Monks, Chickens and Goats

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by TinaG, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. TinaG

    TinaG Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2012
    San Antonio, Texas
    I didn't know exactly where to post this but thought I'd share the website for the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in Wayne, West Virginia.

    http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/

    Holy Cross is an Orthodox mens monastery in the Russian Orthodox Church tradition. They have great photos of their monastery farm including their chickens, Nubian goats, gardens and bees. Go to the link for Photos and scroll down - there are several photo galleries of farm photos through the years. You'll love the gallery Farm 2010 with the chickens - one of the brothers is gathering eggs with the hens jumping out of the nest box.

    (Not a plug for their products but I've used their goats' milk soap and hand lotion and they're wonderful - I'd never tried goats milk products before but am convinced goats milk makes the best hand lotions. Another reason I want goats after I get my chicken coop finished.)

    Like most Orthodox monastic communities, at least the ones I know in the US, a productive farm is an essential part of the monastery, both for use by the monks or nuns and for outside sales of baked goods, soaps, beeswax candles, or even icon painting. In traditional iconography, egg yolks are used as a base for the paints.

    Hope y'all enjoy.
     
  2. TinaG

    TinaG Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2012
    San Antonio, Texas
    Sorry but I got it wrong - the chicken photos are more in the Farm 2012 gallery.
     
  3. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    I had to take a brief respite initially to hum show tunes. After I sang most of the fiddler on the roof tunes I was able to look at the pictures and really enjoyed them! Though in the farm album I feel as though that poor monk watering the garden is being stalked by some vegetation loving predator.

    Their barn is awesome. It looks like they've been really frugal with all their supply choices for the whole garden/barn set up, yet it looks really pleasant. I think that's the hardest part- keeping it from looking like garbage.

    This is great! Thanks for sharing :)

    Eep! And that spotted kid! WANT!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  4. TinaG

    TinaG Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2012
    San Antonio, Texas
    Being Orthodox myself I've been around a few monasteries as a visitor and one thing that always strikes me are the large number of farm animals and pets that the monks and nuns always have. I think animals and pets are a basic human need that reconnects us to the Creator. Most monasteries are also in secluded or country settings, have large kitchen gardens, etc.. Small scale farming is also a part of the spiritual life - the sanctification of time, the controlling of the passions, the return of human life to its pre-fall glory. It's easier to do these things and to find the quietness it takes in an isolated, rural setting. The middle of a busy, noisy city just doesn't help the spiritual life (not that it can't be done, it's just easier).

    I was trying to find photos from a couple of my other favorite monastic farms - Holy Myrrhbearers Convent in Otego, NY. They raise sheep for fiber (a couple of which have their own web pages) and are breaking in a pair of oxen. http://www.holymyrrhbearers.com/farms.html

    The other is a small convent in South Carolina, Saints Mary & Martha, near Wagener. They have a big flock of Runner Ducks for bug control in their organic garden and for the eggs, and also raise bees. http://orthodoxmonastery.com/SS Mary and Martha Monastery 1-2005.htm

    All Orthodox monasteries are strictly vegetarian - monastics never eat meat of any kind except fish a few tims a year and eggs and dairy during non fasting periods which account for about half the days of the year. Everything they produce for their own consumption has to fall within the fasting requirements. That's why you'll never see a monastery raising meat rabbits, etc...
     
  5. theotherranch

    theotherranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 27, 2011
    There's another here in SC, outside of Charleston, Mepkin Abbey, which is Catholic. They used to be big into egg production untill a certain organization that shall be nameless on this site got involved with the "cruelty" to the chickens. It was a bunch of hogwash, but the monks took the high road and now have a thriving mushroom farm growing!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  6. TinaG

    TinaG Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2012
    San Antonio, Texas
    I looked Mepkin Abbey up and it's gorgeous - the landscape is perfect for contemplation. Moncks Corner has a fascinating history in itself; settled as early as 1700 by French Huggenots (Wikipedia and the internet know everything). If that certain organization who-shall-not be-named had hassled me like they did the Mepkin Abbey monks, I'd be tempted to tell 'em to put the eggs where the sun don't shine. But they're more charitable then I am.

    It seems like everyone has a post about their chickens. Here's priest monk Fr. Peter posting about predator problems with his monastery's small flock.
    http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2013/01/difficult-day-on-the-farm.html
     
  7. chickathon

    chickathon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2011
    West Virginia
    I live about 45 minutes south of these guys. They are very nice and always have a smile and a hello for you. I didn't know that they had a web site thanks!
     
  8. theotherranch

    theotherranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    TinaG, the area around Mepkin Abbey is wonderful and beautiful! And while those-who-shall-not-be-named caused a local stink in defense of the monks, they claim to actually be doing better with the mushroom farming, providing the crop to local markets! So all worked out well!
     

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