I have been spending a fair amount of time looking online at farm co-op’s and how they are started and run. I looked at Glen Valley farm’s website located in the Fraser Valley and was inspired by what they have created there, a successful model of co-operative organic agriculture. The goals of this co-op is below and a model like this could work on Gabriola :
The original goals of the co-op when established in 1998 remain priorities today and figure into our decision-making processes. These goals are to:
- provide access to certified organic food for shareholders and the local community;
- own and operate the farm co-operatively;
- steward the entire farm for the mutual benefit of the land, wildlife and people;
- be a model of sustainable living; and
- create opportunities to learn about sustainability.
Shareholders and friends of the farm meet regularly for a shared meal and meeting. All major decisions for the co-op are achieved through concensus. We believe this process helps to ensure that issues are carefully thought through before action is taken, that it gives everyone a voice in the process, which results in much greater buy-in by all participants.
Check out their website for more information also a local blog from a Gabriola group who is quite involved with the slow food movement at http://www.goal-2025.com/