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CPC "Community Permaculture Cooperative"

 
Posts: 68
Location: Maple City Michigan
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About 2 weeks ago I felt like I was stuck. I want to be actively working in some way with permaculture but I have no land suitable for it and I'm not sure if I can afford the expenses, whatever they might be, associated with it. I'm sure there are many, many people in the same boat as me. So I sat down and came up with what seems like feasible answers to me. I hope this forum and others will be able to eventually create some sort of a detailed blueprint that we can all benefit from so feel free to post it and send it wherever and to whoever you wish. If someone is a web-site builder and wants to create a web page just for this concept, that would be welcomed.

This is to propose a C.P.C. "Community Permaculture Cooperative".
The idea is that together, a group of people could better afford and manage a cooperative farm that they could all benefit from. Everybody keeps their existing housing but they share the farm and the security that it provides. Farming together, but not living together. No I don't have all the details, that's why I'm posting it here.
I would like your opinions about the ideas, so please feel free to add anything you think would fit or remove anything you think doesn't belong and let me know why. Basically, I'm just curious what others think about these ideas. Seems everybody is in search of answers, so maybe we can collectively come up with some.

ANSWER

COPECO or CPC (community permaculture cooperative) (small groups within a village, town or city. Everyone lives in their own existing homes and cooperatively owns the farm)
A Permaculture Farm, Purchased and Setup By, Of, and For a Cooperative of People.
Everybody Helps With Everything;
Buying everything needed to get started, (including the land and structures), Designing the Farm layout, Designing the Crop layout, Erecting structures, Landscaping, Planting crops, Harvesting crops, Processing the produce, (canning, cooking, drying, freezing), Eating the produce, Sharing in all decision making,




Thanks for any comments.
Kirk Dillon 1-7-12
 
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Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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This sounds a bit like a community garden. I think a few questions people would have is who owns the land? Since everyone is contributing to the improvement of the land, which is much of what permaculture is about, what happens if someone gets upset after putting in a lot of time, and perhaps material?

If everyone was a perfect person, sharing would be easy, but the problem is, what happens when things don't go well - and I assure you, it will happen.

just my dos colones, which is worth 1/5 as much as two cents...
 
kirk dillon
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Location: Maple City Michigan
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The idea was that I thought more people would be willing to do this because they would have more privacy by not living together like in an eco-village or something. I think of it like a CSA except you collectively own everything "including" the land. This is definitely not for people who don't plan on sticking around, but it would be great for long term security. If a group of people pitched in together it would be way less cost per person.
 
Fred Morgan
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kirk dillon wrote: The idea was that I thought more people would be willing to do this because they would have more privacy by not living together like in an eco-village or something. I think of it like a CSA except you collectively own everything "including" the land. This is definitely not for people who don't plan on sticking around, but it would be great for long term security. If a group of people pitched in together it would be way less cost per person.



The problem is, no one can see the future. Someone might have a plan on sticking around, but due to circumstances, might have to leave. Now what? How liquid would be the investment? How would they sell out and move else where?

If you can figure out how to make people work together without conflict and without envy, jealous, and factions, you will have solved a major social issue. Don't underestimate that. Most intentional communities fall apart, often because they didn't prepare adequately for conflict.
 
kirk dillon
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Location: Maple City Michigan
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Fred Morgan wrote:The problem is, no one can see the future.

That's why we need to acquire the security this might offer.

Fred Morgan wrote:Someone might have a plan on sticking around, but due to circumstances, might have to leave. Now what?


Exactly. That's why I posted it here to get ideas from the masses.

Fred Morgan wrote:How liquid would be the investment? How would they sell out and move else where?

I don't have all the answers, but they can be figured out. Maybe the Co-op could also be a CSA and use that income (and others) for reserve funds. Maybe some people who start out in the CSA situation will eventually become members of the Co-op there-by bringing in more money. There are lot's of ways the Co-op could make money. Selling excess produce, giving permaculture classes and lessons, selling starter plants for other gardeners, etc.

Fred Morgan wrote:If you can figure out how to make people work together without conflict and without envy, jealous, and factions, you will have solved a major social issue.

I don't think we'll ever solve that one, but like minded people (Permies), will get along better than the average people at an average job.

Fred Morgan wrote:Most intentional communities fall apart

Which is why I think taking out the "community" part of it is a good idea. Let's call it an "Intentional Permaculture Farm Cooperative"..........
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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kirk dillon wrote: but like minded people (Permies), will get along better than the average people at an average job.



Perhaps, but people with strong beliefs can be some of the hardest people to get to compromise, and when it comes down to it, to have a community means compromise.

I am treating this like I do a business plan. Instead of hoping and believing something will work they way I want it, I try to figure out what is going to jump up and bite me because of what I assumed. If I then can handle all objections, I move forward.

Lots of people have gone down the path of intentional community, and many have not ended well. This is not to say you won't be successful, it is to say that there are lots of brambles, rocks and snakes on the way to paradise.
 
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Location: south east mo
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Hi Kirk, and Fred, et al,
I like Kirks ideas, I have felt the same way. We can't any of us do it alone, and we will have to learn how to get along, since we do not already know how. I want to associate with people who come up with ideas about how things will work instad of reasons why they won't.
I want to find people who are already share a lot of goals.
Communal ownership, so that if you want out, you just sell your share to someone willing to go by the community rules.
communal projects, gardening, food forest, integrated with livestock production, whatever works well on whatever land we choose. write to me at rowansc@yahoo.com or call 707 272 7431. Steven
 
kirk dillon
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Location: Maple City Michigan
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"Finally", someone who sees the light at the end of the tunnel....Thank you Steven. Positive input correctly applied can overcome "many" obstacles. YES, there will be obstacles and we "will" figure them out in the process of doing. Permaculture is about problems becoming solutions and finding creative "positive" ways to solve any problems that might surface.

