I need to decide whether it would be easier to start a new cooperative or join an existing one. I could always contact the one in Dayton for help getting started. I was hoping some of the members on this forum with experience in a cooperative farm could help me get started.
Hey and great idea! Would be really awesome if it works out for you.
I would suggest working on a farm as similar to the one you envision as you can find, first. After you put a good season or three in, then you can take what you've learned and apply it directly to your own farm...You can save a lot of guessing and trial and error this way!
Of course, that all depends on your current experience level. If you have successfully been gardening/farming already, then maybe it is time for you to try and put your dreams into reality. It would be a lot easier for you to market to other help/partners and customers if you have a positive track record of producing.
A lot also depends on gauging local interest in the idea. I would search Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus Meetup.com sites, facebook groups, and craigslist community section to get the feelers out there.
Perusing this forum, I think one of the most important things to determine up front is how you're going to do conflict resolution. People problems appear to be the biggest issue, particularly in areas like maintaining a sense of personal empowerment, surviving as an introvert, and maintaining equality.
Beyond that, infrastructure established up front will make or break your ability to succeed.
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