Rumblings | Reaching for the Star Farm

Fall Creek farmland hopes to house self-sustaining commune

Tracy Chipman

The barn.
Future commune.

Raise your hand if one of the following applies: you garden, raise chickens, make a point to buy local, and/or take time regularly to connect with nature. I am imagining a ton of happy hands flying high. It is beyond a growing trend, as here, there, and everywhere folks are incorporating self-sustainable practices into their lives. Folks like Fall Creek native Joel Schwartz are expanding on this goodness. Co-creator of star farm, Joel grew up on this very farmland, left, and returned two years ago with a vision: to create, with a few other like-minded life artists, “a cooperative, work, of art, in progress.” Star Farm, located along Highway 12 in Fall Creek, consists of five acres of land, a house, multi-purpose sheds, a massive barn, native trees, an orchard, seed-ready gardens, and a bee yard. Joel and a dedicated group living on the farm are currently inviting others to join them and co-create a family, “using Star Farm’s resources to live as self-sustainably and joyfully as possible.” Ideas of what’s possible at Star Farm are plentiful: treetop dwellings, converted milk-house hostel, basement recording-studio, barn-loft concert hall, converted dairy-parlor artisan studios, barn-basement tea bar, seasonal open-air flea market, sculpture gardens, produce gardens, goat house, duck pond, chicken coop, disk golf course, silo homes, barnyard-wide rainwater collection system, windmill powered well, and, take a breath … on-site grey-water recycle system, farmhouse meditation and yoga den, and AM radio station.


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