Was having a discussion with a friend about community farming which brought up some interesting perspectives and I like to gauge a wider scope.
When you think of a community farm, what does the big picture present to you - right now, in 2006?
Naturally, a group of people get together and work out what they want, approach the local council or some other institution for help in getting access to land and when they have gained access to land, they design the garden and start to cultivate it.
But after that, what then?
:arrow: Does it include setting up a worker's co-op and paying people an above market rate to perform work that, on the whole, could be performed without charge and to exact standard by volunteers?
:arrow: Does it mean you introduce workers' agreements and generous pay scales even though they cannot sustain current enterprise as it is?
:arrow: Does "being there first" or "the one to set it up" give special rights?
:arrow: Does a community farm involve primarily volunteer work or does employment have a legitimate presence? If so, does this include businesses set up by paid staff that also benefit?
:arrow: Indeed, how would view management of a community farm: one person as executive decision maker or a "jury" of "elected" committee members, particularly one that spent the majority of meeting time fighting with one another?
:arrow: Given the permaculture philosophy which advocates 'care for all living things', would you entertain itinerant people on the farm if all they did was take from you, humbug money, drink on site and assault people?
I would love to read your thoughts on this.