About

What is Nagdeo Farm?

We are a close-knit group of people living on a 10-acre homestead in Gresham, Oregon. Our primary focus is to create a life full of joy and good humor and to support each other to grow into emotional maturity. We enjoy subsistence farming and homesteading as a lifestyle which offers ample opportunity to learn how to work together gracefully, be grounded and alive in the present moment, and experience the wonder of creating things with our hands. It is our intention to embody a truly cooperative ethic in which each person recognizes that it is to their benefit to support others (because others will support them in turn) and to do what is best for the group. Read more about our community principles.

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What is “Nagdeo”?

“Nagdeo” means living in harmony so that our dreams become more enlightening. We fell in love with this concept and adopted it as our shared practice after reading Dorothy Bryant’s novel The Kin of Ata Are Waiting For You. As we strive toward “nagdeo”, we do our very best to make choices every day that support our personal growth and make us wiser, more mature human beings who can live and work together in cooperative interdependence as our ancestors did. The deeper we delve into the practice of living “nagdeo,” the more healing and instructive our nightly dreams and daytime visions become. We adopted nagdeo for our name because it describes most succinctly what we are about: cooperative living skills, personal growth, cultural philosophy, and reveling in the magic and mystery of the world!

Our vision is to provide an example and model to the world of a cooperative way of life in which emotional maturity and group harmony are the top priorities. Our journey together thus far has been deeply healing and many visitors and interns have experienced the healing power of a truly supportive and cooperative family by living and working alongside us. Our work on The Bridgers movement is our way of reaching out to the world to illuminate a way forward that could serve better than the predominant paradigm and lifestyle.

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What do we do?

Currently, we raise the majority of our meat and vegetables together and host interns and apprentices who come to try on our way of life. On any given day, we could be butchering a pig, tending root crops or flowers, weaving baskets, singing songs, building shelters, stacking firewood, reading books to each other, tanning hides, or joking around and playing games.  Many of our interns come to us through the Willing Workers On Organic Farms network (www.wwoofusa.org). We don’t usually sell our produce or meat, but we do love to trade!  If you are interested in interning with us, click here.

Sometimes people hear “farm” and they think “back-breaking hard work”, but that doesn’t really describe our farm. We do make sure our basic needs are met, but overall we’d rather have harmony in our home and in ourselves than be exhausted trying to get things done. Our goal is to create an environment where personal growth and relationships are the top priorities. On a larger scale, we hope to provide an example to the world of people living cooperatively and supporting each other to learn and grow as human beings.

Locust Tree JD

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6 thoughts on “About

    • Dear Hannah, Thank you so much for taking the time to read The Kin of Ata and ask such a thoughtful question! We are touched by your honesty and depth. The people in the book don’t eat animals, so presumably that is considered “donagdeo” to them. To us, meat is an important part of a well-balanced, nourishing diet, and we find it very grounding to eat meat periodically – so perhaps we disagree with dorothy bryant about meat-eating being “donagdeo”. For us, the most “nagdeo” situation would be to hunt animals in the wild using techniques similar to what our stone-age ancestors did. That way they are free, healthy, and the interaction between hunter and hunted is a dance which sharpens the senses and capabilities of both species. But given the way the land has been treated in our culture, and the way the wild animals are now pushed to marginal lands and made to fear humans, we don’t feel that it is realistic to continue hunting in the way that the ancient peoples did. The next best thing we can come up with is to raise them on our farm in the best conditions we can offer, even though to us this way of interacting with the community of life remains “donagdeo”. That said, if we were trying to feed our community on only the small piece of land we currently inhabit, without the ability to go elsewhere to buy animals or their feed, a vegetarian diet would be the best option and we would be completely open to trying that and figuring out ways to meet our nutritional needs through a diversity of plant foods.
      Thank you again for your question, and please feel free to respond! We really enjoy this kind of conversation.

  1. I have read the book and fallen in love with it. I like to share its concept with those that I love and know would appreciate it around me. I really appreciate what you’re doing in that context. And I also really enjoy your response to the question about meat consumption being donagdeo, for I have wondered the same question. I thought that was very well explained because it closely describes my feelings as well. I’m attempting to set up something similar to what you described your farm to be here in the Bitterroot Valley. So I hope in the coming days I can learn more and more about your project and gain some inspiration from it.

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