4 Wands Farm

Corvallis, Oregon, United States

  • Last updated: July 7, 2017 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: June 12, 2017

Mission Statement

subsistence farming, stewardship of farm and forest land, abundant living with a small footprint, self-sufficiency, education, reverence for nature.

Community Description

The land is 27 acres, roughly 20 ac forest and 7 ac pasture, garden and other developed areas. Henderson Creek flows year-round through the property with beautiful riparian woodland and several fine wading holes. A large pond allows for real swimming and a wood-fired sauna overlooks the creek. Water is always abundant. About an acre of garden is inside deer fences and a 1200 s.f. greenhouse allows us year-round abundant vegetables. This organic subsistence farm has been in continuous ownership and stewardship since 1974, and was a farm for 40 years before that. The historic farm leaves us the main farmhouse, a large, sound and beautiful barn, and several ancient standard apple trees. We now have many more fruit trees, berries, and many plants for medicine and beauty, as well as chickens, dairy goats, rabbits and peacocks. There is a large two-bedroom apartment above the utility building/shop that could house a family. Other residents may live in the main house or other independent structures. Over time we expect that new members will build cabins or bring yurts or tiny houses.

Because we are in the foothills of the coast range in an east-west valley, it can be dark, wet and chilly here in the winter.

We are 17 miles from Corvallis, home of Oregon State University, and nine miles from the smaller town of Philomath. However, we do not want to be a bedroom community for Corvallis. We are committed to minimizing driving as part of our small footprint. Some of us come and go by bicycle from the farm and use public transit (e.g. Greyhound, BoltBus and Amtrak) for longer trips. Motor vehicle trips to town are about once a week per resident and the vehicle always makes multiple errands and hauls something useful for the farm. We coordinate and share trips when possible. For bicyclists, the route to town is beautiful, peaceful rolling hills, with a bike path from Philomath all the way to Albany, OR, where there is an Amtrak station.

This is a working farm. Residents will be expected to contribute, passionately and enthusiastically, a minimum of 25 hrs of work/wk (much of it physical) to the farm.

The goats are central to the culture of the farm; many friends refer to Four Wands as “the goat farm”. Their milk enriches our diet and brings in a small amount of income. Twice-daily milking is core to the rhythm of life; over time there is a hope that multiple residents will become proficient at milking and share that responsibility.

Education is a high priority. We train apprentices, welcome visitors to work and learn, and especially welcome children, whether individually or on an organized field trip. We work with local schools from time to time.

We eat very well for minimal cost to the planet and our wallets. Most of our food is from the land or from nearby acquaintances. Lunch might include just-picked salad dressed with homemade apple cider vinegar, fried goat cheese made yesterday, and quiche made with eggs from the chickens, milk from the goats, and wheat, butter and lard from neighbors. Meat from our own animals or our friends’ is processed a few times a year and eaten a few times a month.

Many people have lived here over the years. Currently the land is owned by the farmer who has been here since 1974. She is planning to transition to land trust stewardship in the near future. Membership process and other aspects of structure are in the works. The right community members could help develop those structures. One current trial resident brings experience as a co-founder of several established intentional communities.

  • Status: Re-forming
  • Started Planning: 1998
  • Start Living Together: 2016
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Contact Name: Rachel Freifelder
  • Phone: 503-849-9466
  • Community Address:
    23818 Henderson Rd.
    Corvallis, Oregon, 97333
    United States
  • Location

  • This Community is Re-forming

    Year re-formed: 2016

    The farm has been an organic family farm with one owner and many other residents and apprentices, since 1974. We are planning a transition to a more egalitarian intentional community model in which the original owner will be a community elder.

About

  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling), Transition Town or Eco-Neighborhood (focused on energy/resource resiliency)
  • Programs & Activities: Transition Town (post-petroleum and off-grid communities), School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Ethical Business, Investment Group, or Alternative Currency, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming, Working farm: dairy, fruit, vegetables, poultry, herbs
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 27 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, two-bedroom apartment (only one); sites for your own tent, yurt or tiny house
  • Current Number of Residences: 2
  • Planned number of residences: 0
  • Planned Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Natural built structues
  • Housing Provided: Work-exchange
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)
  • Additional Comments:

    We plan to transition to land trust ownership.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 5
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 5
  • Percent Women: 71-80%
  • Percent Men: 21-30%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Send a letter to the community mailing address or an email through this website. Tell us about yourself and your vision. Include a phone number.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Send a letter to the community mailing address or an email through this website. Tell us about yourself and your vision. Include a phone number. Someone will call you to arrange a visit. After a visit we can consider trial residency. Farm apprentices are always needed and may become long term residents after one year.

Government

  • Decision Making: By an individual community leader
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Currently decisions are made by face-to-face communication with final say reserved to the owner. As we transition to land trust ownership we plan to use consensus. All residents have areas of the land and personal projects in which they make most decisions autonomously.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 25
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)
  • Additional Comments:

    This is a working subsistence farm. All residents work in various aspects of the farm. Much of the work requires physical strength and endurance. 25 hrs/wk is minimum; more work in growing season.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Biomass, conservation – very low consumption of electricity, heat exclusively with wood. We use human power where many others would use electricity or gasoline
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Current food produced: From 50-75%
  • Planned food produced: Almost All, around 90%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Outdoor Kitchen, Stage or Auditorium, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas
  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Cell Phone Service: Not good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Milk from our goats is central to our diet.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Paganism or Earth Religions, Agnostic, Humanist
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Keywords

farm, sustainability, goats, forest conservation, self-sufficient, subsistence farm