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Posted November 6, 2011

Book: A Time to Plant: Life lessons in work, prayer, and dirt
Author: Kyle T. Kramer
Sorin Books. Notre Dame, IN. 2010. Pp.173

An Excerpt from the Introduction:

What does it mean to make a home in the world? How does one live a life of integrity and faithful belonging to other people, to Creation, and to God? For most of my adult life, I have been driven by these questions, and my searching has taken me down an unlikely path. In 1999 I bought a rough patch of neglected ground in a rural corner of southwestern Indiana — about an hour from where I was raised and where my mother and stepfather still live — and committed myself to its healing and care. With no prior agricultural experience, by trial and error, I have turned it into a (mostly) working organic farm. With the help of my wife, Cyndi, many friends, and neighbors, and with many smashed dreams and thumbs, I have designed and built an energy-efficient, solar - and wind-powered home on it. More importantly, I have made a commitment not only to a particular place, but to Cyndi and our children, and to the cultivation of a family life that, through all of its ups and downs, is rooted in faith as well as a meaningful connection to the natural world.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The country seemed to be the place, and farming the life, in which the various tensions in me — the mechanic and the poet, the spiritual seeker and the lover of Earth, the pragmatist and the idealist, the task-oriented and the contemplative — had the best chance of reconciling. And if through this life God could help me become more whole, then it would be through this life that I might do whatever healing and hopeful work I could for others and the Creation. A simple vision began to take shape with more and more clarity: living on a small farm; growing healthy food and stewarding the land well; building an energy-efficient, “green” home; and investing myself in the needs and gifts of the local community. I felt a deep conviction that this vision was not only what I imagined for my life, but what God was imagining for it as well: a true vocation to which I was called to be faithful.

Table of Contents:

Part One

1. Coming home

2. Settling in

3. Loneliness and love

4. Building home

Part Two

5. Farming and food

6. Children at play

7. Open house, open heart: hospitality and belonging

8. Simplicity, sacrifice, and the struggle to stay put