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Mon May 18, 2015 at 06:21 PM PDT

Community

by ruby red shoes

Reposted from ruby red shoes by weck
I have taken an interest in American communities all my adult life.

By that I mean the intentional kind. Some of the coolest people in the area where I grew up live on an intentional community about 16 miles outside of town. They have an eco-machine designed by John Todd and built with him there as part of a workshop. It handles the graywater or effluent for 12 households while producing organic cut flowers as a cottage industry. When my son was an infant, he and my (ex) husband and I lived there for a while. We had been trying to start an intentional community with another group, on the other side of the county out in Penns Valley, when I was pregnant. But the land-owning couple ended up getting a divorce, and the whole endeavor dissolved. Turns out the intentional community idea was an attempt to save their marriage. Turns out living at the community with the eco-machine was an attempt to save my marraige. It didn't.

But I was already fascinated by intentional community. When I was a freshman in college, I dated a boy whose family was part of a sort of loose spiritual community called the "Sunflower School Community." Some of the families had purchased land around each other just to homeschool their kids together in a beautiful structure they built at one of their members' farms; the Sunflower School. They were homesteading, growing organic vegetables and living with solar panels hooked up to banks of car batteries to run simple things like stereos and computers. One of the couples have a market greenhouse using a wood-burning stove cocked to the side so you could feed fuel down into it, submerged in a large tank of water with irrigation tubes feeding out of it that run under the soil, so they don't have to worry about heating the air to grow food, they heat the soil instead and enjoy a hot tub together in the green house every now and then. Awesome. They let me stay in a loft in the Sunflower School building for a summer, when I was 19, just to absorb it all.

The spiritual part of their lives consisted of doing sweat lodges together once a month. They were very respectful about it. My first sweatlodge was led by a Mohawk elder, that summer at the school. It changed the way I thought about myself and my "kindred spirits."  We had local gatherings back then, called "Kindred Spirit Gatherings," a group that was formed as "The West Branch Susquehana Bioregional Association." As a group, we found we were more attracted to the food, and the songs, and the opportunity to do a sweat lodge together now and then. The Kindred Spirits lingered on for many years as a gathering of friends, and the "bioregional group" idea eventually morphed into the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, or PASA.

That was many years ago, back in the 80s: the Reagan years.

That same summer I went to my first (and second to last) National Rainbow Gathering. It was in Cherokee National Forest. I ended up doing a sweat lodge with some Native American guys, two Cherokee brothers and two Ojibwa guys, also brothers. We left the gathering site and went to watch one of the brothers from Cherokee who was in a play they do at the reservation, called "Unto These Hills," which tells the story of the Cherokee -- and we were pulled over for "driving while Indian" on our way over to the reservation. The driver was Ojibwa; he had a condom in his wallet and the officer who wanted his license saw it and said he wouldn't need it if he didn't hang out with a slut like me. They were calling him "chief" the whole time. He also had a six pack of beer in the back, so they made him come back a month and half later all the way from Michigan to North Carolina to stand there in court and be told the charges were dropped, pay a fine.

My second and last National Rainbow Gathering was up in Vermont. I and my friends showed up early and had such a good time, everyone working together to build temporary camps and outdoor kitchens, making friends and taking care of kids -- I always spent my time at the "Center for Alternative Living Medicine," CALM, which was a MASH field tent with a core volunteer staff including at least one or two combat veteran field medics. I learned so much at CALM. If you go to one of these Rainbow gatherings early, you meet these people from an old community who are the first to set up, who come from all over the country but know each other well from years of doing this together. Lots of Vietnam veterans (back when I was going to them). It was such a wonderful experience and then as July 4th approached, 20,000 people suddenly descended on the camp. It was disturbing. At CALM we had to babysit a possible sex offender, he could not stop babbling horrible things he wanted to do to women, out loud, a constant stream of lunacy. He was a vet from the Korean war and had an awful bayonet wound scar all the way down his leg. It was sad... after the gathering someone would take him back to where he came from, the streets of Albany, and dump him off. (Reagan years: think "mental health crisis.")  When I saw a CNN helicopter fly overhead one day, I packed up and left, and never went back. But I will always love and respect the Rainbow Family community.

