“We have the world to live in on the condition that we will take good care of it. And to take good care if it, we have to know it. And to know it and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.” – Wendell Berry
Shannon and Kriss Marion own and operate Circle M Market Farm and Bed and Breakfast, located on a small family homestead in rural Blanchardville, Wisconsin, 40 minutes southwest of Madison. Tucked into a hilly patchwork of neighboring farms, the Marions share 20 acres with their sheep, goats, chickens, steers, hogs, dogs, and cats. In their view, everything on the farm has a purpose. The family cares for the animals that feed the soil, and the soil—five acres of organic vegetable fields—feeds neighbors located near and far.
As a tangible expression of loving God’s creation, Shannon and Kriss are motivated by a deep desire to heal the land—stewarding their acreage in a way that keeps it healthy, beautiful,and productive for years to come. In addition to soil and water stewardship and advocacy for healthy food production, the Marions champion the role local farming (and farmers’ markets) provides in community development. Recently, they co-founded a farmers’ market in Blanchardville to help attract traffic to their city’s small but lovely downtown.
Join us for this special conversation that will culminate in a walking tour of one of Madison’s farmers’ markets on the 200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Learn more about the Marion’s journey from Chicago to Blanchardville and the creation of Circle M Market Farm and Bed and Breakfast, whose mission is to offer loving hospitality to others and to steward the beauty of the land “in the form of both food and farm life, feeding body and soul.”
Questions the Marions will address during this interactive session include:
- What is the role of hospitality in local land stewardship?
- How should Christians think about land stewardship?
- How might faith inform our decisions related to food production? And for those of us who don’t farm, what is our role as daily consumers of God’s creation?
A light lunch will be provided.
Kriss and Shannon Marion are countryside transplants from Chicago who moved to Wisconsin 15 years ago to find home and healing. Inspired by the works of Wendell Berry, they brought their four children to Blanchardville to restore a 20-acre farm. Kriss, a journalist, originally from suburban Pennsylvania, was nearly incapacitated with acute rheumatoid arthritis at the time, and credits the clean environment and good work of their diverse animal and certified organic vegetable operation with restoring her health. Shannon, originally from rural Missouri, works for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Madison, and completes farm building projects on the weekends. Together, they run a thriving, award-winning bed and breakfast at the farm, each year bringing hundreds of people to experience the homestead lifestyle at Circle M Market Farm.