Water From the Well
Fall Newsletter 2016
We celebrate our first anniversary as Wellsprings Farm with gratitude as the dominant emotion. There have been many other emotions along the way, as we, the land and all connected to this beautiful place have experienced this year of transition. Yet gratitude anchors itself in our hearts like the roots of the prairie, bringing stability and beauty.
We hold and honor the care and spirit that was poured over and into this land by the Franciscan Sisters, whose ministry this farm was for 27 years. And we hold and honor those who came earlier, the two legged ones who farmed and hunted this land and the four legged ones, winged ones and scaled ones that were here long before that. Individuals alight on this land for a time but the land stays constant and faithful, teeming with life, diversity and insights, if we have the eyes to see.
Everything is an unfolding here, from the first leaves in spring to the model of a Community Supported Retreat (CSR) Farm. And now in this season of fall, there is the slow unfolding of colors and the abundance of the harvest. On the land there are no clear messages of "this is how things should go" or "this is what must be done." Instead there is a divine voice inviting us to listen with openness and attentiveness to ourselves, one another and Earth.
Can we take the time to listen? Can we find the space to allow the wellsprings of love, joy, creativity, peace, and healing within to rise up and flow in us and through us?
Wellsprings Farm is an experiment of Spirit and it will continue to evolve. But at the heart of this sacred place is the quiet, grounding yet expansive Love that holds us all. It is the beauty of the prairie flowers, the song of the birds, the sparkle off the water, the shade of the trees, the gentleness of the breeze and the warmth of the sun that brings us to our truest self. I think, as the poet Hafiz says so beautifully, that the divine heart alive in the natural world longs to ‘show you the astonishing light of your own being.’
We hope that you can glimpse this grace on the farm and in other areas of your life.
Let it be so. -- Joan Pauly Schneider
Voices of Earth
Expression and Inspiration from our Beautiful Planet
A reminder of how putting ourselves in nature can simultaneously and paradoxically both connect and free us.
Sometimes, out of nowhere, it comes back,
that night when, driving home from the city,
having left the nearest streetlight miles behind us,
we lost our way on the back country roads
and found, when we slowed down to read a road sign,
a field alive with the blinking of fireflies,
and we got out and stood there in the darkness,
amazed at their numbers, their scattered sparks
igniting silently in a randomness
that somehow added up to a marvel
both earthly and celestial, the sky
brought down to earth, and brought to life,
a sublunar starscape whose shifting constellations
were a small gift of unexpected astonishment,
luminous signalings leading us away
from thoughts of where we were going
or coming from, the cares that often drive us
relentlessly onward and blind us
to such flickering intervals when moments
are released from their rigid sequence
and burn like airborne embers, floating free.
"Interval" by Jeffrey Harrison, from Feeding the Fire. © Sarabande Books, 2001.
Membership and Guest News
New Tiered Membership Packages
Community Supported Retreat (CSR) Memberships 2016-2017
We offer these new tiered membership packages to better meet the
interests/needs/requests of our members as well as our expenses.
We invite you to join us as a CSR Member!
The CSR Membership year is from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017.
We are offering three options:
1. Full Membership, 20 stay units: $900
2. Half Membership, 10 stay units: $500
3. Quarter Membership, 5 stay units: $275
Highlights of CSR Membership:
CSR Members are invited to be part of the mission of the farm: Fostering healing, education and connection for self, community and Earth.
CSR members are invited to be part of a listening community, attend events at the farm and quarterly CSR gatherings.
CSR Members are able to reserve space up to a year ahead in the membership year.
CSR Members can have up to two people stay in the same hermitage for just one overnight unit. Three or more people require another unit.
CSR Members are able to reserve the whole farm for retreats, programs and small groups using a minimum of six units, with more units being used depending on the number of additional people.
Click here for further information contained in the CSR Invitation and Agreement .
Other guests (non-members) are still welcome to stay at Wellsprings Farm and can reserve up to two months ahead. The cost for overnight stay for non-members is $65 with $30 for each additional person in the same hermitage. Click here for further information.
