Last updated: March 21, 2014 (3 weeks ago)
Listing created on: December 30, 2004

White Buffalo Farm Ecovillage

(Paonia, Colorado, United States)

  • Status: Established
  • Formed: 1973  Established: 1974
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Website address:
  • Facebook:
  • Contact Name: Wayne Talmage
  • Phone: 970-527-3042
  • Address:
    16877 Grange Rd
    Paonia, Colorado, 81428
    United States
  • Visitor Process

    Visitors accepted: Yes
    We welcome participants in farm events, as interns, apprentices, day volunteers, CSA members or staff. Else, prospective buyers, funders and advisors are welcome. No drop ins please. Thank you. We are a farm operation and appreciate your understanding.

  • Membership Process

    Open to new Members: Yes
    Individuals may come to farm as apprentices or staff or prospective buyers of the farm. Wayne is open to training non farmers as needed to run the farm. We seek to sell the farm outright to a group or individuals.

    We suggest that new owners recruit the management team we are building with the likely benefit of adding new team members if needed. After two years on the farm, this management team can resolve that members are sufficiently coopertive and helpful to the farm’s overall operation that they can purchase a share of the farm. Gradually, over ten years, this share should be structured in such a way that it can be fully paid off. For instance, 18 members pay $4000 to buy in and then $800/month on a ten year loan equals $96,000. The challenge is that White Bufffalo must be fully sold to someone who can ddevelop this model. Wayne’s debt load with the Farm Service Agency precludes the placement of a conservation easement or hinders non-governmental capitilization.

Mission Statement:

Restoring our food, our earth, ourselves.

Community Description:

White Buffalo Farm is one of Colorado’s oldest organic farms and a virtual paradise of fruit trees nestled in the foothills of the West Elk Wilderness, yet is an easy bike ride to Paonia. The farm is traversed by the North Fork of the Gunnison River and two irrigation ditches. The farm is USDA certified organic and its founders pioneers in the organics movement.

Established in 1974, the farm’s founder has years of experience growing food and community. White Buffalo Farm is evolving with the times. We are ready to engage wonderful new trends in organics, slow food, sustainability, slow money and relocalization.

Our plans include: 1) a farm-based ecovillage with affordable homesites for individuals wishing to take part in a farm-based livelihood; 2) farm-based micro-enterprises like value-added products and a farm-to-table restaurant for travelers and locals; 3) investment in new crops and farm management technologies for our CSA and other farm operations.

If you are would like to explore living on the farm, please consider coming to the farm as an intern, apprentice or in a “staff” position. For 2014, we seek a kitchen manager, an artisan cook, a vegetable farmer and a CSA coordinator. We also need a part time administrative assistant/bookkeeper.

The farm is home to thousands of fruit trees, several acres of vegetables and three high tunnel greenhouses. We grow cherries, European and Asian plum, peaches, d’Anjou and Asian pears, and apples. We grow tomatoes, squash, greens and a wide variety of other herbs and vegetables for our CSA. We also raise laying hens, guinea hens, turkeys and peacocks. WBF sells wholesale to the Front Range, direct at Farmers Markets and thru our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

Our core values are strengthening organic family farms, growing food for others, eating holistically and locally, placing goodness before money, faith in Spirit/God/Universe, being kind to the earth and ourselves, living in gratitude, being service-oriented, honoring creativity and art, honoring equity, demonstrating tolerance and enacting non cooperation as ahimsa.

Growing food is healing, rewarding and feels great! It’s a great time to become part of White Buffalo Farm!


  • Adult Members: 7
  • Child Members: 2
  • Non-member Residents: 10
  • Percent Women: 41-49%
  • Percent Men: 51-60%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Additional Comments: We have plenty of room for newcomers to start. We are also working on renovation and repair of historic structures.

    We are re-forming as a farm-based ecovillage with a focus on sustainability and right livelihood. We honor goodness and believe in the teachings of Yeshua and the many great saints and buddhas that have come before. Spiritual clarity is encourged. Alcohol is not permitted on the farm in order to protect the well-being of our interns, apprentices, staff and volunteers.

    Elders on the farm study and practice the core truths in many traditions with a special focus on learning the psychological insights of buddhism and practicing the loving kindness taught by Yeshua and established by the Essenes. We also practice yoga and have a sweat lodge on the property. We honor the divine feminine as expresed through Mother Mary, the 21 Taras, and White Buffalo Calf Woman.

Social Factors

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, Quaker, Sufi, Native American, Unitarian Universalist, Mixed Eastern Philosophy or Practice, Agnostic
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private Schooling at the Community, Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each individual
  • Healthcare Style(s): Up to each individual


  • Decision Making: By a council, group of Elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments: Wayne is the remaining co-founder of the farm.

    Together we are all leaders in focalizing beneficial communication to coordinate activities on the farm.

