Prairie Song Farms

Fairfield, Iowa, United States

  • Last updated: July 12, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: July 12, 2018

Mission Statement

The Holistic Goal – Vision and Mission revised and updated Spring 2013
The holistic goal contains four primary sections: Statement of Purpose, Quality of Life, Forms of Production, and Future Resource Base. Each section builds on the next, and descriptions of each section are given briefly next to each heading title.

Statement of Purpose – The overarching mission
To build a resilient community that provides opportunities for people to learn how to live in harmony with each other and the cosmos.

“Quality of Life, forms of production, and future resource base goals have to be combined into one comprehensive, holistic goal. Otherwise decisions could be made in support of one aspect, while damaging another.” from Holistic Management

Quality of Life – A description of how we want our life to be, in the context of the farm, based on what we most value
Life at the farm is latent with an underlying peace and fosters harmony in diversity. We live together honestly, passionately, and creatively in community. Our work is inspired by our individual passions, yet contributes toward a shared purpose.

We want to develop an infrastructure and landscape that generates long-term food self-sufficiency, energy and water independence, and economic abundance; this involves commitment to necessary systems of organization to maintain what is developed, revising systems as needed to respond to changing conditions and new information. We want to share the lessons and opportunities from the farm to the community of Fairfield and beyond. And we want to help build a place where future generations can grow up naturally, comfortably and without fear.

Forms of Production – What we have to produce to fulfill the purpose of Prairie Song Farms and create the qualities of life that we desire
Community celebrations and activities that foster community spirit
An environment that is open to art, music, dancing, social gatherings, and other aspects of life that generally promote richness, creativity and fun
Comfortable, functional, and energy efficient dwellings
Renewable energy for electrical needs, and load calculations for existing structures
Plants for food and medicine, and care taking guidelines to support their growth and use
Food processing and storage space
Systems of organization that support orderliness and maintenance of community spaces and equipment
Community kitchen use
Living room and porch use
Tools use
Trash and recycling protocol
Greenhouse use
Methods of communication to help us harmonize our activities, including systems of accountability for project planning/implementation/maintenance

Community Description

Where We Started

The idea of Prairie Song Farms is that Sustainable Living Students from the University can come to apply on site “hands-on” knowledge that they learn in the classroom, while at the same time establishing a perennial, self supporting system of energy, infrastructure, polyculture, education, and community.

When we first began in 2009 we planted a garden, and began making the old farm home liveable. That spring and summer consisted of painting, re-flooring, putting in a septic system, installing a sump-pump in the floor of the basement in the farmhouse, planting trees, sealing the roof of the farmhouse, fixing the gutters, cleaning out the attic and sealing off the front porch to make the place livable, along with getting to know the land with everything we did.

In the Fall of 2010 we had an incredible momentum returning to Prairie Song Farm from California in a ‘69 International school bus with seven college students. We kept the momentum going by the building of a StrawBale cottage inspired and funded by our newest member of the team, Jeremiah. We built the cottage in a month, and simultaneously started on the renovation of the south barn/storage shed which is now a home with attached greenhouse and water catchment unit.

The 2012-2013 year saw a changing scene at the farm, with the 2010 crew graduating and leaving the farm, and a new group gradually emerging. Some of the babies left, some new babies moved in. In the spring of 2013 a permaculture design plan was made by James for his senior project, and Rick Valley -an experienced permaculturist from Oregon- came for a 2 days to consult the farm on its permaculture design and long-term vision. The farm also got a partial grant to build a greenhouse. The greenhouse is now up – completed over the summer 2013, and more activity will ensue based on the people at the farm from here on out. The permaculture design plan is in a binder at the farm in hard copy, as well as online shared with the group on google drive.

In December 2013 we experienced a fire in the top floor of the farmhouse.Quick thinking by Victor Orne and help from all members (we were having a farm meeting downstairs when the fire started) plus quick response from the Fairfield Fire Department saved the building. The fire was the impetus to do the long-considered renovations to the old place.

The entire top story was removed and replaced with a Victor Orne designed and implemented simpler and taller roof. The building’s electrical system was upgraded, heating vents were reconfigured and improved, and the outside foundation was insulated. As of 2015, a new metal roof is in place, the South steps have been rebuilt, foam insulation has been added, the West porch is now a heated bedroom, the East deck has been re-roofed, drywall and painting are done. It’s a much more expansive interior on both floors.

