Paying the Farm Forward

I’m a bit ambivalent about broadcasting our plans for passing our farm on to our “heirs”, in part because it’s something of a private matter, but also because of life’s inherent mutability:  we can make detailed plans, put things in order as best we can, and life will bring the unexpected twist, the unforeseen tragedy, or the serendipitous windfall.

willard spring 2012And yet we feel strongly that the land is only on loan to us, and that we must do what we Jerry and Mariennecan to insure that the conservation and sustainability practices Marienne’s father, Willard and Dorothy, implemented starting in the 1940’s, and the improvements that we have made, continue.  It’s a matter of trust and common good.

The way we like to think of it is that God has given us the loan of this land, but it’s an odd kind of loan:  we’re not supposed to pay it back, but rather to pay it forward, to pass it on to the next caretakers in even better shape that we found it.  And we’re supposed to pay dividends to the community in the form of good food, a beautiful landscape, sequestered carbon, and clean water.

Kiri Amos SethWhat do we get out of all this?  We get to live here.  To experience this intense adventure.  To have our eyes and hearts filled with the beauty of creation every day.

So, here is an article about that transition from Willard to Marienne and me, and on to the next generation.

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About Living Song Farm

4th generation farm near Howard Lake, MN
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