    This is a working farm; we teach interns, apprentices and prospective new members/farm owners about farming. Regarding community life, Wayne organizes in day-to-day farm activities and the farm’s “mega mama” ensures a beatuiful set of living conditions and patterns are upheld. We encourage healthy organizational patterns and stewardship of the common areas and the land. We create structure and set healthy norms based on what attracts and retains healthy individuals ready to grow and serve. In time, we hope to offer restorative and healing modalities through an educational nonprofit for individuals who have suffered from the disabuse of a consumer society and any accmpanying anomie or scarring associated with poor parenting and a failure to provide basic economics rights in this society.

Land and Buildings

  • Housing Provided: Yes, for all or most members.
  • Location: Rural
  • Area: 53 acres
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)
  • Current number of residences: 7
  • Planned number of residences: 6
  • Current renewable energy generation: 25-50%
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, up to 90%[if 3-m1-energy-other] ([3-m1-energy-other])[/if 3-m1-energy-other]
  • Energy sources: Connected to the Grid, Solar, Geothermal
  • Additional Comments: Oldest organic market farm in Colorado. Most pure water and air in the state. Senior water rights. USDA organic. 11 acres of orchard(apricots, cherries, plums, peaches, Asian pears, pears), 4 acres of vegetable fields, 5 acres of pasture to be replanted, 3 high tunnel greenhouses, wash station, cob harvest house in the works.

    Subchapter s corporation owned by Wayne. We plan to transfer ownership to an individual, group, or foundation to be managed by residents after current debt on the land is paid off. We hope that the new group re-forming will establish a non profit with mission of education.

Labor and Money

  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Shared Expenses: Partial share of expenses
  • Open to members with existing debt: No
  • Required Labor contribution: 5
  • Join Fee: No
  • Regular Fee: 800
  • Additional Comments: Farming is the main source of livelihood. For interns and volunteers, housing and meals are provided in exchange for work towards the viability of the farm operation. We are growing and offer homesites to individuals with entrepreneurial abilities in creating farm-based micro-enterprise including non profit development.

    Better to work off farm to repay debt first. It is unlikely that the farm provide an income sufficient to cover pre-existing debt.

    Anyone living on the farm is contributing directly to growing food for our CSA, farmers market or other markets. We also are planning to support the development of micro-enterprise that will also contribute the sustainabiliy of the farm.

    Ecovillage homesites require a lease payment and one’s own investment in construction. After the construction phase, ecovillage residents work in farm or farm-based livelihoods. Each ecovillage resident then contributes a percentage of their micro-enterprise dollars to the farm or works on core farm activities as a kitchen manager, fruit manager, market manager, CSA manager, etc. We share profits with those involved in direct farm activities.

    interns and volunteers exchange labor energy for education in farming from seed to market, group dynamics,mechanics and construction and contribute to the farm’s overall circle of energy with the goal of leaving the farm more beautiful or strong for their having been here. We are grateful to all of the many volunteers who have worked at White Buffalo Farm over the last almost four decades.


  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Current food produced: From 50-75%
  • Planned food produced: Almost All, up to 90%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat important – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Dietary Practice: Local (food sourced within 100 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian
  • Alcohol Use: No, this community does not permit alcohol use.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional comments: We cultivate a bioregional cuisines sustainable for our region and encouraging our community members to develop their personal expression as culinary contributors for the benefit of all members. Interns, apprentices and the farm staff share almost all meals during the growing season.

    We grow acres of fruits and vegetables which we eat and sell. We supplement with organic co-op purchased products, foods purchased through our wholesale buyer in trade and foods from other farms and ranches in our region/valley.

    We try to be attentive to our carbon footprint. Everything else is a special treat, rare and used sparingly and with respect. For instance, avocadoes and coconuts do not grow here. For raw vegans, we also do not have a plentiful supply of nuts. We work with what we have. For meat eaters, we avoid pork and beef on the farm and prefer buffalo or venison. We try to eat what is available locally and seasonally.

    We rely on the bounty of the farm and what can be grown or produced locally first. We prefer certified Organic foods. We seek to provide raw milk and organic, GMO free feed fed, delicious eggs along with whole grains, breads and beans as the mainstay. The Community Kitchen Manager (or crew depending on staffing) attempts to meet the preferences of each individual within the contraints of budget and time. We start off with a healthful vegetarian base. The core meals are generally not vegan, but a vegan can generally find a healthful way to meet their needs. We fish in local waters and also trade or purchase GMO free feed fed, free range organic chickens. We also raise turkeys and guinea hens.

    zero tolerance due to educational setting.

    organic tobacco and no chemical cigarettes, please

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC), Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Ecovillage Network of the Americas, Community Supported Agriculture program

Community Affiliations

The Farm, Lama Foundation, WindSpirit Community


organic, ecovillage, farm,

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.