Summer Silo Series: Bringing Music to the Farm - Catholic Rural Life

Summer Silo Series: Bringing Music to the Farm

Magdalene A.R. Mastin • September 6, 2017

Rural Outreach and Ministry

Growing up, being lazy was never an option. I didn’t sleep in (unless I was deathly ill), always made my bed (again, unless I was deathly ill), and was working for the family farm by the age of ten, bucketing rocks and broken tile pieces out of dirt piles beside a newly built pole barn; Neal and Michele Reishus raised my brother and me to be hard-working, generous, integrous folk. Although I swore I would never return to the family homestead once leaving for college, the expectation remained that should I come back (which, don’t worry, I wasn’t going to do) I had to bring my own enterprise to complement the already busy yet barely financially profitable organic farming lifestyle.

God has a sense of humor; of course I came back. After 8 years away—graduating college, getting married and birthing two adorable little girls two years apart on July 23, dabbling in ministry, bookkeeping, and events/arts administration—God brought my little crew back to northcentral Indiana. My husband worked his full-time job remotely but what would be my role back on Grandpa’s farm full of cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, geese, and garden plots? After all, my thumb is only 1/8th green and animals like me about as much as I like them (which is as much as my daughter likes brussel sprouts, unfortunately).

I don’t mean to brag (well, maybe I do), but our farm is gorgeous. Outside of the restorative work to provide our community wholesome and nutritious foods, I wanted to see us utilize the current beautiful spaces my parents and grandparents poured resources and sweat into for years. I’m a dancer and a performer and most of us on the farm play an instrument (or two or three). In other words, we all want to cultivate creativity as well as good food.

Enter the Summer Silo Series: an outdoor, three-night concert series featuring national and local musicians. Our stage is the base of an old silo and our guests gather on the lawn to watch, listen, eat and play lawn games, starting and ending the night with Creation’s music of frogs and birds and bugs and laughter.

We are a small, family business dedicated to physical and spiritual health and sustainability. We believe in a holistic lifestyle: our spiritual lives are not and cannot be separated from our physicality, our daily actions. Music, abstract yet tangible, figuratively moves us in deep spiritual ways. With the Series we celebrate the arts but we’re also increasing traffic in our direct market farm driveway, inviting people to step outside of their urban lives into a rural experience, sharing our knowledge of good food with a broader audience, continuing a diverse use of the beautiful space we have, and pulling together the extended facets of our complex passions. Our goal is to encourage the arts in a rural area by offering affordable access to quality performances while also inviting up-and-coming local artists to showcase their talents. On the silo stage we’ve hosted international artists such as Derek Brown – BEATBoX-Sax, Gungor, and Alanna Boudreau, and enjoyed locally grown artists like Courtney Pitzer, Cassandra Hawkins, and Jay Filson.

While lazy may not be in our vernacular, rest is. And silly. Beauty. Pleasure. Relationship. Sabbath. We open our home to our community, frolic with the creatives, and rejuvenate our tired souls with artistic, reordered goodness. We nurture the space and the spirits as well as the soil.

And we have fun doing it.

–Magdalene A.R. Mastin is a wife and mother of two who recently returned to her family’s organic farm in central Indiana to work, write and raise her family. She is an avid photographer, as seen by the photos on the left. 

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