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Click on the carrots to learn more about Bluestone Farm and Living Arts Center, our Farm Companion program and events on the farm. 

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Melrose & Bluestone Farm

 

 

It has taken us ten years to create (from scratch) the beginnings of Bluestone Farm and Living Arts Center here on twenty-three acres in Brewster, NY. Based on the the principles of organic agriculture and animal husbandry, biodynamics, permaculture, and the importance of re-skilling for the future, the farm is an ever-evolving entity with its own ethos, personality and interconnections.

As the farm has come into being over the last decade, it has attracted many hundreds of people of all ages, occupations and ethnicities.  Some have come as volunteers, neighbors and/or retreatants, some as summer interns, some as long-term resident companions. Groups of children have participated in the ongoing work of the farm as well, drawing from schools, churches and community organizations. 

 

 

As the farm enters its second decade, we recognize that our focus is gradually shifting from the initial hard but creative work of establishing the farm, to the consequent work of education.

The type of education we offer is not usually in the form of classes and workshops, although occasionally we do offer these. Rather, it is experiential: putting ones hands in the soil, tending plants, taking care of animals, growing our own food, preserving food for winter, and living the deep rhythms of the cycles of nature, the growing season and the monastic liturgical year. It is, in fact, Earth literacy that we seek to advance, in the context of the sacredness of all creation.

 

Depending on the amount of time spent at the farm, one's learnings can include these areas:

  • learning to grow food, raise animals, and live sustainably

  • reconnecting with nature, with one's own nature, with the Whole

  • food justice issues

  • experiencing the Divine Office and other forms of worship and monasticism

  • re-entering the stream of natural cycles, rhythms and relationships

  • learning about and experiencing the interconnections within the farm eco-system

  • placing these experiences in a sacred context

  • listening to and seeing soil, plants, animals, fellow human beings, planets, stars — at a deeper level than merely what can be perceived with the senses and measured by science

  • reducing one's carbon footprint

  • learning lost arts such as food preservation, spinning and weaving, cheese- and wine-making, arts

  • the relationship between agriculture and culture

  • becoming part of the farm-entity as a whole

  • navigating the spiritual journey in an open environment that is welcoming to all serious spiritual paths

  • learning to play again

Our residents join in the work of the farm, the communal meals, the daily worship, and the difficult but worthwhile task of making community together. We are, in a sense, a budding eco-village, with a permanent monastic core, and a long-term partner/"good neighbor" component. With a group of stable, committed, enthusiastic and able-bodied participants, we can continue to carry out and expand our spirit-led mandate to live in greater harmony with Earth and her living systems, and to bring others along on the journey.