Love Letter to Our Community

Can we ever leave the Upland Hills Learning Community?

The simple answer is no.
We first visited Upland Hills Farm School in October of 1971, the school had opened a few weeks earlier. At that time the school was located on Upland Hills Farm. The school occupied a space in a very large barn that burned to the ground some years after we had already moved to our Indian Lake Road location. In this large barn with a huge hayloft, Upland Hills Farm School existed in about half of the lower section of the barn. The other half was a kitchen and a cafeteria.

There were times during our first year that visiting public schools would come by for a spaghetti lunch and look through the sliding glass windows at the art easels, teacher made tables ( now in Robert’s room ), students, and staff members who were engaged in the early making and doing of Upland Hills Farm School 1.0. Our visitors would sometimes press their noses against the window wondering what we were doing and who we were,
it sure didn’t look like school to them.

There were also times when upstairs the visiting school would put on roller skates and skate from one end of the loft the other. Downstairs it sounded like the New York Subway was above us. Our visit day occurred in the midst of a school day. Karen, our six year old daughter Nina and I walked in and stood for a moment taking it all in.

We’re still here.
What unfolded during the space of 48 years can simply be described as a miracle. It was an answer to our prayers and it ended up being a journey that challenged us to grow and learn at a rate similar to that of a child from birth to four years old. We were tested, stretched, expanded, re-invented, re-born, and re-wired. This was a journey of a life time and we were given the privilege of becoming artists of possibility.

Our pension, our wealth portfolio, our spiritual practice and our ability to love all come down to you. You the students past and present, the parents and grandparents, all of our friends, the wisdom teachers and guest teachers and especially the staff members of these past 48 years live inside of us. Along with you humans all of the life in this place from the trees to the rolling hills, from the salamanders to the dragonflies, from the ground hogs to the pileated woodpeckers live inside of us.

Our bodies bear the scars of this journey and those scars tell us how lucky we are. It is impossible to leave here without you and the inter-being of this place traveling with us. Thank you, we love you.

And now, we have the opportunity to start a new adventure.
We have been invited by Kerry and Patricia, to join Highland Lake Cove.

There’s an abundance of opportunities to continue to create together a world that lives in harmony with the wild. We bought a house in The Highland Lake Hamlet, that has a pasture in the very center where goats, sheep and a peacock remind us of our beloved Upland Hills Farm.

Actually the goats are related to the great American poet Carl Sandburg who with his wife moved from Michigan to Flat Rock in 1945.

Karen hopes to deploy her love of live theater and I hope to gather people of all generations to discover the power of intergenerational bonds as a direct experience.

We have developed a website for our endeavors at: (your’re here now!).
We welcome your notes! Email:

For those of you who would like to send a note via US Post, email us for the address:

For those who would like to support us, our endeavors will be:
1. Make a feature film A School for the World (working title)
2. Support new love-based schools that we are mentoring
3. Support Tuition assistance for our Hollyhock retreats on Cortes Island in British Colombia
4. Support our Conscious Teachers who have attended our love-based education retreats

To support, please look for the Invest button on the Trimtab website (or click here).

Sending Love and so much Gratitude!
Phil and Karen