|Cohousing/ Farm Interface||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Richard Pendleton (111rmpgmail.com)|
|Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 05:42:23 -0700 (PDT)|
Joel, At Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm in New Hampshire, our farmland is on a designated condominium unit (the "Farm Unit") that is currently owned by the LLC that developed the community but the intent is for the community to own it eventually and that is how it operates in practice. The community interests in the farm are represented by the Farm Team (a group of neighbors with a mandate from the Plenary; I am not a member of that team but was formerly) and they make sure the land is maintained and improved based on future envisioned uses. The Farm Team negotiates agreements with groups that want to use the farm land. Uses include horses, pig raising, laying chickens, bees, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), orchard (and probably others I am forgetting right now) each with its own lease agreement with the community. Currently nothing is for profit. We don't have any outside residents (other than CSA members) but it is allowed. The original vision was for a separate farm non profit to oversee the Farm Unit. An important objective of this scenario was the operation of the farm non profit to be independent from the community so that farmers would not be micromanaged and the farm could operate financially independent from the community budget. However, in the early stages we could not come to agreement, in the short time necessary, to a structure that balanced the farm's independence with the community control. Specifically, the community wanted more representation on the board and the people that formed the non profit were concerned that the farmers' independence would be compromised. Given there are few of us in the community that have much lifelong farming experience, I think it has been going quite well. There have been discussions about how much the community should support the farm in its annual budget since that wasn't the original plan. In my personal opinion, the global issues concerning the economics of food production have much more impact on our success then the issues of power and control on the farm at the moment. I don't think we have a farm-specific conflict of interest policy and I think that it could be said that everyone in the community has a conflict of interest when it comes to decisions (and does conflict of interest apply in consensus decisions?). I can send you our farm mandate if you would like it. I will be at the Cohousing conference in Conway, NH this weekend also if anyone wants to talk about it there. Richard Pendleton Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm www.peterboroughcohousing.org ------------------------------ Message: 2 Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2011 18:29:37 -0400 From: Joel Plotkin <joel [at] sunyit.edu> Subject: [C-L]_ Cohousing/ Farm Interface To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org Message-ID: <CA+hbnxc4JpATJpvBBqad4tFJSAwFsZuSjDJUfw_rbdCZxqj49Q [at] mail.gmail.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Coho'ers: I'm curious about organizational dynamics of Cohousing communities that have farms as part of the common land. At Hundredfold Farm in PA, we have a Christmas tree farm that is a profit-making business. At present, all residents are required to be members of the Tree Farm LLC, a separate corporation (easier for tax purposes). We hope to make membership optional, in which case, the farm will be a business operated by a subset of the community. They will lease property and own equipment used for the business. How have other communties handled their farms? Some lease to residents, some to outside farmers, some own and operate, sometimes the farmer is an employee of the COHO, etc. What models have you found that work for your community? What models were problematic? I'm also interested in a governance issue--do those coho members who are also business partners have to stand aside during COA decisions about the business? Our condo documents have a conflict-of-interest clause that would seem to apply there. Joel Plotkin Hundredfold Farm Cohousing Orrtanna PA ------------------------------
Cohousing/ Farm Interface Joel Plotkin, July 10 2011
- Cohousing/ Farm Interface Richard Pendleton, July 11 2011
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