That local intentional community -- the one with the eco-machine -- was part of an organization called The School of Living, a small land trust with a handful of intentional communities in the northeast as members. They have wonderful, weekend-long quarterly meetings at a different intentional community every time. The group is based on the philosophies of people like Ralph Borsodi and Henry George. I went to quarterly meetings regularly for years and eventually served on the board for a couple of years. It's a part of the Fellowship of Intentional Community and the Council of Georgist Organizations.  I'm planning to go to the July meeting, if I can. That's more my speed.

There's a book I found when I was a freshman in college, called American Communities, an interesting collection of essays by a man who traveled around to communities like Onieda and the Shakers, I think it was in the year 1889, writing about their economies; what works well, what doesn't. It's a bit like George Orwell's sociological studies, something like "The Road to Wigan Pier."  I've visited at least a dozen intentional communities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic US, and have lived at two well-established communities for a time and two attempted start-ups. I've always wanted to write a version of "American Communities" myself.

Boy, do I have stories.

Some of the lessons I've learned about community over the years stand out in my mind:

♥  Look for a community that produces or at least, attempts to produce, more than half of its own food. If they order bulk grains and other store-bought groceries together, group seed orders, that type of thing, it's a good sign.  Extrapolated to an online community, look for one that embraces diversity and produces and respects original ideas and content (like this one here at Daily Kos).

♥  Look for a community that has some regular social activity they do together: a weekly potluck dinner, for example, that everyone attends. The community that drums together once a month on a full moon with a nice local micro-brew, stays together.

♥  How many community business meetings do they have, and how often? Do they get things done together well?  If a community has several "issues meetings" and conflict resolution meetings per week or per month, run.

♥  For myself, if the community has a spiritual leader or common religion, run.

♥  Every community has at least one mentalist who controls everyone else. They can be good, sort of like Gandalf, or evil, or chaotic, but they are there. You'll know who they are because they will be the first to volunteer to be your personal sponsor, or they'll be eager to give you a tour and show you the ropes. Meanwhile, your sponsor's closest personal friends and followers will act like they hate you. They do.  Depending on the emotional maturity of the entire community, that may or may not last. But you have to eventually be accepted by the mentalist(s) and the rest will follow; that or walk away.

♥   In a community based on consensus decision-making, three people alligned together can control every single decision the group ever makes, no matter how large the community.

♥   "Consensus minus one" can sometimes resolve that issue. However, sometimes, one person is right and the group is wrong. At least be aware of that.

♥   Use Robert's Rules for any important group decision-making.

♥  Beware of gossip. There is always a prima donna, male or female, who wants to deeply confide in you right away and fill you in about everyone's back-story. These people have an agenda. They are looking for allies to take sides with them against their enemies; they are reinforcing a lie; or they might be planting a message they want you to repeat to someone else.  I was brand new at an intentional community and asked one of its members to please stop gossiping so much, it was making me really uncomfortable. Thereafter, I was her mortal enemy, in her mind, simply for calling her on it. Gossip, no matter how trivial, is almost always vicious.

♥  Beware of TMI.  If you are trying to get to know someone and they immediately inform you about some horrible childhood incident or history of sexual abuse or some deeply disturbing personal story that is too intimate for someone to share with a person they just met, it's a set up. They are trying to win a permanent get-out-of-jail-free card. Some people deserve one. But generally, male or female, this person is Blanche Dubois -- they have always depended on the kindness of strangers. Secretly, they are desperate but expert manipulators. They want to latch on to you and make you their personal servant and mascot.

In an online community, "TMI" can be somewhat different. Reading text lacks emotional content. Tone of voice can be opaque. You have to read into it. As we all know, online communities can be wonderful to address how severed we all can feel at times from real, caring, personal connections. Online, a piece of TMI can be one of the only ways to "be real" together. Plus, it's difficult to cultivate personal servants online (wink)... it's usually more about being brave to make a "real" connection. If it feels manipulative, or "way too soon," question it. If it doesn't, maybe it's an honor that you're being trusted as a confidante.

