You have reached the page for Stu’s yet-to-be-named farming enterprise. I am currently in the networking and learning phase as Mags and I have not found a location at which to settle down.
Within three years, I will grow my farm into a $20,000 regenerative farm providing food products and education to local people who value sustainable, healthy food, and growing local economy.
Mission: “Nourishing bodies, respecting Earth, empowering people.”
My farm will incorporate my home, my family, my health, and my values into the business. The farm will directly provide for my family, not just in terms of food, but by integrating work and life. There will also be some crossover between the farm and Mags’s healing cooperative. The farm will employ permaculture techniques to ensure that, whenever possible, every output from one process is an input to another.
I would like to hear from you! I am especially interested in finding opportunities to work on organic or permaculture farms and gardens to share our knowledge and learn from other working farmers. We are connected to the WWOOFing community as well. Also if you are in a similar position to me — wanting to get a small farm business off the ground — I would like to hear from you from a business partner perspective.
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Hi Stu and Mags,
About an hour ago I googled “worker-owned farms,” found your proposal on some kind of workercooperative google group, read your business proposal, and just found your blog.
Are you still hoping to farm cooperatively? I’m very interested in exploring the possibilities of farming in a worker coop context. My wife and I recently started our farm, Daybreak Farm, in Washington, Maine, and had our first season of production last summer. (Broke even, if you don’t count labor). I want to explore turning our farm into a worker coop.
I actually have a bit of background with coops. I’ve been involved in several food coop efforts (some attempted start-ups, some existing), started a buying club that existed for about four years on Mount Desert Island (home of Bar Harbor and Acadia NP). I’m a co-manager of the Union (Maine) Farmers Market, and very active in the Maine Federation of Farmers Markets (farmers markets being, essentially, informal coops). Probably more to the poinit, I also teach economics at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, a small, very progressive liberal arts college with a strong environmental activism focus. I’m currently preparing and advanced course in the economics of cooperation, networks and trust. Our students are really interested in this kind of stuff (along with farming; the College has two farms). (Sorry to inundate with background…not trying to impress, just trying to emphasize my interests.)
Your proposal was very interesting, very well-put together, and it looks like you got some good feedback from various people. A great mix of sensible business planning and visionary living approaches…very much along the lines of how we see things, too. What a long road to put something together (in addition to trying to grow and sell great food). Something I hope to do, in addition to having a worker-owned farm, is to put together (probably with the help of some students) a “how to”manual on how to do this. It’s so hard for young people to get into farming, and doing it as co-owners makes so much sense in so many ways…I really see it as a great way to get more farmers on the land.
Lots’ and lots more to say, I should probably wait to see if you’re still even doing the farming coop.
Filled out my paperwork to volunteer at North County Library (where Fran Leedy was for a long long career).