The Gift Economy
The Farm began as an experiment in Gift Economy, rooted in one guiding principle: Nothing would be sold. Nothing. All food would be given as gifts.
Second came a practice: Requests, or invitations, would be offered to neighbors to help in the many good labors required to care for sheep and cows, make hay, to gather and glean, to freeze and ferment, to butcher and bake, to set and serve, to tend and attend all that was becoming the Farm and the Feasts. The requests always began with the words, “Would you be willing to …..?” Many said yes to these requests. Others, thankfully, said no when that was the correct answer. Willingness is the starting point for Gift Exchange, as a sign of consensual relations.
So many surprising, kind, and miraculous things have come to light from just one year of this practice.
Place Matters—we are tethered together in this valley.
Radical Hospitality—In taking responsibility for one another, we could, collectively, ensure that nourishing, locally raised food is available to everyone who lives here without any barrier to access.
Ecological Reparations—We could, at the same time, care for the soils, forest, and rivers of this place, renewing a commitment to deeply sustainable agriculture.
Gifts Abound—Each person has unique gifts to offer to these collective efforts. For some, it is a monetary offering to cover the expenses required to operate the Farm and Bakery. Others help stack bakery firewood, clean the Town Hall after a community meal, organize volunteers, facilitate planning meetings, or help watch their neighbor’s children to enable tasks like these to be accomplished. There is no gift too small to help in a gift economy.
How It Works
The diagram (below) visually represents "The Farm's Ecosystem"—or, simply, the people and groups involved in making the Farm & Bakery a reality.
As a gift economy operation, the Farm and the Bakery have operational costs that require actual money. These include baking ingredients for the Bread Gift, feed and veterinary services for the animals, and a modest living stipend for some of our regular farm workers.
As we rely completely on the Gifts given by the community—both in the form of labour given and financial donations—our goal is to be as transparent as possible in dealing with our finances. We provide, below, access to our monthly Budget statements. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.