In simple terms, all the land of The Farm, and the infrastructure within, are held in a Trust.
Starting from the beginning, at our original founding when the first parcel of land was purchased, and for over 30 years, three members of the community or “Tustees,” held the land in their name for the rest of us.
In 2011, the community, aided by our own internal lawyers, who in turn consulted with other lawyers experienced in Trust law, wrote, voted on, and transitioned to a much more defined and detailed Trust document.
The Trust defines our relationship as stewards, not owners of the land.
The Trust has a stated purpose, which recognizes the streams, hills and even the wind as having inherent value and it is our responsibility to protect these things.
It recognizes our corporate entity, The Foundation, as empowered to manage the land and other assets for the benefit of the members, ultimately those of us who are permanent members of the community.
It holds the land, all 1750 acres as indivisible. No portion can ever be sold.
There is a 10 percent clause, which states that ten percent of the land can be mortgaged, but it requires an overwhelming majority of the members to vote in approval.
The Trust recognizes the connection of our extended “tribe” to the land, and states that anyone who has ever lived on the Farm, their kids, and even their grandchildren, may challenge in court any attempt to breakup or subdivide the land.
There are now 5 Trustees, chosen by the community, who have the responsibility of insuring that The Foundation, and we as members, are doing whatever steps are necessary to protect the Trust. For example, they monitor to make sure annual land taxes are paid.
It is our hope that the Trust document can help other communities under development and in the future, who seek to set up a structure based on collective ownership and a stewardship model.