This is the story of the revival of two dairy farms as a result of regenerative farming practices, savvy marketing, and an openness to sharing land and cows. It’s written from a series of conversations at a farmer’s market in
Land in Common is a Community Land Trust in Maine, born out of a community-focused, land justice centered living space that has evolved over the past twenty years. Officially founded in 2008, Land in Common is a nonprofit organization that removes land from the commodity market and places it into a member-run trust where it can be stewarded by residents. Its goal is to create “a multi-generational land base for sustainable livelihoods that supports communities working for just, cooperative, and resilient futures.”
The Woodland Community Land Trust was incorporated in 1979, making it one of the oldest Community Land Trusts (CLTs) established in the United States. Located in the Clearfork Valley of northeastern Tennessee, a low-income Appalachian community dominated by extractive industry and concentrated land holding, economic, and political power, Woodland recently marked its 40th year in operation. Today, Woodland’s vision of community ownership still resounds in possibilities for Appalachian people and confronts the realities of peasant land dispossession throughout U.S. history and worldwide.
The story of Wingate Farm is firmly grounded in the rich and complex dynamics of multi-generational family farming, in which everyone must come together to plan the future of the family’s farm. Through their shared commitment and use of innovative tools to promote farmland affordability, the farmers at Wingate have ensured that the farm will remain accessible to future generations.
Agrarian Trust staff had the pleasure of meeting with farmers, landowners, and organizers at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY and The Watershed Center in Millerton, NY in late October. We learned a lot from our colleagues in the Hudson Valley and reflected on the economic and social aspects of our beginning agrarian commons work. Above all, it was an honor to spend time with organizations and people engaged in such compelling and inspiring place-based work with larger justice implications.