Howdy. Looking forward to another week trying to find choice words to address the complex questions of the epoch. There is mucho info about what we do at dacres on our website, facebook and youtube pages. www.dacres.org
posted 4 years ago
Nelson, perhaps the best thing to do is request the local library obtain a copy
I have been by D Acres a couple of times. Josh is an energetic and generous man with a plan, or rather many plans. I have already ordered the book from Chelsea Green and am curious to see what is in it. Josh seems tireless in his organizational capacity, so much so that I worry he will burn out! Some of my questions about the place have had to do with the legal structure and logistics, by which (currently) all the residents are fuill-time employees. As with Paul's gig, the question remains (among other things), if the organizer is taken out of the scene for whatever reason (knock on wood), what will be the chances for the rest of the community to "make it"? What is the process for people to become higher-level partners and stakeholders? This generally seems to be more of a challenge than whether someone can pasture pigs successfully or make a guild with comfrey (not that those aren't heroic achievements!!)—much bigger picture. Maybe the book will address that.. I am eager to see. This is not a knock on Josh: it is a nut I have yet to see anyone truly crack.
D Acres is amazingly active in the (super-tiny) local community, trying to revitalize it. Super-human efforts. More power to them. A very special place that is worth the visit if you are in the area. Guest accommodations are available but call ahead for those.
Wishing Josh and crew all the best, and hoping to check in next summer if D Acres is hosting another NH permaculture convergence weekend. Last year was great, with many, many valuable workshops plus Dave Jacke!
posted 4 years ago
Cynthia, thanks for the kind words...one of the great things about being a public demonstration site is that we get to interact with loads of inspired people. that support is one of the best defenses against burnout. Also mutual support and awareness but burnout is definitively still a factor. It is important to approach this work as a lifelong marathon rather than a sprint.
At this point in the community process we are still infant explorers. We formed in response to the challenges of today groping for alternatives. More or less trying to break with the patriarchal conventions while addressing the need to respect experience, investment and committment. It has been difficult because of the legal system as well as trying to break the ruts of our individual societal expectations.
Our current formula as a legal structure provides us with a platform for service and operations. We formed a 501-c to accept charitable donations and provide a mechanism for public ownership. The non-profit pays the bills providing participants with our daily needs. Amongst deficiencies that have been expressed within the non-profit is a way to offer profit sharing or personal equity in the organization. As such we are experimenting with mechanisms to provide security and decision making capacity to help satisfy participants . We offer monetary compensation and extend decision making capacity based on experience, investment and commitment to the organization.
We have experimented with various structures to induct people as longer term partners. Typically 6 months is required to participate fully in weekly decision making and 2 years to gain recognition as a steward.
There are also various levels of participation as we regularly host volunteers and community partners in our Many Hands program from the region. We also host wwoofers and summer interns who have short term participation objectives.
Our next goal is to improve our year round housing options so that we can come closer to offering people HOME. As we move forward a considerable obstacle is zoning. We are looking to not subdivide the property but provide the for the needs of long term residents. The idea is to build a central community building with services such as kitchen and amenities surrounded by a neighborhood of tiny houses with minimal footprint...sorta microcommunity. The goal would be to house about 30 people from infants to seniors.
Making the transition beyond the current model which is dominated by my presence is a principal concern. For sometimes years at a time we have been able to form reliable staff partnerships but we have yet to hit a formula that provides mechanism for lifetime tenure. And to be clear, our original goal was not to create an enduring community of continuous members. Rather it has been the recognition of the need for stability and inter-generational transitions, as well as our success in infancy, has fostered our capacity to think beyond a single season and towards generational planning
Also the NH Permaculture Gathering held at dacres in 2012 & 2014 will be held this year Aug 22 at Inheritance Farm in Chichester!
Thats my first go in the forum at addressing the personnel dimensions of our community model but feel free to pry for more details. Theres alot to consider here!
Hi, Kate Nudd Martin Jelenc why don't you write a review of the book for us on permies.com. It would be nice to know what you have got from the book your impressions.
write the review using the acorns scale. Start your review writing: I give this book .. out of 10 acorns, using the scale from 0 to 10 on the acorns scale. you can know more about the acorns scale at this link:
acorns scale for books