Many people today desire a simple life that is closely connected to land, whether it be gardening, farming, or ranching. There is a spiritual draw to a non-consumeristic lifestyle that places God, the family, and the home at the center of all activity. This “agrarian conversion” has led many families to seek out rural communities and leave behind the suburban life.
Over ten years ago two Catholic friends, Jason M. Craig and Thomas D Van Horn, experienced a similar agrarian conversion inspired by past Catholic land-movements and a growing desire to work with their wives and children, going deeper than just “supporting” them financially. Both began a journey, perhaps with a tad too much romanticism, toward land-based life on farms. All these years later, the two have been tempered by the unyielding realities of land and limitations, and have gained significant insights into the reasons, challenges, and possibilities of homesteading and farming. Van Horn operates a commercial bee operation and Craig operates a microdiary while working remotely for a Catholic apostolate. Both, however, now have extensive experience in general homesteading, niche-marketing of farm products, and trying to order their households around an agricultural life.
In The Liturgy of the Land: Cultivating a Catholic Homestead, authors Jason Craig and Thomas Van Horn present the practicalities and theological aspects behind the desire for a productive, holy home. Our current culture understands economy in efficient consumeristic terms, but our Catholic Faith tells us different. The productive homestead is the center of economic life and the family is at the center of the homestead. This book aims at bringing the stories from their experience into a presentation and proposal of homesteading as a way of life, considering the principles (why?) and the practicalities (how?).
- Jason M. Craig
- Thomas D. Van Horn