Birdsfoot Farm

Canton, New York, United States

  • Last updated: October 15, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: September 21, 2004
  • Last verified on: October 15, 2018

Mission Statement

Learn/Grow, good food and friends

Community Description

Birdsfoot Farm is a consensus-based agricultural community founded in 1972. Our farm is located where the St. Lawrence River valley meets the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. Though the area is quite rural, the presence of four colleges nearby brings cultural diversity we appreciate.
Our 73-acre farm has fertile loam soil, woods, a stream, a large community house, three comfortable homes, a schoolhouse, two barns, and a small cabin. In order to grow we need to build new dwellings. The land and buildings are owned by the community.
Members share monthly living expenses, purchase equity in the property, and participate in community work projects. We care a lot about each other and find time for many kinds of sharing–such as communal meals, rituals, parties, etc. Each person follows his or her own spiritual path. Individuals are active in social and environmental issues. The new-member process includes a one-year trial period. We welcome new members, including children and elders.
Our vegetable business grows two acres of certified organic vegetables for the community, wholesale, CSA, and farmers market using low-input techniques, intensive spacing and cover cropping.
Little River Community School was started in 1998. The school now serves 39 students in grades K-12 with four full-time teachers. The school is founded on the belief that children are inherently motivated to learn about their world and should be allowed to proceed at their own rate. See the school on the web at http://www.littleriverschool.org.

The farm and school provide income to some of the community members and others work off the farm. Each year the veggie business and school seek interns.
For more information about our community, or internship programs, please send a letter.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1972
  • Start Living Together: 1972
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Phone: 315-386-4852
  • Community Address:
    1263 County Rte 25
    Canton, New York, 13617-6538
    United States
  • FIC Membership

    Since 1993
    This Community is an FIC Member
  • Location

About

  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything), Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Programs & Activities: Transition Town (post-petroleum and off-grid communities), School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 73 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 5
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership

Membership

  • Adult Members: 8
  • Child Members: 3
  • Non-member Residents: 3
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Please write a letter to describe yourself and what you would like.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    One year trial membership.

  • Additional Comments:

    We have a K-12 school.
    We have an organic vegetable farm.

Government

  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments:

    We have a weekly workday, each cook once a week and do household chores.

    Members pay approximately $275/ month toward equity and expenses and $140 per month for food.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: From 50-75%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    We grow and preserve all of our own vegetables.

    The main house kitchen is vegetarian. People can eat meat in their own houses.

  • Education Style(s): Private Schooling at the Community
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Keywords

Community, farm, school, consensus, sustainable