Welcome to our School of Living electronic newsletter where you can catch up on what is happening in our land trust communities and SOL committee work.

The newsletter archive lives under the "Publications" tab in the primary menu of the School of Living website. From there, you will be able to access each newsletter and use its link for sharing. Contact if you need any assistance in retrieving these newsletters.


The conference call is scheduled for January 23, 2021. Board members will receive the board packet automatically by email. If you are not a board member but interested in participating, please, contact to receive details.


The SOL Bylaws, Article XIII,F(7), point to our Land Committee as a resource for conflict resolution. To be clear, the Bylaws do not require the Land Committee to address all conflict that is brought to their attention. The SOL conflict resolution/mediation policy is specific to disputes and grievances that are relevant to the SOL’s Community Land Trust Program. Any School of Living Member can bring a request for assistance pertaining to these types of conflicts to the Land Committee. Inquiries and requests for clarification about issues pertaining to land trust properties may, also, be brought to the Land Committee.

This is a resource for our School of Living members. Our Land Committee provides this service in effort to:

  • give voice to those SOL members wishing to advocate for the land that is in SOL trust.

  • clarify whether a conflict is relevant to the management of the land as directed by the lease and other agreements.

    • If so, the Land Committee will act as a resource in the conflict.

    • If not, the conflict will be addressed by the land trust community and its members or those holding lease to the land trust property using other resources as needed.

  • bring clarification to relevant SOL land trust property agreements specific to the property in question.

  • provide access to information that may be needed for bringing resolution to a conflict such as land survey, documentation, historical reference

If you are a School of Living member and are looking for clarification or need assistance in moving through conflict regarding one of SOL’s land trust properties, this process may be helpful to you.

  • Contact hello@schoolofliving so that a discussion with the Land Committee can be initiated.

  • A meeting to discuss your concerns with the Land Committee will be scheduled.

  • After listening to concerns, a determination will be made as to whether the issue should be addressed by the Land Committee. If so, the Land Committee will meet together to review relevant documents such as lease agreements, deeds and surveys. The Land Committee will make efforts to access all relevant information necessary for clarification regarding the issue.

  • The Land Committee may contact the land trust property leaseholder or representatives to clarify and resolve the concerns. Suggestions may be made. All involved will collaborate toward solutions. Adherence to existing agreements will be emphasized.

  • Follow up with the Land Committee may be needed as action is negotiated and initiated.

The SOL education committee is beginning work on creating resource lists for each community that may be helpful in conflict resolution and mediation. Such resources may be helpful for issues outside of the Land Committee’s responsibility. Watch for updates.


with Andrea Ferich from Ironwood Forestry

January 6, 2021 at 7-8:30 p.m.

Image courtesy of Andrea Ferich

During the January, 2021 Zoomcast session, Andrea Ferich will give a brief overview of 6 main agroforestry practices and potential income-generating opportunities for fruits, nuts, and cut flowers in these perennial systems in PA.

Andrea Ferich is a forestry consultant through her business Ironwood Forestry focusing on the implementation of agroforestry systems with private landowners across Central PA. She has worked in sustainable agriculture, ecological restoration, and watershed management for the last twenty years from urban and rural settings. She was recently appointed as Vice President of the PA Native Plant Society. She also sits on the steering committee of the Keystone Tree Crops Cooperative, the PA DCNR Riparian Buffer Advisory Committee, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Silvopasture Advisory Committee. She has worked with over 25 landowners in the last three years in the planting and distribution of 15,000 trees and shrubs. Prior to graduate school she was the Executive Director of the Penns Valley Conservation Association. She enjoys propagating native plants and birdwatching. You can find out more about her work at and on the Ironwood Forestry Instagram page.

While there is no charge for this Zoom event, we appreciate a suggested donation ( of $20 or ‘as you can’ to help support the work of SOL.

Join us in learning by following this link at 7pm, January 6, 2021

If you would like more information or are having trouble accessing the Zoom session, please, contact us at


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Image courtesy of COEP

The Blueprint for Community Ownership, Empowerment
& Prosperity in the Chesapeake Region was created and, recently, released by t
he Community Ownership Empowerment and Prosperity Action Team (COEP) of the Chesapeake Foodshed Network.

This is an outstanding resource for School of Living and the communities that live on SOL's land trust properties as we work to bring social justice more effectively and deeply into practice. By clicking on the above link, you can download the Blueprint. You can, also, read about the development of the Blueprint from creating its vision to the building of the relationships, structures, and processes necessary for completion of this brilliant call to action. You can find opportunities to donate and to participate in COEP on their webpage.

The remainder of this post and the above image were directly copied, with permission, from COEP. Continue reading this post to get a sense, in general, of what is needed to "...radically transform the way we conceive of our relationship to land, food, capital, and each other. When you are finished click on the link to read the full document.

"The Blueprint is designed for all engaged in food and land justice and sovereignty, but especially for those who hold resources and power to support systemic transformation. The COEP Action Team invites you to use this Blueprint to spark robust dialogue in your respective institutions and boardrooms, and to build relationships, capacity, and funding for food and land equity in the Chesapeake region."


#1 Fight Monopolies and Address
Inequity in the Food System

All food systems stakeholders must study, acknowledge and address the global food system as inequitable and inefficient in order to catalyze change.

#2 Give Land Back! Land Reparations to Indigenous and Black Communities

Our food system is built on settler-colonialism -- on stolen land, centuries of dispossession, and extraction from land and communities. Land must be returned to African American and Indigenous communities along with equitable resources and opportunity to maintain their stewardship.

#3 Secure Dignity & Fairness for Food Chain Workers and Their Families

All stakeholders in the food system will center the humanity of food and land workers and will value the sacredness of this work.

#4 Center Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change

All stakeholders in the food system must work together to increase the overall resiliency of the food system and local food supply chains to be responsive to hyper-local community needs due to changing climate and sociopolitical unrest.

#5 Center Agroecological and Regenerative Values Over Extractive Production

Workers will receive living wages and reparations. Cooperative models of wealth building and subsistence must be centered.



Honeybee nucleus colonies will be available for sale from StellaLou Farm in Spring 2021. Click here for more information. Contact for more info and requests.


Flight from the City: A School of Living Documentary

Matt Tennyson is collaborating with School of Living (SOL) to create a unique documentary to spread the word about communal living. This way of life can be a revolutionary way forward towards a more sustainable, harmonious, and peaceful world. With your donation, we can support Matt to complete the production, editing, and release of this important film.

Stellar Roots

Stellar Roots is a collective of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people rooted in healing and in service of land based community living. They have been operating as a partner of the School of Living Land Trust since 2018 and are working and living on the Itsodi land, a School of Living land trust property. Learn how you can support this project. Note that Stellar Roots is not a non-profit organization and your donation will not be tax deductible.

Empower Project

Please, support our, most recent, fiscally sponsored project of School of Living. Your support will help them with start-up costs and materials for their farm as well as to secure their own land.


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