"It's easier to get there with a hundred that want to go than with one hanging around your neck" (Les Brown)

I've seen youtube videos where a third of an acre was producing enough food for 2 or 3 adults. I feel that if a group of 10-20 "like minded" people, (or more), bought 5-10 acres, (or more), we could produce plenty of food for all of us including things like wheat and oats etc. and because the Co-op would be a permaculture farm without any housing. taxes would be much lower. The farm would be run as a business and any excess would be sold for profit. Food or other items, (firewood, medicinal herbs, decorative flowers, seeds, compost, gardening classes, tours, etc.) could be specifically tailored for local stores or markets. The farm wouldn't have to be "divided up" among members because we would cooperatively own and run it.
Having a "Processing" building on the farm, we could have much higher quality pro-grade equipment for everybody to use. (maybe get rid of our individual low grade stuff at home).
Everybody keeps their existing housing with it's anonymity, privacy, security, debts, profits, etc.
Ideally the farm(s) would be centrally located so nobody would have to drive far to get there.
 
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Hello all,

Ya know here in central California there are homes with land Zoned Agricultural for relatively low costs. There is only one CSA in the Stockton area, which means a viable farm or area as you mention could make a big impact on local food, school systems etc...

I have a bit of experience with aquaponics (leap), community gardening and farming in one of the Most Miserable cities of the united states. I am hoping to create similar community here.

I will stay tuned to hear more of this topic. best of luck and i hope you achieve your goal.
 
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kirk, i liked your idea...

hirig the right worker would be escential,  and most liketly they will have to leave in the farm.

wounder whats the minimum number of owners needed to get such a farm going.. and how we could return value soon to the members
 
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Location: Redmond, United States
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You would need to come up with an operating agreement that laid out the rules.  Including what is the cost for the charter members.  How does one leave the group?  How one joins the group? How is the cost to join figured.  How is the value figured if someone wants to leave.  Maybe keep a certain amount in cash that would help cover the cost of someone leaving?  Would the whole amount be paid or would the value be paid out over a period of time, what is the period of time be.  What if more than one person decided they wanted to leave the group at once or near the same time.  What would be sold to pay someone who wanted out.  Who are the decision makers.  How are they chosen?  Who is going to manage the co-op?  How is the profits divided?  There are probably some operating agreements for other co-op type groups that could be used as a guide.  There is also groups that advise an$ help set up various co-op type groups.  It would be worth finding those organizations.  Google “starting a co-op”.  You may or may not find one exactly what you want but you might find similar ones.  You will find some answers and also some questions from these groups but good information no less!
 
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This was tried a long time ago in Plymouth.MA, was quickly modified.  Is hard  not to be on site.
 
kirk dillon
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paul salvaterra wrote:This was tried a long time ago in Plymouth.MA, was quickly modified

Hi Paul, can you provide any specifics about that? I'm just curious more than anything else. Were the people living near by? City? Countryside? How many people? Permaculture oriented?
 Thanks
 
paul salvaterra
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Well, on ship it was low on beer, a common way of preserving  food then, the local folks were pretty rural, small towns.

Started as a social experiment, commune like, some worked hard, some not so much, production suffered
 The next year was private plots, hard workers  did well,

The locals taught much, was about as perma as it gets

Few societies cared for the land as much as the native people.

What is permaculture??

No one has a very concise idea, i.think it is more simple than most  make  it to be.

Gardens framed with boards, turning grain into fuel, not working together on all levels.

Paul
 
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I think that a situation like your describing could work as long as the initial funders were able to supply funds to cover the purchase of a property plus another 2 years or so of costs, including development of infrastructure. It seems like you would almost.certainly need to work on developing income streams asap and would likely need someone employed to.be on site day to day. This could be the share holders on a rotation or someone (possibly one of the shareholders) who was employed by the collective
I also agree.that there would have to be lots of preplanning and clear.communication about rights and responsibilities, as well as a clear picture of what members leaving the group, as well as.joining would look like
For.the project to survive there would likely need to be a.core group that could tolerate 5+ years of their investment being entirely illiquid and not returning much if anything. If well planned and well executed it seems like at 5-7 years you should be able to have a property that was producing saleable surplus and hopefully becoming more self sustaining
 
paul salvaterra
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Lot of work and risk

Paul
 
francisco iglesias
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thanks for your thoughts on this subject

So the key is to find few ethical millionares than want to regenerate some piece of land and we also need customers close by that also want to do the same but dont have a million spare.....

or a rancher that is near broke that is open to do things diferently and then a bunch of people with money to give an ethical loan for the infrastructure, and 2 year expenses.


by the way im on north east of mexico, near texas     Hot semi-arid climates , 7 months humid , there is due on the mornings... and 5 dry ones ...  a wet summer end with a no so chilly mostly no rains... about 50 cubic inches per year average


what average rain fall do you thing will payback sooner or what bio-region ?
 
paul salvaterra
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Do you mean 50 inches of rain per year?

Cubic inches makes no sense.

What is the community going to produce??  What is the market for that production?
 
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