St. Francis Farm Community is a non-profit corporation with tax-exempt status. Various Catholic Worker communities and Quaker organizations helped us preserve the simple and non-hierarchical nature of the farm when we formed the corporation. The officers are Core Members who live and work at St. Francis Farm, carry out the mission and make decisions as needed. We continue to live by gifts given and received, taking no salaries. The board of directors meets once a year to review the work of the Core Members, provide suggestions, and renew their terms. In between meetings individuals on the board advise and support us in various ways. Decisions are not made by voting, but by Spirit-based discernment.
The Hoyt family came to St. Francis Farm in 2001, a mother (Lorraine) looking for community, a daughter (Joanna) looking for a hands-on alternative to the consumer culture, and her brother (Zachary) looking for new skills to learn. The farm, with its many challenges and opportunities to learn, seemed a natural extension of our years of homeschooling. Others have joined us for a few days or weeks or even a few years. All of us work as volunteers. The land and our labor provide food and wood for heating. Donations and sale of lumber and shiitake logs provide money for things we can’t grow or make. Our days are spent on farming and woods work, taking time out to welcome day visitors. Joanna convenes monthly meetings of a community service task force and organizes local Screen-Free Week activities. Zachary builds wheelchair ramps and helps elders with home repairs. Lorraine tends the perennial herb and flower gardens, manages the office, does most of the cooking and food-preserving, and enjoys bird-watching. Evenings and weekends Zachary builds musical instruments that he sells online and Joanna writes fiction and essays about farming, immigration, family, religion, politics, economics etc. We all enjoy walks and the opportunities they provide to watch sunsets, stargaze, observe the wild things that share the farm with us.