2018 marked the hundred-year anniversary of the privatization of the San Pedro Land grant, the place where I was born and still call home. It is an arid piece of high desert, covered in piñon and juniper, located in the eastern and northern foothills of the Sandia Mountains in central New Mexico. It was an anniversary no one marked publicly, not even the heirs to the land still living in San Antonito, the village just down the road. It is part of a story lost, for the most part, to so-called progress.
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.”
This October, Agrarian Trust is spotlighting the farmers and ranchers who put food on our plates, the advocates who support equitable land tenure and community commons based ownership, and the collaborations that are creating the local Agrarian Commons across the U.S.
Agrarian Commons closely resemble community land trusts, but they are unique in that they work collectively to provide long-term affordable and equitable access of small and mid-sized farms.
A successful Green New Deal will integrate what we know about carbon, emissions, and pollution into policies related to agriculture and land use.
We hope your season has been as full of growth and sweetness as a burgeoning garden or a buzzing beehive. We’ve been just as busy developing relationships and making new connections to build the framework for an Agrarian Commons.