Wendell Berry On Culture And Agriculture

In his presentation at the 1974 Agriculture for a Small Planet Symposium in Spokane, Washington, Wendell Berry remarked: “Few people, whose testimony would have mattered, have seen the connection between the modernization of agricultural techniques and disintegration of the culture and the communities of farming.” “This community killing agriculture, with its monomania of bigness, is not primarily the work … Continued

A Revolution In Agriculture

Wes Jackson does not apologize for thinking long-term.  He knows such visioning is a practical necessity for achieving a transition to an agriculture that restores and conserves the health of the soil while mitigating the effects of climate change.  He is a plant geneticist, after all, trained to consider future generations.  At The Land Institute, … Continued

Shaping a New Agriculture: Food, Land, & People

Watson speaks to what Massachusetts can do to preserve farmland and to develop a community-based revitalization that emphasizes urban gardening, energy conservation, and environmental justice. As the Commissioner of Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Watson assesses what has happened in agriculture over the past twenty years. He describes moving towards a more sustainable regional food … Continued

Shaping a New Agriculture: Food, Land, and People

Watson speaks to what Massachusetts can do to preserve farmland and to develop a community-based revitalization that emphasizes urban gardening, energy conservation, and environmental justice. As the Commissioner of Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Watson assesses what has happened in agriculture over the past twenty years. He describes moving towards a more sustainable regional food system and agricultural economy, one that creates fair wages for farmers and that creates affordable, healthy food for low-income families.

Call For a Revolution in Agriculture

Jackson points to agriculture—in particular to the methods of till agriculture, which cause soil loss and destroy the soil’s water-holding capacity—as our “number one environmental problem, aside from nuclear war” (and today he would undoubtedly add global warming). As practiced, modern agriculture undercuts the very basis of its own existence and thus jeopardizes the future of the human population. At the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, Jackson and others are working toward a sustainable system of agriculture based on patches (rather than fields) of perennials (rather than annuals), a system “that is at once self-renewing like the prairie or forest and yet capable of supporting the current human population.” He urges that we stop using the reductionist language of science and economics in our studies and applications of ecology and instead use language and metaphors that spring directly from nature.

Garden Cities of To-Morrow ~ Ebenezer Howard

Ebenezer Howard’s book, originally published in London in 1898 as To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform and then in 1902 as Garden Cities of To-morrow, proposed a peaceful but inherently radical experiment in city, town, and regional planning aimed at creating more healthy, self-sufficient, and just places to live and work that balanced the … Continued

The Culture of Cities ~ Lewis Mumford

Much writing about New Economics focuses on small communities and rural areas. What then is the role of the city? For many, Lewis Mumford provided a guide to how cities can be designed to serve humanity and work in harmony with nature. His writings can be found in the collections of E. F. Schumacher, George … Continued

Operations & Outreach Intern

The intern will support the day-to-day operations of the organization and help create content for the Schumacher Center’s various social media accounts.

Hazel Henderson & Amory Lovins

Energy is at the heart of every economic system. Whether it be human, animal, oil, or solar, some form of energy must be used to transform the natural resources of the earth into the food, shelter, and goods that we need to live in this world. If we wish to get the economics right, it … Continued

In Community We Trust

The Berkshire region of Massachusetts has been a pioneer in cultivating economic self-reliance for 40 years.

A Global Perspective on the Green New Deal

Thank you, David; I want to make sure you’re around to write my obituary. I’m going to talk about global perspective on the Green New Deal. I’m using the Green New Deal because a lot of the work I do, especially as I start to pursue the concept of World Games, seems to be a … Continued

Actionable Responses to Climate Change

Penniman tells us a story about race and the food system and how we can decolonize and re-indigenize our relationship to land and to food. She reminds us that the land we stand upon is stolen land and that the food system was built upon it with stolen labor. Today, the Black farming movement still faces racism and discrimination, but in spite of that, she says, “we’re trying to reclaim that inherent connection, that right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system.” In order to move toward Black agrarianism and toward new economies for Black and Brown people, repatriation and reparations need to take place. Penniman adds that we need to think seriously about our relationship to the earth, because we have the knowledge and means of indigenous and ancestral methods that can feed the planet without destroying it. She uses examples from Soul Fire Farm, which she co-founded in 2011, to show how it is helping to put an end to racism and injustice in the food system.

