High Spirit Community Farm was founded by a group of families seeking a healthful, joyful and supportive community for their young adult children with significant special needs. We wanted our children to receive quality care and to participate in a meaningful manner in the world around them. We knew that there were limited options where they could have such a life.
Inspired by the Camphill communities of North America, we began to meet and plan. It was from Camphill that we learned that life for people with disabilities can be rich and rewarding, while also being both challenging and nurturing. Camphill is our inspiration and generously continues to offer us support and continuing education as we grow.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services also supports High Spirit Community Farm and provides oversight and licensing.
We began planning meetings in 2004, eventually deciding to form a lifesharing community near Great Barrington, Massachusetts. We chose to locate in Great Barrington because it has a vibrant town and community life, is surrounded by many farms and is home to several other lifesharing homes for persons with disabilities. We are so glad we did.
High Spirit's first house, Seekonk House, opened its doors in 2008. Our second house, Aurora House, opened in 2016 and our third house, Tembo, in 2018. We now have three residential houses, five full-time live-in Householders, one full-time Farm Program Director one full-time Administrator, two full-time Co-Directors, seven residents with special needs and eight year-long volunteers. We also have dogs, cats and a whole lot of goats, pigs and chickens. High Spirit Community Farm is a vibrant place indeed.
Finding A Home for Bar
In 2011 and 2012, documentary photographer Robin Dahlberg observed and photographed life at High Spirit Community Farm. She produced this video which tells the story of how High Spirit came to be.