"You give them something to eat" – Jesus of Nazareth
Thursday, August 23
Welcome. That is a word we all desire to hear. When we walk into someone’s home for the first time, one of our first impressions is whether or not we feel welcome in the space. Do I feel safe here? Is this a space where I feel wanted? On 5 Loaves Farm we desire to create a space where all feel welcome. We strive to host an environment where people feel that they can come, enjoy the space, and be surrounded by good food and good people.
One of our expressions of this posture of welcoming is through the Farmhouse. Our vision for the Farmhouse is to create a space that is available to our neighbors and the wider Westside and Buffalo communities to be used in a multitude of different ways. Currently, the building is being used for multiple purposes; neighbor’s birthday parties, church small groups, community organizations’ meeting space, cooking classes, flower bouquet classes, work-readiness classes, yoga, and an ice cream window are all activities that take place here. It has been a joy for me to encounter the number of people who have used the space and the way that the house has been perfect for each of their needs. One of my desires for the Farmhouse, and the farm as a whole, is to create a space where people can encounter one another. This can look like pulling weeds together on a Saturday volunteer day, eating ice cream with a neighbor on a Friday evening, or staying and chatting for a bit during CSA pick-up. We want all to feel welcome and all to feel connected.
Our ethnic specialty garden has been another key area where we are connecting to neighbors and encouraging them to feel welcome on the farm. Through growing specific crops from Burma, Thailand, and East Africa, we are helping our neighbors reconnect with a piece of their past and hopefully feel connected to this place where it is now growing. Last week, after buying a multitude of our Asian cucumbers, one lady from Thailand thanked me for growing them because they helped remind her of her home. If the garden can play a role in helping her and her family/ friends feel a little more welcome here, making this feel a little more like home, then to me that garden is fulfilling its purpose.
My invitation to you is that you too feel welcome here. That you feel that 5 Loaves Farm is a place where you can both work and rest. Where you can find ways to connect with the earth, with the Creator, and with your neighbors. Where you can feel at peace.