Canada

CanadaBritish ColumbiaDenman Community Land Trust Association3900 Lacon Road Denman Island, BC V0R 1T0info@denmanaffordablehousing.orgdenmanaffordablehousing.orgDate Incorporated: 2008Purpose: To create longterm affordable housing for residents of Denman Island who are most at risk.Land HoldingsGovernance Details: All directors are residents of Denman Island. Bylaws.Community Land Trust220-1651 Commercial Dr. Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y3604-879-5111info@cltrust.cacltrust.caDate Incorporated: 1993Purpose: To provide stable, quality housing … Continued

Annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures

Annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures1st Annual E.F.  Schumacher LecturesMount Holyoke College; South Hadley, MassachusettsOctober 24, 1981People, Land, and Community  by Wendell BerryA Call for a Revolution in Agriculture by Wes Jackson2nd Annual E.F.  Schumacher LecturesCathedral of St. John the Divine; New York, NYOctober 24, 1982The Family as a Small Society by Elise BouldingThe Community’s Role in … Continued

Sallie Calhoun And Greg Watson Videos Available For Viewing

“This year’s theme—actionable responses to climate change—was nothing if not timely.  Speaking on this topic were Sallie Calhoun—co-owner with her husband Matt Christiano of Paicines Ranch, a 7,600-acre (11.875 square miles) farm near Monterrey, California, and founder of an impact investing fund, Cienaga Capital—and Greg Watson, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture and a student of Buckminster Fuller, whose work centered on holistic approaches.”

Stewarding a Legacy of Innovation

The project underway is to build out the ground floor level, an additional 1,600 square feet, providing a light and humidity controlled environment. By moving a significant part of the existing collection downstairs, it will mean additional room upstairs for educational programs.

Community Land Trusts in the News

Community Land Trusts in the News Articles that offer insight and further the conversation as the CLT movement grows.Are Community Land Trusts the answer to Chicago’s Large Lots Program issues?Daniel Wu, Shareable12.2.2019In Chicago, vacant lots are sold to existing property owners for $1.   Residents have transformed many of these lots into community spaces. Once sold, in … Continued

Supporting Intelligent Idealism

MANAS was the highlight of the week for me. I would walk to the mailbox at the foot of the drive and start reading on the way up. It was like having a private clipping service that spanned the ages of great thinkers and activists. The same issue would have bits of Plato, Kropotkin, and Simone Weil, combined with news of Wes Jackson’s work to recreate a perennial agriculture or John Todd’s work at the New Alchemy Institute to employ plants to filter water. MANAS never failed to reorient me to the finest idealism, an idealism that was, after all, at the heart of our work at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.

Washington CLTs

WashingtonArtwork by Diana Luhn Bower / Lopez CLTHousing Resources Bainbridge730 Ericksen Ave NE Suite 100Bainbridge Island, WA 98110206-842-1909 ext 16phedra@housingresourcesbi.orghousingresourcesbi.orgDate Incorporated: 1989Purpose: Affordable housingLand Holdings: 42 homes; Additional 92 rental units.Governance Notes: No members; Self-perpetuating board comprised of one third residents and two thirds community members;  Rental and owner members are suggested by a resident … Continued

New Mexico CLTs

New MexicoLand held by Mil AbrazosMil Abrazos Community Land Trust1194 Dilia LoopLa Loma, NM 87724505-796-6006info@milabrazosclt.orgwww.milabrazos.orgDate Incorporated: 2014Purpose: Provide for permanently affordable housing, sustainable agriculture, cottage industries and co-operativesLand Holdings:  32 acres of irrigated farmlandGovernance Notes: Board formed but do not administer ground leases yet.Sawmill Community Land Trust990 18th St. NW 2nd FloorAlbuquerque, NM 87104info@sawmillclt.orgwww.sawmillclt.orgDate Incorporated: … Continued

New Hampshire CLTs

New HampshireCold Pond Community Land TrustP.O. Box 212Acworth, NH 03601603-835-6945Date Incorporated: 2000Purpose: Resources of our forest and farmland, watershed, wildlife habitat and open space are made available to residents and community members.Land Holdings: 215 acres used for agriculture, conservation,  and residences.Additional Information: CLT houses an intentional community  with six members.Monadnock Community Land Trust61A HearthstoneWilton, NH … Continued

Massachusetts CLTs

MassachusettsAmherst Community Land TrustP.O. Box 395Amherst, MA 01004413-253-3479amherstcommunitylandtrust@gmail.comamherstcommunitylandtrust.orgDate Incorporated: 2014Purpose: Affordable housingLand Holdings: One multi-family home.Partners: Habitat for Humanity,  Amherst Community Preservation Act Committee, Amherst Town Meeting, and the Interfaith Housing Corporation of Amherst.Andover Community TrustP.O. Box 5038Andover, MA 01810978-276-9228info@andoverCLT.organdoverclt.orgDate Incorporated: 1992Purpose: Economic diversity, affordable housing.Land Holdings: Eight land parcels all used for affordable housing; seven complete homes and six in process. Boston … Continued

