Case studies written by the Agrarian Trust team featuring interviews and more


Organizations providing support or inspiration to the Agrarian Commons

Schumacher Center for a New Economics

Founded in 1980 the Schumacher Center for a New Economics works to envision the elements of a just and sustainable global economy; undertakes to apply these elements in its home region of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts; and then develops the educational programs to share the results more broadly, thus encouraging replication.

Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC)

Sustainable Economies Law Center cultivates a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. We provide essential legal tools so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs, and other vital aspects of a thriving community.

Terre de Liens

Terre de Liens is a civic organization promoting land preservation and access to farmland for organic, peasant farmers in France. It engages citizens, advises farmers and local authorities and directly acquires farmland which is rented on the long term to organic farmers.

Terre de Liens was founded 2003 in France. It consists of 1 national association, 19 local associations, 177 farms, 10,500+ acres, 13,500 shareholders, 4,300 members, and 10,878 donors. 


Global movements, models, and scholars who inspire the Agrarian Commons

Bhoodan Movement 

The Bhoodan Movement or Land Gift Movement was a voluntary land reform movement in India. It was initiated by Acharya Vinoba Bhave in 1951 at Pochampally village, which is now in Telangana, and known as Bhoodan Pochampally. It began with a land gift of 100 acres to the landless and a 300 mile walk to promote peace, non-violence, and land reform. It was dedicated to transforming people's relationships to land. 


A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Cooperative Principles

The cooperative principles are guidelines by which cooperatives put their values into practice. They include: Voluntary and Open Membership; Democratic Member Control; Member Economic Participation; Autonomy and Independence; Education, Training, and Information; Cooperation among Cooperatives; and Concern for Community

Community Supported Agriculture 

Community Land Trusts

A community land trust is a nonprofit corporation that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces and other community assets on behalf of a community.

Conservation Land Trusts

A conservation land trust is a charitable organization that acquires land or conservation easements, or that stewards land or easements, for conservation.

Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom (1933 – 2012) was an economist who was awarded the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for her "analysis of economic governance, especially the commons," an accolade shared with Oliver E. Williamson. She is the only woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics to date.

Henry George's "The Land Question: What It Involves, and How Alone It Can Be Settled" (1881) 

Henry George (1839 – 1897) was an economist and journalist who inspired reform movements during the 19th century Progressive Era.