You’ve probably heard of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). At Wild Abundance Community Farm (WACF), we go a step further. Our project brings together the interests, visions, resources, and skills of people living on and farming the land for their livelihood, and urban dwellers seeking a deep connection to land and community. We all own equal shares of the farm, and work cooperatively to care for the land and develop innovative, integrated systems that can nourish our families as well as the larger community. By sharing ownership of the land, farm enterprises are better able to begin building a sense of permanence on the land without the overwhelming amount of debt that often accompanies purchasing land on your own. Sharing the land also creates a spirit of camaraderie in what can otherwise become an isolating occupation.
Our project is uniquely located near the Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago markets just outside the vibrant small town of Fort Atkinson, WI. We currently host three farm enterprises: The Coney Garth (a pasture-based meat rabbit operation run by WACF member Julie Engel); Regenerative Roots (a certified-organic diversified vegetable farm operated by WACF members Anne Drehfal & Dennis Fiser, and exploring member Clint Freund); and Cultivating the Commons (a seed-saving operation run by exploring members Clint Freund and Kass McKinnon). The 30-acre parcel also has a cooperatively managed perennial fruit & nut orchard, share-cropped hayfield, and a woodland restoration. We are actively looking for new ideas and enthusiastic folks to collaborate with. We see possibilities for mushroom production, medicinal herbs, perennial nursery, regional seed work, small-size livestock, educational events, and more fitting in on the land, but want to leave space at the table for new interested parties to share their visions, too.
Most of us had been striving to join or create a rural intentional community for many years, guided by the vision of a group of people working to care for the land – in harmony with nature, in support of one another, and connected to the broader community. In 2009, several of our members began stewarding the 30 acres that would become WACF, and initiated the process of permaculture planting, hosting workshops and social events, and gathering together others who shared this vision. Gradually we found one another, all sharing the recognition that rootedness and mutual support empower us to accomplish so much more, to take on greater challenges, and to live more fully than we can individually.