Loading...
Welcome to Anarcho-Punk.net community ! Please register or login to participate in the forums.   Ⓐ//Ⓔ

Anarchist Cooperative's

Discussion in 'Anarchism and radical activism' started by Danarchy, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    115

    1

    1

    Jan 16, 2012
     Canada
    I moved the discussion of my farm/ farming/ our Cooperative from the veganism thread for obvious reasons. I can/ will discuss the operation, formation of the Cooperative in as great a detail as people wish. We are an open Cooperative, meaning that we are open to visitors as well as new short and long term members. From the Veganism thread here are the two responses;

    There are two competing movements within the Organic Industry in BC (more but only two I care about at the moment) The first is towards centralisation, corporate influence as can be seen in Wholesalers, Retailers and Processers; the second, is in the people who actually work the land. As the cost of land is astronomical in BC, particularily in relation to the value a farmer could receive from it, young agrarians are joining together to buy land in many different cooperative forms. Within the last two years I have seen a rise in the number of the new forms of farms where the reason for farming organically is a practical and political choice as is the form of the operation.

    Our Cooperative was started within my family; on land my mother has spent the last 17 years working, for three reasons; my devotion to anarchist principles and a desire to establish a community rather than just a family farm, the cost of land and the extreme age crisis facing rural Canada (average age of farmers is now above 65) and my mothers desire to retire from farming without selling the land. We did have many options; I could have taken over the operation as it stood, I could have continued working an off farm job and paid my mother a retirement income (I love my mom) or we could voyage into the unknown and invite people to join us as a community, which is what we did. I 'got the gig' by being related to the person that owns the land but creating the Cooperative was motivated by my desire to help people become self-sufficient and build a community based on mutual aid, direct democracy, cooperation and equality.

    I have said Apples&Onions that anyone, particularily from this site, is welcome/ encouraged to visit. We have four rooms in our communal house, an Airstream tailer and a truck camper as well as spare tents if our population exceeds housing capacity and numerous out buildings (some liked living in our hay barn). Joining the Cooperative and remaining permanently are different because of the overall commitment to the community required and the communal nature of our existance; ie, we have to get along to live together. At the moment we have four people living with us (two are sharing a room); two seasonal interns from Nova Scotia, a German and a Canadian WWOOF'er with three more volunteers arriving over the next month, through the season we have two Tiawanese ESL students scheduled for July- August, a Belgian who returns inbetween farms and an older couple who are exploring permanent membership as well as an ongoing discussion with several more people about visits. Canadian citizenship is not required to be a worker-member of the Cooperative.

    We have a relationship with two other community farms (a 'hippie' community and a cottage brewery, :beer: best beer in the WORLD :beer: ) within 50 km of our area as well as several smaller farms who need extra help from time to time that we trade labour for product with. Raspberries and Apples respectively but also some additional experience as one produces grapes and the other grows grains and medicinal herbs on sizeable basis. Saturday nights are our community night with a pot luck supper open to the public and plenty of festivities. Pot lucks are also hosted at other farms on a frequent basis.

    I have a vision and a dream for our community, one that encourages and includes an appreciation of the vision and aspirations of others. I am always looking for others who share my vision or one similar.
     

  2. sali(e)

    sali(e)Experienced Member Experienced member


    63

    0

    0

    Aug 22, 2011
     United States
    I want to visit one day too. See you then.
     
  3. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    115

    1

    1

    Jan 16, 2012
     Canada
    [​IMG]

    Wow, that took hours to figure out but people asked for pictures. This is my oasis. I propagate trees by graft, seed and cutting as well as small berries through cutting and layering. In the foreground is the space I am still working on that will be terraced dry rock retaining wall and contain the mother plants as I acquire new varieties of berries. To the right planted in the ground are Gooseberries, Saskatoon (Serviceberry), Boysenberry, Marionberry and Tayberry which are raspberry/ blackberry crosses, lowbush cranberry and lingonberry. In the main area are 750 Oak, Maple and Ash trees that we bought bareroot this winter as part of our replant, hedge row program. The center tree is a 20 year old Gravenstein apple. The square pots to the right are 240 of the hazels I propagated from seed. The black shade structure was built with recycled ginseng cloth we bought at auction and the wood came as scraps from our local plywood mill. The greenhouse is one of our three and as old as the apple tree. The rocks have come from our fields and the retaining wall was built out of recycled fir we were given from a barn teardown. This is my world.
     
