listen to an interview with Michael Luick-Thrams,
(The following 4 links require a password. Contact Michael Luick-Thrams for more information.)
TRACES has purchased two homes in Turin/Iowa, and is working to become the long-term steward of a suitable nearby agricultural property. As a model, we look to the 155-year-old Reese-Zahrt family homestead. David Zahrt’s Welsh-immigrant great-grandfather, Richard T. Reese, came to Monona County in 1856 and eventually established the family’s current homestead, which hugs the Missouri River Valley, roughly equidistant between Omaha and Sioux City. David and his Iowa-born wife Lin returned to the farm in 1989 after a career of—among other pursuits—community building in Kenya and later among Australian aborigines. Devoted defenders of the natural order, the Zahrts have worked tirelessly to improve the homestead’s balance between prairie and forest, agricultural pursuits and sustainability. We would like our future agricultural land to resemble theirs: a mixture of hills, woods and arable fields.
TRACES will convert the two homes we bought in the town of Turin into a campus for a community/training center; we still seek a property nearby where we might emulate David and Lin’s important work: we'd like to call whatever land we eventually secure "Burr Oak Farm". The campus and farm will provide a physical focus for intangible goals, where people meet, ideas crystallize and become tangible… where a more humane, less costly way of life can unfold… where the past informs a shifting present as, together, we craft a better future.
Leading components of this evolving vision include: