Latest News from the Farm

A Busy Fall

posted Nov 6, 2018, 6:00 PM by Carmina Chapp   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 6:02 PM ]

Lots going on this fall on the farm! Brown Eggs Yarn, the hand-spun yarn shop that Carmina has been helping her friend Annette start up, had a booth at the Lehigh Valley Fiber Festival in September. It was a great event and the duo learned a lot about small business and the hand-spun yarn market. 

Campus Ministry from Kings College in Wilkes-Barre sent a group of students up to the farm for a work/retreat day. They built a fence and prepared fleece for washing, then took turns in small groups to pray Daytime Prayer in the chapel before lunch. Thank you Rev. Jarrod Waugh, CSC, Rev. Brendan McAleer, CSC, and Emma Gallagher for an awesome day! 

Misericordia University students continue their dedication to the work of the farm, making regular Saturday morning visits to do whatever needs to be done. Recently, they moved the pig pen across the pasture and washed, picked and carded fleece. 

Luke has been a great leader this year, and we are grateful for everyone's hard work and good company.

And Leo is always a hit!

Larry put his pig roaster to work for an Oktoberfest party at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Lake Silkworth, fulfilling a promise he made to the pastor Fr. Alex Roche, who is also the chaplain at Misericordia University. One of Larry's hopes in getting the pig roaster was 
to help churches build community with such events. The parish came out in full force to celebrate. 

We are happy to report that the Roasted Pork Dinner held at St. Therese Church in Shavertown was a huge success! The hard work of the committee was truly blessed. They raised almost $5000 for the farm, and everyone had a fun time. Many, many thanks to the Stewardship Committee and the Social Justice Committee, and especially to Tom Mosca, Terri Besecker - you are all so inspiring! 

With the funding from St. Therese's and our GoatFundMe page, we are now exploring the purchase of a pavilion for the backyard where we will be able to hold meetings and workshops next summer. Our aim is to have regularly held meetings - roundtable discussions for the clarification of thought, as Peter Maurin would say, and workshops on various homesteading skills, such as canning, soap making, and, of course, spinning! Our dream is to become the agronomic university that Peter Maurin envisioned for the Catholic Worker farms.

Larry is keeping busy teaching two days a week at DeSales and doing some writing in the blogosphere. Rod Dreher, of The Benedict Option fame, posted one of his pieces here, and recently invited Larry to write a guest post about the farm. You can find that here.  Larry will continue to teach next semester, when he will be teaching a course on Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin called The Catholic Radicals. 

Send us your prayer intentions. Let us pray for each other, and especially for Julia and Ian, who created our GoatFundMe Page, as they prepare for their nuptials on December 8. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

Blessed with friends who want to help

posted Oct 2, 2018, 6:17 PM by Carmina Chapp

We have been blessed with many friends who believe in our mission and want to help us grow.  We are overwhelmed by their generosity of time and effort. 

The Social Justice and Stewardship Committees of St Therese's Parish in Shavertown, PA, is hosting a Roasted Pork Dinner on Sunday, October 21 from 2:00 - 6:00 P.M. to raise funds for the farm. Tickets are $15.00 and must be purchased in advance. Checks should be made payable to St. Therese's Church. Call us here at the farm or Terri at St. Therese's (570-696-1144) for tickets. Larry and Carmina will speak about the farm, and Carmina will bring her spinning wheel!

A former student of Larry's set up a campaign for us on GoFundMe - and called it Goat Fund Me! We thought that was awesome! She did a great job explaining what we are trying to do and where we would like to go. Please visit the page and learn about our hopes and dreams for the future of the farm.

Send us your prayer intentions. Let us pray for each other, everyday.

End of Summer Blues

posted Sep 11, 2018, 4:33 PM by Carmina Chapp

Summer has come and gone. In spite of the extraordinarily wet weather, we managed to grow a few vegetables for the local food pantry in Lake-Lehman Township. Many thanks to Willow Haven Farm of New Tripoli, PA, for once again donating plants - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, melons, cucumbers, and cabbage., and to the Ide family for picking up and delivering the goods.  

Her shearing class has paid off - Carmina sheared three of our five sheep this year! It was a very edifying experience, even if she had to call in our sheep shearer Roger to finish the herd. Thanks, Maggie and Glenn Willis for being there to help out.

St. Therese's in Shavertown, PA, once again included us in their annual Spirit of Service Day. The crew did a fabulous job with the raised beds.  And little Lily even learned how to milk our goat Jitterbug. She was soooo excited! 

These good people of St. Therese’s have offered to throw a fundraising dinner for us at the church. We are overwhelmed by their generosity. The committee has been working hard planning the event. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time (no sales at the door) through the farm or through the parish. Email us at, or call Terry at 570-696-1144.