Life on the Farm
A year after taking over the farm it is confirmed that there is significant life on the farm, both wild and domestic. On the domestic side, Cosmos and Sunny, our two adopted farm cats, continue to be the most photographed members of the family. They are adapting to life in the garage but still occasionally attempt to sneak into the porch where they have fond memories of passive solar heat. Hopefully they know they are well loved despite the allergic friends and family.
Both the chickens and guineas are having a difficult time pulling off a successful brood of young. Attempts to raise their young outside of the security of the barn has not worked out well for them. Luckily, the two roosters and the male guineas are still interested in trying to pass on their genes and produce offspring so we hold onto hope that our bird population will grow and get younger.
The farm garden is producing lots of home grown food for us. We have been blest with regular rain and warm sun for growing. We have been harvesting lettuce, kale, spinach, arugula, kohlrabi, peas, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and beans. Up the hill in the orchard is another story. A massive outbreak of red cedar fungus has resulted in a not so pretty crop of apples and pears. From bumper crop last year to bummer crop this year.
We and our guests share this beautiful piece of property with a number of wild populations of all kinds. My bird list is growing and our feeders have provided lots of viewing pleasure, especially of the hummingbirds who take regular turns at the sugar water stations. Thus far we have seen families of barn swallows, tree swallows, bluebirds, blue jays, house wrens and wild turkeys. It appears they are having more success than our chickens at raising families. We have seen ducks, swans, hawks and egrets near the pond. We even saw a shy barred owl.
Where: Wellsprings Farm Wellness Center
When: Four Thursday morning sessions 8:30-10am
September 29, October 6, 13, 27 (off 20th for MEA)
Four Sessions, 90 minutes each, $39 for the course
Class size is limited to ten participants. No previous experience needed. You need not attend all four sessions or sit in the lotus position to receive great value. Comfy seating for all!
To register, email Elizabeth at or call 320-980-0437.
Follow Elizabeth's blog at yogaexpressionspirit.wordpress.com.
Join certified yoga instructor and trained meditation coach, Elizabeth Cabalka, for this four week session Mindfulness and Meditation program designed to provide an understanding of, and experience with, various forms of Mindfulness & Meditation. This course is designed for all ages and you need not have any previous experience to participate.
During these four sessions participants will receive information about the profound physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of Mindfulness & Meditation. Perhaps more importantly, participants will experience various forms of Meditation and Mindfulness designed to support well-being in their daily life.
Upcoming Programs and Events
Unplug & Tune In for Your Well-Being:
Four Week Study of Meditation and Mindfulness
Members and Guests Reflect on their Time at the Farm
The birds sing as the wind dances through the leaves…
Sunshine illuminates the lush greens,
while at same time casting cool shadows of relief.
The song and dance of nature heightens my senses,
filling my soul with peace and contentment.
It is difficult to express and capture in words the essence of The Fields at Wellsprings Farm, formerly known as Clare’s Well. It is clearly divine and sacred space that the former and current owners are gifted enough to understand. (Blessed be~ Big thank you to them...) I have a deep and eternal sense of gratitude and respect for all those who have been involved in keeping this healing space available. I have personally and professionally experienced, and witnessed, the effects of those who have been blessed to have visited here. It is nothing less than profound. It doesn’t matter whether one has been here for minutes or days. It has literally changed my life, and therefore those around me, and continues to.
*Thank you God for the guidance, space and time we have had here. Thank you for the loving keepers who have cared for Mother Earth and her abundant, loving arms. May we feed and care for her as she has us. May we give to you as you have us, so that we may profoundly, positively affect and heal this world and those who inhabit it. May faith, love and peace prevail.~
-- Sincerely, Kathy Herzog, MA; mother, psychotherapist and certified life coach.
The beauty and whisper of the breezes,
the cows companioning me as I ate my meals on the porch,
the deer meandering by my window in the early morning,
and the constant orchestra of bird song,
the place of deep rest, lavish naps and a slow pace.
The time floating in the refreshing pond,
the many labyrinth walks
all a journey to deep awareness and trust,
the sunlight and spectacular views,
the nourishment of the tenderly tended Wellness Center and Library
…and all is good!