Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 30, 2012

Jayne Leatherman-Walker


TRAVERSE CITY — Jayne Leatherman-Walker, a biodynamic pioneer, passed peacefully in hospice care, surrounded by her children on Nov. 27, 2012, a day nestled between a full moon and a lunar eclipse.

Born March 15, 1941, in Louisville, Ky., Jayne lived in Colorado, California, and finally settled in the Grand Traverse area July of 1983. Jayne moved onto a 40-acre parcel of land that would later be named Ndibendaagwaz, the Eco-Learning Center, in 1993, where she recreated her life and would go on to influence the lives of many others.

Jayne lived off the grid at the top of a winding road where she would say, "If you made it up the hill, then you were meant to be there." While living on the land Jayne implemented biodynamic farming methods which emphasize holistic and integrative approaches to growing food and living with the land, a philosophy she wanted to share with others.

In 2001, at age 60, Jayne established a community-supported agriculture program and sold shares to families in the area. Over the span of a decade, people of all ages came to the land to discover and learn about a vision that was not centered around humans but was woven into the farm. While there is much to say about what Jayne taught, she asked only that others remember what the land inspired within them.

Jayne is survived by sisters, Sarah Leatherman and Nancy Bartlett; brothers, Kenton and William Leatherman; four children, John and Charles McBride, Elizabeth Roberts, Maitland Walker and their spouses; 10 grandchildren; and a vast community of dear friends.

"Love everyone, always and forever."