my internship finishes in May.
After moving to the farm, I have gradually become a farm-atarian, only eating meat that I’ve met or from farmers I know. Our kids don’t eat all the good food available at the farm, but they do love kale chips. This fall, watching my children splash and play in mud puddles and piles of leaves, seeing them embrace the community at the farm and be embraced by them has been a blessing to my wife and me. They are the reason this move to the farm has been so important to us. We want to be part of a movement in God’s kingdom that leaves them a world in which they can better live at peace with the earth and other people.