Re: Private Use of Common Land
From: Philip W. Bush (
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 08:59:13 -0500
--- Mac Thomson wrote:
The agreement basically says that when someone wants to use the common
land on some long term, exclusive basis, they need to get permission and
perhaps compensate the community for its use.  By exclusive, we mean
that when the land is put to a certain use, other uses can't happen
there.  For example, if a few acres become a CSA operated by a few
members, that space is no longer available to pasture horses or for kids
to play in or for much of anything besides growing the CSA crops.
So for example, the CSA might get to use a few acres of common land in exchange 
 for organic veggies for the common house dinners.
--- end of quote ---
Our group in Vermont has recently been introduced to the concept that investing 
(by coho community and outsiders) in our farm/farmers/ and farm products makes 
sense, in return for progress on our sustainability goals.
In other words, the work that our CSA farmers are going to do to improve the 
soil, to keep the land in ag. production rather than other uses, and to develop 
farm products that make sense in our market and demonstrate successful organic 
methods,  furthers our goals as a community and has potential long-term 
economic value to us.  So,  beyond exchanging farm goods for a few acres (Land 
for Peas?  sorry), we might consider an investment in our farm/farmer/product 
mix, which could take many forms:  salary for farmers, farm infrastructure 
investment, a break on lease of land.  Over time, the argument goes, as soil 
improves, local markets are developed and profits to the CSA grow, investments 
could be turned to other goals.  This is in no way a done deal here, just 
another new, stimulating discussion during our design/development phase.
Phil Bush

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