St. Joseph’s Farm is first and foremost the homestead of Jason and Katie Craig and their children. It is currently made up of their 12-acre farm and approximately 30 acres of leased land, which is on the Green River and has “the lodge” where guests usually stay. Most of the other instructors working with SJF live and work in the area, and some SJF programs take place on their homesteads too.
The original idea began when the Craig’s were sitting down to breakfast in a small apartment in Denver, CO. Jason was studying Catholic culture in graduate school under Dr. Jared Staudt and was stirred by the Church’s teaching on man’s connectivity to the land and the truth of human economy, which is the good of the family. Jason was holding baby Peter, their second son, while they discussed living a more integrated and simple life that helped their family flourish.
“Well, where do you see us in five years?” Katie asked.
“On a farm,” Jason said, looking at Peter. “This boy needs a farm.”
After that conversation the journey began, and Jason and Katie moved back to their home state of North Carolina with their kids Margaret Mary, Henry, and Peter and began working in exchange for housing on a farm while learning the basics of husbandry. Together the two amateur farmers, with literal blood, sweat, and manure, learned how to milk two amateur milk cows. Jason resurrected his previous education in horticulture to grow more vegetables and fruits while Katie learned the cottage skills of home dairying and cooking with the seasons. Since arriving they have been blessed with two more boys, John and Joseph.
Alongside the agrarian vision, Jason has been involved with Catholic apostolate and education for nearly a decade, with a focus on masculinity, fatherhood, and mentoring through his work with Fraternus. Through study and practical experience, he came to see that encountering a farming lifestyle is a great means and experience to understand masculinity, fatherhood, and holiness in a confused and frenzied age. These experiences integrated into the vision and programs of St. Joseph’s Farm.
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