Making Our Lives

Wendell Berry said, “When we are making our art, we are also making our lives…and I suppose the reverse is also true.”  I think we may strive to understand the full implications of that idea for the rest of our lives, but we have certainly been leaning into the first explorations of the meaning over the last week. 

Some of the ‘art’ we’ve been practicing this week includes: 

·      helping one of the hunters on the ranch clean a deer he harvested from the property: cleaning intestines for sausage casings, cleaning & tanning the pelt, making deer liver mousse for a farmer’s dinner at our staff house, and rendering fat for cooking and preserving

·      planting Kernza on three test plots: in coordination with Mad Agriculture in order to contribute to the larger work of The Land Institute, we’ve piloted the highest altitude test plot of Kernza in the country

·      opened up booking of our first hospitality offering at Sunfire Ranch: the River Cabin Experience is now open for weekend hospitality & cuisine beginning December 1st…we’re already dreaming about our first guests

·      opened up booking for the 2018 wedding season and hosted our first wedding site visit & lunch with a couple planning their wedding for next September

·      built an open-fire pit to begin our cuisine practice on the ranch of only food from the ranch – we’re certainly all benefitting already from the recipe testing

·      Bryan led us in a last-of-harvest three day canning extravaganza…all things tomato & apple that you can imagine that brought our pantry for next season’s menus to almost half full at 150 jars

·      hosted a community screening of Look & See: a Portrait of Wendell Berry in Carbondale – Tony & Bryan set up an outside Thyme Lavender Popcorn & Fennel Spruce Cider station at The Launchpad and we had some lovely sidewalk chats with folks in town before the film began

All of our work – the making of our lives – is a practice of art because it has to do with beauty, with attention to detail, with life-long practice, with relationship with our neighbors, with asking questions about our world, with exploring answers we have yet to answer, and with a creative approach to our land and our craft.  I like the lives we are making.  I am encouraged about the way our art carry powerful potential to transform our selves and our land. 

Sending beauty to you all from the land to the art you live into daily.  

seth o'donovan