April 10, 2014
Last month, I published a book titled The Land That Calls Me Home. It is the culmination of many years of focused observation and reflection on the loss of small-scale farms and a discovery of the church’s role in their decline and ultimate revival. Small-scale farms are making a comeback and the church is strategic to their success.
The book explores why I care about this topic, but more importantly why the church and people of faith should care. It is written unapologetically from my Christian perspective as a United Methodist pastor and farmer who also knows this project is too big for the church to accomplish alone. It requires networking with secular organizations and people of other faiths and no religious faith. I want us to raise public awareness of the spiritual, nutritional, ecological, and economic reasons for buying locally grown food and the opportunity we have to support the small-scale farmers in our area and beyond.
The audacity of imagining the reversal of a 75-year trend of closing down small-scale farms and replacing them with fewer, large industrialized farms was too incredible to imagine for one major book publisher I approached about the book concept. I have also yet to persuade a Christian book publisher that the work of restoring the viability of small-scale farms is a spiritual enough activity for their readers. I believe the vision is possible and that it is a spiritual matter. Therefore I decided to self-publish the book in March to precede the opening of this year’s farmers markets in May.
The disadvantage of self-publishing is that I do not have media tools at my disposal to effectively spread the word about this book and the importance of the topic it addresses. For that I turn to you for help. I want to market and sell this book to raise awareness of why restoring the number and viability of small scale farms in every locale is important and urgent to the physical and spiritual health of the earth and humankind.
The book is available in paperback and Kindle formats through amazon.com. I also have a number of copies I can sell directly for $12 each. If you have friends who manage bookstores, it would help tremendously if you would ask them to stock and promote the book. I believe the book will be a useful resource for Sunday school classes, mission studies, and other small groups that want to explore the spiritual and economic issues surrounding the food supply and industrial farming’s impact on hunger, ecology, economics, and rural communities.
I am available to consult with any church or organization that wants guidance in creating or supporting markets where local small-scale farmers sell what they grow. You may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell phone at 256-417-5930.
You can help personally by buying the book and reading it and by sharing information about the book on social media or through your email or phone contacts. You may wish to copy and paste in your communication with friends, colleagues, church members, and family these internet links to sites that describe both the book and the need for working to revive small-scale farms:
Please be sure to share with your contacts how you and I are connected and anything you may know or think about the work I am doing. That can help, even if you think I am a little eccentric about it.
I pray that God will bless the earth we inhabit and you by strengthening the connection between those who grow food and those who eat it!
Grace and Peace in Christ,