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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 September

 Spring and summer are good times for volunteers to come to Michaela Farm.  From the beginning of May through August we have had at least a dozen groups come to help for a few hours, a day or several days.  Many of these volunteers are junior high, high school and college students who come to get the history of the farm and to get their hands dirty doing all sorts of jobs ranging from clearing paths, weeding the herb garden, digging garlic, onions and potatoes, weeding the produce gardens and just about any other job that is needed.  S. Carolyn Hoff does a wonderful job organizing the work and motivating groups to get the various assigned jobs completed.  She also does a marvelous job of telling the story of the farm and explaining our missions.
 
Over the years several groups have come each year.  These include the Catholic Heart work camp groups, S. Delouise's junior high students, Roger Bacon High School students and the Marian University groups.  Other groups include confirmation classes, garden clubs and other interested groups.
 
With Michaela Farm running on a minimal staff, the work of the volunteers is so valuable to us.  Actually we couldn't get some things completed, and in reality, probably couldn't even get them started without their most appreciated assistance.
 
We have two couples who come at least once a month to help for a day.  Melissa and Jim are volunteer gardeners who keep the gardens around the property looking good.  The garden in front of the office filled with flowers and perennials, is their handy work along with the flowers by the sign out front.  Then, of course, they do so much more with the weeding and clearing of other areas.  Tom and Kathy do some of the repair work that always piles up and just about anything else that needs their assistance.  One of our biggest contributors of service is Jim Lakewind.  Jim mows our grass.  That in itself is a huge job.  Jim tells me he just keeps mowing.  He has a pattern that he follows each week and just keeps going day after day until he starts the whole process over again.  It takes about a week to get all the areas mowed, trimmed and looking neat.  And then he starts again.
 
So, why do they come?  The biggest reason they say is that they want to give back for all they have in their lives.  Some volunteers were taught by us, some see what we are doing to preserve creation and want to be part of that.  Some come once, some come monthly, some weekly and some every day.  We here at the farm are grateful for their dedication and willingness to help.  We ask you to join us in praying for these dedicated volunteers...a way to say thank you for all they do for us.
 
I really can't tell you the exact number of people who come during one year, but I know S. Carolyn can.  I will ask her at the end of the year to let me know the number of people who came this year and I will pass that on to you in December.  Our volunteers are dedicated, hard-working people who are grateful for their gifts and want to share with others.  We are so blessed to have them with us.  We appreciate all they do, but especially who they are.  Thank you, our volunteers, from the bottom of our hearts.
 
-S. Peg

Above left: New calf nursing.  Above right:  Posing with Mom. Middle Left: New chickens introduced to their new home.  Middle right: Two chickens trying out the roosts.  Below:  (l to r) Chris (farm manager), Delbert Brumbaugh (the "chicken man"...where the chickens came from), Josh (farm hand and cow manager) and Bridget (chicken caretaker). 

 

 
Other Farm News

The Council has approved an initial experiment in rainwater harvesting for Michaela Farm.  A number of 55 gallon rain barrels will be used to harvest water from the Antonia House roof and garage for use on the herb gardens and in the Antonia House garden used by the residents of La Clare House.  Current plans are to have the system operational in time to harvest some of the spring rains.


 
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.