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Passing the Torch

By Tom Spaulding, Executive Director

Just before the Shareholder Open House on Saturday, July 18 we held a brief reception and recognition for the outgoing members of the Angelic Organics North LLC. In November 2014, the torch was passed to an incoming group of families in cooperation with the newly formed Angelic Organics Association, a community land trust dedicated to protecting the land in perpetuity for organic/Biodynamic agriculture, farming education and land conservation.

In 1998, 27 families, mostly shareholders of Angelic Organics CSA farm, combined their resources and purchased 39.25 acres of farmland adjacent to Angelic Organics CSA farm. The neighbor farmer was retiring and selling off parcels of his land. The families held the property in common in the form of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) for 15 years. At an Open House in 1998, the 27 families, including Brian Herner and Cyndi Duda (center, pictured with Neddy Astudillo, Tom Spaulding, Haidy Peterson, farmer John Peterson - from left to right), were present at the farm to cut the fence between Angelic Organics North and the CSA farm. Families were gifted a piece of the fence to symbolize this historic event! Cyndi and Brian brought their piece back for the reception this past Saturday (see photo below).

 Organic farm, Angelic Organics, Angelic Organics Association, landtrust, Farmer John, Real Dirt on Farmer John
The "Angelic Organics North" land purchase set the stage for 15 years of growth for the farm and the Angelic Organics Learning Center. The farm was able to add new fields into production and more than doubled membership to 2,500 families each season. Likewise, the stable land base allowed the Learning Center to grow its training programs for farmers and educational programs for eaters from under 2,000 per year up to 5,500 last season.

The original land agreement sunset in 2014 and thanks to the generosity of many of the outgoing families, more than 1/2 the equity of the 39.25 acres was transferred to the Angelic Organics Association community land trust. Five shareholder families joined the land trust to extend the Angelic Organics North LLC to the year 2029. All of us who eat the bounty from this land, who enjoy the educational and training opportunities it conveys, and who work on and visit this vibrant Biodynamic farm organism are tremendously grateful to the original members and the new members of the Angelic Organics North LLC!