Bluestone Farm and Living Arts Center, a ministry of the Episcopal Sisters of the Community of the Holy Spirit, was created in 2003 by turning large lawns into luscious gardens, orchards, and pastures.
At Bluestone Farm, we employ organic methods and base our work on the principles of biodynamic farming and permaculture in our continuing effort to maintain a reciprocal, sustainable, and spiritual relationship with the land. The compass of the Spirit has pointed us to farming, food justice, and education for sustainability. We are participating with Earth and her living systems, believing they are a primary revelation of the Divine. Through our Earth ministry, people learn from the produce fields, orchards, goats, chickens, bees, seeds, trees, soil, and each other. Our ministry focuses on education and healing.
Biodynamics is a farming method based on the interactions between the land and the greater cosmos for enhanced produce and natural harmony.
This method creates an ‘agricultural individuality’ that operates in unique relationship with both its close environment on earth, and its distant one in the cosmos to bring healing to the land and its inhabitants. It functions by creating a closed, self-sustaining energy loop on the farm, making it dependent on itself for its recycled energy sources.
We work towards becoming a fully biodynamic farm by farming according to a cosmic calendar, employing biodynamic pest control and fertilizer preparations, composting, and saving seed. We continuously strive to deepen our understanding of biodynamics for sustainable and life-giving farming practices.
We work with the land twelve months a year, receiving our sustenance, sharing our resources, and giving our thanks. We begin the year sowing seed, tapping sugar maples, and pruning orchards. Winter farming tasks take us through March, when it’s time to begin planting outside. The planting season intensifies until June, when our work shifts to watering, weeding, harvesting, and preserving. Through November, we continue to plant, harvest food, medicine, and seeds, feed our fields, take stock of the year, and feel blessed. December is a month of wrapping up and preparation, and at year’s end, we bury our seed for twelve days, so that the cosmos may enhance the season’s blessings.
We share the land with a small herd of Alpine dairy goats. In the fall, we breed them to ensure continuation of our small family dairy. Springtime at the farm is a season of much hope and anticipation as we await the birth of the kids in March and April. The does are milked twice a day, and provide nourishment for the table, field, and soul.
Our small flock includes a variety of breeds, eggs, and personalities. This diversity is reflected in the eggs that fill the farm market refrigerator, which vary in size and color. The chickens enjoy winter quarters in the old bathhouse, near the goats. In summer, we move them to their summer coop near the Main Field where they enjoy rotational grazing. Their daily feed is supplemented by the weeds we gather from the field, just as our field compost is supplemented by their waste.
Our beekeeping is guided by the belief that we should observe the hive in order to respond to its needs and learn from its wisdom without interfering more than necessary. We do not use any chemicals in the maintenance of the hives, but instead provide the bees with natural defenses against disease. For example, we have planted the antimicrobial herb thyme around the apiary, and include a herbal tea in our feeding solution. Honey is harvested only in limited quantities and when it is abundant. We believe that we can learn from the bees as we care for them, and invite you to join us as we work with our hives.
Farm tours may be arranged for individuals or groups between 10-12 am, Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays. Donations are accepted. Please contact Sharon Bodenschatz, farm manager.
Micro Winery and Commercial Kitchen
A place of gathering, educating and experimenting is our commercial kitchen. Certified and available for rent this space is large and welcoming and fully equipped. For more information please contact ……… Our very own Sister Helena Marie produces unique artisanal wines using the commercial kitchen from wild edibles, fruits, herbs and floral sources directly from the farm. She hopes to include these in the market soon!
We welcome any and all to join us in our work of healing ourselves, one another, and the planet.