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About the book:
The Peace Warrior by Dena Eakles
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Echo Valley Farm on
Echo Valley Hope, Inc.

Febuary 2011

Enjoy this new slideshow.
"Let's Fall In Love" by Melissa Gordon Rhine and New Territory.
Photos and A/V by Meg Novick.

The ram we rented from our Amish friend is a young black-face. A bit more rambunctious than we have had for a while—I am not quite keen on going into his space and would never turn my back on him. Many farmers are lambing by now or will be soon, but we prefer to lamb later in spring. So, in June the lambs will come, but before they do, we will run the “corn for wool program.” One reason to keep the herd small is the care and respect that can be given to each animal. Early on, I recognized I would never want the man-handling of the sheep to take their wool, so instead we have the corn for wool program. The sheep take turns entering the stall for the corn, and with scissors we remove their wool. Basically they get haircuts. Rarely is this accomplished in one sitting, so you get to know them pretty well. I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

I observe that most people living on the land prefer kindness— to the land and to all its inhabitants. I am certain that the past few generations—people asked to mass produce, to choke their precious soil with chemicals they could not afford—also choked back the sadness at what was being lost. The concept of progress and the taste of greed are seductive. When machines took the work of horses, the loss must have broken hearts. But we are bred to be good soldiers, to bite our lips and persevere. Even our people of peace speak of sacrifice.

But my time at Echo Valley has never been a sacrifice. The trade-off for creature comforts comes at great cost. The sacrifice of animals living in over-crowded conditions, of farm workers subjected to poisons and uncompensated labor, the loss of joy: that is sacrifice. When I wrote in The Peace Warrior that Echo Valley was “an experiment in living,” I also wrote that it was a “celebration of conscious choice.” I stand by that.

There are many who have returned to the land and made a solitary stand. I do not think that can work any longer. The work demands, the learning curve, the costs of a culture that has not yet woken up to the fact that living as we do is unsustainable are too much for even the largest of families. As Echo Valley has grown, I am even more certain the experiment toward community sustained farming is a most lovely solution.

We will continue to learn and you are invited to the celebration. There is no sacrifice in appreciating simplicity and joy. There is nothing hard in giving kindness. Pain comes when I think there is not enough. Suffering comes when I forget I am being given everything. Our classes in sustainability will soon be posted and will remain free of charge. Our initiatives of peace are growing, as is our commitment to see that all people are given a chance to know that peace is possible.

With your help, we continue.


An anonymous donor has offered to match $15,000 in donations made to Echo Valley Hope, Inc. this year.
There is currently about $13,000 left to match.

If you share our enthusiasm for peace and sustainability, if you recognize the practical and powerful efforts that we undertake, then please consider a tax exempt monetary gift of support.

To make a tax-deductible donation, send a check or money order to
Echo Valley Hope, Inc., E 14604 County Rd. F, Ontario, WI 54651,
donate online securely through our website,
or donate on Facebook here.


On January 29th, Sami Rasouli of The Muslim Peacemaker Teams visited Echo Valley, sharing his work and his hopes for Iraq. According to the UN Children's Fund, only 30 percent of children in Iraq have access to safe drinking water.  The Muslim Peacemaker Teams' initiative, Water for Peace, uses donations to supply schools and hospitals with water purification systems. 

Throughout the year and on the first of each month, Echo Valley Hope will address and participate in an act of peace. We have kicked off February with a donation to Water for Peace.

Click here to join the Facebook group, Peace First and Ending War.


Echo Valley Hope's initiative, Farms Link People, is working toward acquiring land for community sustained farming.  The next conference call for interested people is February 18.  Visit the blog for details.


Jason MoonJason Moon is a veteran of the Iraq War, a tireless advocate for veteransʼ issues and for peace, and was named a
“Peacemaker of the Year” in 2009 by the Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice.  Accompanied by special guest Thacia, he will perform a concert for peace at Echo Valley, benefiting Veterans for Peace.

Other performers include:
Anna Stange with special guest Bob, her spouse and VFP member
Galynne & MarkOnDrums
More TBA

Visit Echo Valley Hope's event page for more information.

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