♥  Talking therapy is overrated. The best way for two people to resolve a conflict is to build something together or do some necessary chore together. Patch a roof, or plant a field together, or build a wall as Robert Frost suggests.

♥  "Talking therapy" is not the same as telling someone what's bothering you. It's important to be clear, and matter-of-fact, even about feelings. Give people a chance directly to say their piece and keep the grapevine out of it. Then go can twenty bushels of peaches together.

♥  The grapevine can't actually be avoided. It's everywhere and we all use it from time to time. Everybody needs some way to vent or they will explode someday. So, it's everyone's personal responsibility to see the grapevine for what it is. Never believe anything you  hear that you haven't confirmed directly. Take a moment to ask yourself if the talker or the listener has an agenda, and put it aside until all relevant information is confirmed. Be independent, but aware. And don't shoot the messenger.

♥  I have heard communitarians suggest recording every phone call. Look out for fascism and spying. Run.

♥  People are afraid to get close. Sometimes this results in pushing people away before they can hurt you. This isn't just "in community," this is everyone. Be open, be yourself, and let people earn your trust, don't just give it away. But, at the same time, you have to spend love to make love.  We all know that.

♥   People in community tend to use the word "family."  Red-flag, might have to run...

I recently had a huge fight with my brother, this past winter. He was being just awful. He said something he can't take back. So I told him; "Never say that to me again. You do it again, and I will tell you again; No more. You do it three times, and you are out."  But he's my brother. If he does that three times, I will freaking take him back and keep loving him. Three Strikes rules just aren't fair. Families (in my experience) just don't do that. But communities have to draw a line somewhere.

We all want to find or have found "our people" who are just so much better than those jerks we're stuck with in our families. We all want very much to find "the ones" who will let us get away with anything we've got going on and still love and accept us, "the family," you know? But a family system will have its power structures, its omerta, its scapegoats, enablers, and bullies. We're only human. But generally, if you hear the word "family" thrown around a whole lot, run.

♥   Not everyone will like you. You don't have to make everyone like you.

♥   No one is disposable.

♥   Most people, left to their own devises, don't even bother to go beyond the grapevine. One rumored strike, you're out.  Look for a community that has an understood and valued process for nonviolent communication and mediation, without the emo factor (unless you thrive on that sort of thing). Emotional safety is critical. Too much emotion is a "cry for attention." Prima donnas love this. Too little attention to emotion or an intolerance for it is just cold, sterile and deranged. There's a balance.

♥   Never admit you can type.

♥   Always let people save face.

♥   Everybody is doing their best.

 

Discuss
Reposted from john972 by weck

Sitting next to a pond watching the ducks or geese would be so relaxing

I read somewhere that there was a huge old mall, which had outlived it's usefulness and rather than tear it down, they converted it into a Central Health Center, with small apartments, for the disabled and elderly.  

How about turning much of the paved parking lot into a beautiful pond, where you can watch the ducks and geese floating peacefully, with not a care in the world.  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to sit next to the pond, with it's well kept grass and shade trees around it, with benches and picnic tables?

Being disabled and using braces and crutches, it was fairly easy to for me to get around, at first.  I was able to drive a car, with hand controls, which opened up a new world for me.  When I was younger, it was easy for me to service my first car, myself, and get in and out of it.

Over time, it became more and more difficult for me to get around.  Having been diagnosed with polio, when I was 2 ½, it seemed as I got older, I began losing the strength, in my arms.  When I was young, it was somewhat easy for me to get up, whenever I fell.

I had a few jobs, in the mid 1970's, but they didn't last.  Finally it came to the point, where no matter where I looked, I could not find a job.  When I gave up, I had taken a night class, in upholstery, so decided to create my own job and start my own upholstery business.

