Nestled on the Colorado-Wyoming border, the Abbey of St. Walburga is a working farm run by Benedictine nuns. For the past 25 years, the monastery has increasingly focused on sustainable agriculture. Traditional morning Mass is followed by a day of contemplative ritual which includes managing the farm and ranch animals. The founding Sisters’ determination to start a farm is reflective of the increased presence of female farmers in America in general, with women now representing 30 percent of all U.S. farmers.
The Abbey is financially self-sufficient and provides a simple life of devotion and contemplation for the nuns. “A guesthouse provides most of the sisters’ income, but they also accept donations, host retreats, and sell meat, eggs, cheese and honey in a shop on the Abbey grounds.“ This article in High Country News shares more about the nuns’ farming operation.