Laughing Dog Farm Seeks Collaborators/Successors For the Next Generation
Twenty something years ago I had the great privilege and unique opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of occupying and developing a small organic farm on a stunningly beautiful hilltop in western Massachusetts, (Franklin County) on land that had once been part of a notorious commune in the 1970’s.
Over two decades, my loyal partner Divya and I, along with seasonal interns, housemates and various helpers, tirelessly developed our little Laughing Dog Farm into a unique, green oasis and well-loved, regional learning hub. Onto a largely empty canvas we planted dozens of fruit trees: peach, pear, apple, chestnut, pawpaw and asian pears, plus ample perennials, berries and multiple raised bed gardens with elaborate wooden trellises, fences, arbors and other vertical growing apparatus. Over time we also built two large solar greenhouses, and tended bees and shepherded a herd of delightful dairy goats, relentlessly building soil fertility with their waste. We experimented wildly, studied our craft and taught similarly inspired young folks some of the skills and insights we’ve been gleaning and practicing over the years. We also operated a small CSA, shared our rich produce at several area farmers markets and made regular donations to a local soup kitchen and community meals program. With grit and perseverance we built our modest permaculture-inspired farm into a rare paradise of edible sustenance, a fecund food forest, and secluded sanctuary from the troubled world and her myriad problems.
It has been a blessed and bucolic life, and for two decades I have been full of boundless energy, laser-like focus and green inspiration. Until now.
Sadly, as of this current date (summer 2021) we are beset with a series of health problems which has put our continued stewardship of Laughing Dog Farm in question. There was always much to do in order to manage and maintain all the aspect of this diversified farm. However, what was once a grand challenge and noble adventure has become a depressing burden. Today Laughing Dog needs more than we can give to it. We wish to see our good work here preserved, maintained and enhanced going forward. This unique farmstead clearly needs and deserves new blood to carry her into the next phase of history.
Our home, a unique, multi-story (3500 square feet) is currently undergoing a major renovation phase. In the coming year, it is our hope to retrofit, improve and subdivide our giant house into two autonomous apartments such that we might remain here as tenants on the land while another, younger family who intends to succeed us as farm stewards/owners into the future, moves in and begins taking up the reins and ownership of LDF. It is our wish to remain on the land as possible in a support, consulting and education role but not necessarily to maintain proprietary role going forward.
We are hence looking for such a similarly inspired farmer person, couple or family who’re also savvy to permaculture, green building, land management and micro-farming. We believe this could be a valuable opportunity for the right one(s).
Terms of engagement (rental, lease, outright sale, co-ownership) could be negotiable based upon the right chemistry, vision, ambition, skills and integrity of the candidate(s). This is a tall order, but also an AMAZING situation for the right person or persons. It is our belief that such ambitious, but landless folks are out there looking, and we are determined to find the right ones.
Appropriate inquiries and/or networking efforts are welcomed. We look forward to speaking with/meeting potential candidates and showing you around this incredible land…
Farm Manager/Co-owner, Laughing Dog Farm