“What do we do at Plowshare Farm? We strive to meet the humanity within another. Rudolf Steiner said it best: ‘The healing social life is found when in the mirror of each human soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the community the virtue of each one is living”
--Donat Bay, Founder, community member
Lifesharing, partnering with the land, and spiritual wholeness
We strive to foster social, cultural and agricultural renewal through an alternative way of living in relationship to each other and to the land which sustains us.
Three fundamental practices enable Plowshare Farm to offer an environment where those in need can thrive.
A hallmark of who we are is that we live together and strive together to create an environment where we human beings can work through our issues and personal concerns to grow trusting, tolerant and open relationships.
We, apprentices, residents, volunteers, coworkers and their families, live together and share our social, cultural and everyday life. We do not have shift workers. Our extended family homes allow each person to develop a strong sense of belonging, and a community is built in which there isn’t a clear division between the dependent and the independent. Instead, a feeling of interdependence is fostered. All live and work side by side, day by day, each learning from the other.
Partnering with the land
Plowshare Farm is committed to caring for the earth which supports us. It is our hope and intention that the land on which we live is more abundant and rich as a result of the time we have spent on it rather than depleted. We continuously strive toward increasing our sustainability and decreasing our consumption of natural resources. Toward these goals we grow our food organically (striving toward biodynamic production as well), heat our homes using sustainable methods (high efficiency wood furnaces using sustainably harvested wood and geo-thermal), use solar energy as much as possible, and repair/repurpose rather than purchase wherever possible.
People usually long to feel that their daily striving produces something useful and contributes to the general good. People with special needs carry this same longing, and at Plowshare Farm that need is met through the simple yet significant, slower paced, rhythmic tasks our homesteading-like farm provides. By caring for the land, creating much of our own food, and doing most building and maintenance projects, we perform meaningful work which is truly productive, of service to the community, and of genuine good to society.
Recognition of spiritual wholeness
Our work is inspired by the teachings of Dr. Karl Koenig, the founder of the Camphill movement for social renewal and Dr. Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian humanitarian and social scientist who founded the Waldorf School movement and developed Anthroposophy. Guided by this study of the wisdom of humanity, life at Plowshare Farm is built upon the recognition of each individual’s spiritual wholeness and an appreciation for the unique gifts each individual, no matter how severely handicapped, brings into his or her life. The focus at Plowshare Farm is not on disability, but on capability.