It’s been an exciting few months here at Crows’ Feat, as we have gathered like-minded individuals to help us envision a future as a large-scale, cooperative, permaculture farm. We welcomed nine farmers to our first planning session earlier this month, where we discussed the Three Whys?
1. Why cultivate these lands?
2. Why pursue permaculture?
3. Why operate cooperatively?
It was a fascinating conversation–one that took us many places–but the basic answers are simple. Because: this land is an incredibly valuable resource that’s well-suited to growing food–and we’re going to need a lot more local food over the coming decades. Going local makes environmental and social sense. Because: permaculture techniques allow for intensive, rather than extensive cultivation of the land. Nurturing the soil and creating an integrated strategy for stewarding resources within the farm permits higher yields at lower cost. More importantly, it minimizes impact on nature’s other inhabitants, who enjoy a nurturing existence while bringing their own gifts to the enterprise. Because: cooperative farming brings together a diversity of talents and activities that make the most of the land, while sharing the burdens of this challenging work.
Many farmers get into trouble by relying on a single crop, going heavily into debt to purchase land and equipment, and getting burned out from years carrying the world on their shoulders. The diversity of a cooperative farm reduces risk to the individual farmer, allows for sharing of overhead costs, and brings welcome assistance when the work is heavy. This resilient approach is how traditional societies have always farmed, and sustained themselves through challenging times.
If we succeed, we will be the first large-scale cooperative, permaculture farm in New England. We hope to be a source of advice, inspiration and encouragement to farmers young and old, as they bring their gifts to the earth.
If you’re interested in learning more, give us a ring!