“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” – Henry David Thoreau
At RTB, we view wealth as a culmination of all the aspects of our lives that money can’t buy: good health and quality of life; deepening connections to self, community and nature; loving your work; being a part of something bigger than your individual self; time to experiment, learn and be; and the presence of a robust gift/sharing economy. We seek to create an environment at RTB where these characteristics of a “wealthy” life are available to our land-based community: our farm team, our agripreneurs, and our extended family here on the farm. Through tiny-house living and treating food as medicine, we demonstrate that conscious living is wealth in itself, and through our agripreneurs we share this wealth with the community. Equity is critical to redefining wealth. As a living laboratory that empowers people of all ages, we are continually testing models for living and working that are also accessible beyond RTB.
We believe that when any group of people is suffering, locally or globally, it creates inequity and suffering for all. Our goal is to create balance and to be part of a system that feeds positivity, love, equity and healthy food into the greater community. From providing city residents low-cost community supported agriculture shares to recycling organic urban waste, we strive to enact this principle in all we do. At RTB, we look at economic systems as ecosystems, where connections are inherent and waste is a resource. Our food scraps and weeds from the garden are fed to the pigs and chickens, or composted. In addition, our land manager has created deep relationships with businesses that help to feed the pigs with bi-products from both cheese making and beer brewing. The value of our Center for Restorative Community is in the generation of different forms of capital that are invested back into the farm and the community, having a regenerative and sustainable impact.
Through collaborative work, material and financial capital is produced. This year, the synergy of skills and experience held by the RTB team has seen its greatest expression in the creation of our Education Center. For more detail see page 16. The new Education Center features handcrafted, artisan detailing throughout, including cedar tree baseboards and entryway posts and trims, a carefully handmade stone facade in the solarium, and recycled landfill liner roof shingles. The building is an expression and investment of both material and financial capital that will continue to have an impact for generations to come. Together we’ve sent ripples of change through our community—we’ve cut waste at urban eateries, gleaned veggies for food production, conserved land, supported scientific research and more. We have continued to redefine wealth to mean a life fully lived, where time is precious, collaboration is instinctive, and sufficiency is available to all. This communal, cultural, and spiritual capital is an emergent property of restorative communities such as RTB.