I first interviewed the Brett family of Dayspring Farms - Nathan, Simone and Murray - for the second issue of Crop Stories released last fall.
Most farmer interviews follow a well-worn q-and-a tract of eco or political inquiry concerning organics and GMOs and the USDA, or soft-ball conversations about the honor of farming. Speaking with the Bretts, another storyline emerged, one that isn't strange or unheard of, but one that hadn't been presented so directly to me as a writer of farm stories.
The Bretts are farmers of Christian faith. Not Amish. Not grain-raisers who happen to attend church on Sunday. Something else. Dayspring Farms exists somewhere among hippy back-the-land drop outs and agrarian-focused Mennonites and idealist millenial next-gen weed pullers.
You rarely meet farmers these days who don't have a capital-R reason for working in the fields, be it environmental, legacy-driven, or personally political. The job is so tough there has to be ideology keeping the farmer at it day-after-day. Often, those farmers' influences, a love of seed and soil and caring for the environment, similarly drive my journey. But I'm not religious, and rarely in my writing does faith and farm intersect as clearly as it was at Dayspring. I was intrigued.
This aspect of the Bretts' story couldn't be told fully in Crop Stories' zine format. But I felt it deserved more exploration. Soon, my extended telling of the Dayspring Farms story comes to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and features a slew of new photographs from the Brett's Madison County farm. Until the pub date of Aug. 9, here a few photos to build some interest.