I’m working to raise funds for the outright purchase of three pieces of property that are currently for sale at an uncommonly low price, on which we will build a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) farm, natural learning retreat and repurposing facility. The push to purchase them outright will move the focus from working to pay for the land to working on the land to build an ethically responsible social enterprise that will strive to uphold the 3 Ethics of Permaculture as proposed by Bill Mollison, the man that coined the term, wrote several books on the topic and helped create a movement towards sustainable living following some of the most logical instructions I’ve ever heard.
Essentially, they are this:
Take care of the Earth
Take care of all creatures on the Earth
Share the surplus
I feel that people are being cheated out of their health, money and time by industries whose main purpose is to feed other industries. I want to grow food for people – chemical free, GMO free and industry free. I want to show people that one seed planted can help feed a person for days, weeks or months. I intend to shrink the “comfort gap” between those making the average wage in Alberta and those making minimum wage or less by making the food we grow and products we make affordable to everyone. We will not take part in an overpriced public market focused only on profits. This is why a CSA model is the best approach both economically and socially.
Nothing in life is free. I’m not looking for charitable donations. I’m selling prints, jewelry and t-shirts, graphic design services, painting services and other property maintenance; but most importantly crop & product shares in the 2014 growing season. If we can purchase the land before the ground freezes and the weather turns we can start work on our solar green houses ahead of the growing season so we can start our indoor planting as soon as possible. We could potentially be supplying subscribers with fresh garnishes for their New Years Eve dinner party drinks.
Our big picture goal is $250,000. Which seems like a lot until you consider that it will purchase 35 acres of land that will pay for itself in time through crop shares, products made on the farm, services provided through our re-purposing facility and by spending time at the retreat*, which all subscribers will be invited to do. The land itself is a total of $213,000. The remaining $37,000 will go into an operating fund that will pay closing costs, then purchase seed, manure and materials for building greenhouses, a truck and trailer to support operations on the farm as well as the re-purposing facility**, making functional improvements to existing buildings already on the farm property and various fees that have to be paid in order to operate according to local by-laws.