Simplicity, honesty, compassionate communication, just being are how we strive to live our lives.
We are two 40 somethings who have traveled the world, lived in intentional communities and on a variety of farms. Wise elders with life and practical skills, as well as spiritual and ancestral knowledge have shaped who we are today. Our mutual vision may sound idealistic but wanting to live a regenerative life while fostering an agrarian community rooted in the old ways shouldn't be regarded as radical, rather common sense for what modern society faces.
Stephanie is quite adept at wildcrafting and makes us teas, medicines and delicious meals from what naturally abounds here. Her passion is Holistic Animal Husbandry and she most often can be found out on pasture with animals. She enjoys helping people find natural solutions for their livestock and educating folks about the wild abundance of food and medicine all around us. She endeavors to carry on studying and practicing mindfulness in myriad of ways such as: meditation, NVC, Co-Counseling, the Law of One, youth nature connection education, breath work and yoga.
Daniel grew up on a farm in MN where he learned to fix all manner of things from an insatiable curiosity on how things worked. He studied economics and business at university and lived abroad for 15 years where he bought and sold classic cars, worked as a snake relocator and scatologist as well as, the chemical spraying auditor for Tasmania. After waking to our planetary predicament, he became a full time environmental activist, lobbying for energy policy reform, crewing with the sea shepherd then moved to an off grid community in the mountains where he studied permaculture and built straw bale houses. He moved back to America to help steer culture in a more sane direction and spent the first year with the sustainable living roadshow, being arrested protesting the keystone pipeline and eventually spent a month in Manhattan with occupy wall st. He realized as long as the majority of people are incapable of meeting most of their fundamental human needs, even committed activists are feeding the dragon they’re trying to slay. He and his wife Stephanie moved back to the family farm in Minnesota where they are growing 80% of their calories, rebuilding the local ecology while educating and empowering people to wrest back control of their sovereignty as human beings.
We share the farm with Daniel's parents who have much knowledge to share as they have lived and worked this land for over 50 years.
We are in the process of building a 4-season greenhouse, smokehouse, food dehydrator and a root cellar. It may sound like we are preparing for end times but we are not doing these things from a place of fear but instead, choosing to live this way because we believe it is honest and fulfilling to know where all of our food comes from. We live quite simply. We hardly leave the farm, share a phone, buy very little and spend all of our non-farming time teaching children how to reclaim their relationship to nature for free at our Resiliency School.
To wrest our sovereignty away from "the system" and relinquish it to the community of people and plants and animals we share this geographical space with.
The Farmers of New Story
PROUD MEMBERS OF :
The Intended Vision
So what's the story with New Story Farm?
Well, it's a farm whose caretakers are working to enact just that…a new story! We believe that virtually all of the problems that come with civilization stem from people believing the predominant cultural story which says we are "above" or "separate" from nature. This story that is omnipresent in our culture tells us that the natural laws of nature are not applicable to us.
A "story" is a scenario interrelating man, the world, and the gods."To enact" is to live so as to make a story a reality. "Culture" is a people enacting a story. If you believe that the world belongs to man, you will see all other life as a resource. If you believe that man belongs to the world, you see all other life as partners. On our farm, we are surrounded by annual agriculture and although we grew up eating from this system and have gratitude for that, we also see that annual agriculture is intrinsically unsustainable. Even at it's best, it is extractive and erosive, leading in time to desertification. We want to enact a new story that puts humans back in partnership with all other creation.
You want to be peasants?!
After reading this piece in The Hand Sculpted House, you may just want to be one too.
"Peasants satisfy their own basic needs: they grow their food, build the houses they live in, often make their own clothes. Most peasants collect medicinal herbs, treat medical emergencies, supply their family entertainment. They experience fully what they do every day; they have time-they feel joy. Their culture is integral, it makes sense. Farmers by contrast grow things to sell. With what they earn from their products, they buy their groceries, building materials, clothes, entertainment and medical insurance. They must also drive to market, pay taxes, perhaps send their kids to agricultural college. Increasingly they must buy machinery, seeds, farm chemicals. Farmers have no time to directly enjoy satisfying their own needs, so they purchase their satisfactions; they buy ready-made clothing and "convenience" foods."
We feel that food is so grossly undervalued in the american culture that it is often insulting to the grower to sell it. Our aim is fair energy exchange and many times that is not with currency. Our main goal is to sustain ourselves and our immediate community while facilitating a habitat that promotes diversity in the natural community around us. Our surplus will be "banked" in the soil and the life in and above it.
Our farm is located where the tall grass prairie met the big woods back in the day, in Hutchinson, Minnesota.
The land here would have been an oak savanna for thousands of years, known by biologists to be the most productive ecosystem, in terms of biomass production, on earth. It would have been grazed seasonally by herds of buffalo numbering in the thousands in their far northern arc of their migration pattern. We intend to mimic this system, as best we can, by planting a diverse perennial forage interspersed with masting trees and shrubs such as oak, hybrid chestnut, hazelnut and black walnut; fruiting trees such as apples, apricots, pears and mulberry and a host of berries and other woody perennials. We "mob" graze the land with cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys to approximate the energy cycling that went on for millennia here.
We acknowledge those who came before us
The first recorded stewards, Mdewakanton, Dakota Sioux tribe who deeply cared for this land, for they were part of this land.
We acknowledge the second stewards, the Dettman Family who built the farm infrastructure.
We acknowledge the third stewards Dennis and Elaine Zetah for passing on the farming legacy.
We honor those who came before us by stewarding this land and all of the beings on it with the deepest respect and greatest care.
We honor those who come after us by planting useful trees and bushes and leaving this land better than we found it.
The Beloved Land We Steward
Do you care about ecology and desire a land-based life for a growing season? We are looking for a few folks to help out this Summer.
We are a small diversified regenerative farm. Our focus is on planting and maintaining perennials as well as, rotational grazing of livestock. We need help planting and mulching trees, tending the garden, moving animals on pasture, fencing, making hay, harvesting and wild foraging of medicinal herbs. Would you like to live here and eat the best food available to humans while spending 4 to 6 hours per day ( 5 days per week ) pottering around with us outdoors? Lets chat! In exchange we provide room and board and we will teach you all kinds of things along the way.
After years of living and working on farms and in intentional communities, we feel the only way for true sustainable agriculture to take shape is within community. We also recognize that the dominant society has failed to empower folks with the skills necessary to live in community well. They didn't teach conflict resolution or how to work well or communicate with others. They don't value vulnerability or empathic tendencies which is an essential foundation for a strong community. We endeavor to reclaim this way of life, will you help us in doing so? Let us be the change we wish to see in the world.
Given that we are all in the process of unlearning the dog-eat-dog education we were given, we know it will take generations to return to village life but together, we can build the foundation for future generations to inherit a better society.
If this piques your interest, get in-touch and let us explore the realistic possibilities. Thank you for walking the path less traveled!