Alabama CLTs

AlabamaGraymont Fresh Market organized by Dynamite Hill-Smithfield CLTDynamite Hill – Smithfield Community Land Trust2024 3rd Avenue North, Suite 314Birmingham, Alabama 35203205-582-0457dynamitehillclt@gmail.comdynamitehillclt.orgDate Incorporated: 2016Purpose: To uphold the legacy of social justice, black entrepreneurship, property ownership, and civil rights activism in Smithfield by managing land for permanently affordable housing, regenerative urban agriculture, and arts-based and emancipatory community  … Continued

Julia Polentes

Julia Polentes is the Outreach Director and Community Land Trust Directory Coordinator at the Schumacher Center for New Economics. She manages the Center’s online presence and expands the organization’s database of community land trusts in order to improve programmatic collaboration, as well as develop greater working knowledge about the flexibility and applications of the CLT … Continued

Brittany Ebeling

Brittany Ebeling is the Schumacher Center’s European Land Commons Intern. In her role, she supports the Center’s work on Community Land Trusts in the European context. Ebeling is a graduate student in Urban Governance at Sciences Po Paris. She has conducted research in the United States, Latin America, West Africa, and Europe on urban agriculture, … Continued

Restoring Ciénegas | Saving the Planet

A ciénega is a wetland system unique to the American Southwest. Ciénegas are spongy, shallow, wet meadows with permanently saturated soils in otherwise arid landscapes, although few remain in such a healthy state today. One of the goals of a well-managed ranch is to restore the ciénegas. Dear Friend, Sallie Calhoun’s work found her, unfolding … Continued

Land for the Many

The neighborhood of Lewisham, London, which received mayoral recognition for its CLT program. In a June 4, 2019, article in The Guardian, George Monbiot comments: What is the most neglected issue in British politics? I would say land. Literally and metaphorically, land underlies our lives, but its ownership and control have been captured by a tiny … Continued

Martin Buber On The Social Future

While reviewing early Schumacher Center newsletters, we found this April 1985 reminder of Martin Buber’s contribution to new economic/social thinking. Buber On The Social Future We came to trust Martin Buber for his careful record of the human spirit in its process of observing itself in relation to the universe. In his book I And Thou, Buber … Continued

Shallots/ Backhoes/ Philanthropists

Shallots, radish, peas, chard, lettuce, onions, and cilantro seeds are in the ground. The remaining garden beds must wait until May when the soil is warmer. Our excuse for planting so much is the anticipation of having summer lunches with visitors at the Schumacher Library. But the truth is, planting seeds in April, in the … Continued

39th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures

As the consequences of climate change begin to compound, it’s tempting to believe that solutions are now out of our hands. The careers of Greg Watson and Sallie Calhoun demonstrate resolutely that this is not the case. It takes strength of will to change the management of a 7,600 acre ranch to model grazing methods for carbon … Continued

Sallie Calhoun

Sallie Calhoun owns and manages Paicines Ranch, a 7600-acre ranch in central California. She is also an impact investor, activist, and philanthropic funder in regenerative agriculture. Her work focuses on improving the health of agricultural soils and sequestering carbon in soil to mitigate climate change, while creating thriving communities. She is the founder of the … Continued

Angels in the Details

We are pleased to share Greg Watson’s review of John Todd’s newly released book Healing Earth: An Ecologist’s Journey of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship  (2019, North Atlantic Books). John Todd has been a pioneer in the field of ecological design and engineering for nearly five decades. Greg Watson first worked with Todd in the 1970’s at the New Alchemy Institute on Cape … Continued

Community Investment Fund

Forty years ago the Institute for Community Economics, led by Robert Swann in Cambridge, Massachusetts, launched the first investment fund with positive criteria.  Until that time investment screens used negative criteria– no alcohol or tobacco stocks, for instance. Pax World Fund excluded military supply companies from its portfolio. Students were lobbying universities to pull out of investments in South … Continued

Communal Order of Memory and Aspiration

“A culture is not a collection of relics or ornaments, but a practical necessity, and its corruption invokes calamity.  A healthy culture is a communal order of memory, insight, value, work, conviviality, reverence, aspiration.  It reveals the human necessities and the human limits. It clarifies our inescapable bonds to the earth and to each other. It … Continued

Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty

Penniman tells us a story about race and the food system and how we can decolonize and re-indigenize our relationship to land and to food. She reminds us that the land we stand upon is stolen land and that the food system was built upon it with stolen labor. Today, the Black farming movement still faces racism and discrimination, but in spite of that, she says, “we’re trying to reclaim that inherent connection, that right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system.” In order to move toward Black agrarianism and toward new economies for Black and Brown people, repatriation and reparations need to take place. Penniman adds that we need to think seriously about our relationship to the earth, because we have the knowledge and means of indigenous and ancestral methods that can feed the planet without destroying it. She uses examples from Soul Fire Farm, which she co-founded in 2011, to show how it is helping to put an end to racism and injustice in the food system.

