What better way to spend a lovely spring day than walking around a little piece of Eden?
Jubilee Farm was established in 1999 by the Dominican Sisters in our community as a center for ecology and spirituality.
According to their web site (link HERE), the farm is designed to be “a peaceful destination, a place of integrity, a home to farm animals and wildlife, an educational resource, a demonstration of living in an ecologically responsible way, an oasis for spirituality, a special gift to those who seek solace and spiritual enrichment in nature.”
For Pete and I last weekend, the farm was also a just-plain-magical place to spend a warm sunny Sunday afternoon and snap lots of photos.
While we didn’t even begin to explore all 164 acres of this mini-paradise, we did get to meet some lovely farm animals. The llama and alpaca, below, provide fiber for the Sisters’ weaving and craft classes as well as plenty of friendly hospitality to guests who visit the farm.
In the photo below, we see more than a pretty little pond. Working together with the local university, the Sisters at Jubilee Farm are engaged in a long-term plan to revitalize the farm’s prairie areas, small wetlands and remnant oak savannas.
In the summer and fall, we’ll be able to see several species of native wildflowers in bloom.
Next to the farm’s entrance, we encountered about a dozen chickens, which the Sisters raise for eggs.
These hens came in a variety of beautiful colors and were very friendly, some of them coming up to greet us as we stood at the edge of the fence looking in.
Peering into a greenhouse, below, we could see tables full of herb, vegetable and flower seedlings grown from organic seeds with no chemicals.
The Sisters sell herbs and pollinator-friendly seedlings and engage in study to learn about sustainable agriculture and healthy foods. They also conduct vegetarian cooking classes.
Amiga, a gorgeous and very friendly tortoiseshell cat adopted from a local shelter, introduced herself to us early on.
She followed us everywhere and managed to appear in several of my photos. Of course, a creature as adorable as Amiga can “photobomb” all she wants to! Right?
One of the farm’s more amazing and popular features is an outdoor labyrinth. A labyrinth allows people (and certain creatures) to follow a defined pathway to the center of the circle and back out again, praying and meditating as we go.
For more than three millennia, millions of people have used labyrinths as an aid for prayer. The one at Jubilee Farm is mowed right into the grass, as pictured below.
All along one of the walking trails, we could see raptors silhouetted against the sky. We also found this “Peace Pole,” pictured below, which proclaims its message in six different languages.
Jubilee Farm has three major walking trails, the longest a half mile, and all trails have benches along the route where we can stop, rest and engage in spiritual reflection.
Nature prayer is one of my favorite kinds of prayer, and Jubilee Farm certainly lends itself to the practice. We already know that we will be visiting again and again.