The moral law lies at the center of nature and radiates to the circumference. It is the pith and marrow of every substance, every relation, and every process. All things with which we deal preach to us. What is a farm but a mute gospel? The chaff and the wheat, weeds and plants, blight, rain, insects, sun—it is a sacred emblem from the first furrow of spring to the last stack which the snow of winter overtakes in the fields.Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature
Welcome! Thanks so much for visiting – I’m Kristin Haakenson, and I’m an artist & farmer creating folk art inspired by the sacred cycles and agrarian rhythms of the liturgical calendar.
In the historic Church, the traditions woven into the liturgical year so beautifully knitted together sacred story with the seasonal work of an agrarian culture. Because of that, I find that the ever-changing rhythms of life on our farm illuminate & deepen these liturgical traditions in fresh ways for me.
Liturgy and agricultural life made for a natural connection, with the farmer situation so close to what the church utilized in her worship–the fruits of the earth and vine, the work of human hands. There was too the obvious connection between the annual cycles of nature and the liturgical year…Michael J. Woods, Cultivating Soil and Soul
We farm a beautiful patch of land in Washington state, bordered on one side by a winding river, a wooded hillside on the other, and snow-capped mountains in the distance. In this valley, we raise a variety of animals and grow a plethora of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and grains. We also have pumpkin patches for harvest celebrations in October (and as a Halloween spirit myself, this is one of my favorite times of year on the farm!)
Our lives revolve around the seasonal changes that manifest themselves in the agricultural cycles here on the farm. The spring is filled with new leaf buds appearing, lambs being born, preparing the fields, and seeding. Summer appears shly at first, but by July & August, we’re really in the swing of things with days filled with weeding, harvesting, irrigation, and rotating the pastures for our cattle. Grain is harvested, and ground into flour with our stone mill. In fall, the growing season really shines – beautiful harvests are brought in, and with the leaves turning color and a crispness in the air, warm meals are such a comfort.
October brings excitement all its own, as we invite our community out for a harvest festival throughout the month – hay rides to the pumpkin patch, the smell of fresh-milled apple cider, and rows of sunflowers towering over bright pumpkins. Things calm down a bit in the winter, when we rest, tend to the animals, enjoy storage crops, plan for the year ahead…and prepare for winter flooding. Our daily tasks and chores are all determined by the seasonal needs of the plants and creatures that call this place home.
In the Church’s wisdom, the liturgical calendar wove the story of Christ into the seasons of nature and the rhythms of an agricultural life. Feasts, festivals, and fasts dot the landscape of these agrarian cycles, allowing nature and theology to illuminate one another. Life on the farm, so closely connected to the whims of the seasons, has deepened my walk through the liturgical year.
From this vantage point, I use my art to celebrate & share these sacred stories using whimsical, woodland creatures as my storytellers – to create little scenes that look with wonder at the sacred world. I’m an old soul at heart, so I love exploring the historic traditions of holy days and bringing those into my work.
I’m a self-taught artist working in acrylics, colored pencil, & watercolor. My creating happens in a cozy studio, sheltered by a couple of maple trees that were planted at one of the original homestead sites here over a hundred years ago.
All of my art is created in memory of my mother, Judy, and my sister, Kathy – the most effervescent, joyous, inspiring women. The world is a brighter place because of them. Their strength taught me to look for pockets of wonder everywhere, even when times are hard, and that’s what I hope to share through my work.
Thanks for following along on my journey – please reach out with any questions or thoughts!