  4. Ivanovich

    IvanovichExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    676

    2

    6

    Jan 31, 2010
     
    I would love greenhouse like that. At the moment I just use boxes with sheets of glass on top, but was good enough to get my tomatoes growing a month earlier than last year. Ok, berries, maybe you could help me. We have a couple of trees nearby with berries, and I've no idea what they are. Quite big trees, at least 20m high. Berries are red/pink, and turn black when ripe, about inch long, look a bit like raspberry, but not so soft.
     
  5. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    115

    1

    1

    Jan 16, 2012
     Canada
    Sounds like a Mulberry tree which if they are I am extremely jealous. I just planted two last year but one appears to have died as we are on the edge of their hardiness zone. The Wiki has some adequate pictures for leaf, flower and fruit identification http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morus_(plant) but I would google Mulberry images for a more thorough identification. From what I understand they are so-so fresh but make excellent preserves/ pies. I'll have to wait for about 8 years before mine will fruit and will need to replace the dead one as the variety I got needs a polinator to produce fruit.
     
  6. punkmar77

    punkmar77Experienced Member Staff Member Uploader Admin Team Experienced member


    5,720

    171

    716

    Nov 13, 2009
     United States
    Just wanted to say to you two that reading your posts over the last week or so makes putting up with the constant stream of trolls and spammers and macho tough guys that come through here on a daily basis totally worth it. Loving the setup Dan, sorry it took so long to figure out the images situation... :beer:
     
  7. Ivanovich

    IvanovichExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    676

    2

    6

    Jan 31, 2010
     
    Yeah, mulberries. That's looks just like them, though I'd say it's over 15m high. It grows amongst a lot of other trees, I'd also like to know what they are. They are a bit taller, and the locals use the flowers to make tea. It's quite popular, the can sell a bag of flowers for $5, apparently. They don't seem to touch the mulberries, and there is a lot on a tree that size. I can see mulberry jam in the future, could also add some to the plum rakia, that might be interesting. Still spending too much time killing colorados, their numbers don't seem to be going down, but I haven't seen any adults/eggs, so I should prevail in the end, I hope. I do have a lot of miserable looking potato plants though. None are actually dead, yet. Courgettes are coming in, yield is so good with them, it's going to be courgette soup and curry for a some time. Also got cherries, peas, few beetroot, onions and potatoes, and looks like beans very soon. Tomatoes and pumpkins in flower. Weather been very good last couple weeks, over 30c most days, but also decent amount of rain at night. Everything gowing well - hard to keep weeds at bay.
     
  8. Ivanovich

    IvanovichExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    676

    2

    6

    Jan 31, 2010
     
    The mulberries are wild, I've seen quite a few growing around the village. Average winter is -5c to -15c for couple months, -20c on bad days.
     
  9. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


    2,118

    0

    18

    Sep 8, 2009
     
    Them's fighting words! What you looking at?
     
  10. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    115

    1

    1

    Jan 16, 2012
     Canada
    We've been under a rainfall warning for the last two weeks with 10-15 cm of rain every couple of days. Whenever I run our weeder through I get the tractor stuck or it rains after and the weeds just reroot :@ but we're up to 9 people at the moment with a couple more arriving over the month. Being the size of operation we are is a little stressful. I look forward to the day we begin to downsize or have more members to share the 'stress' load with. I'm the only one that is experienced with our machinery, with the weather, on the days I can get out into the bog I'm working about 16 hours running back and forth, switching impliments, getting stuck. But there is always a brighter side, all of this wet weather is really helping the trees I planted and given me time to get another 75 Oak in.

    Tragically, the mice found my Hazels in the field and ate them all. :ecouteurs: 175 seedlings eaten off at the ground, I still have the 350-400 in pots but it's frustrating. Time for more traps. My dogs also found an Otter and killed it on the driveway. It was a beautiful animal about .5 m head to tail.

    Your season is quite a bit further along than ours. We're pulling salad greens, fall planted leeks, spinach and rhubarb at the moment still 2-3 weeks away for beets, peas and carrots. Our potatoes are just beginning to show, I'm hoping that the wet ends this week to give the plants some sun.
     
