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Michaela Farm
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

Michaela Farm, embodying the Franciscan spirit, nurtures sustainable relationships among land, plants, animals and humans, and utilizes farm resources to fulfill its goals.
                                                                                 -Michaela Farm Mission Statement


 

Farm News for November

"Let all your works give thanks, O Lord and let your faithful ones bless you."  Ps. 145

The fourth Tuesday of November calls us as a nation to be thankful for all the good things we have received.  As a people with so many good things, every day is a day calling us to remember and give thanks for all we have received and will continue to receive.  As I think about the many things we have received as gift this year I thought it might be good to share with you some of the blessings we at Michaela Farm are especially grateful to have received.

We had a very good growing season this year.  Our gardens produced an abundance of vegetables and herbs.  Our CSA members (23 families for the summer session and 20 families for the fall session) received a box of fresh vegetables and herbs each week.  Margaret Mary Health (Community Hospital) received a delivery each week, as did the Motherhouse and the Batesville Food Pantry.  Our farm store was stocked daily with fresh produce.  Our customers were happy and returned often.

 Our chickens are producing eggs by the dozen.  We replaced the aging flock in the spring and egg numbers are up.  On a sad note, ET (our Extraterritorial Chicken) is no longer with us to take her dialy walk around the barn.  While the humans on the farm miss her antics, the cows are quite happy not to be moving out of her way.  She was a bit bossy.

We have welcomed 15 new calves into the herd this year, with still a few more due before December 31st.  The herd is holding at about 68 right now but with meat sales on the rise, we look forward to a few more calves.  Rudy, our bull, has produced his replacement in Chip (as in chip off the old block).  I'm not sure Rudy is thankful for that, but we are.

We have partnered with the Purdue Extension Services, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District, the East Indiana Area Health Education Center, Margaret Mary Community Hospital in their gardening program for the elementary schools for healthy eating. Batesville Y in their healthy eating program for children, Oldenburg Franciscan Center, Oldenburg Academy and Marian University for the presentation of programs in the spring, summer and fall.  We are thankful that these groups like to come here and we welcome the attendees to the farm.

San Damiano has had many people using the facility during this year.  Many were our own Sisters, but the word is spreading to other religious communities and we have hosted Benedictines, Sisters of Mercy and Franciscan brothers as well as our Associates and others looking for a religious retreat.

We are grateful to our many benefactors who have blessed us with donations of their time, their monetary gifts and their gifts in kind.  Their kindness to us is appreciated.  We ask you to hold them in prayer as we do.

Our volunteers are so appreciated.  They come willing to help with any project.  Some come daily, some weekly, some monthly and some only once, but all contribute to the working of the farm.  Our CSA pick up on Tuesdays moves smoothly because of the volunteer help of Dawn Merkel,
S. Cleopha Werner
and S. Michelle Corliss.  S. Carolyn Hoff will give you a better feel for the number of volunteers for just this year in the December issue of Community News.

We spent several months working with Franklin College trying to establish a program in which one or more of their agriculture students would come to the farm for several weeks to help and also learn more about the Franciscan commitment to caring for creation.  We are grateful to Franklin College for wanting to partner with us in this.  While this did not develop as we hoped for this year, the student from Franklin College took a paying job, next year is always a possibility.  This experience caused us to look at our commitment to Earth and reassess how we are doing in this area on the farm.

We are also grateful to Chris Merkel, S. Marie Nett, Josh Hannebaum, Becky Miller, Beth Carlson, Bridget Collins, S. Carolyn Hoff and Jim Lakewind, faithful workers all, for their valuable contributions to the farm.  All have contributed their expertize and helped the farm to grow and to have a good year indeed.

We are grateful to all of you, our faithful readers, for your prayers and interest in us.  We invite you to stop by and see us, talk to us and just enjoy the peace and quiet of the farm.  Come by and walk in the woods, the labyrinth or the trails.  Check out the cattle and chickens.  Or just come by and sit in the herb garden.  Let this little piece of Earth refresh your spirit.

I'm sure there are many things that I have forgotten to say in this listing of our blessings, but all of us here at the farm talk often of how good God is to us.  Please join us in offering a prayer of thanksgiving for all we have received this year.
                                                                                                                     - S. Peg


 
Welcome to Michaela Farm! The farm derives its name from Sister Michaela Lindemann, one of the first women to join the new congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis in 1851, who began directing the work on the then newly acquired land in 1854.

Merging agriculture, education and spirituality, Michaela Farm builds on and enfleshes the Franciscan value of "just relationships with all Creation." This value is core to our attitudes toward Earth and is a source of inspiration and motivation for our work. We express this value by these actions:

  • Simple living
  • Seeing all (creation) as "kin"
  • Respectful use of resources
  • Striving for sustainability
  • Gratitude, hospitality and sharing

Michaela Farm is located among the rolling hills of Southeastern Indiana.