Humble Hands Harvest is a worker-owned cooperative!
We made our LLC’s bylaws into a cooperative agreement in 2018, and we feel really good about it–it’s a structure that meets our current needs for democratic ownership and decision-making, allows room for growth, enables access to farmers with limited capital, has an exit strategy, and feels like it is helping to create a better, more just and generous, world.
Those who want to join our business as a worker-owner will do so by first working with us for at least a year. Get in touch to do so!
The unique and dare-we-say radical part of our business is that we internally ascribe an ownership share to “the commons.” When we began this farm, a great number of community members donated money and land to the project. We account for this donated capital separately from our own inputs of capital, which means that the gifts that were given to get this farm started stay with the farm, not with our personal bank accounts. So, when a new farmer wants to join as a worker-owner, they are not burdened by a huge capital contribution–they are simply stewards of a common vision. Our business is legally structured as an LLC, not as a non-profit, so that worker-owners can build equity; but, the structure of the capital accounting and the commons creates a long term vision for community equity, so that beginning farmers don’t have to front the entire cost of owning a farm and instead can focus on stewardship.
We celebrate our reliance on a place-based community, grounding ourselves by growing food for this place and gathering together on the land.
- We put land in the hands of those willing to steward it cooperatively, as a commons for future generations.
- We regenerate land with a history of exploitation, using perennial crops, cycles of fertility, and abundant and generous diversity.
- We inspire, educate, and welcome our wider community with yearly rituals of harvest and processing, and we build ongoing connections through regular opportunities to work together and celebrate together.
- We aim to illustrate the enough-ness of our place by eating habitually, if not exclusively, from what the land here produces. We look to produce a full diet of starches, sugars, proteins, fats and nutrients, in an increasingly perennial way.
- We expect to connect with the sacred in our daily lives and in set-aside times; we support each other in our diverse ways of making that connection.
Our Land Access Story
We wouldn’t be farming here if it weren’t for a community of people coming together to protect the land. When these 22 acres of crop land were slated to go to auction, our neighbor Steve McCargar rallied a group of about 20 people to buy the land in shares instead. They formed an LLC and put the land into hay to hold the soil and transition it to organic possibilities.
Hannah worked with the LLC for 3 years before figuring out a method of carving out 8 acres for her to own so that Humble Hands Harvest could have a permanent home. In 2017, Emily and Hannah began farming here and installed a well, electricity, greenhouse, deer fence, and yurt! The farm was launched!