July 22nd, 2010
04:36 PM ET

The hipster farmer/faith-based organization connection

I worked on a story for American Morning today about young, educated, twenty-somethings starting up small farms–folks who are abandoning the suit and tie for straw hats.

Indeed, we profiled Roy Skeen, who wore a straw hat for the entire shoot.

There was an interesting faith connection that didn't make the TV version because of time. Skeen is in his first year of fulltime farming. After graduating from Yale, spending a few years in the Caribbean and then working in investment banking, Skeen stumbled upon farming. He partnered with The Samaritan Women, a faith-based organization in Baltimore. According to its website, the group:

Provides a Christ-centered environment for individual women who are ready to make positive changes in their lives. We offer a transitional residence, academic and vocational training, spiritual development, and communal support to women who are rebuilding their lives from hurtful choices of unfortunate circumstances.

In addition to its residence, the nonprofit has a lot of land–a rarity for an urban faith group. So the Samaritan Women started a small farm and hired Skeen to run it. The group provides Skeen with about two acres of land and place to stay. The charity provides free volunteer labor for the farm. The Samaritan Women say the hope for the farm is to:

* grow fresh, local produce that we can donate to local shelters, recovery houses and families in need
* create a sustainable enterprise to support The Samaritan Women's ministry work
* overturn the Urban Food Desert areas of Baltimore City and improve the nutritional health of our urban brothers and sisters
* honor God’s creation and nurture our souls

See the story on hipster farmers here on AM Fix, American Morning's blog.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Food

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Kathy

    I love this idea..I don't see any down side, and I think this is far more "Christian" than many of the more judgmental endeavors of the Christian community (like trying to make gay people straight, or towing the Republican party line regardless of the issue.) It's about time someone defined the Lord's work as helping people tend to Creation...after all, that was our original occupation when mankind came into existence!

    July 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.