People thought I was crazy, to try and do something so labor intensive, but I wanted to try and take care of myself.  At that time, it was next to impossible to even begin to live on disability, since you didn't get much of a cash benefit each month.

I survived, in a way, on the upholstery, as long as I had someone bring the furniture to me and put it on the tables, which I had made.  I think working with the upholstery is what kept my strength up, but eventually it kept getting more and more difficult for me to do and I was losing interest in it.

I stopped upholstering the end of 2008 and little by little, it became more and more difficult for me to get around.  I had finally gotten on disability, in the fall of 2002, and the monthly benefit wasn't all that bad, but I had too many expenses, so was always scraping, to get by.

By the fall of 2010, when I moved into a different apartment, I decided to check into getting a power chair.  At that time, I was still walking with braces and crutches, but was stumbling and actually falling from time to time.

Not wanting to do something to either one or both my arms, I started the process of getting a power wheel chair.  I was lucky, in the sense I had Medicare and Medicaid, so with the 2 of them, was able to get a power wheel chair although the red tape took me almost 6 months, before I actually finally got it.

I had lucked out and found a mini van, with a ramp and hand controls and with the help of a generous couple, from my church, was able to purchase it.  Of course it cost $10,000 and the payment was $276 a month, plus the insurance and upkeep.

I was able to move into a low-income apartment, in a city not far from where I was currently living.  My rent was based on how much I made, I had electric heat, so since I lived upstairs, facing northeast, my electric was not too expensive, which made it much easier to make ends meet.

I was depending on the disability and the paper routes, which I was doing, to help me pay the bills.  Of course the company I was delivering the papers for, was taking advantage of me and I was only ruining my vehicle, while they got someone to deliver their shoppers for practically free.  With all my expenses, I doubt I was making anything doing it.

Of course I ended up totaling, the van, but I got enough out of the accident, to pay off the loan, on the van, so now without all those expenses, it was much easier for me to make ends meet.  

Now that I no longer had the van, I really didn't need a vehicle, because without the vehicle, I could not deliver the papers anymore, so that meant even fewer bills and expenses.  Being where I am at, it is handy, with the power chair, to go shopping, even though it is about a mile away.

I would love to find a place, maybe in an old shopping mall, which has been repurposed and now has Health Care, apartments, a small grocery store & little shops featuring items hand made, by residents or locals, in the area.  I would love to be able to plant flowers and take care of them.

I would love to have most of what I would need, within easy access, inside, yet able to access other areas outside.  Maybe have a pond, with a lot of trees, flowers and shrubs.

There are a lot of people, who don't drive, who would love to live in something like this.  Being an old mall, there would be numerous sky lights to bring in natural lighting, plenty of greenery, maybe a fountain, with a pool around it and plenty of room to walk, for exercise.

Even though you would be inside, you would still have access to the outside, where the massive parking lot is replaced by a pond, surrounded by grass and other greenery.  There could be picnic tables and benches, where you could sit and absorb the natural surroundings and the sound of nature.

It got me to thinking.  More below the fold.

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Tue May 05, 2015 at 11:57 AM PDT

A Kossack Needs a Little Help

by Ojibwa

Reposted from Community Fundraisers by weck

There are times when life gets a little financially rough. We have been asking for donations to help out elenacarlena.

So far, we’ve raised enough to cover her rent payment (which was due today), but we need to raise just a little bit more to give her and her pooties and woozle some living expenses for the next couple of weeks.

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Reposted from Community Fundraisers by weck

Please keep tipping and recommending so as many people as possible will see this diary! We only have a day to accomplish our goal. THANK YOU!

Due to a situation far beyond our control, the Derby Day Party and Fundraiser for elenacarlena did not reach the goal we had set. Total amount collected is $220.00. The original diary is HERE if you would like to see how the party went.

Now Elena's situation is critical. She must make her rent payment of $750 TOMORROW and she is $530.00 short. I will start things off with $30.00 leaving only $500.00 to go. That can be 50 people sending $10.00 each! I know this Community can do that.

