His Terrible Swift Sword

Dear Friends of Riley's Farm,

The Harvest: Apples include Newton Pippin, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Red Fuji, Baldwin, Grimes Golden, Golden Russet -- and quite a few in the store we pre-pick for you because they are rare and life-changing and the bears love them. These latter types include Pink Ladies, Red Astrachan, and Gala. I just enjoyed a Golden Delicious from a tree that almost grows sideways, straight out of the hillside, bent over by the weight of its bounty. Complete Crop Report Here.

Map and Schedule: "Sunset Prairie Band" will be performing at the Packing Shed tomorrow, and the Stone Pantry Preserves will grace the colonial tavern. You can read about all the crops and events and study a harvest map here.

Farm & Family News: Gabriel drove clear out to Santa Monica to bag a new mandolin. It's a beauty, both to see and to hear. Now, if I could only get him to record "We Gather Together" by way of promo for The Harvest Feast, which you should buy tickets for right now, (before you forget.)

"We all do extol thee, thou leader in BATTLE.. The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.. O Lord make us FREE!"

(The authors of worship music today could learn something from the Christian warrior-poets of the past, let me tell ya.)

Christmas Events: We want to thank all of you for celebrating with us this year. We are WAY ahead of last year's dinner theater sales. We have even opened up some Wednesday night performances. Details & Tickets: A Christmas Carol ♦ Tickets

Christmas in the Colonies ♦ Tickets

This World: Speaking of triumphant music... The story goes that little Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was bored with church music, so his father said, "well, Isaac, why don't you write us something better." He did. Among many other mighty contributions, he gave us Joy to the World: ("He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.") Think of the powerful dominion on display there. Our ancestors believed in a mighty God who brought entire nations into submission with truth and love. This was still on display in the Civil War lyric, "He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword." As a student of 18th century New England, I couldn't help witnessing a Christianity that felt more vibrant, manly, alive, and world-conquering than what we see around us today. They built meeting houses with a barrel of rum on the church floor. They danced together, fought together, prayed together, and worked together. They had huge families. They regarded this wild, untamed continent as a "dessert" they would tame and make bloom. It's how the west was won.

It's really one of the reasons I love historical celebration, and I think it's one of the reasons young mothers dance with their babies when Freeman plays the fiddle. Some tunes, and some stories, are just better than others. If you want a better world, tell better stories.

See you soon,

James Riley

Riley's Farm


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I don't think we can provide you a Harvest scene with quite this much burnished, golden light, but we come pretty close.

Here was one of midjourney's interpretation of our lively colonial staff. I think we do some of the wigs and hats a little better, if I say so myself.