Spontaneous Convergence

On September 29th, David Bollier—the Schumacher Center’s Reinventing the Commons Program Director—delivered a talk at The Land Institute’s annual Prairie Festival in Salina, Kansas, titled “The Insurgent Power of the Commons in the War Against the Imagination.” Following are excerpts from this talk. The whole talk may be read on our website or viewed on Youtube. We … Continued

The Insurgent Power of the Commons in the War Against the Imagination

In his talk at the Prairie Institute, Bollier discusses how the commons paradigm can help us develop a new social and cultural vision, and new strategies for practical change. Commoning is the social process by which people come together, figure out the terms of their peer governance, learn how to devise fair systems, how to deal with rule-breakers, how build a cohesive culture, and so forth. Bollier believes that we need to start imagining different ways of being, doing, and knowing – and we need to invent new institutional structures to support such a paradigm shift.

It Takes an Island

It takes an island, or a borough, or a County, or a shire to gather and hold land for community benefit. In an economy that is both just and sustainable, land would not be treated as a commodity that is bought and sold on the market to the highest bidder. Private control of limited natural … Continued

Indian Line Farm Conservation Easement

CONSERVATION RESTRICTION This DEED OF CONSERVATION RESTRICTION made this ____ day of _________. WITNESSETH:   WHEREAS, Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires, Inc. a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, having its principal office at 140 Jug End Road, South Egremont, Massachusetts 01258, hereinafter called the “Grantor”, is the … Continued

Indian Line Farm Lease Agreement

COMMUNITY LAND TRUST IN THE SOUTHERN BERKSHIRES, INC. Lease To: _________________________   The Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires, Inc., a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with an office in the town of Great Barrington, County of Berkshire and Commonwealth of Massachusetts (hereinafter referred to as “Land Trust”) … Continued

Forest Row Lease Agreement

Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires RESIDENTIAL LEASE AGREEMENT     LOCATION: [CUSTOMIZE] LESSEE: [CUSTOMIZE]     Location Recitals Definitions Section 1: Leasing the Land Section 2: Term of the Lease and Obligations of Successor Parties Section 3: Purpose and Use of Leasehold Section 4: Fees, Taxes and Monthly Charges Section 5: Improvements, Ownership, … Continued

Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires Model Residential Lease

LOCATION: [CUSTOMIZE] LESSEE: [CUSTOMIZE]     Location Recitals Definitions Section 1: Leasing the Land Section 2: Term of the Lease and Obligations of Successor Parties Section 3: Purpose and Use of Leasehold Section 4: Fees, Taxes and Monthly Charges Section 5: Improvements, Ownership, Transfer and Encumbrances Section 6: Financing Section 7: Liability, Insurance, Damage and … Continued

Fay Bennett

Fay Bennett held posts at the National Sharecroppers Fund (NSF) from 1952 through 1974, directing attention to rural poverty, and was a seasoned veteran of many struggles for social justice in the South. NSF was a nonprofit advocacy organization created in 1937 to publicize the plight of sharecroppers and tenant farmers and to push for … Continued

Beyond Civil Rights: Economic Democracy

The following article by Aaron Fernando was originally published in STIR, Issue 21, Spring 2018, a quarterly magazine of new economics in the UK.  It is reprinted with STIR’s generous permission. You can order a copy here.  Aaron, a former colleague, identifies the thread that weaves through the multiple programs of the Schumacher Center. We are pleased … Continued

Cultivating The Next Generation Of Enterprises

The industrial cooperatives in Mondragón, Spain are well-known in economic development circles for their sophisticated organizational structure.  All workers are owners.  No member receives more than eight times the earnings of the lowest wage, thereby distributing wealth in an equitable way.

Matthew Derr

Matthew Derr is President of Sterling College  in Vermont. A community organizer, teacher, fundraiser, and strategic planner, he was inaugurated in 2012 as the eleventh president of Sterling College. At Sterling, Derr led the effort to divest the Sterling endowment from fossil fuels and become only the third college in the United States to do … Continued

Sarah Waring

Sarah Waring is Executive Director of the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) based in Hardwick, Vermont. Prior to joining the Center for an Agricultural Economy in February 2013, Waring served as Program Director for the Farm & Wilderness Foundation, Program Director for Vt Council on Rural Development’s Council on the Future of Vermont, and Program Coordinator … Continued

Growing an Agricultural Economy

Please join us on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 7:00pm for a talk by Sarah Waring, Executive Director of the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) based in Hardwick, Vermont and Matthew Derr, President of Sterling College and a board member of CAE.  The talk will take place at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington as … Continued