I know there have been many requests for help, all for very worthy causes, and stretching everyone to the limit; but I know we can do this one more time for Elena who is a valued member of our Community. Here is what JekyllnHyde wrote in the diary:

I am joining Most Awesome Nana and several others in the Community Fundraisers group in strongly supporting this community effort for elenacarlena.  Ever since she joined Daily Kos, Elena has been a strong and regular presence while participating very widely and quickly becoming a valued community member.  As an example of this commitment, we have worked closely together (along with JoanMar, 2thanks, Tortmaster, and others) behind the scenes for the past year in helping to finalize and post weekly diaries on police brutality and Medicaid expansion through the Support the Dream Defenders group.  As you know, she is also a regular diarist for the War on Women diary series.

Please help Elena through this difficult time for her as well as her beloved pooties and woozle.  On behalf of the entire CFs group, thank you.  JekyllnHyde



Everyone will WIN THE ROSES TODAY!

Here's How You Can Help Elena


If you have a PayPal account and have never used it to send money to anyone, it is really simple.

  • Go to PayPal.com.
  • Click Send Money to Family and Friends.
  • Enter elenacarlena's email address (which is karlekonsultants@cs.com) and amount you are sending. The sender's name is visible to the recipient.
  • As a reminder, you can also help by keeping this diary on the Rec List, republishing to your Daily Kos groups, linking to your Facebook pages, and helping to spread the word through Twitter.

Thank you for caring and your generous contribution.


You can receive all future postings by clicking this link for the Community Fundraisers Group. Then, click 'Follow' and that will make all postings show up in 'My Stream' of your Daily Kos page.

Thank you for reading, tipping, rec'ing, sharing! And donating, too!
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Reposted from Community Fundraisers by weck

I am joining Most Awesome Nana and several others in the Community Fundraisers group in strongly supporting this community effort for elenacarlena.  Ever since she joined Daily Kos, Elena has been a strong and regular presence while participating very widely and quickly becoming a valued community member.  As an example of this commitment, we have worked closely together (along with JoanMar, 2thanks, Tortmaster, and others) behind the scenes for the past year in helping to finalize and post weekly diaries on police brutality and Medicaid expansion through the Support the Dream Defenders group.  As you know, she is also a regular diarist for the War on Women diary series.

Please help Elena through this difficult time for her as well as her beloved pooties and woozle.  On behalf of the entire CFs group, thank you.  JekyllnHyde



Welcome everyone to our Derby Day Party!

We are going to have a horse race (also known as the "most exciting two minutes in sports"), a few mint juleps, and a good time raising funds for our fellow Kossack, elenacarlena. Everyone is invited to join us to make a comment, tip, rec, republish, share on Facebook, promote on Twitter, send good vibes, or donate.

Elena is always ready to help others with information, good wishes and when possible, money. But now she is the one who needs help. Many of you read her previous diary and responded with great kindness. Unfortunately, the situation has not yet resolved itself. She still lacks enough funds for her special needs cats.

Please follow me below the bourbon fudge swirl for a few words from Elena.

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Reposted from Community Fundraisers by weck

Pat (weezilgirl) has been on The Great Orange Satan since 2007. I swear it has taken me that long to convince her to let me write this diary. She is one of the original independent, stubborn Tough Old Broads. But now she needs our help. Not to pay bills, she isn't in debt, but to fix her home so it will be warm, dry and safe.

Please keep reading beyond the smear of caulk.

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Reposted from Okiciyap (we help) by weck

Hi everybody,

I want to extend a warm thank you to everyone who has sent school supplies to the Okiciyap food pantry so the children on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation can be properly equipped this fall.

There are still a few items on their wish list if new people reading this diary feel inspired to send some.

List and pics below the fold.....

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Reposted from Native American Netroots by weck

Note: This diary is in support of an ongoing crowdfunding effort by the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB). The funding will play a crucial role in helping regenerate the building they've occupied for the last 40 years. Please help in any way you can - ideally, by Rec'ing and sharing as widely as you can, and if time and finances allow, with whatever you can provide to help with the fundraising effort. Times are tight for many of us - simply sharing news of this effort is more than appreciated. Please read on, and thank you.

