Farm Companion Program 2020

The Farm Companion Program offers the rich experience of living the life of farming, prayer, and fellowship alongside a monastic community. Applicants need not be Christian to apply. All are welcome and required to join in our communal worship – two to three times of daily prayer that includes chanting in Plainsong, an ancient Christian practice with roots in Judaism. Worship is held Tuesday through Thursday, and Saturday and Sunday. Friday is a day of silence.

Farm Companions receive experiential farm education focused on either the field or the dairy. Field Farm Companions experience sugaring, chickens, bees, and growing produce from seed to table to seed again, depending on the season. Dairy Farm Companions learn goat care, milking and processing, and possibly kidding (early Spring). Farm activities are on-going throughout the entire year, though they change with the seasons. 

All Farm Companions work Tuesday through Saturday, 6 hours a day, with rotating livestock responsibilities during days off (Sunday and Monday). Farming is a lifestyle of physical labor, learning, and reconnecting with nature. It requires Farm Companions be willing and able to lift and carry up to 50 lbs, work with all weather and creatures, and keep their bodies well-hydrated and nourished.

Farm Companions receive room and board, and are responsible for keeping their personal space clean and orderly, and sharing in the upkeep of common areas. During the work week, Tuesday-Friday, a 1:00pm prepared communal meal is served in the house and on Saturdays 1:00pm brown bag lunches are taken with volunteers. Food items for personal meals will be available.

We require, and it is recommended by previous Farm Companions, to spend a minimum of three months on the farm in order that one may delve deeper into the fullness that is offered. 

Tuition: 

$1200 for 9 months

$1000 for 6 months

$600 for 3 months 

Farm Companions are required to pay a $250 nonrefundable deposit with their signed Acceptance form. The tuition balance is due prior to the start of one’s Farm Companion commitment. Applicants are required to authorize CHS to conduct a background check. Farm Companions who wish to extend their program commitment are required to provide an additional signed Farm Companion Acceptance form.

If you are interested in joining us, please request a Farm Companion Application from Sharon Bodenschatz at sharon@chssisters.org. Please include “Field” or “Dairy” “Farm Companion” in the subject line. Visit our Facebook page for photos and updates about our life on the farm.

Testimonials from previous farm companions: 

“Almost ten years later, I still always say that living at the Nun Farm was the best thing I ever did. You all give voice to and venerate the deeper (often ignored and dismissed) energies at work that connects all of creation. The existence of your ministry and witness are necessary if we’re going to stay grounded and alive through this next iteration of the end of the world.” 

Claire Allison West 

 “It seems that any time I feel I can trust someone with the particular story of Mercy’s birth, and bottle feeding her while Jiffy licked my arms–it seems that sharing that story opens up a kind of magic to new connections. Who knows really? I know I feel this way about many of the things I experienced with the Sisters of CHS at the farm–that somehow those rich spiritual-ecological experiences are still yielding in my life.” “Ecological community can be done. I saw it.” 

Jodi Ballew, farm companion, 2012-2014

“Whether I was harvesting kale, learning how to milk goats, taking care of the cows, making cheese and homemade wine with the Sisters, or celebrating the special Celebration of Life worship ceremony they have designed for the community, Bluestone Farm has provided me and many others with the recovery of what we often forget: that we are deeply and intimately connected to Earth.” 

Christopher Fici, farm companion, 2013

“The ministry at Bluestone begins and ends with a vision of purposeful living through communion with the land, each other and our fellow creatures, and Spirit. At every and any moment visitors and participants are reminded of these related, shared values: during meals, religious offices and meditation, celebrations of seasonal and personal accomplishments, work[ing] with the animals or in the beautiful garden, community meetings, and in the very songs and prayers written by the Sisters themselves.” 

Sarah Ellen Lucas, farm companion, 2013 

“Now, more than ever, the world needs places that wrestle a stent into its crumbling arteries, present a vision of the way the world could be, and give weary travelers the tools they need to build that world.” 

Katie Ferrari, farm companion, 2013 

“Bluestone Farm is unique in today’s world. Vowed religious communities are increasingly rare, and one that is based on a working farm provides a living symbol of dedication to the healing of our Earth and fragmented society. There is much good left to be done by Bluestone Farm, as we watch the burning of rainforests and record temperatures being exceeded around the globe. The more people can experience ‘conversion’ in relationship with living Earth, the greater our chances of slowing or reversing climate change and the decline of the planet’s ecosystems. It’s a change that must come from inside, and that is exactly what Bluestone Farm’s real business is: earth-centered spiritual conversion.” 

Delia Hitz, CHS postulant, 2012 

“I had spent so much time in my head in the previous decades, and learning how to work slowly, carefully, tenderly, with living things helped restore my connection to the physical world around me, to see us all as connected and manifestations of the Spirit. This time of regrounding was greatly enhanced by my exposure to the Sisters’ spiritual practices and theology; praying the offices, singing the seed canticles, learning about the theology of Thomas Berry….–making this a phenomenally important time in my life. I was able to forage a peace with the Christianity I had been raised on, and to see that there were other paths of contemplation and prayer that addressed the planetary perspective that was becoming more and more important as climate change marches on.” 

Dr. Erin Martineau, farm companion, 2009-2011 

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