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Summer is a busy season on Plowshares Farm. Gardens are in full swing, requiring ongoing weeding and near daily harvesting. The cattle and sheep are out on pasture and rotated to new grass every other day or so. Chickens require daily care, and Bertie, the newest Jersey calf, is still getting her twice-daily milk meals along with free-choice hay and plenty of fresh water. Then there’s milking and egg-collecting to boot. And, of course, there are ongoing projects, maintenance and repair, mowing . . . the list goes on.

In a normal year, summer also includes retreats, farm immersions, and educational programs. But this year is far from normal, and none of that activity is happening. So it’s a perfect time for us to make some serious upgrades to the facilities, taking on projects we would not have the opportunity to complete if we were engaged with groups.

One such upgrade was just completed, and it has us dancing! A four-man Amish crew arrived here on Monday, and by Wednesday afternoon, our barn had a fresh new face. We had The Barn Doctors rebuild both the front and back walls of the barn which were sadly deteriorating due to the effects of aging, weathering, and termites. They also made some simple upgrades inside which expanded the space we have for group gatherings there.

Since these were repairs made to farm facilities, Plowshares Farm Center for Education and Spirituality did not foot the bill. This was purely an Ernst family farm expense. But, the upgraded facilities will offer a beautiful new gathering space for groups who will come to see us in the future. We look forward to the new day when we can welcome such groups once again!