Where do you call "home"? Is it where you hang your hat, or sleep at night? Is it where you gather with family, friends, or relatives? Is it a real place, or is it a virtual spot in your memory, heart and soul?

Or is it all of the above?

Have you ever been far from home - perhaps a bit homesick - only to walk into some place in a strange new area and suddenly feel at ease...at home? Or at least at ease, comfortable and familiar?

Now switch it up: has life sometimes become so fraught with stresses - social, financial, physical - that "home" offers less comfort, less release, less protection from those stresses?

It happens. A lot. Life can at times beset us with challenges that we cannot always handle ourselves, which keep us from being able to relax even for an instant. The constant state of stress can invade our home lives, our shelter from life's storms, and introduce conflicts that interfere with our families and our attempts to progress and grow. Sometimes - too often, nowadays, for too many - we spend 100% of our time fighting against the onslaught, only to find that for every two steps forward we've moved three steps back.

That's when those of us fortunate enough to have family, or friends like family, or a close-knit community, can band together to face the challenges and better position ourselves through the combined strength of others to not only survive, but move forward in facing and dispelling the various and sundry impediments facing each of us.

United we stand, whether that be within a family, a union, a neighborhood, a culture, or a community center.  And "united" doesn't mean, nor does it require, losing one's individuality, or forcing a distillation of one's culture. We can stand together, united, on our common humanity while supporting each other in spite of cultural, religious or familial bonds.

That's what we do here at the Daily Kos community. That's what the folks do at the North American Indian Center of Boston. That's what families and communities do when they bring out the best of humanity to rise against the challenges that can arise from life, especially when some of those challenges are imposed by divisive elements that arise from a lack of cultural awareness, or bigotry, or racism, or ignorance, or fear.

It's important to know where you are from; it's important to know where you're going. And it's important to know that you can, when needed, locate & reach out to those who could provide information, guidance and assistance.

In a nation like the United States, comprised of a mixture of people from different walks of life - different races, cultures, religions and nations, it's easy to get lost. The history of the nation is rife with misguided1 attempts to assimilate all into one generic cultural norm; only relatively recently, in fits and starts, has the recognition of the importance of maintaining ties to one's past cultural history gained traction. The dominant culture still drives onward, imprinting itself on the national identity, as the national identity, often without regard for the other rich cultural traditions that comprise our nation's people. Inherent within this is the unfortunately too-often remnants of embedded racism that was once a primary tool used to push non-dominant cultures toward assimilation.

If you're not part of the dominant culture - if, in fact, you are easily identified as a minority due to physical appearance or gender - then you can easily find yourself facing challenges to you and your family that are significant, yet some if not most of those very real challenges are decried as nonexistent if not entirely overlooked or ignored by non-minorities who are fully assimilated within the dominant culture.

And past "assimilation" practices, still embedded1 and sometimes resurgent, can add stresses that make it even more important to have a home, or at least be able to connect with others of similar cultural background, in order to establish a solid point of reference upon which to build a foundation from which a positive path forward can be forged.

While non-minorities may never fully understand the problems faced by minority groups, all people can understand the need for a place to call "home" or gather with others with whom they can be themselves, share stories, and encourage each other or provide support for each other whether it's in the form of social, mental, environmental, physical or even financial form.

In recent years, regardless of race or color or creed, more and more families have found themselves in situations where children, having left the nest to start their own families, have been forced by circumstance to return home to their parents - with their families - and still work hard to survive.2,3

"Home" takes on an extended meaning, as does "family." Care-giving responsibilities grow and extend; stresses ebb and flow as situations change, and people strive to survive in the best ways they can.

And many still need help.

