A day in the life of a livestock intern

Goats on fresh pasture

One thing I love about living here on the farm is that each day is so different and I'm learning new things all the time. Still, I'm learning a kind of daily rhythm. Here is a typical "day-in-the-life" from this week: 6:00 Good morning! We're still settling into a schedule here but usually get up between 5:30 and 6:30. Sometimes I try to get breakfast going or clean up a little. Other days I'll read or just sit around with the kids who get up early. 6:55 Joined the mad rush for breakfast. All of the interns end up in the communal kitchen to grab toast, oatmeal, or a few eggs so we can take our breakfast to: 7:00 Devotions - Every morning all of the interns meet for a short time of … [Read more...]

New Roots

Goats running around.

We made it! We've been at the farm for a few weeks now so I thought I'd give a little update on what we've been up to and what it's like here.   So the farm is 40 acres and its primary purpose is educational. Part of that involves teaching people about agriculture and poverty issues. Another part is the internship program (that's me!). Interns live here for a year and take on one of the farm enterprises. Some interns work with school garden programs. Some interns manage our one acre garden. And some are in charge of livestock (that's me again!). Right now we have chickens, goats, sheep, rabbits, pigs, and cows. The chickens are mostly for eggs. The goats are milked … [Read more...]

The End of the Road

The grand total

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” - JRR Tolkien On to Sequoia! While the TALLEST trees in the world are the redwoods along the California coast, the BIGGEST trees in the world by volume grow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. So that's where we went. We spent two nights at Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks (the two are right next to each other and are jointly administered). We saw lots of really cool wildlife including fearless deer, black bears, and fighting tarantulas. And, of course, the largest living thing on earth: General Sherman. Next we drove … [Read more...]

Into the West

Loves at Crater Lake National Park.

The first part of our trip was planned out with more detail than the later weeks. Mostly this was because we knew things would start to come up as the miles added up and we didn't want to be locked into reservations we couldn't keep. And, sure enough, as soon as I published the last trip update, we ended up having to stay an extra night at our hotel because Benjamin got sick. But he perked up and we were on our way. Driving through Wyoming was so interesting. I loved the plains and was fascinated as the mountains rose up and changed from tan to red to the deep blue-grey of the Tetons, our first stop. We stayed there for one night and then went on to Yellowstone. There is just so … [Read more...]

The Road North

View from Clingman's dome in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

So, most of you probably know that our family sold our house and are moving to Texas and that we're taking an around the country road trip on the way there. We're three weeks into the trip now and so far it's been great. Busy though! So I haven't had time to write about it. If you want to follow along, I post on instagram regularly @danielbearman. You can also follow the hashtag #crosscountrycarrots We drove up to visit a friend in Atlanta and then went to Great Smoky Mountains where we tested out camping as a family. Next we stayed for a while in Beech Mountain, North Carolina where Haley's family has a reunion every year. After that was Mammoth Cave National Park, … [Read more...]

Benedict Option B


So a lot of Catholic internet folks have been talking about the Benedict Option. Like seriously everybody is talking about this. I’ve got my own thoughts on it but I’m not going to share those yet. Instead, I’m going to talk about a different Benedict. When I first heard the term “Benedict Option,” I thought it was about Pope Benedict XVI. And I thought we were just going to try to save Western Civilization through a revitalization of Catholic Liturgy. IKR?! The "real" Benedict Option is definitely something different though. Still! That doesn't mean my first idea was bad! So, I’m going to propose “Benedict Option B.” All you gotta do for this one is read Pope Benedict. Read … [Read more...]

Selling your house to pursue… milk goats


By now, most of you have probably heard the news via my wife’s blog. But I thought I’d go ahead and share things from my perspective. For about 5 years, I’ve worked at a software company. It hasn’t been THAT bad. The hours are somewhat flexible. The office is close enough to our house that I can bike. The people are nice. The coffee is better than it used to be. I’m thankful I’ve been able to work here. But it certainly isn’t what I want to do forever. The work isn’t rewarding or satisfying. Of course, when you have a family, the criteria of “Is this job rewarding?” falls somewhere below “Can you afford to pay your mortgage?” and “Can you feed your children?” So I kept working here. I … [Read more...]

Bagpipes, sainthood, and other passing interests

I bet this dude's sporran is FILLED with ladies' numbers.

Sometime in highschool, I started to think I might like to play the bagpipes. I became interested in my “Scottish Heritage” and got pretty into the highland games and festival. Seeing the pipers in their regalia, filling the air with what was surely the heartsong of my people, how could I not be drawn to this instrument? I imagined myself, clad in my clan’s tartan, cheeks puffed out, wooing the lasses with an ancient dirge! Like you do. For a few weeks, I browsed every bagpipe selling website and looked into lessons. And that’s about as far as I got. The vision was fleeting. Sure, it’d be kind of cool if I could play the bagpipes. I still think that. But it isn’t something I want to turn … [Read more...]

The night is dark and full of caricatures: religion, hypocrisy, and authenticity in Game of Thrones

Sept of the Faith of the Seven

When people ask why I read George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, I first mention the complexity and subtlety of both his imagined world and his ever growing cast of characters. The history of Westeros stretches back thousands of years and involves the clash and mingling of multiple cultures, complicated political machinations, and a dizzying number of multifaceted conflicts. Additionally, the characters sprung from these cultures and conflicts are often nuanced and driven by complex motives and desires. Unfortunately, all of this nuance and complexity falls to nothing when Martin describes religion. The problem for Martin is not the number of religions. He gives us the Old … [Read more...]

A Guide to Jane Austen for Men Who Don’t Think They Like Jane Austen

Bow Down.

When it comes to books and movies, there’s plenty of room for different tastes in our wide world. And I’m not the kind of guy who will usually argue with someone who didn’t enjoy a book or movie I happen to like. Even if it’s something I REALLY like. Had a hard time getting into Beowulf? I understand. Maybe try the Seamus Heaney translation? Didn’t care for Star Wars? You know, I see how it’s not everyone’s thing. Don’t enjoy zombie movies? Well. Ok. But there are some exceptions to this. And one of those is Jane Austen. I don’t think everyone should read Austen just because she’s an important literary figure and her words are classics. There are plenty of classics that I’ve read, … [Read more...]