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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

McKibben To Kick Off Campaign For Caretaker

12:00AM / Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Williamstown -- Citing Caretaker Farm as an example of what he means by a "deep economy," prize-winning author/environmentalist Bill McKibben will spend April 28-29 kicking off a $239,000 fund-raising effort for one of the nation's oldest community-supported agriculture (CSA) farms.

McKibben's talk Friday, April 28, at 8 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown is entitled: "Caretaker Farm: Case Study for a Deep Economy." It is free and open to the public. On Saturday, he'll attend a reception and brunch at the 35-acre farm, which was sold March 17 for a total of $427,000 ($227,000 and a $200,000 promissory note) in a complex and innovative transaction designed to ensure it remains a working farm, affordable to the farmers and serving the local community, forever.

Caretaker is noted for playing an innovative role connecting children and adult shareholders to the land, in training young farmers in sustainable agriculture and in advancing an alternative food economy based on community-supported agriculture.

McKibben says Caretaker Farm illustrates the premises of his new book, "Deep Economy." In it, he will argue that economic growth as a single strategy of society is colliding with global warming and peak oil. He says it needs to be replaced by more localized economies and new dependence on neighbors. "The only part of this economy that has really begun to take form in this country is around food, and one of the earliest and most notable experiments of this kind in the country is Caretaker Farm," he says.

McKibben is best known for his ground breaking meditation on climate change, "The End of Nature," following by many other books including, "Hope Human and Wild," which features Caretaker Farm as a sign of Hope. A scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, he lives with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, and their daughter, in Ripton, Vt.

The "Campaign for Caretaker: Standing on Common Ground" fundraising effort is chaired by Williamstown resident Audrey Thier and involves a group of CSA shareholders and is facilitated by Equity Trust. It seeks to raise $239,000 as the community's share of the cost of the project, a portion of the difference between what the house, land, and farm buildings sold for and their appraised market value. The rest of the difference -- $382,000 -- is in effect a donation by the Smiths to the farm's future.

For additional information, please call Caretaker Farm (413) 458-9691 or go to http://www.newshare.com/caretaker
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