Over the past few weeks, I've been posting diaries to help grow support and awareness of the North American Indian Center of Boston's crowd funding effort, so that they can regenerate their building, qualify for more government grants and programs, and build on their success in helping to serve the Native American community in and around the greater Boston area.  One of the programs they started in recent years is specifically geared toward helping grandparents who have found themselves once again serving as primary caregivers - it's a good program, one which the folks at NAICOB are proud of.  Over the fold, we'll talk a little about that - and a bit more about the importance of a cultural touchstone that the building which houses NAICOB provides for many Native Americans in the northeast.

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Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:10 PM PST

DKos Asheville - Weekly Open Thread

by davehouck

Reposted from DKos Asheville by davehouck

Good morning!

This is the weekly DKos Asheville open thread where we try to get together every Saturday morning around eleven, and then drift in and out throughout the day. We hope this group serves to reinvigorate us locally and regionally here on Daily Kos, building on the sense of community that's grown through our online engagement. DKos Asheville can give us all a better sense of connection, a better understanding of who these people are that we stand with, work with, and share with in the political process. We hope, through this community, that we can do a better job of leveraging our orange passion for progressive politics to help elect more and better Democrats.

If you would like to host a weekly open thread, please let us know.

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Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM PDT

Community

by glitterscale

Reposted from glitterscale by glitterscale
For me it was a fluke; it was started as a thought, a glimmer of an idea. A few years ago, I was looking at the X-Prize page and they were talking about a 10 million dollar prize for an idea for a healthy community. I tried to talk others into getting exited with me but no, that wasn’t happening. But I could not let go of the idea of creating a healthy community. It seemed to me that what we really are missing is the “community” part of community. And what would that look like to me? That vision began to blossom out in my mind. Included would be other communities that would support and compete and enjoy the presence of other communities. If you look at the structure we currently have, it supports the idea of the individual, the idea of capitalism, the idea of  “stuff”. Our community services have grown and that has supported clean water, sewage, and other utilities such as electricity and gas delivered to the home. (I don't know what year that was or who won the X Prize for the "Healthiest Community") X Prize 2012 winner
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Reposted from Other Worlds by Words In Action

                                         By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

                                    Part 16 of the Harvesting Justice series

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of a growing number of winter farmers’ markets. Photo: Tory Field.
In Western Massachusetts on a sunny winter day, a farmers’ market was taking place in the entryway of an elementary school. The smell was a mix of apple cider, homemade donuts, and gymnasium. Long rows of tables were heavy with piles of root vegetables, hardy apples, fresh pies, pasture-raised lamb, honey wine, and handmade brooms. There was enough diversity that, if determined and creative, one could make it through an admirable portion of a long northern winter.

In the last few years, winter farmers’ markets have been turning up everywhere, tucked into corners of community centers, churches, and school auditoriums. Farmers in cold climes are pushing the limits of their seasons, growing vegetables in greenhouses and building root cellars to make their harvests last. And communities are aligning their appetites with their climates, relinquishing mealy winter tomatoes in favor of the joys of parsnips and cabbage.

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Reposted from Words In Action by Words In Action

Previously in this series:

Notice: The Growing Cooperatives Movement & How You Can Get Involved. YES! Magazine Conference Call - Includes some information on cooperatives and YES! Magazine, an important resource for understanding New Economy and other subjects of relevance to progressives, especially those inclined toward direct action.

YES! Magazine arranged the call with the following panel to expand upon it's spring 2013 issue, How Cooperatives Are Driving the New Economy.

Conference Call Participants

Moderator
Sarah van Gelder, Executive Editor, YES! Magazine

Panelists
Laura Flanders, GRITtv and the Laura Flanders Show
Omar Freilla, The Green Worker Cooperatives
Eric Bowman, The Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NWCDC)
Ted Howard, Democracy Collaborative, Evergreen Cooperatives
Mike Beall, The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA)

Call Transcript, Pt 1 (Sarah van Gelder, Laura Flanders)

Call Transcript, Pt 2 (Omar Freilla)

Call Transcript, Pt 3 (Eric Bowman)

Call Transcript, Pt 4 (Ted Howard)

Call Transcript, Pt 5 (Mike Beall)

Call Transcript, Q&A

Notes on items appearing in the chat thread follow.

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