In October 2013 Jeffrey & Linda began building their future home out in the Northwest hay field. Fall, 2017 the house is now complete.

June 2014. Several PSF members graduated and launched themselves into the world. We miss them dearly and look forward to their return visits.natives to meet our water, food, shelter, and energy needs. Ultimately propelling the shift of the paradigm of scarcity into one of absolute abundance.”

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 2008
  • Start Living Together: 2008
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Facebook:
  • Contact Name: Jeffrey Hedquist
  • Phone: (641) 472 – 6708
  • Community Address:
    2107 150th St.
    Fairfield, Iowa, 52556
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling), Student Housing or Student Co-Op
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 145 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 5
  • Planned number of residences: 1
  • Planned Residence Types: Tiny house, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Natural built structues, Lots to build on
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental, Work-exchange
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)


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

    Contact us by phone or email.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Determining New Residents

    Up to this point we have relied on consensus and intuition for deciding whether or not someone is compatible within our community. It hasn’t let us down yet. If everyone agrees that a person is right for the community, and all the fundamentals are there (space, housing, food, pets, personality, skills, personal dreams) then we usually agree to a trial period to see if the “shoe fits”. Again this process is an organic one and will continue to evolve as the Farm evolves.

  • Additional Comments:

    The ideal resident:

    The ideal resident is an effective communicator, collaborator, a strong individual, and an equally strong team player. Able to dream with the whole, and have the tools and passion to root those dreams into reality. This community is an ever evolving puzzle, and everyone is a piece for the greater good, and everyone has a niche or a role to play that benefits all.

    “The important thing is this: to be able to sacrifice at any moment what we are for what we could become,”



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


    “Responsibility cannot be given it can only be taken.” Meaning that this process
    of delegating activities is an organic one. Some tasks will be set however, example:

    A and B feed and water the chickens, C feeds and waters the Sheep. The gardening crew is forever mingling. The point being that if you want to see something happen on the farm then you just need to do it. Of course, having the approval of the community and have a reason backing your actions that is going to benefit the whole is essential as well, with everything we do.”


    “Harmony lives in Diversity” The more diverse the skills the more that
    can be accomplished on the property. It does no good to have all carpenters, but no gardeners, and vice-versa. We strongly encourage people to follow their highest excitement and share their skills and experiences with the group so we can all share in the holism that makes up Prairie Song Farm and work together for the maximum outcome.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $200
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 5
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    At the Farm we are part of a work-trade rent agreement, where we currently need 20 hours of work per person towards the farm a month.

    Update hours weekly. It’s easy to lose track of your hours unless you do it regularly.

    What hours qualify: generally, any work that contributes to the long term viability of Prairie Song Farms – construction, composting, tilling, planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, livestock care, repairs, mowing, snow shoveling.

    Tasks like cleaning, recycling, organizing, dishwashing, work in your personal space are considered personal and wouldn’t qualify.

    These are general guidelines. When you have a question about whether a task qualifies as work credit, ask Jeffrey. We’ll also clarify it at a farm meeting and add to this Action Plan.

    The agreement we have is that no cash rent is charged as long as each adult resident is putting in at least 20 hours per month. Some months you may work less, some months more, but in general it should average out to at least 20 hours per month per person.

    If someone is unwilling or unable to put in his or her 20 hours per month, the alternative would be for them to make a monthly rent payment to the owner (Jeffrey Hedquist) in lieu of all or part of their hourly agreement. This should be a temporary, not a permanent arrangement. For example:

    0 hours labor = $200 rent payment
    5 hours labor = $150 rent payment
    10 hours labor = $100 rent payment

    Similar to rent, your monthly obligation is due whether you are present for all, some or none of each month, as long as you are a Prairie Song Farms resident.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Geothermal
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: Between 26-49%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Swimming pond or pool, Waterfront access, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, exceptionally.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: Rarely
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Vegan Only (plants only, no animal products) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegan., Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Raw or Mostly Raw, Kosher, Halal, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

Fairfield: Population 10,000. One of Americas best places to live. Oprah: Best kept secret. Mayor was named top 5 greenest mayors in USA

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)


Intentional community, Sustainability, Permaculture, Organic, Regenerative, Greenhouse, Gardens