Farmer John Writes: Let There Be Light, Said the Barn to the Farmer

 In Farm News

I watched our main barn at Angelic Organics being built in the 50’s for our family dairy operation. It has gone through many transitions since then. 

The barn has always seemed like my friend.

A barn is different from a human, but a barn is still a being; it is an individual. Like us, it has needs and capacities. It’s up to the farmer to interpret these needs and capacities and to help fulfill them.

One need of the barn that I have sensed over the years is for natural light in the north end of the hayloft. After many decades of being shrouded in the mystery of darkness, the loft has been yearning to be bathed in light. 

Light—little shoots of life in the greenhouse reach towards the sun. Birds sing spring. Puddles dry. Rows of garlic push towards the sky. Spring arrives in luminescence, making it possible for us to grow food.

The world mood has viraled dark. Hugging is questionable, churchgoing is prohibited, dining out is forbidden, the markets are crashing. 

Let us not forget the eternal promise of spring, of light offering to shine wherever we let it in. 

Humanity is currently fostering and enduring the darkness of fright. 

Here is a story of how, last week, we filled our barn with light.

The dark, mysterious loft


The first step in this light-letting was to remove the big door to the loft through which we used to fill the barn with hay and straw.


Preparing to hoist the window frame into place with a block and tackle suspended from the old hay track.


Don Glasenapp, our Pack Volunteer Coordinator, hoists up the new window frame. (View from the former milkhouse with lazure painting on the ceiling).


Don leans against the weight of the window frame he and the block and tackle are hoisting. (The backdrop is our Community Loft, at the south end of the barn, where we used to store hay and straw. Three window panels lie on tables behind Don, awaiting installation.)


Don hoists the heavy window frame into place, due to the principles of the gravity-defying block and tackle he procured for the task.


Frame in place


Eduardo (Pollo) and Victor carry a glass panel to prepare it for installation, as Nathan, Greenhouse Manager, observes.


Being careful


David Crogan, Window Project Coordinator, and Don position the glass. (Contact David on Instagram @davidsshop for your custom window needs.)


Window installed


Window from inside loft


Window-lit loft

Friends, there is always light. We can choose where and how we let it shine. 

Farmer John

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Showing 23 comments
  • Jane McMillan

    Hello John and Heidi, what a magnificent addition to the already magnificent structure. Just looking at the pictures, I can see the summer sun reflecting through the space. The aroma of old wood, heated by the sun radiates and fills the senses with earthen love. Wishing you a wonderful spring. Be well. ❤️

    • Farmer John

      Nice to hear from you, Jane. I hope that you are involved in your own creative activity these days.

      • Mary S. Fanara

        Farmer John,
        You know need a tenant in that glorious loft, right? 🙂

        • Farmer John

          Only cows can apply to live in the barn.

          • Mary S. Fanara

            darn! Lucky cows! Best of luck. Beautiful farm.

          • Farmer John

            I suppose we would also accept applications from pigs. Years ago, the barn was filled with pigs. Well, I guess we would consider applications from any farm animals…

  • Cindy

    Well said Farmer John!!!
    Your story certainly rekindled the light that was growing dim in my life.
    All of the the media negativity has a way of doing that.
    God Bless you and all that you do,
    A fellow gardener ‍♀️

    • Farmer John

      I have been working on the barn for over 50 years, and working in the barn for over 60 years. I remember when the barn was filled with light, before the roof went on, and after the rafters went up–blue sky above the new arched rafters. You can get a glimpse of that in the film “The Real Dirt on Farmer John,” with the 8 mm footage my mother shot in the 50’s.

      • Barbara Herfurth

        Uplifting and intelligent!

  • Judy Heidenreich

    Thank you for showing that and making it like a story. We all need s bit of light especially in times like these.Its beautiful.

    • Farmer John

      Thank you, Judy. I was horrified by all the windows in brick buildings that were being bricked up during the 70’s. “How can people do that to the light?” I wondered. “Light needs to come first.”

  • Frieda Robinson

    My Mom grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. I loved her stories. From that especially, I have always loved farms. I have great respect for our farmers and the wonderful produce you grow for us. Thank you

    • Farmer John

      Thank you, Frieda. Yes, farms have allure. I have been under their spell for my whole life.

      • reyna
        Reply can I get your products. I live in South Chicago. Please let me know more about your effort. Thanks. Blesses for you!

  • Laura

    Oh my..just happened upon this story…no mistake I’m sure..thank you Jesus. Let there be light♥️

  • Farmer John

    You are welcome, Laura. Yes, light likes to find its way to us; sometimes it needs a little nudge.

  • C Otter

    Thanks for sharing with the city dwellers.

  • Ronald J Ercolani

    What about stubborn old goats?

    • Farmer John

      Only goats like you, Ron, and your family members.

  • Grace Sbrissa

    This is a beautiful “good night story” I found it accidentally, and it is just what I need during this dark time! It’s a call to Let In The Light!
    Thanks, and Good Night!
    Let your Light Shine!

    • Farmer John

      Thank you, Grace. Glad that we brightened your day.

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