February 2020 Newsletter


Two days ago, many of us marked the beginning of Lent by receiving ashes on our foreheads. One of the two blessings we may have heard was, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” It is noteworthy to me that we are asked to remember this humbling truth. It suggests that there is a knowledge deep within us that we come from—and depend on—the earth, but we often act as though we’ve forgotten this. Part of the mission of our farm is to help bring deeper clarity to our role in God’s creation. We pass through this earth as tenants, not owners, which necessitates that we care deeply for our common home for the benefit of our neighbors: human and nonhuman, present and future. Consider how you can embody this call during the Lenten season: plant a small garden, spend an hour hiking in the woods, volunteer at the farm or the Franciscan Center, make a meal from scratch instead of buying something pre-made, join our book club (see below). Whatever you are inspired to do during this Lenten season, I pray that it helps you, in a small way, to pay closer attention to your role as a family member within God’s creation. 

In gratitude,

Matt Jones
Farm & Outreach Coordinator

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Thank you!

We are filled with gratitude for all who contributed to our year-end campaign in December. Your generosity allowed us to meet and surpass our goal of $3,136 (one dollar for every pound of food we donated last year). In total, we raised just over $4,000! This will help us purchase seeds and other essential supplies as we prepare to grow vegetables on a larger area this spring! 

If you would still like to donate to help us with our spring purchases, please visit our 2020 wish list or our donation page

Blessing of the Seeds

Please join us on the farm on Wednesday, March 4th at 12:45 pm (after Mass at the Shrine of St. Anthony) for a short blessing of the first seeds to be planted on the farm this year. Afterward, those who are interested can participate in planting the seeds by hand. All are welcome!

Saturday Volunteer Days

We are excited to announce our upcoming Saturday work days on the farm: April 4th, May 30th, and June 6th. The schedule for each of the work days is as follows: 
  • 8:30 am: Short tour of the farm for new visitors
  • 9:00 am: Work on the farm
  • 12:00 pm: Potluck lunch outside (weather permitting)
Please bring a potluck dish to share (refrigeration and reheating available, if needed) and RSVP to the volunteer day by emailing Matt Jones at
We are also in need of volunteers who can help set up the potluck while others are on the farm. If you are interested in helping set up these and future potlucks, please email Matt Jones at  

Food, Faith & Ecology Book Club

It is not too late to join our Food, Faith & Ecology book club. All are welcome to attend any session, even if you have not joined us before. This is a great opportunity to delve into topics relevant to the mission of the farm, connect with others in our community and discuss how we can cultivate a deeper awareness of our connection with all of creation. We have decided to extend the book club throughout the year, with meetings occurring approximately once every two months as work picks up on the farm this spring and summer. The book club meets in the library of the Shrine of St. Anthony with wood burning in the fireplace and refreshments to enjoy! The upcoming dates and books are:

Farm Facts

At a time of year when there is less activity on the farm, it is worth considering the work that continues beneath our feet in all seasons. Soil is home to countless types of microorganisms, some of which are considered pathogenic to crops, but many others that provide essential benefits. One example of the latter is a group of microbes called mycorrhizal fungi, which form symbiotic relationships with plants. In healthy soil, these fungi create widespread branching networks, which allow them to access water and nutrients across large areas. The fungi offer these gifts to plants, as plant roots can only spread so far to find these necessities. In exchange, the plant deposits carbohydrates produced by photosynthesis, which the fungi use for energy. When soil is tilled, these networks of fungi are destroyed and thus plants grown in tilled soil are often less healthy and resilient. This phenomenon is one of the main motivations for our farm (along with many other "no-till" farms) to look for alternatives to tillage, thus better imitating natural ecosystems and preserving soil vitality. 

News from the Franciscan Center

Although the farm slows down over the winter, our partner the Franciscan Center remains busy over these colder months. Friar Mike Lasky, the Director of Little Portion Farm, attended the Center’s Christmas Dinner, which was recently featured in the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s publication, the Catholic Review. The Franciscan Center is still working through some of the food donated by the farm last year, namely our butternut squash which has been turned into a delicious soup that has become a favorite among visitors!

Save the Date!

2nd Annual Wine at the Shrine 
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Copyright © 2020 Little Portion Farm, All rights reserved.

Little Portion Farm is a ministry of the Franciscan Friars Conventual, Our Lady of the Angels Province.

Visit us at:
12280 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042

Contact us at: 
(443) - 585 - 8005 or

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