Latest News from the Farm

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


posted Dec 5, 2016, 5:44 PM by Carmina Chapp   [ updated Dec 5, 2016, 5:47 PM ]

So much activity this fall - on and off the farm.  

We had a wonderful visit with Heaven and Simon in September, who took the bus up from Philadelphia to see us. We returned the favor in November for Simon’s 6th birthday pa
rty. He still loves his chocolate cake!

After losing much of our produce to the drought, we decided that we will be building raised beds closer to the house next spring to grow our crops. Our good friend Tim Cloak prepared the upper field for seeding our new pasture for the sheep. 

Many thanks to our friend Ruth for taking care of the animals so
we could take a road trip out to Lincoln to see Larry’s family (and go to the Nebraska-Oregon game - Go Huskers!). We even stopped in at Notre Dame on the way. Love praying at the Grotto. 

Adriana and her Prayer Shawl Ministry from St Theresa’s in Shavertown spent an afternoon with us learning how to turn fleece into yarn. A wonderful day of friends and family. 

Misericordia University keeps sending us wonderful groups of
students to help us out. On October 30, a group came to help process the wool. They washed, picked, and carded fleece from Fern, Ivy, and Missy. It was a great day! On December 4, the swim team came out to do some work on the greenhouse and move huge loads of firewood. Go Cougars!

Our chickens have outgrown their coop, so we built them a new one.  Many thanks to Hank, Tim and Gene for all their help.

Please send us your prayer intentions - they are included in our Morning Prayer everyday.

Blessed Advent to all our friends and family. Come, Lord Jesus!

A Hot, Hectic Summer

posted Aug 30, 2016, 4:52 PM by Carmina Chapp   [ updated Aug 30, 2016, 4:54 PM ]

It's been a hot, hectic summer! After the drought was over, the rain brought us a decent crop of green beans and sugar snap peas. Farmer Larry experimented with some canning, but decided freezing was better in the long run. Most of the green beans went to a parish in Scranton and the local food pantry. 

We have two seniors from Lake-Lehman High School doing their Senior Projects on the farm. Beth has been very productive in the wool category, having washed, picked, carded, spun and dyed her very own skein of yarn. Congratulations, Beth!

Beth and her classmate Savanah have been a great help in the field as well, weeding and harvesting the potato crop, which we sent to Scranton and New York City.

A visit from family was a lot of fun. Joan met her namesake ewe, and the boys helped harvest some beans and peas. 

For the second year in a row, Misericordia University freshman came for a Day of Service as part of their orientation. They did a fantastic job of clearing out the field - and had some fun with the sheep!

Many thanks for all the prayers and support for our work. Send us your prayer intentions. We will continue to pray for each other. 

Time to Weed!

posted Jun 25, 2016, 4:57 PM by Carmina Chapp   [ updated Jun 25, 2016, 4:58 PM ]

Actually, with the little rain have had, the weeds have not been too bad. And many hands make light work. Many thanks to Joshua and Christine and their wonderful children for coming all the way up from Bethlehem to help us out, and to neighbors Paul and Kristin for bringing half of their clan, as well. Tomato plants are staked up. We seem to be all caught up. Everything is growing, though slowly (more prayers for rain requested). The crows seem to like the corn, so we will most likely lose a lot of that crop.

Mia returned to the farm to dye more wool - this time magenta pink and a jade green. We’ve also been experimenting with some natural dyes - alkanet (purple), turmeric (yellow), and avocado pits (beige). Black beans also made shades of light purple and green. We are growing a large amount of black beans in the field - lots of purple hats in our future!

Send us your prayer intentions - and please continue to pray for us.

Rain, rain go away… come back!

posted Jun 11, 2016, 4:50 PM by Carmina Chapp

The weather has certainly not cooperated this spring  - our planting has been delayed over and over by rain. We finally finished today with the help of some wonderful volunteers - Anja, Tom, Kate, Patrick, Beth, Savanah, and Anthony. Now we need rain! Forecasted thunderstorms never appeared, and not a drop of rain in the forecast. Prayers, please!

With Mia’s help, we dyed some wool - a beautiful cornflower blue. Looking forward to seeing how it spins up.

The lambs are growing so fast. It is amazing to see. 

Please send us your prayer intentions. We will remember them in our Morning Prayer.

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