  11. Ivanovich

    IvanovichExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    676

    2

    6

    Jan 31, 2010
     
    Sorry about the hazels. We don't have a problem with mice, plenty of dogs and cats around. Do get a few mole hills, though I've seen the cats with them too. One even caught a snake once (only snake I have ever seen here). Ate it, too. I dunno if it was poisonous, but he did throw up afterwards. Mind you, the dogs and cats can be a problem. Cats seem to think it's great fun to climb up a corn plant til the stem breaks. Have to put in some supporting sticks. The grape vines are outgrowing their sticks, put in couple concrete post yesterday. They grow so fast, plan to train it to the house so there's a sorta canopy thing going on (sure theres a name for this). Pity you not closer by, there's about half dozen mulberry saplings that look young enough to transplant. Don't have rhubarb, but we finished the leeks and spinach off weeks ago. Amazing how hardy they are, planted the spinach in November, and it had no problem dealing with the snow. Main problem still just the colorados, although it can still get quite windy, which batters a lot of plants pretty bad. I can understand your stress load, I got about 1000m2, couldnt handle much more.
     
  12. muffnbuttn

    muffnbuttnMember New Member


    8

    0

    0

    Jun 25, 2012
     
    AW!! So cool! What kind of housing are you building for residents? Self sustainable living is so beneficial. Have you heard of earthships? The self-sustainable house that provides a greenhouse attached to it with a grey water system? What kind of places are people living in now? If I get over that way I'd love to help build and garden.
     
  13. punkmar77

    punkmar77Experienced Member Staff Member Uploader Admin Team Experienced member


    5,720

    171

    716

    Nov 13, 2009
     United States
    :ecouteurs:
    :lmao:
    :ecouteurs:
     
  14. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    115

    1

    1

    Jan 16, 2012
     Canada
    We are building a 'petrified hessain' dome at the moment that will be seasonal accomodation. Petrified Hessain is a process of soaking hessain (burlap) sacks in a soggy cement mixture then hanging them over a rebar structure to set. We have framed the doors and windows into the dome and reenforced the roof with chicken wire. The first dome is a prototype to work out the kinks of the material (has not been common since the 1930's). Once we become familiar with the material we plan on building about 6 structures around a solar shower/ washing station and setting up a couple of composting toilets. The dome is 14 feet across and 9 feet high in the center, it will have a 20 amp circuit run to it from our on-grid system as the dome is seasonal only.

    I have done a fair amount of research into sustainable building and prefer rammed earth bags and straw bale over packed tire earthships. We have a significant stretch of land that has a 6-10% grade facing about 5 deg off true south that we have scheduled for subgrade home construction as funding allows and membership requires. The petrified hessain system can also be used subgrade as the method has a 70 lb per ft2 weight rating at 3 layers. Using a dome structure with 10 mil (3/8 inch) rebar and gavanized steel water culverts for hallways/ windows/ entrance, we could also build subgrade 'hobbit' homes that would support alot of weight above the structure once burried under 24-36" of soil. Many of our current 'seasonal' members who are considering permanent membership are looking into these designs but as I am the person with the extensive construction experience much of the design, scheduling and material selection falls on my shoulders.

    Our next significant structure will be relocating our packing shed into a subgrade facility that will use standard concrete construction methods (insulated concrete forms) for the foundation, incorporate secondary storage facilities in burried shipping containers and water recycling. The second floor (ground level) will be a modified straw bale/ cord wood/ post and beam that will house a commercial kitchen for secondary food processing (cider, wine, jam, jelly, fruit syrup, vinegar, cheese, etc) and a 50 person dinning space/ 100 person event hall for farm celebrations. Given that we are going to have the kitchen facility certified by our local health board, they require that we follow the Canadian/ BC building codes, unfortunately many of the building methods that I prefer require significant engineering costs as they are not currently recognised by our building codes. The housing is another matter as we are outside a municipal district and do not require building inspections/ permits for construction; the primary considerations for us are longevity, functionality and sustainibility.
     
  15. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


    115

    1

    1

    Jan 16, 2012
     Canada
    MB you are welcome to join us anytime between April and November but December through to March are hibernating months that give us time to recover from the summer stresses at the farm and our seasonal accomodation is shut in for the winter. As we build more suitable accomodation and increase our winter activities we will be open to winter visitors but it will take us time.

    The facebook group for the farm is http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.474175015942343&type=1#!/groups/467387306621114/ which is updated regularily with photos of our projects and documents relating to the operation of the farm. I hate crackbook but it is easier to use that our previous farm blog and the group here gives me more leeway to express my views on facebook then they do on our 'official' website. Also, the server for the website I have posted http://www.notchhillorganic.ca has been experiencing some difficulties with repeated trojan horse shit that redirects to a russian scam. :ecouteurs: I have been told that they are working on it.
     
Loading...