[permaculture] [permaculture-99] Dacha Movement: History and Effects In Russia

Bob Waldrop bob at bobwaldrop.net
Tue Aug 7 17:03:33 EDT 2012


Yes I'm reading and I tend to agree with Toby.  While I often say 
everyone should grow some food, I have a good vision of the limits of 
food growth in urban areas for most people, especially those who have no 
land or very little land.  I have 1/7th of an acre, and over half that 
is covered with buildings or concrete, and I raise food on the concrete 
in pots, but I am not raising anything like a full diet here and won't 
be able to do that either.

Someone with a small balcony can raise some herbs and a half dozen 
tomato plants -- where is the rest of their food coming from?

Well, if they are in Oklahoma City, or Tulsa, Lawton, Muskogee, 
Tahlequah, McAlester or one of the other communities served by the 
Oklahoma Food Cooperative, they could choose every month from more than 
4,000 different food and non-food items offered by typically 100+ 
producers, everything is made or grown right here in Oklahoma and sold 
by its producer through the Coop.

THAT'S WHY I started the Oklahoma Food Cooperative in 2003.  I think it 
is a great, replicable model for developing urban food systems. There 
are nearly 20 other such cooperatives that have started via our model, 
including one in Australia and two in Canada.  Our unique contribution 
primarily I think is the conception of the organization as a hybrid 
producer/consumer coop, with both producers and customers as members.  
That meant that we could charge a lower price for a membership share, 
since the potential number of customer members is much larger than the 
number of producer members.  In our model, instead of the coop buying 
wholesale and selling retail, each producer is his or her own brand. 
They set their prices, we charge them 10% for selling through the coop, 
and the customers pay 10% for buying through the coop, so the coop gets 
20% and the producer gets 80% of the food, a much better distribution of 
the money than is found in supermarkets.

In general, I think permaculture designers should pay as much attention 
to invisible structures as we do to growing things, but that's not the 
way generally that things work out.   I always thought that Toby's move 
back to the city from a rural area marked a significant milepost in the 
development of the permaculture movement.

We are evolving our way perhaps to becoming a triple hybrid as a 
worker-customer-producer cooperative.  If someone was just starting out 
doing this today, that's what I would recommend that they start with.

List of "Oklahoma plan" cooperatives in other states -- 
http://www.oklahomafood.coop/otherstates.php .

Bob Waldrop, http://www.oklahomafood.coop

On 8/7/2012 1:28 PM, venaurafarm wrote:
> On 8/7/2012 10:02 AM, Toby Hemenway wrote:
>>> If we want to survive . . . each and every family as much as
>>> possible needs to be able to produce it's own food for itself, and
>>> as many other people as possible.
> Right on and thumbs up, onward relentless, let nothing stand in your way.
>
>> I don't need to grow my own food.
> But there are millions of others who do need to grow their own food in
> order to have a healthy diet, involve themselves in very worthwhile
> activities as practitioners and learners. Many need to do this to put
> food on their tables as they try to weather the poor economy, job loss,
> keep their homes and land, keep transportation or seek working
> alternatives (bus, bicycle, carpool), have adequate healthcare, etc.
>
>> I need to be part of a healthy
>> network that does.
> Those networks, if they exist, are not necessarily available to millions
> of people and for a varieties or reasons. Let's hear more about your
> networks. Who forms them, who is part of them and who keeps them going
> and functionsl?
>
> The LL plan for America includes a computer/web/internet-based product
> and services production, marketing and distribution network, PSPMDN.
> It could be created and made to work and serve everyone participating,
> no matter how small, as consumer or seller, barter, trade, donate, have
> its own currency and be compatible and cooperative with the IRS.
>
>> While I'd love it if everyone gardened, a
>> coordinated community food system
> Where are they and how many are there; what is the projected future for
> this resource?
>
>> is more resilient and allows more
>> diversity than individual dachas, and fits better with American
>> culture and land ownership patterns. The US has a very different
>> history from Russia.
> Not so. At all. You're conception of this is too fixed and limited
> and too limited to the past.
>
>> And most yards are too small to produce "all our
>> own food."
> Straw man argument. They need to produce as much of their food needs as
> possible, themselves. This can be done in pots or windowsills in
> apartments, urban or suburban homes, rural homes and homesteads and
> farms. How many thousands of books have been written encouraging people
> to grow their own for table fare and health, and to share or sell. How
> many tens of thousands of videos exist on YouTube demonstrating every
> aspect of home food production and renewable energy, and cottage
> industry possibilities. We need 21st Century Victory Gardeners
> Practicing Permaculture. We need a nation of them. Think of the savings
> in energy, materials and equipment.
>
> Its a mass movement already, a happening thing, thank providence.
>
> This is what permaculture is really all about down to its core set of
> principles.
>
>> A single 18th-Century farmer could feed 50 people. Making the
>> household, instead of the farm, the neighborhood or even the town,
>> the core unit of a food system atomizes the community.  Let's not
>> default to "go it alone." It reduces the many options for reaching a
>> goal--meeting our food needs--to a single tactic: grow it all
>> yourself. It means that this critical function is done only one way,
>> with all the attendant hazards (what if you get hurt?) and reduces
>> most people to serfs farming for a banker. It's part of the mix, but
>> not the solution.
>>
>> The dachas are well worth looking at.  But severe food and economic
>> disruptions tend to be brief in developed countries (see Argentina,
>> Iceland, Weimar Germany, Mexico, etc.), stabilizing soon at a
>> simplified level. So to redesign as though the unstable period will
>> be permanent is unwise.
>>
>> While Russians were busy farming their 2.5 acre dachas all day, the
>> oligarchs were seizing control of everything else. They still have
>> it. Let's learn from that. We need to organize at a higher level than
>> the household.
> And the oligarchs, the cabal, corporations, etc. are not doing this now?
> Stealing their investments, causing profound inflation and profiteering
> from price rises (charge what the market will bear, law of supply and
> demand), sending most American jobs overseas and not creating a
> significant number of new ones to replace those lost, largely factory
> and small local businesses ceasing operation in the face of competition
> from chain stores selling imported goods (at inflated prices). And
> people do not need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, reorganize
> their lives and livelihoods, seek self sufficiency, independence,
> personal sovereignty, freedom, liberty, family security and access to
> the basic necessities of live? Of course they do, now as much as ever,
> including during the Great Depression.
>
>> Toby http://patternliteracy.com
> This is a good thread, keep it going.
> Are you reading, Koreen and Bob Waldrop?
>
> LL
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