Fostering Healing, Learning and Connection
for Individuals, Community and Earth.
The farm is on 40 beautiful acres near Annandale, Minnesota with a labyrinth in the restored prairie, walking paths in the woodlands, kayaking/swimming in the clear, spring fed pond, with sauna and massage in the Wellness Center. (See Farm tab for more information)
Honoring the sacredness of the land, the connection and healing that has taken place here, and celebrating the several fresh springs that exist on the land, we have chosen the name Wellsprings Farm.
We recognize and honor the indigenous people who were here before us and on whose land we stand, the Dakota people then later, the Anishinaabe. or Ojibwe. Earth has always been sacred to first nation people. In his work, Thomas Berry tried to resurrect and translate this deep understanding for western dominant culture, using the term, Sacred Earth Community to describe the interconnectedness of all life and the need to live as spiritual community from this awareness. It is grounded in the wisdom of the ancient/new story of the universe as its largest frame, yet honoring all spiritual traditions promoting compassion and the centrality of love.
This property, previously known as Clare’s Well, had been owned and run by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls for over 25 years. We have a special appreciation for the Franciscan community and their spirit of joy and connection to Earth as well as the Sisters of St. Joseph (CSJ) commitment to justice, unity and reconciliation; the dedication to service and open heartedness by many Churches across denominations; the Buddhist practice of mindfulness & gratitude; and the Native American way of healing and beauty.
About The Fields
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase
‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.
—Rumi, 13th Century Mystic
The Fields is the 501(c)3 nonprofit running the ministry at Wellsprings Farm.
The Fields was established as a nonprofit in 2011 with the original intent of creating a Learning and Retreat Center in southern Minnesota. Though it had a beautiful vision and great support, it did not move forward because the farm was sold to another buyer.
In the fall of 2014, recognizing a similar vision and mission of Wellsprings Farm, it was decided that The Fields could act as an umbrella nonprofit organization for Wellsprings Farm. The Fields was transferred to the current board to carry on the original spirit of the nonprofit but in an evolving form, thus becoming The Fields at Wellsprings Farm.
Living as a Sacred Earth Community
is the Great Work of our Time
About the Homesteaders of Wellsprings Farm
Dan and Joan Pauly Schneider
Living in the area and being friends of Clare’s Well for nearly 25 years, Dan and Joan see Wellsprings Farm providing continuity and respect for what has come before but also holding the space for something new and creative to happen through the community of those attracted to the beauty of the land and the vision for the farm. They are excited to work in collaboration with The Fields and the community to continue this ministry.
The Pauly Schneider family has long valued inclusivity, diversity and social-ecological justice. Their two daughters are pursuing their own education and life paths which includes work with animals and environmental concerns.
As a previous science teacher with a wild life biology background, Dan has been an environmentalist for a long time. He loves the land and draws strength and peace from this connection. Joan has been actively studying the intersection of ecology and spirituality for some time and periodically teaches or facilitates retreats on the subject.
Both have been inspired by people like Joanna Macy, the Buddhist environmental activist; Sigurd Olson and Rachel Carson, naturalists; Thomas Berry and Elizabeth Johnson, Christian theo/geologians; all who live(d) from their conviction that we humans are not simply on Earth but we are of Earth.
People of spirit (within a religious tradition or beyond) are called to root this awareness in something larger — a spirituality and community frame that is expansive enough to be inclusive and grounded enough to endure.
Wellsprings Farm is a heartfelt endeavor to be part of just that.