General policies

Pinwheel Farm policies, guidelines, and SOPs are subject to review and revision in response to specific problems or to reflect on-going improvements and changes at the farm. Your input is welcome at any time.

Notice of Non-Discrimination:

Pinwheel Farm does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, economic situation or life circumstances.

Pinwheel Farm strives to avoid gender-based roles and stereotyping in all its activities.

Pinwheel Farm’s mission:

To help people to live simply, sustainably, and spiritually as part of the Earth’s community of life by developing, modeling and teaching innovative alternatives to conventional input-dependent agriculture and consumerist lifestyles and economies.

Ideally, the farm would consist of several working groups that carry out various aspects of this mission. Some individuals might be involved in just one group; others in more than one. At this time, one person usually fills all these roles, which is an inherently unsustainable situation.

The Farm Group’s role is to develop and carry out sustainable ways of producing, processing, marketing, and utilizing wholesome natural and agricultural products.

The Living Group’s role is to explore ways of living a simple, environmentally, economically, socially, and spiritually sustainable life together in the context of the farm and its larger human and natural communities.

The Educational Group’s role is to provide safe, appropriate farm-based learning experiences to people of all ages and abilities.


In case of emergency, these policies may be temporarily waived only to the extent necessary to respond to the emergency in an appropriate and timely manner.

Applicability: The Pinwheel Farm General Policies are in effect at all times and apply to all persons, regardless of their reason for being present at the farm. They are mostly common sense and good manners, so no specific effort is made to require that occasional visitors read them. A condensed version will be posted at the farm and will be given to all regular farm participants. Pinwheel Farm staff, regular volunteers, and community gardeners should have a sound working knowledge of these policies.

Enforcement: Anyone acting in a manner inconsistent with some provision of these policies is gently informed of the particular policy and encouraged to read the entire General Policies. Discussion with Pinwheel Farm staff is encouraged. After a friendly request for compliance has thus been given, continued behavior believed by Pinwheel Farm staff to demonstrate willful and/or repeated disregard for these policies may result in the immediate suspension of the privilege of visiting Pinwheel Farm. This is necessary to ensure the safety, serenity and sanctity of the farm’s natural and human communities.

A. Responsibility: In order to provide community gardeners, students, and visitors with the opportunity to enjoy and use the Pinwheel Farm environment, Pinwheel Farm and its staff must count on each person taking full responsibility for themselves and their actions.

  • Participants understand that “Under Kansas law, there is no liability for an injury or death of a participant in a registered agritourism activity conducted at this registered agritourism location if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of such agritourism activity. Inherent risks of agritourism include, but shall not be limited to, the potential of you as a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death and the potential of another participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death. You are assuming the risk of participating in this registered agritourism activity.”
  • All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult when visiting the farm, or must be officially enrolled in an educational program. Adults are expected to supervise the children in their charge, to enforce these policies, and to remove any children who continue to behave in a manner inconsistent with these policies.
  • All individuals must promptly cease and desist from any behavior upon direct request from Pinwheel Farm staff, unless to do so would immediately endanger lives.
  • All interactions with non-domestic animals at Pinwheel Farm are considered “acts of God” for which Pinwheel Farm is not responsible.

B. General prohibitions: To preserve our peaceful, family-oriented farm environment, we absolutely insist on the following restrictions:

  • Possession or use of firearms or any other weapon designed or intended for use against a human being; fireworks; or explosives of any other kind is strictly prohibited.
  • Possession or use of any illegal drug is strictly prohibited.
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages, other than for bona-fide religious use, must be limited to occasional specific events in conjunction with residential activities.
  • Smoking or any other use of tobacco, other than bona-fide religious use by Native Americans, is prohibited everywhere on the farm except inside the smoker’s own vehicle or in a designated smoking area, due to plant virus concerns.
  • Operation of internal combustion engines is prohibited beyond the main farm gate except with explicit permission from Pinwheel Farm staff.

C. Safety, health and security: To nurture the community of life at Pinwheel Farm, including our participants, customers, and visitors, and to be good stewards of our physical facilities, everyone and everything – people, animals, plants and inanimate objects – must be treated with love, respect, and gratitude.

  • Do not run, except with explicit permission and/or in designated areas; running can scare animals and/or lead to accidents.
  • Do not climb, except with explicit permission and/or in designated areas; climbing may be unsafe for the structure and/or the climber.
  • Do not threaten, hit, abuse or harass any person or animal (wild or domestic); treat all beings with the respect and love you desire for yourself.
  • Do not wantonly damage or abuse any trees, shrubs or other plants; they are a vital part of our community.
  • Pick up after yourself and others; there are designated containers for compost, recyclable materials, burnable (paper/wood/cardboard) trash and non-burnable trash.
  • Leave all gates and doors in the condition in which they were found (open or closed, latched or unlatched) except as directed otherwise by Pinwheel Farm staff, for the safety of animals, people and plants.
  • Light fires only with permission from Pinwheel Farm staff, in accordance with local and state regulations; properly contain, supervise, and extinguish fires.
  • Use designated sanitary facilities (i.e., bathroom or privy) in accordance with applicable regulations to preserve health and decency.
  • To prevent transmission of disease and parasites, wash hands as needed, especially after using the toilet, after contact with animals or soil, and before preparing food or eating.
  • Promptly notify Pinwheel Farm staff of any exposure to infectious diseases that could be transmitted within the farm environment, including plant, animal, and human diseases.
  • Use tools and other facilities in a safe manner to prevent damage to objects or injury to living beings.
  • Wear proper protective clothing for conditions and activities to preserve your own safety and increase your enjoyment of your farm experience.
  • Glitter and chewing gum can present significant clean-up hassles and can contaminate wool; please do not bring them to the farm.

D. Social, economic, and spiritual guidelines: Pinwheel Farm is set aside as a place to create and enjoy a unique environment, where we can explore what it means to live simply, based on our values, “in the world but not of the world.” We want to live as citizens of a social and economic system that is based on spiritual, not financial, values. To help keep our focus on our immediate experience of reality within the farm’s community of natural and human life, please be aware of these principles:

  • Language and other self-expression should be appropriate and respectful of others. There are many ways of communicating pain, frustration, anger and other strong emotions without profanities, obscenities or unnecessarily loud or hostile expressions. Interact peaceably with others at the farm. Good communication of honest emotions is vital to living in community. This is a learning process for all of us.
  • To help us direct our focus away from consumerism, materialism, and competitiveness, we try to minimize obvious advertising materials on the farm. This includes prominent brand names on clothing or other items; advertising or promotional paraphernalia such as cups, packaging, etc., and college, team or other institutional designs (if we really wanted to see advertising on the farm, we’d rent it out for billboards).
  • To help us hear the sounds of the natural world around us, we avoid the broadcast of non-live voices or music (including radio, music recordings, TV, and videos) except for essential farm-related purposes or specific recreational purposes. Earbuds/headphones are fine except when they interfere with environmental awareness and relationships at the farm. The livestock sometimes have important things to say to us; we need to be able to hear them if they are in trouble. Furthermore, many of the verbal messages that are commonly recorded or broadcast are inconsistent with the farm’s values and goals.
  • Please try to minimize your focus on media-related subjects, characters, celebrities, political personalities, etc. while at the farm. There are plenty of other times and places to enjoy these cultural icons without bringing them into the distinctly separate environment of Pinwheel Farm. Let our focus be on the unique Community of Life and current events of the farm.

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