It was a great summer for dyeing!  Carmina’s sister gave the farm bulk amounts of food coloring that worked well with the wool, and the goldenrod in the backyard did not disappoint. 

In the Distributist spirit of the Catholic Worker, Carmina has been helping her friend Annette start a hand-spun yarn business. Brown Eggs Yarn has just opened up on Etsy! Look for them at the Lehigh Valley Fiber Festival, Sept. 29-30. 

Once again, Misericordia University sent their freshmen out during orientation. What a crew! Tasks included painting the greenhouse and preparing the raised beds for winter. This annual event has become the highlight of our year. Go Cougars!

Fall is now upon us, and Larry was asked to teach a course at DeSales. He is traveling down Tuesdays and Thursdays. To our friends in the Lehigh Valley, say “Hi” if you see him on campus!

Send us your prayer intentions, and we will include them in our Morning Prayer. Let’s continue to pray for each other.

A Milestone for the Farm

posted May 4, 2018, 3:30 PM by Carmina Chapp   [ updated May 4, 2018, 3:31 PM ]

In April, the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm celebrated its fifth anniversary. It is hard to believe it has been five years. So much has happened - lessons learned, friends made, sheep sheared. We have made a lot of mistakes, but little and by little we are making our way. When we first started the farm, we expected our primary mission to be growing organic food and producing wool products for the poor. While we do those things, what we have discovered is that our main mission is to witness to our Benedictine Spirituality of “ora et labora” and life on the land. Having an “open farm” policy allows anyone to participate in the work of the farm, either to help us serve the poor, to grow their own food, or to learn homesteading skills.  We have met a lot of amazing people who have been inspired to try to live more simply.  May 1 marked the 85th anniversary of the Catholic Worker Movement. Let’s hope we are around to celebrate its 100th!

We have had an eventful lambing and kidding season this year.  Ten lambs and three kid goats, with three bottle-fed mouths to feed. All are thriving. It is so much fun to watch them jump around and play.

Misericordia University students wrapped up their year of volunteering by turning over the winter cover crop in the raised beds to prepare them for planting. It was a fantastic year with these students. Many thanks and blessings to leaders Michael and Sarah as they graduate - though they’ve promised to return to the farm to help out when they can.  We have been assured that the group will return next year with new leadership. This has been a fun and fruitful collaboration.

We were honored to receive the David Frey Community Service for Peace Award from the Peace and Justice Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Thank you to Linda Pulchalski, a member of the Steering Committee and volunteer from St Therese’s Parish, for nominating us and presenting the award. We were quite surprised and feel very blessed.

We are looking forward to a busy summer. Let us know if you’d like to be busy with us. Send us your prayer intentions - we include them in our Morning Prayer everyday. 

Volunteers and visitors

posted Feb 9, 2018, 8:39 AM by Carmina Chapp

Two snowstorms have delayed some of our winter projects, but students from Misericordia University continue to volunteer, this time helping with some farm chores and prep for the rebuilding of the greenhouse, as well as some picking and carding of wool. They are becoming a regular fixture here at the farm.

We had a nice visit with a deacon and a seminarian for the Congregation of Holy Cross (C.S.C.), the first stationed at our local Kings College, the other visiting. We gave them a tour of the farm and had a wonderful “clarification of thought” as we explained our mission. They were sent home with a bag of handmade hats and mittens to distribute at the soup kitchen in Wilkes-Barre and an open invitation to return. 

Larry has updated his blog. You can enjoy it here, or in the sidebar. 

Please send us your prayer intentions, which we include in our Morning Prayer each day. Let us pray for one another!

Settling in for a cold winter

posted Jan 17, 2018, 5:14 PM by Carmina Chapp

Fall has come and gone, and we are in the midst of a cold winter. The highlight of
our autumn was Larry and Carmina making their Final Oblation at Transfiguration Monastery in Windsor, NY, officially becoming Oblates of St. Benedict. One of the sisters, Sr. Donald Corcoran, OSB, lived with Dorothy Day while studying at Fordham. Dorothy was so happy to have a companion who shared her Benedictine spirituality. Sr. Donald has been interviewed for Dorothy's canonization process, something we pray for everyday at Morning Prayer. The monastery is a beautiful community with a small retreat house, a perfect place to get away for some quiet time with God. Please support the sisters. 

With a sad heart, we report that Carmina lost her father to leukemia last month. Henry Magnusen went home to Our Lord on December 13, the Feast of St. Lucy. He had a very strong devotion to the souls in purgatory and encouraged everyone to pray the St. Gertrude Prayer. Please pray for his soul, so he may join his friends in heaven.

Last March, our greenhouse collapsed during the blizzard. With the help of our friend Gene, we have begun rebuilding it and hope to start planting in March. Carmina is happy to have a place to dry her wool again!

Downtime in winter gave Larry a chance to do a little writing. With our five year anniversary looming this spring, he decided to sit down and try to articulate the philosophical and theological roots of our mission here on the farm. There has been a lot of talk about the "Benedict Option" these days, but we prefer the "Maurin Mandate", the Christian vocation that is not at all optional. You can read his essay here.

As we discern the future of the farm in light of Larry's reflections, we will be posting our plans, and our needs in fulfilling those plans. We welcome everyone to participate in our mission in a variety of ways - from volunteering to getting dairy goats (again!) to supplying some sheep feed! We are grateful for the friends we have made through our life on the farm. 

Everything Is Growing

posted Aug 7, 2017, 4:30 PM by Carmina Chapp

It has been quite a productive summer so far. The lambs are growing (and are developing beautiful fleeces!) and the harvest has been bountiful. We have made several
trips to Scranton to distribute lettuce, peppers, cabbage, broccoli and eggplant. Egg production is down since the fox got to a lot of our chickens - we are down to only 7 layers. Never fear - Farmer Larry and  Farmhand Hank have secured the perimeter, and we will be getting more chickens soon!

Friends Annie and Judy came by to help do some wool washing. We are always grateful for the help. 

Carmina has been having fun with her wool, playing around with some dyeing, both commercial and natural. She recently experimented with using the goldenrod that grows in the backyard. The result - a bold, bright yellow! 

Carmina will be leading a mid-week retreat September 26-28 at the Malvern Retreat House in Malvern, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. The theme is Faith, Spirituality, Hospitality, and a Love for the Land, and it will focus on a Benedictine spirituality for lay people. She is bringing her wool, so be ready to spin (or at least pick and card!). We will also discuss urban gardening and other ways to live the Benedictine life in our contemporary world. 

Peace to all our friends! Pray for us, as we do for you. Send us your prayer intentions - we include them in Morning Prayer everyday. 

Welcome Summer

posted Jul 5, 2017, 11:53 AM by Carmina Chapp   [ updated Jul 5, 2017, 1:23 PM ]

The farm was a muddy mess after the blizzard meltdown and several days of rain. Then, a very rainy spring put a damper on the planting season, but with the help of a lots of friends, we were able to get everything done. 

We are very grateful to the Misericordia students who came to build our new raised beds, the youth group from St. Thomas More Parish in Scranton who helped with the planting, and volunteers from St. Theresa’s in Shavertown who mulched for us. Farmer Larry and Farm Hand Hank have managed to maintain the beds with weeding and pruning, including staking up the tomatoes. We are looking forward to a bountiful harvest.

Lambing season was exciting, as usual - 11 lambs born to five ewes, with Fern giving us triplets! Missy had a difficult birth, so we think this is the last time we will breed her. She is a keeper, though - her fleece is great!

We had a great day with the group from St. Theresa’s. who included us in the Spirit of Service Day. In addition to mulching the raised beds, they washed Missy’s recently sheared raw fleece, and picked and carded Ivy’s fleece from last year - a huge help. 

Always happy to help the canonization cause of Dorothy Day, Carmina contributed to the Dorothy Day Guild newsletter. Find her article on p. 16 of the recent issue.

Summer tasks include maintaining the raised beds and a few painting projects. We are also hoping to plant a flower garden out front to bring some beauty to the farm, something Dorothy knew would “save the world”.  If anyone is interested in helping out with labor or flowers, contact Farmer Larry at

Please pray for us, as we do for you everyday. Send us your prayer intentions to be included in our daily Morning Prayer.

Winter comes late

posted Mar 17, 2017, 6:04 AM by Carmina Chapp   [ updated Mar 17, 2017, 6:05 AM ]

Well, we are digging out from under 30 inches of snow at the farm. After a rather mild January and February, March has definitely come in like a lion!

Only one casualty of the storm - the roof of the greenhouse collapsed.  Thankfully, no one was inside when it happened. God is good.

In January, Carmina and her friend Annette spent a Saturday with the local Frontier Girls troop helping them earn their Spinning Badge.  

They learned how to pick wool, use hand carders and a drum carder, and spin on both a wheel and a drop spindle.  The girls did a terrific job!

The farm has a new farm dog, Leo the Border Collie! We obtained him from a rescue in New York. He was already named Leo, and we thought it was appropriate to keep the name, as Pope Leo XIII was a favorite of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. Leo loves to herd the sheep - it is remarkable how his instinct just kicked in. 

Lambing season is right around the corner in mid-April. Pray the snow is melted by then!

We are looking forward to spring and to building our new raised beds to plant our crops. The raised beds will make it easier to water and to control the quality of the soil. We keep learning!

Please send us your prayer intentions. We include them in our Morning Prayer intercessions every day.

Peace to all our friends of the farm.

For Unto Us, A Child Is Born

posted Dec 25, 2016, 2:57 PM by Carmina Chapp

© 2012 Shelly ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Merry Christmas 

from the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm

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