For the first 40 years of its existence, the land of The Farm Community was defined by trust, not with a capital "T" but with a lower case letter. This is because the land on paper was actually held by three trustees, who legally owned the land, but spiritually in name only, in trust for the rest of the community.
As a mature community, it was time to produce a legal document that took the burden of responsibility off the individuals and made clear the purpose and legal structure and ownership of the land as a Trust. . It also clearly states that the land is held in trust as sanctuary for all its creatures and native flora.
Ten years in the making, in March of 2012, The Farm Community came together to produce a historic document, The Farm Community Land Trust, which sets forth in clear, legal language, the preservation of the land in perpetuity, and establishes the relationship of Farm members as the beneficiaries of the Trust while also recognizing the extended tribe around the world that makes up The Farm Community.
The Trust document also goes on to make clear that The Foundation, the corporate entity of The Farm Community, is the official organization that manages the Trust, while the land and all buildings attached to the land, including all our homes, are owned by the Trust..
Alan Graf, one of our attorneys who was instrumental in the creation and wording of this document, adds, "This means that we continue as a community, sharing fortunes. We sink or swim together and thus no one has to worry about losing their house due to individual debt, as no one legally owns their house. Ownership is determined internally through our tribal governmental policies and agreements. Within the our own internal governance, folks have all the rights of ownership, that they would with a deed: possession, control, right to rent, right to sell and right to devise. This model makes us unique.
I don't think you will find anything like it elsewhere in the world."
We are pleased to share with you the language of our Trust, created by members of The Farm, our resident lawyers, and reviewed by several of the country's most knowledgeable land trust attorneys. For all my relations!
Read the language of this document.
Audio recordings from meetings by The Farm Community discussing the details and nuances of the Trust document: Meeting 1 / Meeting 2