I've moved this post from the Homesteading forum.
Recently read this interesting aside in a pre-1900 book on home-made Nebraska windmills:
"This mill is used to pump water
for the town herd. The larger as well as the smaller towns have their own herds. The cow herders, usually boys with ponies, go from house to house and drive together the cows of their herd, consisting of seventy-five to one hundred head each. These were driven to neighboring farms or to the open prairie pasture lands where they are fed, watered, and cared for during the day, and returned at night to their respective stalls. Thus a large number of people
in towns and villages are able to have their own milk
at small expense."
Do any Permaculture
texts or teachers suggest this sort of intra-community cooperation? Permaculture
it seems is typically presented on a private homestead-scale model with the focus on economics of human-to-the-rest-of nature interaction, but not much on economic co-operatives. The example above is a less-formal version of the farm co-operative, which arose in response to the stranglehold that bankers and railroads--the moneyed elites--had on farmers a century ago. Permaculture
seems to be practiced primarily by discrete entities, i.e., The Homestead, or, The Intentional Community
. Although it strives for something better than the mainstream conventional modern nuclear family with house and yard
, it is arguable that townfolk of turn-of-the-century rural America were way WAY ahead of where we need to be (or get back to) in terms of living qualitatively better lives while using a mere fraction of the resources and energy
the typical permaculture
homestead uses today. And it was done in large part due to a more economically and socially open, integrated community
with less adherence to the kinds of money-related rules we have become accustomed, forcibly, to accept.
Does anyone have examples of how their permaculture homestead, backyard operation, or IT has participated in a kind of cooperative venture beyond their borders as the example above? That kind of cooperation was common in those days. Most of us have heard about the cooperatively owned threshers and how everyone would go farm-to-farm to bring each others' crop, cooperatively owned mills, etc. . .